Mar 18

Is Silence the Absence of Noise?…or Devoid of Thought?…

when experiencing trouble and strife without answers to problems, i make sure to approach my sponsor for some solution…after listening to my woe’s for a minute, he will nod his head in agreement, acknowledging his own likeness…then asks questions of what i’m doing presently to maintain my sobriety…and i’ve realized that the tools i use are very similar to my shortcomings…like that story of all the trashcans missing one lid…it doesn’t matter how much i’ve done for their removal, there is always one remaining open…what i am lacking in my daily involvement today in sobriety is evening review…at night i thank my Higher Power for keeping me sober…i bring up large issues having been unresolved, asking for guidance and direction…but, i am not following the questions mentioned in the literature…nor am i reciting prayer in asking what i can do to pack more into the ‘stream of life’

a practice missing in my program is meditation…something i had formally picked up with some success, yet never continued it’s use…i was suggested to start attending meditation meetings at the groups…something that has grown in popularity over the past few years…so, this morning i got up early to make one…the room normally used for it had been taken for some special engagement…and we moved to a smaller, more intimate location…after the lights were turned out, and everyone was quiet and comfortable, the chairperson began with an intro…he proposed that we focus on our bodies…what physical feelings did we notice?…taking a couple deep breaths for position to relaxation, it was asked what we knew about consciousness…was it internally or externally that it came from?…are our minds or hearts where consciousness resides?…or is it further removed than that?

taking meditation into memory, i recall people reciting mantra’s and sitting in lotus positions…i also remembered candles, in which people gazed into illumination of it’s flame…for me, it has always been nature…i like listening to birds chirping…wind blowing…which worked with this situation…being inside, i direct attention to the air conditioning unit running…or traffic moving outside on the road…in the past i used instrumental music from my phone…hearing the variations of tune and particular sound from different instruments…this is what has worked when aimed at removing constant thoughts from my head…which allows the presence of God to enter that quiet and empty zone now

this was soon interrupted, as some late attendees opened the door and sat down to join us…then, i heard other people coming into the group, asking each other what was going on in the other room…was there another meeting going on they didn’t know about?…the door opened a couple other times with people saying, “sorry…”, not meaning to intrude…every few minutes, something invaded my calm time…repeatedly, i would bring my head back to what was given at the beginning…how are my legs feeling?…what are my arms doing to stay still?…is my back in a relaxed stature?…take a couple more full inhales, and exhale for that peace-ness

finally, the door came open one last time…a group member asking us to wrap it up, because the room was needed to be used for the upcoming event…the light was turned on…we all opened our eyes…and ended the meeting with a prayer…asking that we be shown all throughout the day what our next step is to be…and at first, this really ruined my plans in returning to meditation as a means for opening my brain and soul to the Higher Power…and then i realized it is what i take from the meeting that can be used for endeavors of improving that tool…a man spoke before we started, saying he chose a spot at home for optimum stillness…even when he was rushing out the door to leave for work, or whatever…he could quickly sit down,  if only for a few minutes…giving that time for opening his heart and mind to a Power greater than himself…which made me think about a place in my own home…where i can use what i’ve learned today in continuing daily work so sorely needed for closing cans of trash infiltrating my sober life

 

Mar 15

Up-giving of Operations on the Daily…

attendance at Beginner’s meetings has been my favorite at the group…i always want to remember what it took in order for me to stay sober when coming into the program…and I never want to forget how bad it was out there that caused me to come in the first place…so many motto’s on the walls and shared in the rooms that made supreme sense to me…and reading from the front of the books fit my alcoholic/addict profile well…if it wasn’t for that, i wouldn’t have stuck around and kept coming back…not saying that i want to repeat being a Newcomer…i just don’t want to ever believe like i’ve got this thing sewn up…never do i want to feel that i’m in control of this thing…no matter how hard i work at maintaining sobriety, my life will remain unmanageable, and i will stay powerless over drugs and alcohol…which moves me to proclaim again, it will take a Power other than human aid and greater than myself to stay abstinent

some years ago i met a guy that didn’t like our organization…he was ordered to come and get his paper signed for probation, according to some crime committed…yet, we got along quite well…having the same tastes in music, clothing…he also enjoyed skateboarding…which i invited him to join me with a group of sober guys who skated…most were not alcoholics or drug addicts…but, they had quit in order to stop destruction in their lives…it kept them from filling life responsibilities and keeping to main interests in their lives…eventually this man asked me to be his sponsor, and ended up keeping away from the drink and dope…i stopped hearing from him after some time…and occasionally he would contact me…usually because falling into some trouble, or picking the booze or drugs up again

this happened yesterday…even after moving out of state, he kept my number in his phone…drinking and causing problems in his life again, mentioning bad thoughts entering his mind…i told him that must not be acted upon and can be removed with simple actions taking place in the moment…keeping busy with what is at hand presently is one way of staying out of my head…regretting the past and wanting to change it is not something possible for me…in fact, i can use that ugliness to show others in the same boat how it was overcome for me…and the future isn’t any of my business…no matter what i demand or expect to receive because of where i’ve come…my only manageability is what is in front of me now…what am i accountable for today?…what tasks need to be accomplished?…making a plan in the morning, along with my prayers and meditation, is primary with making that beginning…when laying my head down at night, i thank my Higher Power and go over what i’ve missed, where i’ve gone wrong and ask for help in making corrections…’moving forward’ is a phrase my sponsor told me when we started with the step-work…which holds meaning and direction with me currently

