Friday, February 29, 2008

Enjoy the Ride

Here we go again!! I LOVE this guy!
Read it, dammit!

Enjoy the Ride

Monks on a Roller Coaster“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”
-Joseph Campbell

I love this picture. I love it on several different levels. It just this second occurred to me, for example, that I’ve never seen any Benedictines on a roller coaster. There isn’t much “ora et labora” in an amusement park. ‘Letting go’ is a concept that Buddhists ‘get’ immediately, viewing attachment as the source of suffering. I love this picture, too, because it reminds me of what my friend Dana says about faith. Dana has had a really, really hard year. She has had loss compounded upon loss for months. She has come into the rooms and cried on dozens of occasions. She has leaned on the group and on the principles and on the people who love her and she has stayed sober. Things are finally looking up in Dana’s world and the other day Dana said that being sober is like being on a roller coaster. “I’m finally getting back to the fun part where you throw your hands in the air and yell ‘weeeeeee’!”

Life really is like that. It is for me anyway. It’s like I’ve been on this really scary roller coaster for years and I’ve been hanging on to the side of the car. Every time the car starts rolling down again I grip tighter and scream all the way down. When I get to the bottom of that hill I loosen my grip a little and congratulate myself on having hung on so well, having navigated the descent so expertly. Then the whole thing started all over again. If the roller coaster would just stop and I could get off then everything would be fine. It isn’t like that, though. As long as I’m breathing I stay on the ride.

Coming to believe that there is a power greater than myself and making a decision to turn my will and life over to it was like realizing that there is a track beneath the car and a safety bar holding me in. I can see the track. I can feel the safety bar. But haven’t I done very well to hang on to the edge of the car? Couldn’t this flimsy thing collapse under me at any moment? I suppose it could. But isn’t acting in faith acting with the belief in something about which doubt is possible? I’ve slowly been able to stop gripping the side of the car. I’ve realized that if there were a real catastrophe that holding on to the car wouldn’t save me anyway.

Now I pause. I breathe. I pray. I tell people how afraid I am. I try to let go. I try to gain faith by acting in faith. I still scream when the car is barreling down the hill. I do. But more and more I’m screaming with my arms in the air. More and more I try to let myself enjoy the ride. Sometimes I even think about getting on a bigger roller coaster.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

9th Step Promises

I've submitted this guy's Blog before, but he wrote another today that I really enjoyed!
Passing it on!
Love you guys!!
~L

Choosing the Difficult

The Man With the StarTo choose what is difficult all one’s days, as if it were easy, that is faith.
W. H. Auden

They tell me I seemed relaxed; that I did not seem bothered or distressed by the situation. On some level they are right. The outcome was in God’s hands. I was there to play the role He meant for me to play. I was meant to be accountable. Accountable is not a role I have played often. In fact, as I was having breakfast with my father yesterday morning I observed that this is probably the first thing in my life that I have taken accountability for without being forced by some external power. Going to court to account for my probation violation was all mine. Accountability - justice - is, after all, the essence of the 9th step and I did say that I am willing to go to any length for victory over addiction.

My violation was significant. They call it absconding from supervision. Of all possible violations this is the one they frown on most. They like those of us who are supervised to stay supervised. Most people who abscond from supervision compound the problem by also picking up new charges against them. Most people who abscond from supervision continue living the way they lived before. Most people who violate their probation and are sent to prison will tell you that the reason they are in prison is “they violated me”.

After the prosecution argued for imposition of the sentence underlying the original criminal conviction for which I am on probation, after my attorney argued on my behalf and after I addressed the court, the judge said very frankly that when he walked in to the courtroom he had intended to impose my sentence.

