Why we give to support SMART Recovery Training
By Julie Flood and Peter Heide, Albany Lutheran Church, Wisconsin
Our decision to begin a SMART Recovery group meeting was based on our local demand for those who are seeking self-directed change. Facilitating SMART Recovery meetings has been a great opportunity for us to reach out to our rural communities that do not have the same substance abuse/addiction resources offered in urban areas. After one year of group consistency and success we wanted to give the group an incentive to pay forward the benefits they’ve gained through SMART. In November of 2016 the Council agreed to pay the training fee for those wanting to facilitate SMART Recovery meetings in our southern Wisconsin, under-served communities/counties.
Why SMART has been so helpful in our community: The greatest obstacles with change and self-acceptance are unwanted self-judgments, and we all have them. The mind’s ability to generate such judgments is very powerful — but not impossible to change.
We recognize that with helpful thought patterns in place, crisis becomes less overwhelming, and it’s far easier to let go of resistance, tune in to your passions and inner resources, and move forward with a recovery and self-management plan that inhibits unhealthy thinking. It’s not realistic to expect individuals to rid themselves of all unhelpful self-judgments and be completely free from the suffering they cause….but that doesn’t mean we’re powerless.
We at Albany Lutheran Church want to be able to provide realistic resources that help individuals understand you CAN alter the quality of unhelpful self-judgments, learn from them, and either let them go or transform them so that they no longer block you from a sense of well-being, a feeling of spaciousness, and openness to new possibilities, self-love and self-acceptance. Most often, when you let go of your unwholesome self-judgments, you discover aspects of yourself that inspire and vitalize you. You start to realize that you can live more authentically and richly.
How it works: Human beings are fallible, imperfect and un-ratable. I do not believe we were ever expected to be flawless. When individuals learn to be conscious of who they are, what they feel, and what they are doing, they begin to realize that they have control. Then they can exercise their control and change their behavior.
Why we support SMART: We support the SMART Recovery program because it encourages self-acceptance for all ages. Once self-acceptance is defined and stability is gained the process of change can begin. SMART encourages alternative behaviors to solve the problems that serve to reinforce bad choices. Individuals can learn to make good choices.
About the authors: Julie Flood has been facilitating SMART Recovery meetings since November, 2015. She serves as Council President, and Peter Heide is the pastor of Albany Lutheran Church.
April is Volunteer Month: SMART is a “volunteer organization” and our success is a direct result of the enthusiastic efforts of our trained (and passionate) volunteers who do a terrific job “delivering” self-empowering recovery support meetings around the country.
Want to see a meeting in your community? You can start one! During Volunteer Month we have scholarships available to offset the cost of our extensive training program. Learn how you can take part in our training, or how to help others with a gift to our Training Scholarship Fund.