Monday, February 26, 2007
When I was a child our house backed up to an elementary school playground. At the end of the day they would remove the tether balls from their poles, leaving empty chains hanging free. On windy nights the chains on all of the poles would swing and slap the poles, sending a ringing chorus into the night. I fell asleep to that sound for years.
Today I have wind chimes hanging outside my bedroom window. Last night the wind blew. I laid in bed, closed my eyes and listened. It felt like home.
I cannot go back to that home, and would not if I could. I have a good life today, rich with blessings. But I can reflect back on what felt good about it and hold it close. My mom is aging, but there is still so much to share. We can start by listening to the wind chimes. Please come home Mom.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Monday, February 19, 2007
We all have a story. It has a beginning and a middle and, of course, will have an end. Sometimes discovering that story, that inner story, is a process that takes some time and some courage. One of the things I love about 12 step programs is that it is one of the few communities where we still tell our stories.
We tell them when we celebrate a sobriety birthday, or speak, or qualify at a meeting. We share them with our sponsees. Every time I tell my story I unearth more truth about myself. I usually start out nervous and tentative, afraid of rejection or judgment. Then someone will give me a smile or nod of understanding, as though to say “I hear you, I understand you…” and with that nod I get the courage to go deeper, share more of myself, and reveal more of God’s miracles in my life today.
I think God wants us to share our stories. We have a responsibility to chronicle the miracle. He also wants us to be courageous. I need to look deep, to find my innermost sorrows and fears, the weakness and inadequacies that are a part of my story. When I discover my truth and understand how it shaped my story it becomes my Experience, Strength and Hope. Just for Today I have Nothing to Fear.
Through story we draw connections between the happenings of life and the lessons of God. We catch God suddenly in the thick of our days. Sue Monk Kidd Firstlight
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Thursday, February 15, 2007
The state recently paid $21 each for about 500 talking urinal deodorizer cakes and has put them in men's rooms in bars and restaurants across the state.
When a man steps up, the motion-sensitive plastic device says, in a woman's voice that is flirty, then stern: "Hey, big guy. Having a few drinks? Think you had one too many? Then it's time to call a cab or call a sober friend for a ride home."
The recorded message ends: "Remember, your future is in your hand."
I’ve always had a very noisy mind. I think too much, plan, analyze, wonder, second guess….. It seems to have just calmed. I feel like I want to knock on my temple and say Helloooo? Anybody in there? Where has the committee gone?
I’ve been doing 11th step work, learning about meditation and God consciousness. The actual practice of meditation didn’t come easy to me at first. I struggled to silence my mind and stay focused; often I fell asleep. But it’s getting better, easier……progress, not perfection. My amazing moments in meditation come when I finally get quiet enough to let go into God. At that moment it is just me and divine peace.
I don’t understand my turning point, but I know I’m changing, and I like it. I think it’s ironic that my 11th step work has brought about Surrender and new Clarity to my faith….as though the 11th and 12th steps eventually lead you right back to an even more powerful 1st, 2nd and 3rd, like a big circle. Something new for me to ponder.
We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon. BB pg 59
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Sober softball has been a huge part of our recovery journey. The fellowship that has grown out of sober league and tournament play is great. We spend the day on the fields, kids, dogs, spirited competition and renewing friendships with friends we often only see at tournaments. There is always a Saturday night meeting, with heartfelt sharing. Some of the guys claim that without sober softball they might not have hung around in the beginning. I don’t know. It takes what it takes. I do know that you have to be sober to play, and these young guys show up wanting to play. They latch on and hang out and the miracle starts to happen, just like it does in any other venue.
I see the program in action on the fields. I watch the higher division players mentoring the newcomers. I see guys finding sponsors. I see altercations break out on the field that result in resentments…that get let go. I watch families spending time together. One of the best things I see is sober men going out on those fields and playing like testosterone crazed animals, then humbly bowing their heads and praying together after every game. What could be better than that?
Friday, February 09, 2007
It was “just another manic Monday” for me. A long week looming ahead. I commented on Lash’s post: I want to go home too. I'm at work. If only I could kick the wall and scream and someone would love me enough to pick me up and take me outta here.
Obviously someone loved me enough
Less than four hours later my boss told me that my job is being cut back to two days a week.
