As I peer into the sizzling and dazzlingly beautiful month of July, the month that honors freedom and the ideals that define who we are, I sense new ideas, new opportunities, and new situations lighting up my consciousness like fireworks bursting in air. I am grateful to know that I am freer from the bondage of self than ever before. I celebrate my independence from the need for alcohol, drugs, and behaviors that no longer serve me. I know the ideals I strive for guide me as I travel my path, and I celebrate my progress, free from any expectation of perfection.
I was rereading the Big Book recently looking for some references, and noticed there are a few points along the 12 step way where the action we are asked to take is done mentally or internally. Things like making or reaffirming a decision, and reconnecting with the higher power nature of the infinite, and with the higher power nature in ourselves. That’s interesting – I guess alcoholics need that extra reminder to stop and be clear about what we are doing by re-minding ourselves to pause – even when not agitated – but pause and think, reflect, stay tuned in. That’s a big one for me – it’s helpful to slow down and take a breath now and then.
I’m not sure exactly what it is that I’m looking for, but I know what it is not. I am not looking for a fix that will merely mask the pain. I want to be free from the madness whirling around in my head, and I want to help spark the revolution that saves the world. I suppose what I’m really searching for is truth. I’m trying to understand truth with a sense of awe–– the way I sometimes feel when staring up at the sun and thinking about how long humans have turned to the sky and stood in amazement.
I don’t like the words “flaws” and “failure.” In New Thought there is the admonition about the “spiritual bypass;” about claiming “nothing wrong here; see only the good.” Both may be extremes. Somewhere in the middle is the truth – or at least my truth that I can take in for my personal spiritual growth. I understand this work has to be done. It’s important to recognize, identify, and admit the things in me which stand in my way. This is an ongoing process – new ones continue to be show up, old ones enter into my new awareness.
Our guest post today is curated from The SHAIR Podcast. In this episode, country singer Brinn Black shares about her life as an adult child of an alcoholic. We think our readers will appreciate Brinn’s sweetness and candor. When asked, “What is the best suggestion you have ever received?” she replies, “To let myself be loved.” And to the question, “If you could give our listeners only one suggestion, what would it be?” her answer is, “Just to give themselves some grace.”
Recent posts by some of our wonderful guest bloggers shared several ways they stayed sober while navigating through real life events, while having fun during non-routine experiences. And isn’t that why we are getting and staying sober? To experience a fun, healthy, joyous life not only in – but also outside of –“the rooms.”
I was getting a massage at the chiropractor’s office this morning (gratitude) and the masseuse, who just hit 10 years of sobriety (a mutual topic previously discovered) told me that on the way to work this morning she stopped at the store and purchased (not one, but) 10 boxes of Mike and Ike candy. She was going to give it to her roommate to help her manage them as she knew that she could sit and eat 5 of them in one sitting… like the 4 ice creams she ate the other day. A Sister! Out of nowhere this can happen, though it may be months or years in between such sugar loads for either of us.
I hated those cruel commercials early on in my recovery – the ones where stunningly beautiful friends partied merrily, laughed cheerfully, looking chic, holding colorful cocktails or frosted mugs (I would have been holding one of each, by the way.) I wanted that but couldn’t have it. But a wise sponsor told me, “Oh yeah? Well mentally put yourself in that scene. Now fast forward 5 hours of so. See yourself now? Is that you with your mascara smeared under your eyes? What’s that you spilled on your shirt? Is that your voice blabbing too loudly and slurring your words? Keep going… where are you waking up? With who? Eww. There may be puking.