A few weeks ago, I visited my hometown of Memphis, TN where I spent a significant amount of time in a therapy office with my father, mother, and brother. Even though we are all well into adulthood and lead separate lives, we still need the guidance of a professional to navigate our family relationships and dysfunction. Many may ask, given our ages and stages of life, “What’s the point?”

I imagine people ask the same question in regards to things like Sixty Minute Seminars when they first hear about them. “I am not an alcoholic or addict, so what’s in it for me?” “I don’t communicate with my family anymore, so who cares?” “I’ve been to counseling before, so why do I need to hear another counselor speak?” These are questions I have received from people who see Sixty Minute Seminar flyers on my desk. Basically they are asking, “So what’s the point?”

Here’s the point: no one is an expert on life and relationships. Hurt people hurt people, and everyone walking the planet has been hurt at some point in his or her life. The point and power of Sixty Minute Seminars is that hurt people also help people. I am personally and professionally familiar with all of this summer’s Sixty Minute Seminar speakers, and I have an incredible amount of respect for each of them as well as their work in our community. Everyone you have heard from in this series has also experienced hurt, pain, betrayal, and brokenness. They have pursued their own health and recovery in various ways, and are courageous enough to share their wisdom and experience with their community.

Ignoring the pain, or the “hurts, habits, and hang-ups” in your life, doesn’t make them go away.

I consider it a privilege to be a part of Sixty Minute Seminars because I know that while awareness and education are not the only answers we need, they are great first steps in the healing process. I started my own recovery journey because someone took the time and care to share their story and wisdom with me. It is a great honor to pass that gift along to others.

Ignoring the pain, or the “hurts, habits, and hang-ups” in your life, doesn’t make them go away. Like family, you can’t make life un-happen. I continue to invest in my family because ignoring them and/or denying their existence didn’t work. I continue to invest in my own healing and recovery because ignoring life didn’t work well either. It never does. Recovery is an investment. Whether you attended one seminar or all nine, you invested your time, emotional energy, gas to travel, and mental capacity. The speakers made a huge investment each week. I can only speak for myself, but I prepared about three months in advance to present the most accurate and relevant material on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. The point of Sixty Minute Seminars is that you are worth the investment, and so is each person who walked through the doors on Monday nights. We as leaders, counselors, teachers, pastors, and speakers know you are worth it. We just want you to know it, too.

 

 

Lindsey Coates is the 33rd Street Coordinator at Summit and has spoken about the topic of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse at Sixty Minute Seminars. You can email her here.