As February comes to a close, many of us hope that the blistering cold, snowy conditions of winter are coming to a close as well. March is right around the corner giving the advanced warnings of spring in Portland, AKA the City of Roses. Springtime in an area like the Pacific Northwest is a truly magical season. All over the magical mountains and Valleys of Oregon there are bursts of color as wildflowers make their debut. Such a temporary event can teach us a lot as men. Flowers have for centuries been the focus of great artists, a subject of great poets, a vehicle for romance, and a fixation for all of mankind. Flowers are considered perfect, yet imperfect. They are beautiful, rare, fleeting, and nonchalant in nature. From flowers we can learn a few lessons as men in recovery by learning to stop and smell, as well as appreciate, the roses.
Out of adversity comes beauty
Wildflowers grow in some of the most adverse conditions one might consider. Out in the middle of the wild in rough terrains like abandoned forests, rocky mountains, and arid deserts arise beautiful, dainty flowers. Wildflowers grow in all the areas people wouldn’t expect them to. As men in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, we do the same. Many of our friends and family might have believed, at some point, we would never grow out of our addictive behaviors, selfish attitudes, and harmful actions. Despite our conditions and the circumstances working against us, we continue to grow.
Every rose really does have its thorn
Roses aren’t wildflowers, but they are known for their thorns. The stems and leaves of certain flowers found in the wild can be prickly and stickly as well. When men first enter treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, they are a little prickly. Commonly, men think they have too many “thorns” to be considered “beautiful” as individuals. What they quickly learn is that sometimes thorns- be it self-sabotaging behaviors, maladaptive coping mechanisms, or defeating attitudes- are really just protecting something precious, unique, and breathtaking on the inside. Through recovery, men have a chance to bloom.
No mud, no lotus
The lotus flower is an icon of eastern practices like Buddhism. Mystical and revered, the beautiful, perfect lotus grows in the most peculiar of conditions: mud. Without the mud to nourish and grow the roots, the lotus wouldn’t grow. Men often turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with challenges they have faced in their lifetime. They hope that mind altering substances can help them forget that “bad things” ever happened to them. Through treatment, men learn that their adverse experiences were necessary parts of their lives which contribute to their strength, growth, and development. Even their addiction played a part in making them who they are today.
Beauty is fleeting
Give anyone a bouquet of flowers and quickly realize two things. Flowers are beautiful and wildly appreciated. Flowers die. Life on earth is temporary and the moments while alive can be as beautiful as the rarest flower. As quickly as a flower blooms it can wilter and turn back into dirt. Moments in life come and go, invoking the truth of “This too shall pass” for every beautiful moment, there is a less beautiful moment, but the cycle continues. Many practices of recovery like meditation and mindfulness remind us to stop and smell the roses, appreciate the beauty of life while it is here, and stay grateful for every passing moment in between.
Tree House Recovery is a men’s addiction treatment facility offering long term partial care options. Our program combines the best of clinically proven therapy, intense fitness regiments, and the adventure of the great outdoors. Call us today for information: (855) 969-5181