What is Easter to you?

I am Christian and believe in the Bible as the word of God.

I am considering, today, about others who do not see things the way I do. The story from what I understand was passed verbally for nearly a hundred years in a language that is rarely spoken today. It was finally written and translated then some were discarded as heretical. Then translated again. It is no wonder to me that there is so much confusion about the whole thing.

For me, I must read the scriptures and pray that God’s message is seen, heard, felt and integrated into my life. That is how I have developed my relationship with Him. It is, however, It’s Personal  I do not condemn anybody who does not believe the way I do.

I merely live my life in a way that I hope conveys the message I have received. I also like to read of and experience from others the message they have and my own is richer because of it. There is I, also believe a golden thread through all faiths that is common. And that is one of Love. May you find that thread wherever you dwell.

 

Great, so Now What?

I am continuing my series on principles I aspire to integrate into to my being.

So here I am having been reduced to the point of Surrender. I have arrived at the crossroad and the resulting option is killing myself, being locked up or Honesty. Having decided I want to live a free life and am in a position to follow in the footsteps of many who have overcome and flourished in spite of having been down a similar path.

Where do I go from here? Well, those brave souls I have decided to follow instruct me that I have to find and use a Power greater than myself and believe in the possibility, that I can start doing things, living my life differently, and my ability to make better decisions will result. Many will recognize step 2 of the 12 steps here. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. I had to have Hope that I could be changed.

What is wrong with this picture?

What was I thinking? I’m talking about the blatant disregard for my own and others safety. In the description of what it was like, in my last post, It’s Payday!

Ah the mind of a budding addict. I was craving a feeling of connection. I had a vast hole, or it felt like one, in my being. Something was missing. I used substances to alter my brain and body in order to feel different. The trouble is that I was severely impaired. I could care less about myself or others, while at the same time being quite self-absorbed.

I’m better now thanks to the grace of God and the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous

I have posted this song before but it’s pertinent

It’s Payday!

This piece is a brief description of “what it was like” in the fairly early stage of my addiction to alcohol and other stuff.

The year 1978. I am a utility assembly finisher by trade at Smith Tool Company. One of two, in that era, largest manufacturers of rock bits, used for drilling for oil and in other types of mining. I operate several machines in the performance of my job including, grinders drill presses lathes etc. Safety first right?

I am 18 years old and I have been smoking weed and drinking with increasing frequency. I worked first shift 6:30 AM-2:30 PM I arrive at work having smoked a joint or several bong hits of Columbia gold cannabis sativa. At that time the indica green bud had not yet become preferred. It was some good shit, trust me.

Today was Thursday, which was payday. We would get our checks sometime between morning break and lunch. This occasion, a sort of routine was developed over time with my buddy Dennis. Upon release for lunch, for which we have half an hour to complete, no time is wasted. Out to the parking lot into Dennis’s van, a couple joints rolled quickly. One fired up and we’re  off to the bar that will cash our checks. 15 minutes in and out and off to Dell Taco which was one of the first to serve a 32 oz drink with a meal. Stop at the liquor store to grab a half-pint of Wild Turkey 101 proof Kentucky Bourbon. I love that stuff and it provided a nice compliment to the weed buzz. If one drinks the beverage to the top of the sun on the logo printed on the cup a half-pint fits quite nicely into the beverage. The second joint smoked on the way back to the factory, walk back into work booze in tow and security is none the wiser.

wild_turkey_logoImage source- whiskeyid.com/google

Looking back on this now I realize how hazardous it was for me to be operating large machines and grinding small parts by hand was but I was indestructible then.

That is just a taste of what it was like for me way, way early on in my using life.

Thanks for stopping by

some music from the era

 

Honesty

Continuing my endeavor into principles that I somehow failed to integrate as I grew up. If any have any questions about that, just start from my first post and that should explain a lot. My guess though is that most get it.
So I’ve subjected myself to enough emotional anguish and despair that I have become willing to surrender. At which point, in my opinion, freedom is then possible. The next stop on our journey is honesty.
hon·es·ty
ˈänəstē/
noun
 the quality of being honest.
  1. “they spoke with convincing honesty about their fears”
    synonyms: integrity, uprightness, honorableness, honor, morality, morals, ethics, principles, high principles, righteousness, right-mindedness; More

    2.
    a European plant with purple or white flowers and round, flat, translucent seedpods that are used for indoor flower arrangements.
    09fd691d-52fe-496c-a6a1-66918b05ab88
    Clearly, I’m not talking about the flower. Honesty for me is something I thought I had always been good at. I have a problem though about being honest with myself. More about that here. Honestly?
    The kind of freedom I am alluding to is phenomenally described here.
    I believe this whole-heartedly and have experienced that kind of freedom from my days aboard ship in the Navy, while restricted to the ship and involved some extra duty. Freedom is a state of mind. Honesty with oneself is imperative.
    We admitted we…
    I had to admit that my best thinking got me here and that I must be willing to do things differently. So now what?
    more on that later. So long for now

    St. Augustine

    Return to your heart, O you transgressors, and hold fast to him who made you. Stand with him and you shall stand fast. Rest in him and you shall be at rest. Where do you go along these rugged paths? Where are you going?…Why then will you wander farther and farther in these difficult and toilsome ways? There is no rest where you seek it. Seek what you seek, but remember that it is not where you seek it. You seek for a blessed life in the land of death. It is not there. For how can there be a blessed life where life itself is not?

Surrender

Hello, freaks! With my tongue planted firmly, where it belongs.

When I hold on, I’m left with nothing. If I let go everything is possible

On this glorious Palm Sunday morning, I am embarking on a trek through some principles I have embraced, due mostly, to the idea I was in control and knew exactly what had to happen, and how you were joining me whether you liked it or not.

Fortunately for me and everybody close to me, I didn’t die before I surrendered. I am finding as well, that I am in a continual state of surrender unless I am not, in which case I am in for some emotional pain.

According to Meriam Webster Surrender is defined thusly

Definition

1.  a: to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand surrendered the fort

b:  to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another

2.  a:  to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner

b:  to give (oneself) over to something (as an influence)

For the purposes of this discussion, I like #2 as it relates to my surrender to a feeling of separateness and my behavior trying to feel connected through portraying myself, as something, I am not and engaging in activities aimed at establishing a connection with others doing the same thing. Use of imagination and experience can allude to a vast range of erroneous endeavors here.

As soon as I surrender to that idea, I am able to be liberated to embrace my already established connection to the whole and that I was never really never separate from it.

 

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