trust

Trust is confidence, belief, faith, certainty, assurance, conviction, credence.¬† The word “trust” gets batted around often in our daily interactions;¬† “do you trust your politicians?christmas emoji 3¬† do you trust your best friend?¬† do you trust your spouse?

It starts with me.¬† Am I trustworthy?¬† Would you trust your life with me?¬† Would you trust your financial savings with me?¬† Would you trust your deepest secrets with me?¬† If you were to answer “yes, unconditionally”, then I should probably call you a fool.

Although I am a child of God, I am still suffering the human maladies of greed, pride, and covetousness.¬† Although I am not who I used to be, I am not yet perfected into what my Higher Power wants me to be.¬† God’s example, Jesus, sets the perfection bar to be reached.¬† That bar is high, it will never be reached in this lifetime, but, it is the goal I seek despite my humanness.

In our recovery programs, specifically AA, trust is an important facet.  I trust the principles of my program which are set forth in the 12 steps, I trust the conscience of the fellowship, and I, without reservation, trust the Higher Power which I understand.  Sometimes, I extend unmerited trust to friends forgetting that they are also subject to the vagaries of our human condition.

That trust can be betrayed.¬† It is painful, it is emotional, it is often taken as a reason to withdraw from the fellowshipping which is my lifeline to sanity and sobriety.¬† In these times I must remember that I control nothing.¬† I am putting in the footwork, planning the action, but, do not control the results.¬† A friend’s betrayal of my trust should not trash my personal serenity.

God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Reinhold Niebuhr

Trust is a cornerstone of my faith.  Faith is my hotline to God.  I need the blessed assurance of the trustworthy Comforter and Counsellor to keep that line of communion open.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”¬† Isaiah 9:6¬†merry christmas 5

 

 

the quiet spaces

“God grant me the serenity to accept that which I cannot change, courage to change that which I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”CANDLE

Those few words express a directive which can guide me to a habit of living which is essential to a content and fulfilling recovery.¬† The things ‘I cannot change’ in a nutshell are my past and other people.¬† When I give up trying to play God in these areas, my life becomes serenely simple.¬† Dwelling in past glories or past transgressions removes me from the beauty of now.¬† Focusing on a future which is as unpredictable as a capricious mistress leads me away from the truth of the present.

“Be still and know that I am God.”¬† Psalm 46:10

Those ancient words from Jewish wisdom tell me to stop!¬† Stop thinking, stop worrying, stop striving, stop planning, stop conniving, stop judging, stop trying to be God!¬† That quiet space which then occurs between my thoughts is a God-space.¬† That moment when nothing is in my mind is a moment when God holds the floor of conversation.¬† When I am able to “be still”, the presence of a higher power has the opportunity to clean me up and fix my brokenness. ¬† This is not Larry power; no, it is wisdom which the ancient mystics have shared in scriptural narratives for centuries.¬† It is not a recently discovered new age philosophy, but rather a way of living life in the present moment which has been practiced in contemplation, reflection, and meditation by followers of all the major religions.

But, it is not easy.  It requires one of the mental disciples which, unfortunately, Western culture does not value.  For me to find a noiseless place, a still woods, a meandering stream, a lush meadow, a seaside beach or just a sunny window by a quiet recliner chair is sometimes a daunting task.  The society in which I participate is geared to continual visual and auditory assaults from a variety of sources.  Five minutes alone with my HP can be a daily challenge.

We live in a time with more easily available obstacles to presence than any other period in history. We carry our obstacles in our pockets now, vibrating and notifying and emoji-ing us about everything and nothing. And let‚Äôs be honest: most of our digital and personal conversation is about nothing. Nothing that matters, namaste rainbownothing that lasts, nothing that‚Äôs real. We think and talk about the same things again and again, like a broken record. Pretty soon we realize we‚Äôve frittered away years of our life, and it is the only life we have.” Father Richard Rohr

all men are created equal

Following is a daily petition inspired by Marianne Williamson in ILLUMINATA

“….cast from me all harsh and critical nature, cast from me all anger and violence;¬† cast from me¬† all doubt and insecurity, cast from me all fear and hatred.”

Just as the SERENITY PRAYER was my mantra in early sobriety and continues to be a source of strength today, my version of Marianne’s supplication is a mainstay in the cultural and political chaos of not only America but the entire world.¬† When insight, understanding, and compassion seem to fail, what is left is either a plea to think, speak, and act in a civil and fearless manner or to react, respond, and attack in a hostile manner indicative of our prehistoric gene pool.

And therein is the solution to any and all issues facing us today.¬† We live in a world which has polarized its population into two groups.¬† The one advocates for the inherent rights of all people, the other attempts to continue the tribal instinct of self-protection at the expense of the remainder of mankind.¬† One is the path to enlightenment and global co-existence, the other leads to oppression and eventual species annihilation.¬† The choice of which direction to pursue is an individual decision.¬† It sounds too utterly simplistic, but each one of us needs to decide on which side we will stand in the evolution or regression of mankind.¬† We will all eventually exit this life in this world as dead carcasses so, it’s a matter of eternal legacy, isn’t it?¬† Which legacy am I pursuing?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness…..”¬†DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

 

KISS 2016 GOODBYE

I’ve learned not to make resolutions for New Year’s after many failed attempts to change things I perceive as unhealthy or immoral.¬† I mean really, what’s so darned unhealthy about a Krispie Kreme in bed once in a while?¬† However, I do prioritize the opening prayer we recite at the meeting tables:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Of course, being the alcoholic that I am (some of us are sicker than others), I find need to amend this prayer by adding “things I cannot change¬†such as¬†my past and other people, things I can change¬†such as¬†my future and myself, and the wisdom¬†which is found in¬†my recovery program.”

Works for me.¬† No regrets in February when I’ve gained weight rather than lost 5 pounds, when I’ve cut loose with a few cuss words rather than a prayer for someone I dislike, when I’ve spent too much on my credit card.¬† Keeping¬†resolutions simple is sober living at its best.

For 2017, I wish everyone a great year filled with compassion and understanding.  Whether you are one who is facing challenges in recovery or you are one looking for spirituality in a crazy, screwed-up world, remember there is a Higher Power which has everything under control.  Simply ask that almighty power for the serenity, courage, and wisdom.

new-year-2017