If anything, anything at all, had been any different, I would be in prison today. If I had not been sober for over a year. If I had been charged with any new crimes. If I hadn’t completed an in-patient treatment program. If I didn’t have the support of friends and family demonstrated by over a dozen letters and the presence in the courtroom of 8 people - 8 people! who took time off work to show that I matter to them (my sponsor, my sponsor’s sponsor, my roommate, a former employer, 2 friends, my aunt and most importantly my dad, who came up from Las Vegas to support me). If I hadn’t been able to demonstrate my commitment to 12 step recovery with attendance cards. If I didn’t have a job (even at McDonald’s). If when I posted bond to get out of jail I had done anything besides go directly to an AA meeting. If I hadn’t taken the 12 steps and if I hadn’t placed this at the top of my 9th step amends work. If I hadn’t been the one to initiate the process. . . if any one of these things had been different -and if I had anything less than a great attorney who believes in me- I would be in prison today.

I shouldn’t be surprised to receive a 9th step promise while making a 9th step amends, but I am dumbfounded by the degree to which God has been taking care of me all year. On my own I am not smart enough to conceive of such a perfect storm of good fortune. The only thing I did -the only thing- was that I became willing to place my trust and reliance upon God, a God of my own understanding, an infinite and loving God of all possibilities and to humbly do as I believe the God would have me do, and God has done for me what I could never do for myself.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

What is up with you peeps??! I miss EVERYONE SO MUCH!

Just wanted to take this minute to wish everyone a happy THANKSGIVING!

Hollah!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Riding a Wave

Seems Like there should be some Dramatic Music for this...

video

And maybe a "TA DAAAAAA" at the end? :)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Ok, Carol...I'm a SUCKER for quizzes ....




Your Inner Muse is Euterpe

You are most like this muse of music.
While you may or may not be musical...
You love music and set life to your own personal soundtrack.
And you are good at making anyone's heart sing!


Your Superpower Should Be Super Speed

You're quick witted and fast to act.
You're mind works at warp speed. From your perspective, everyone else is living in slow motion.
You get so much done, people have accused you of not sleeping.
Definitely not a couch potato, you feel a bit crazy if you're not busy doing something.

Why you would be a good superhero: You're be the first on the scene... and likely to finish the job before anyone else shows up

Your biggest problem as a superhero: Being bored by everyone else. Including other superheroes!


and finally (OH THE IRONY!!!!!)

Your Karaoke Theme Song is "Margaritaville"

You are a true party animal, but your style is mild and chill.
Kicking back with a few friends and a few drinks is all you need to be happy.

You certainly don't feel pressured to be a part of any party scene. In fact, you avoid trendier spots.
You've been known to kick loose anywhere and everywhere. All you need is a cooler.

You might also sing: "Gin and Juice," "Love Shack," and "Red Red Wine"

Stay away from people who sing: "Wind Beneath My Wings"

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Quiz Time!!

Only because it's been a while and I'm bored. Besides....I really LOVE taking these "getting to know you better" quizzes! HA! Here are my results:




You Are Warm Nights by the Fire



Peaceful and romantic. The best part of fall.









You Are 52% Intuitive



Your intuition is often right, and you use it more than you may realize.

Your gut feelings are usually a good guide, but you need more to go on when making a decision.

You'll often check to see if the facts back up your feelings.

And when your intuition is wrong, you work to improve it for the future.








How You Life Your Life



You seem to be straight forward, but you keep a lot inside.

You're laid back and chill, but sometimes you care too much about what others think.

You prefer a variety of friends and tend to change friends quickly.

You tend to dream big, but you worry that your dreams aren't attainable.







Sagittarius - Your Love Profile



Your positive traits:



Your playful nature brings out the happy inner-child in dates

You're willing to take risks in love... and reap the rewards

You've got a killer sense of humor that gets talking with any hottie you meet



Your negative traits:



Sometimes your sarcasm comes off as biting and abrasive

You can be brutally honest, tactless, and truthful even when it hurts

You're such a free spirit that you find it hard to commit to one person



Your ideal partner:



Someone high energy who will pick up and out with you whenever

Is creative and fun - thinking of new adventures for the two of you

Is bold... and not afraid to tell you "I love you" early on



Your dating style:



Unpredictable. You never know how the night is going to end up.



