“You’ve been given a gift, this profound connection to everything. Just look for it, and I promise you it’s there, the collateral beauty.” -Collateral Beauty

In my recovery journey driven by grief, dreams and music have been gifted to me. Both have made a difference in my healing process. Music will literally pop into my head; it comes in different places, at different times, and in different forms. Sometimes I find myself humming a song and then I stop and listen and ask, “What is this song?“ Sometimes, I get a few words of lyrics from a song.

I know, now, from experience that I’m not given songs randomly because, without fail, there’s always a message in it for me. Often, it’s revelatory and connects to a deep need of my heart. Sometimes it may be one line out of the song, but so many times it’s more than that. These songs will tell a story, and it relates somehow to my own life creating a need in me to go deeper into inner work. Or, it may be a wonderful validation or encouragement like a much needed hug.

I cannot separate my recovery journey from my grief journey because they have gone hand in hand, as well as the “gifts” that have come out of the journey. Dreams and songs delivering messages are some of the gifts I have received. The movie, Collateral Beauty with Will Smith uses collateral beauty in the same way I use “gifts.”

Collateral means “inadvertent casualties” when combined with “beauty,” it becomes a heartfelt description of something much bigger. Loss of any kind can make one feel like a “casualty” of some situation. However, when combined with “beauty” it takes on such depth of meaning. It changes everything! It takes one from a place of helplessness and disempowerment to finding meaning and purpose in the journey. I cannot even begin to measure the magnitude of healing that I have received from these dreams and songs that come to me! There is in me now a “connection to everything” I never imagined possible.

Now, I have the courage to share and connect with you. I know there are gifts for you! Have you recognized at least one of yours arising out of your own recovery journey? If not, look inside, ask your heart to show you. I say with confidence, it will!

Cheri Thomas

Cheri works as a Peer Support Specialist for RI in Arizona. She has experienced loss and grief which has led her to write for the masses to bring voice to those in similar situations. Cheri possesses a deep passion to share with, encourage, and inspire others on what she calls the Journey of the Heart.