Monday, June 11, 2012
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
No sweat, I've owned up to them, I can deal with the criticism, I can bow and graciously extend a "thanks for pointing that out" while oft times under my breath I'll make a note to myself that the person would have been better served if their mother had been married.
I wish it were all so simple, this getting a handle on all my flaws (defects) but sadly it isn't.Problem is its the defects in myself that I can't see; the defects that are relationship breakers. Its wishful thinking to think that I could "nail" all of my defects.
Taint possible, simply because I can't see them. Or rather I can't accept that the flaws (defects) that piss me off about you are a true reflection of my own defects.I refuse to accept the defect as mine because; "I could never be like that".
Nope I'm too emotionally caught up in "your" defect that it completely blinds me to the truth. My ego will not tolerate me admitting to being human like the rest of you.
Thank God for the mirrors who have the love and courage to be true and unflinching reflections in my life; my wife and my friends in the 12 Step fellowship in particular..
Backing up to the Fifth Step, we admit these defects to self, God and another human being. While all three are essential another human being provides us with the truest reflection we need in our daily comings and goings. When the behavior of another irks me I have learned from experience in recovery to pray for the individual. Surprise, surprise somehow I seem to receive the benefit of the prayer...a new awareness. I take ownership of the same "defect of character" in me.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
By embracing and living through our flaws ("character defects and shortcomings") we become whole. Granted wholeness is not a destination, it's a process, a one-day-at-a-time journey into wholeness. As Yogi Berra said, "it's not over till it's over."
It's a journey not undertaken alone although we alone can not do it alone. We need others. Bill Wilson and Bob Wilson started it all with their first meeting. Bill would later identify that meeting in Akron in 1935 as the critical link in AA and is quoted as saying "I came to the realization that "I needed him and he needed me."
I also know that embarking on and continuing on this journey requires the grace of my Higher Power. It wasn't until I pleaded with God to help me that I picked up the phone and called for help. I had no idea that I was taken the first step on a spiritual journey: hell I was hopeless and helpless on the brink of losing everything and I just wanted to save my ass.
Why that day of all days did I call for help, when there were many times before that I should have called? I have come to understand that it was the grace of God working in and for me. I also understand that although the grace of God is paramount I need another human being, another flawed person(s) to identify with.
The freedom and the courage to embark and continue on this High-way of sobriety comes from not only identifying with another alcoholic but that it's "through forgiving him/her I can forgive my self. It's the old adage, "if he can do it, I can do it."
Approaching fifty years I can share with you that there were many days my feet of clay wanted (wants) to run away. To escape the pain of facing "life on life's terms" but it's the grace/love of my Higher Power and the support/love of others that soothes that pain, shores me up and turns me around.
Thanks to all of you
Monday, November 28, 2011
Good friends, friends who know our warts and still love us to pieces.
Friends, closer than family, who
I suspect know us better than ourselves
after all they’ve got a ring side seat to all our antics; only thing missing is the popcorn
Why am I concerned with what they think or for that matter what I think?
God knows, and yet continues to include me in Creation.
Am I a critical and unique link in the whole scheme of things or just a metaphor.
Are my worst mistakes my best contributions or is it those times
when I scored myself a perfect ten?
How much and in what way does my laughter and
my tears contribute one iota to anything..
Am I part of the spit that keeps everything together?
Or am I a particle of tension keeping everything from colliding.
What is it?
Am I this or that or…am I this and that?
My bumbling speech? My misspoken and mistaken word?
My gravity dragging actions?
Is it in spite of them or because of them?
Is it my experiences stacked high with age or is it my ignorance of tomorrow?
After three quarters of a century under my belt are
the few remaining years to contain my main event?
Will I recognize it or will it be like so many others in the past
just another day at the office?
Will I participate or sit idly by?
Will I sit on my comfortable old ass or get up and take the risk?
God what ever is your will use my love hungry heart, my memory filled mind and my love –to-tell-a-story tongue as instruments of Your love and Your peace.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Seemed overcrowded with alki(s). As I looked over the crowd I thought, “ damn there are a lot of old guys and gals here; a hundred of us. What a diverse and strange group. We all looked anonymous, couldn’t pick us out in a crowd unless you were one of us.”
Wish I could have taken pictures. People, standing around hugging, laughing, talking while juggling and eating off paper plates with a plastic fork in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. If you’re counting it would appear that they needed three hands. That’s what was so weird about it. It came off without any major food spills. Guess that happens when the love in the room overcome gravity.
Asked to speak (oldest) I threw away what I planned on saying and attempted to make out a list of all the wonderful loving mentors God had placed in my life over the fifty years (I had an up and down year prior to my sobriety date.) The list went on and on until I stopped, remembering the chairperson had asked me to keep it short.
Looking out over the audience as I took the podium I remember David C. and David G.. The bond between us was formed in sharing our strength and love with each other in our grief at “losing sons” the same year (2005). Since we worked together (I’m sure God had arranged it and really strange circumstances brought us together) we were a daily support to each other and we needed it. I paid tribute to a lot of my sponsors, finished the talk in the appointed time without mentioning either David and left the podium.
The next day I answered my cell. It was David C. on the line. He was in Charlotte NC, alone, attending a conference but was bubbling over. He had been reading my book “Joyous & Free In Spite of Myself.” He was beside himself with identifying with my story, the issues and the voices. He had also met a young man, new to the program, at the AA meeting the night before. He said, “you were there with us. We were one, the three of us. It was truly a “bonus” meeting.”
However what he was excited about was what he called the most amazing part of the evening and the frosting on the cake. Later and alone after his “bonus meeting” he checked his phone. Much to his surprise he heard my voice, apparently I was at the podium and he was hearing my “talk”. Evidently as I walked up to the stage I had mistakenly hit a redial or something instead of the silence button.