I could write about my wounded ego, or about fear, or even about anger. They all came up. But those are all states of mind. They come, they go. They don’t serve me today.
What I want to write about is the absolute evidence that God is working in my life, gently caring for my mind, my body and my spirit. When we do our 3rd step prayer and surrender our will and our life to God’s care, it has been my experience that the Universe listens. We get gifts, even if we don’t like the way they are packaged.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
An often seen piece of AA literature is a small pamphlet called "Why We Were Chosen". The source of this pamphlet is a speech given by Judge John T. on the 4th Anniversary of the Chicago Group in 1943. A portion of it follows.
God in His wisdom selected this group of men and women to be purveyors of His goodness. In selecting them through whom to bring about this phenomenon He went not to the proud, the mighty, the famous or the brilliant. He went instead to the humble, to the sick, to the unfortunate. He went right to the drunkard, the so-called weakling of the world. Well might He have said the following words to us:
"Unto your weak and feeble hands I have entrusted a power beyond estimate. To you has been given that which has been denied the most learned of your fellows. Not to scientists or statesmen, not to wives or mothers, not even to my priests or ministers have I given this gift of healing other alcoholics which I entrust to you."
"It must be used unselfishly; it carries with it grave responsibility. No day can be too long; no demands upon your time can be too urgent; no case can be too pitiful; no task too hard; no effort too great. It must be used with tolerance for I have restricted its application to no race, no creed, and no denomination. Personal criticism you must expect; lack of appreciation will be common; ridicule will be your lot; your motives will be misjudged. You must be prepared for adversity, for what men call adversity is the ladder you must use to ascend the rungs toward spiritual perfection, and remember, in the exercise of this power I shall not exact from you beyond your capabilities."
"You are not selected because of exceptional talents, and be careful always, if success attends your efforts not to ascribe to personal superiority that to which you can lay claim only by virtue of my gift. If I had wanted learned men to accomplish this mission, this power would have been entrusted to the physician and scientist. If I had wanted eloquent men, there would have been many anxious for the assignment, for talk is the easiest used of all talents with which I have endowed mankind. If I had wanted scholarly men, the world is filled with better qualified men than you who would be available. You were selected because you have been the outcasts of the world and your long experience as drunkards has made or should make you humbly alert to the cries of distress that come from the lonely hearts of alcoholics everywhere."
"Keep ever in mind the admission you made on the day of your profession in AA -- namely that you are powerless and that it was only with your willingness to turn your life and will unto my keeping that relief came to you."
Sunday, February 04, 2007
I’m sad about Molly’s passing. This world needs more strong women who stand up for their principles, no matter what. I don’t want to write about her politics. I don’t want to distract myself from the larger issue here…. She kicked breast cancer in the ass for 7 years and kept on trudging.
Molly learned she had breast cancer in 1999 and described her treatments. “First they mutilate you; then they poison you; then they burn you,” she wrote. “I have been on blind dates better than that.”
When someone I care about is diagnosed with breast cancer (and there’s always someone it seems) it reminds me that it's time to go in for a mammogram AGAIN. God I hate that. But APPARENTLY it’s the only cost effective way that medical science has come up with for early detection. Now (gentlemen) let me give you a little clue about the mammogram experience from one of those joke emails that goes around.
Friday, February 02, 2007
S. is an alcoholic that struggles with dual diagnosis of bi-polar issues. I’ve faced the demon of depression over the years myself, so I know the toll it can take on your ability to face “people, places and things.” It’s good to stay current, laugh, cry, hold hands and share our recovery insights. She has a degree in psychology and has worked in the field, but at this point in her life her comfort zone is animals. So she went back to school and is working as a vet tech. I understand that totally. My pets give me unconditional love and joy.
The cat in the picture above is named Ebony. His owner suffered brain damage in an auto accident in July. Ebony has been boarded at the vet’s office now for six months. Unfortunately, they have now been told his owner will not be able to take him home. I told S. I would try to help her find him a home. He is a sweet loving cat who has been declawed (all 4) and neutered. He comes when called, loves to purr and cuddle and deserves more than a cage.
I don’t know if this blog is the right way to start trying to find Ebony a home. I just know that today I am glad to be of service to a dear friend. Afterall, I’ve been locked up, haven’t we all?