Americans have finally embraced football and are definitely tuned in to the 2014 World Cup. The Ferree household has been enthralled with soccer since then 3½ year old Matt first stepped onto a field at the YMCA. We’ve been through the youth leagues, travel teams, school soccer, visits to the orthopedic clinic, and near-trips to the emergency room (actually that was for me when I collided with another parent in a pickup game when Matt was in middle school). Soccer is a fabulous sport!

Now US fans have joined the world in fevered excitement about our team’s advancement out of the “group of death” into vying for a spot in the quarterfinals. It’s a great accomplishment.

The soccer frenzy means lots of us are watching matches, including at work. I was intrigued by an NBC news piece that outlined the benefits of allowing employees to watch the World Cup on company time. NBC contributor Martha C. White suggested that rather than having employees feign illness, take long breaks, or surreptitiously stream games at their desks and slow down the company’s network, smart employers should show US games in public areas and invite employees to watch.

White quoted an industry productivity expert who said people who celebrate together get closer, which is valuable for employee productivity and morale. Another business executive said that the World Cup matches (similar to the Olympics) are unifying in a patriotic way. Unlike the Super Bowl or other playoffs, a national team avoids the us-versus-them divisiveness. Cheering for a single team generates positive energy that translates into cohesiveness and collaboration.

Yeah! I felt validated in my choice to have the US versus Germany game playing in the staff room during last week’s Healing for Couples workshop. And I thought about how this fütball frenzy and some companies’ response illustrates key recovery principles.

Be upfront about your behavior. Be honest and transparent about your actions. Practice walking in truth and openness.

Build camaraderie. We call it “community” in recovery language, and it’s one of the most important elements of healthy living. God created us for relationship, and we need close connections to combat the intimacy disorders that plague all of us.

Root for a common goal. A shared purpose is one of the benefits of a 12 Step group (or a church, ideally). People join together to battle fiercely against trauma, false core beliefs and unhealthy coping. Being part of a team generates stamina and dedication that’s impossible to produce alone.

Whether it’s World Cup soccer or World Cup recovery, be all in.

Marnie C. Ferree