Last week was a unique opportunity for me (Jon) to spend some time with our addiction recovery support group. We decided to get out of the resource center and into some fresh air while talking about our joys and difficulties. We went hiking through an eco park on the local San Salvador volcano, and then sat down to a nice BBQ lunch.
On the surface, it probably doesn’t seem like such a unique thing, but look a little deeper and you will find the true importance of this time. In order to have a good support group, there are many thing you need but honesty and transparency surely top that list. At the beginning, some didn’t want to go and some did. Some thought it would be fun, and others not so much. But the great thing about the whole experience is that as we hiked and ate and talked each member of the group was able to express their own thoughts, and also respect when others shared.
We enjoyed being in nature and as we hiked, we talked about everything, we joked, and we just had fun being together. We saw so many of El Salvador’s beautiful trees and plants and marveled about the creativeness of God. A wonderful teaching moment came as we passed a mango tree that lacked both fruit and flowers. It was a great opportunity to talk about “looking good on the outside” but if our insides are unhealthy, no fruit will ever be produced in our lives. It was the perfect way to switch up our conversations from therapy room, to real life illustrations from nature.
Of course, we wrapped up the day with a BBQ. I have learned that men grilling meat is one of those things that transcends all cultures and so we ended the day with success…a delicious BBQ lunch! We worked together to get the fire going, prep the food, grill it, and finally we sat down to eat it…all ready for a nap!
The best parts of the whole experience were making memories, building new relationships, and strengthening old friendships that we hope will last a lifetime!