Justice

We I’m here, writing again about principles that I work toward living by. Today I am writing about justice, which is aligned with the 9th step. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

For me though, the step is taking direct action out of love for my one self. I have done a great deal of harm toward others by acts of commission and omission. And in doing so damaged my spirit, my being, this damage led to a pain of the sort that compelled me to continue using. At this stage of working through the 12 steps, I have gained a better knowledge of myself and my frailties. I have also become more sensitive to the effects of my behavior on myself and others.

I must do what I can too, to start healing myself. If I delay, I will endure discomfort and continue to crave relief, leading to all kinds of odd self-seeking self-gratifying and potentially harmful knucklehead activities. I must reach out to those I have affected and offer to make things right. No apologies, I merely acknowledge the infraction and the desire to make it right.

The Promises

This excerpt from The Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous is often recited at meetings and they have all come true for me.

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us–sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

That is all

 

pink
On the job finding beauty

Love

Continuing with my venture into describing principles acquired, developed, learned, what have you, recovering from addiction. It is my assertion that the 12 steps and the order they are in, are divinely inspired. All of the previous steps and principles are needed to make progress to the next.

So we’re at step 8. Made a list of all the people we harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. 

Old timers say that the principle here is brotherly love, there seems to be a bit of debate about this as I have seen a few others. Willingness, discipline among others. I contend that it truly is Love. 

I have realized that what I do to or for others I inflict or provide to myself. My spirit is damaged or enriched by the actions I take toward others. Even just in thought.

If I am to heal my being and become a decent human, able to interact and function in society. I must be rid of the hurt I have caused myself and others. Writing down the names of those I have harmed and becoming willing to bridge the chasm created by my behavior is an imperative exercise on the road to recovery.

Contemplating the love of God is invaluable in this undertaking. God knows my heart and all of my history and Loves me. I must do, be that love to work through this.

 

Gratitude

Gratitude

With me,
it happens in a split second
— and for no discernible reason.
Out of nowhere, I find myself overcome
with a wash of gratitude for everything,
everyone.

 

And each time I know that whatever
divine human potential generates
the sudden waterfall of thanks,
it certainly does not come from me —
the little I who trundles along keeping
a watchful eye out for sand traps
and bee stings.

Gratitude and Spiritual Growth

No, it comes from a place much deeper —
from my Higher Consciousness
— and accordingly, it seems
both odd and familiar at the same time.
Although I walk around as ordinary as ever,
this unseen Visitor rushes forward with quiet feet
and tumbles over everything I meet.

Spiritual Growth

As a result, I find myself
staring with gratitude at the chair,
the radio, at a cup of tea in my hand.
Feeling grateful for the sun, reaching inside
to paint itself across the living room floor.
And grateful for the windows that permit me
to watch elm leaves dancing in the sky.

Spiritual Gratitude

Grateful for an ant, alive and purposeful,
hurrying along a baseboard to complete its chores.
Grateful for the familiar face of a neighbor,
jogging casually along my street.
Grateful for an unexpected idea which burst
into my morning out of the blue.
Grateful for an old jacket, which has served me
kindly and gently for so many years.
Grateful for breath, grateful for flowers,
grateful for life.

Gratitude to God

But that isn’t all. I tell you this
unearthly gratitude is so expansive,
so oceanwide and unblinking,
that it even embraces things that would
normally be triggerpoints: like bills,
like burnt toast, like a sore back.

Giving Thanks

So that, for a while, all irritants
are bathed away in a wash of inordinate kindness.
Without these blocks, I am left
with the largest and simplest element of all:
true peace.

Spiritual Growth

And after some time it passes,
this immense blessing, as quietly as it comes.
For a while, I just sit there,
looking around the apartment with a sense
of emptiness, wanting it back again..
this formless, timeless, healing,
heart-filling taste of Divine Love.

Gratitude

And of course, It has never left.
It is I, with my subtle attachments
to this world, who keeps Love
at a distance.

Personal Growth

But here is my wish for all of us:
may the Sacred Visitor come to our door,
and find us ready.

by Elsa Joy Bailey

 

She led me to where I refused to go

Taking one step at a time, paying better attention than I ever have, the path chosen for me from before time. I am not on a typical hard fought rocky road to success by conventional standards, I have no interest in that. I want to help, aside from what I can remember of smoking a rock of good cocaine, nothing comes close to the feeling I get when I can help.

I have embarked upon this endeavor of sharing with all of you, my experiences in recovery from addiction/alcoholism. Starting with a brief bio and occasional snippets of important (to me)  slices of what’s happening at the time. As all or surely most of you know, one who blogs, reads blogs. I have had the great pleasure of stumbling upon the illustrious Nicole Lyons. I re-blogged one of her poems the very first time I read her.

Bleed me out on the side of the road

This poem hit me upside the head like a sledge hammer. Well, I thought little of it at that point as I am only a recent consumer of poetry and felt “something” there. After the last few days events have unfolded it is much clearer. It should make sense to you too. But not yet.

