EDITION 1 Issue #10
Coming home from a meeting Saturday night, (yes I spend my Saturday nights in a meeting, I have learned to come to meetings because I enjoy the fellowship and I need to give of myself to retain my sobriety… More on this in another issue) reviewing the meeting in my head:
The meeting was excellent, one of my favorite times of the week when we sit in a semi-circle around a huge fireplace in a Church annex. I shared on ‘guilt and shame’ and why, deep inside, I have a need to hold onto the things that are so damaging, so painful and so detrimental to continued evolution in the journey to Enlightenment. Why I hold onto past guilt and shame of things I had no control over, or things I did because of what I knew, of how I grew up, of the way things were before change came about. I dwell in the past sometimes and feel the deep guilt of how I hurt others, especially loved ones. But I need to get past this guilt and shame, I need to write out the 4th step on the things which are killing me, killing me because deep inside I hold on to the horrible feeling it’s all my fault, when in fact its not my fault. “I did the things I did because I knew the things I knew.”(The late Scott Swan used to express this all the time, and I borrow from him. May he rest in peace).
So if I’m doing the same thing over and over and hurting the ones I love the most in life, over and over, something has got to give. (It appears the common description of insanity come from Einstein’s saying about defining insanity by doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results, usually getting the same result from the same conduct…) Something has got to change, something has got to give. When I asked what I needed to change, my AA sponsor (Bob R. of River Group Ladner) said: ‘everything”. Say what? He said “everything”; you need to change everything, the way you think, your habits, your circle of friends, the way you treat people. You have to re-learn how to live. (This is what the 12 Step work does, it has us do inner-work which changes our thinking patterns to live by principles of Universal Love. Principles of Universal Law.) The past is gone, it will never come back, you can’t change it, but you can change the now! You can change the future by doing the work instils change. You need to change the way you interact with others, the way your warped, gangland thinking treats others has to go. You have to learn to think, act, and react from a place of caring and empathy. From a new ‘world-view’ of Love, of loving others, of loving the neighbor and the guys, and gals, I didn't like. Knowing people are different I didn't have to like the way or the look of how you are, but I had lo learn to Love; to Love fellow humans for what they were: fellow human in the human condition. Given the power of choice, we don’t always choose what’s best for us. I had to re-look at all life and know however you acted and thought was beyond my control, but I had to look at you all with Love and compassion, no matter how different, I needed to learn acceptance and remove myself from judgement. How hard is this? Extremely difficult at first: I was so judgemental of everything you do, everything you say, of the way you acted, even the way you walked, or sat, or everything…. I was so sick and full of judgement.
I see I’m not alone because my fellows are deeply interested with my compelling argument the need for change is real, yet we hold out. Some of us, maybe most of us, held out for a long time before admitting there was a problem, for some of us, even after we admitted there was a problem, held out. We thought we could do it on our own. We thought we could find the ‘simpler softer way, but we could not.’ All our attempts are the ego expressing the need to remain in fear. Remaining in guilt and shame guarantees the ego we will not find peace, for peace is in the Present moment, peace resides in the ”NOW” and we cannot achieve being in the “NOW” unless we replace the fear with Love.
Our continued denial of the ego-mind and reliance on the fear of past experience to guide us towards our future. This resistance to change is a part of the human condition. We have a solution: a solution based in using the Universal Love, and a Spiritual Solution attained through inner-work followed by continuous devotion to Prayer and Meditation.
Love for the Universal Creation, or GOD as I understand now, is the Liberation and Atonement. Love for myself! Yes, self-Love. We could write a book on this alone. How, when I came into recovery, I was in such pain and emptiness. When I heard in the rooms someone speak the words: “Let us Love you until you can Love yourself” I cringed inside. I felt this horrible sense of unease; an emptiness inside which I couldn’t put my finger on. Horrible uneasiness crept over me and I shut down. I wanted only to escape. I wanted to run away, like I always did in the face of emotion, run… Escape the only way I knew how, in oblivion induced by excessive amounts of alcohol and drugs. I seldom had an urge to do drugs first, or on their own, but as soon as I though of the drink in my hand, I knew I needed something more to take me to the next level of numbness. The next level of escape, escape from the fear, escape from the uncertainty, escape from the inability to cope with the way life was unfolding. Not having cultivated the skill set most humans develop through the cognitive stage of development, pre-teen through teen years, since I had continually escaped through substance abuse to quash all feelings and emotion. I didn’t have the tools required to deal wish life on life’s terms. Escape was needed until I found:
I came into the room broken, a lost souls without hope. In a “seemingly hopeless state of mind and body” so the book (Alcoholics Anonymous) expresses the way I was, the way I felt, the way life treated me. The way I think, the way I feel, the desperation until fellow members guided me through the work, the inner-work of the 12 steps led me to find myself, led me to sanity and finding UNIVERSAL MIND’ or GOD as I understand Him(Her), this finding is the expression of evolutionary expansion of the universe. I learnt self-awareness, and mindfulness; and a new way of living based on empathy and compassion. Now I know I am a part of this; a part of the Oneness of this Universal Consciousness and forever I will be Thankful and Grateful for what has been revealed to me. And here I need to express this Gratitude in continuously sharing the on the Gifts freely given to me by Universal Mind. May you find this NOW!
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