By: Brad

Being 1200 miles from home, there are few things I look as forward to as Mail Delivery.  Connection is everything for me, and any thing, any snippet that figuratively brings me home, is a huge emotional and spiritual lift.  I’m LA born and raised, and now reside in basically the middle of freaking nowhere.  So, when I received what amounted to a care package from Kathy, I was pumped.  The highlight for me was reading the winter “Beit T’Shuvah Magazine.”

Let me say right off the bat that huge kudos should go to Sully, Jeff Hewitt,Barbara and Lia (and if I’m missing anyone, shame on me!)  The production quality and content is unsurpassed, I’m sure – especially for any non-profit.  Congrats to you all – not bad for a bunch of addicts!

I was touched by each and every featured contributor.  The writing is excellent and straight from the heart.

I wanted to bring special attention to Shy B’s “Counselor Profile” (by the way, thanks Shy for writing the bank. Not. J).  Shy focuses on what, in his entire Beit T’Shuvah experience, would he suggest is the greatest thing he has learned.  His answer was love.

I thought about this.  I pondered what is the biggest lesson that I, myself, have learned in doing my work at Beit T’Shuvah.  For me the answer is also one word.  I learned about the importance of TRUTH.

Sure, in or out of recovery, everyone wants to tell the truth – that’s hopefully a given.  In my life experience it goes beyond that.  It speaks to living an authentic and transparent existence, not having to put up a façade on my true intentions.  It means not having to cover my tracks or worrying what I said to whom and when.

Importantly, it also points to something that Rabbi Mark mentioned, in my first days as a resident at Beit T’Shuvah, would be my biggest life challenge: learning to live a life where I can disappoint others, say no to others, and be ok with the ramifications.

Steve Bell, in his column, highlights in an open, honest and vulnerable fashion, all these attributes.  I couldn’t have come close to saying it better.

I may be 1200 miles from home.  I may wear clothing that makes me look like a park ranger.  I may have to celebrate Shabbos all by myself.

But, I now live in Truth.

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