Your seduction style:



Daring. You're always pushing to try something new in the bedroom.

Full of imagination. You've always got a new fantasy you're dying to try.

Spiritually driven. Sex for you can be an other-worldly act.



Tips for the future:



Realize that while freedom is great - sometimes a stable relationship is better.

It's not all about you. Focus on your partner's needs every once and a while.

Make up your mind about your partner, and stick to it. Your fickle will ruin things otherwise.



Best color to attract mate: Purple



Best day for a date: Thursday








Your Dominant Thinking Style: Visioning



You are very insightful and tend to make decisions based on your insights.

You focus on how things should be - even if you haven't worked out the details.



An idealist, thinking of the future helps you guide your path.

You tend to give others long-term direction and momentum.








You Are Paper



Crafty and creative, you are able to adapt freely to almost any situation.

People tend to underestimate you, unless they've truly seen what you are capable of.

Deep down, you're always scheming and thinking up new plans. Your mind is constantly active.

You are quite capable of anything you dream of. You can always figure out a way to get what you want.



You can wrap a rock person up in your sheet of trickery.



A scissor person can sneak up and cut you to pieces.



When you fight: No one can anticipate your next move



If someone makes you mad: You'll attack them mercilessly when they're unprepared



OH OK OK, enough already! Go take some other quizzes of your own and share the results here!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Gratitude

I've posted from this blogger before - he's in my Reader and sometimes I stumble across a posting that really SHOULD be passed on to others.

You are my others...


Passing it on :)


Monday, July 23, 2007

Tested

I received a big dose of perspective today.

First thing this morning, I was off to the DMV for my driver's test, the last step getting a driver's license. And I failed my test. I thought I had driven perfectly but I had not. I had 17 mistakes on the test of which 13 were "traffic check." As I understand it, I did not look over my shoulder to check traffic while changing lanes. I wanted to explain that I am only looking forward and keeping the memory of my past in the rear view mirror. But I thought better of it when I considered that my destination joy approach to life is probably not applicable to driving. I am being glib though small failures like this are most likely to take me down for a while.

But after my test I went to my beautiful AA meeting in the beautiful little church with the beautiful people in attendance. My notice of the beauty is still surprising me for I am seeing it where once I had not. Everything has it's own beauty, a beauty I just glossed over in all my earlier years, even before I used drugs. That remains the reason why I am still attending. I think it is a beautiful community of people that I am much in need of feeling a part of. So much so that I put my ideological differences aside for the time being and stood up and said my name and that I was an alcoholic and an addict. That's a big step for me (pun intended) and, as the topic of the discussion today was step one, the admitting to God and everyone that we are powerless over our addiction, a timely one as well. I cannot help but think the universe was nudging me a bit. And I didn't turn into stone after all.

Something else occurred that put my failing my driver's test in a more realistic perspective. A young woman of color, amazingly beautiful, stood up and told the group how her son had been murdered on the third of this month. The two of them had recently found sobriety in AA together. She nearly collapsed as she shared her her determination to not let this catastrophic event in her life be cause for her to return to a life she fought so hard to rise above. I have never felt so helpless in all my life as I did in the presence of so much raw pain. Tears were running down my face as well as every other face in the sanctuary. No words, no reason and no amount of comfort would bring this poor woman any relief. She has a long, painful road ahead of her. This story and the one that can be found on The Junky's Wife's blog today about her friend and coworker, who in the blink of an eye lost his young wife in a motorcycle accident, has given me pause to even think of feeling sorry for myself because I failed a stupid test. I hate that I am compelled to feel gratitude for so much only in the face the egregious loss of others. I don't know these people but I can imagine their circumstance. That's quite enough. I feel restless and fragile. Confused in the midst of all my clarity.

None-the-less ...

Joy is my beacon.