Passion, Purpose & Plans

The people I most enjoy have all three of these.

I have ridiculous amounts of them, but at this point in my journey, the only reason I make well developed plans is because I enjoy listening to my Higher Power laugh at me. I’ve learned to be open and flexible because the message I get most often from my HP is, “Jim if you could just manage to chill out; I have something much better in mind. Notice the things and people I put directly in front of you and instead of resisting them (fear) embrace them.” (I marvel at my HP’s patience with me).

There is a form of energy that is created when passionate people work together toward common goals. I crave that energy. Truth to tell, I’m addicted to it and I have no intention of stopping. If anything I want more and more. The people that I connect to in this manner become my family. We claim each other as kin; we are the best kind of family.

I share Karen Foley’s passion for parenting. I am mindful that the two most important things I will ever do were done well. I helped to raise two beautiful children who became amazing adults. My wife and I taught them to be independent and passionate and so they became. They grew up. They left home. We asked ourselves, “now what?”

We took a leap of faith. In the middle of a recession, in a day and age in which managed care and government are forcing out independent health care practices, we opened a counseling center. Depending upon your point of view this is either amazingly stupid or incredibly brave. In truth, it was neither. It was an attempt to create another family…and it worked…just not the way I thought it would. I’ve never felt more certain that I was supposed to do something since my children were born and yet I’ve never been so scared.

Everyone deserves to be loved the way my wife loves me. Her faith in me is unwavering. She’s told me ten thousand times, “It’s going to be okay.” At an especially low point in starting our new agency I asked her in disbelief, “but how do you know that?” Her next words are tattooed on my heart, “Because it’s you.”  Rarely have I felt worthy of such regard and yet my estimation of me does not sway my wife’s belief in me. Her faith is based in love and conviction. This is beyond inspiring. This makes me believe in me. She is the best of the many, many people God has given and continues to give me so that I may have more and more faith.

My faith does not allow me to become complacent. My HP’s plans do not involve me staying in my comfort zone. S/he wants me to continue to grow and make more and more connections.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous gave me these three beautiful words, “Came to believe…”  Over the course of my 20’s and 30’s I accepted that what I was raised to believe was self limiting. The more I let go of dogma and rhetoric, the freer I become. I have come to believe in myself, in those closest to me, in groups and organizations I know to be effective, and I choose to believe that there is something far greater than us that loves us and wants good for us. I do not seek to understand my Higher Power. I seek to experience my Higher Power.

“The less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine.” – The Indigo Girls “Closer to Fine.”

Understanding myself and allowing others to know me without inhibition helps me to learn and heal and grow. Understanding those that God puts in my path helps me to have greater tolerance, patience, and love. Growing spiritually provides more passion, purpose and plans allowing us to become more happy, joyous, and free.

It’s simple – connection makes extraordinary things possible. Why settle for less than an extraordinary life?

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About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life. Jim offers a limited amount of online therapy to those with very flexible schedules.