A few days pass and another one touches my soul.

And I Will Love You

I commented that this should be a monologue for myself. It could be for anyone it is one for the ages imho

Onward and upward, I read about her book Hush is available for pre-order. So I must have it, and order one. The book will be released April 18 I can’t wait.

Well now to the “good” part. I am going through, reading the blogs I follow, you know how you do, some you do on the reader if something jumps out and you just have to read the whole post. And others, the ones I really love, I seek out and read it from top to bottom, often more than once, and the comments too. Nicole’s is one of many I seek out and do just that, and Georgia too, Love her ❤

Yesterday was World Bipolar day and Nicole posted this

My Manic Mind- WBD – 2017

Woah! I had no fricking idea and she took me for one hell of a ride. One. I shall not soon forget. I am, at this point reminded that my sister suffered from Bipolar disorder and PTSD. It was the first I had read of it about Nicole. Here’s the kicker the next post where she excoriates those who are tired of hearing about mental illness.

Dear Ignorant People on World Bipolar Day

This is where I realized that Nicole inadvertently, had taken my hand through her heart- wrenching outpouring of emotion was leading me to meet my sister again.

L had taken her own life and wanted me to meet her here through the expression of another sufferer. So that I might have an inkling of and an understanding of what drove her to the relief she sought from this insidious affliction. My heart goes out to any and all who suffer and including those that surround and support them.

angelMinneapolis Institute of Art

I am deeply indebted to Nicole, and WordPress for paving the way for me to reunite with her. I remember seeing her sunbathing as an infant in her bassinette on the patio of my grandparents home in Harborview Hills, Corona del Mar CA

Please, there is no need, in my opinion, for you to be sorry. I miss her physical being but that is natural. We are all connected on a more real level that exists beyond this sentence. We have our roles to play here and need to get to know that place of pure love where we belong together.

 

 

 

Don’t go in there!

I have recently become aware of how repulsed by or completely comfortable some are with dwelling in the darkness of their spirit. Poets write of bathing happily in it, however, seemingly missing the opportunity there. Mystics, sages, religious and spiritual writers, describe it as the residence of the true self.

At your own risk

Thomas Merton writes

“At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our disposal, from which God disposes our lives, which is inaccessible to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities of our own will. This little point of nothingness and of absolute poverty is the pure glory of God in us… It is like a pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven. It is in everybody, and if we could see it we would see these billions of points of light coming together in the face and blaze of a sun that would make all the darkness and cruelty of life vanish completely…I have no program for this seeing.  It is only given.  But the gate of heaven is everywhere.”

From my perspective, when I practice mindfulness meditation, I am confronted with my natural true self. Self-interested, dishonest, frightened, vengeful and angry. My guess is that facing the reality of our natural, human tendencies, it is appalling and extremely uncomfortable. Consequently, any who make any attempt to be still with themselves in juxtaposition with the light infused darkness, Thomas Merton describes so beautifully, are prone to become easily distracted and decide that what Kanye and Kim are up to is of paramount importance and this dedication to discovering more about the interior life can wait.

The Present State of Things Blog puts it another way

Instinct

I was inspired this morning, as well by a blogger, whom some of you I’m sure are following and if not you should consider it, posted a lovely image and quote.

A Fiery Soul

That got me thinking, how have I benefited from coming to grips with how I really am. By observing and being honest about what I find and instead of fleeing as quickly as possible from it, denying it or fighting it. All of which cede the power of those flaws in my character. I become friendly with them in a way. Embrace them, they are after all part of me. It is self- love, after all, which enables us to love, forgive and accept the darkness in our fellow travelers.

Pelican

and finally some music

Memories by Marco Sfogli

 

 

I know Exactly What you Need

I am returning to the theme of wanting, too much, to help. Can I help?

In my encounter with someone, I care for and am paying attention to. I identify with the struggle that is apparently, to me, going on with you. I immediately relate to something I have experienced. I begin to formulate and present a plan of action to alleviate all of your problems.

 

I devise an elaborate plan to build a magnificent being from the shambles I presume. And I wonder why you suddenly are unreachable or react like I must be talking to somebody else.

 

Then I’m confused and bewildered as to why I can’t reach you. I know I recognize the pain in your eyes. I have deduced that you are interested in improving yourself. We are on similar paths. I know not exactly but close enough to be arrogant enough to think I have the answers you need.

 

You see I am afflicted with being a typical, however weird most of the time, Male of the species. I want to fix things. I want most to deliver solutions to perceived problems. When all that is really needed is understanding and expressing that what I am seeing is authentic and valid. I just need to be there and will be when you need.

a-sprout

I care about people and have defied, with His and others help, the death grip of addiction and self-absorption. I know you can too but it’s not my place to decide when and where.

To understand. To do my best to see. To be ready when the time is at hand.

I love ❤