sponsorship is not a employee/employer relationship…my mentor can’t be the boss…he cannot tell me what to do…the only duty that partner has is to carry the message of hope with what has been done to continue sobriety through his own travels in the program…using descriptions of steps from the literature as a source…making decisions on my part is just the beginning…much like cooking, as an example…i can tell you i’m going to bake a cake all day long…but, it isn’t until i collect the ingredients, tools and equipment, and follow the recipe that the product will come to reality…our literature tells us that after taking Step 3, we are to “launch on a course of vigorous action”…and that stays true to anyone anywhere they are in recovery…so we pass on where we have come with this in order to ‘carry the message’…it doesn’t take someone working through all 12 steps in order to be of service to the new person…we can be put on a call list…even though we might not have answers to every problem, it is pivotal that we listen…a lot of people struggling with problems just want to be heard and know that someone cares…we can be that source of support

meetings aren’t the only thing to keep me sober…it is said that ‘meeting-makers make it’…and i’m not so sure that is a great line to repeat…i understand the meaning behind it…there is crucial importance in joining a group and being ‘a part of’…that is where we meet people, and they get to know us…it’s what the Fellowship is all about…however, depending on how many meetings gone to, it’s only an hour or two out of the day…there is an abundance of time left out there for the taking…which is where working the steps come into play essentially…a triad of main principles is showcased in the icon for our way of life…they are called the 3 Legacies…Service is being of help to others…as i’ve mentioned above, it is a great way of getting out of ourselves, our “plans and designs”…we can only keep this thing by giving it away…next is the Recovery part, which is doing the program work…walking through the 12-steps with a sponsor, and “practicing these principles in all our affairs” is primary in success through sobriety…then there is Unity…this coming together as a ‘Group of Drunks’…keeping with a crowd of like-minded individuals who follow the same dictates…for we can either live alongside each other through these practices of keeping clean, or die separately continuing on with what didn’t work so well for us getting loaded

 

 

 

Feb 25

Re-visiting Unwanted Places…

being a part from has become an issue for me again, lately…that’s the good thing in keeping contacts on my phone…a close friend in the program text me, saying he hadn’t seen me in awhile…asking if i’d like to go to a meeting with him soon…it’s a part of my life that has been missing…i’ve kept job and family as the primary source of responsibility…work hours were taking up most my time…so coming home and spending that free time with my kids and wife were important…still no excuse for excluding the fellowship…keeping telling myself that there are no thoughts of getting loaded…however, when bad ideas do arise, it is an immediate danger…or, when someone mentions drinking and getting high in passing, it can stay in my head…and that can be a problem…those thoughts must be removed immediately, through prayer and disclosure to other’s that are likeminded

inclusion of all areas in my life are vital…nothing should be missing…it causes a major shift in my ways of feeling, thinking and acting…for me it’s been negativity, which leads to anger and depression…expecting so much that i believe i deserve…for all the work i’ve gone through and what has been accomplished…i haven’t felt respected and appreciated, in certain areas involved with…and it still doesn’t happen for me…no matter how far i continue with where i’ve gone…i’m still not gaining those expectations…which brings me to the First Step…i’m not only powerless over alcohol and drugs…i haven’t the power over several other areas, as well…which makes managing life difficult…so, i shouldn’t be going it alone…no matter how hard i try and keep my mouth shut from negativity, it’s crucial that i admit these things to someone else…a person with eyes other than mine…who can see things i’m unable to, at this moment…for it’s not me who knows what i need, at times…it’s a Higher Power, who speaks through other people…and i should understand that i am right where i’m supposed to be…dismiss what i have gone through and done in the past…and what i demand comes to me in the future…it’s the right here and now that holds the greatest importance…and the only time in life worth focusing on

i’m starting to disagree with the notion i have an illness, or disease…isn’t it much more than that?…i get that it’s chronic…i also see how it is progressive…however, for me it’s more like conditioning…i can’t rightly say i’m that different from other people…we all have similar defaults and errors in character…it’s the condition of which that sets a person like me a part from the rest…i choose to use and get loaded when times are rough…or when life is good…or when i’m bored…once doing this for awhile, the physical side rears it’s head…i’m doing it to overcome the effects of allergic reactions…then there’s the mental state…i’m forced to follow insane frames of mind…obsession…denial…which sorely falls into a malady of spiritual nature…this was the hardest factor for me to accept…and now i see that spiritual is the polar opposite of material…so when i’m bent on using, i will take on everything in order to get what i believe i need and want and desire…which brings me to the most pivotal part in our recovery literature…the description of selfishness and self-centeredness as the “root of our troubles”…i do not see a cure for alcoholism and drug addiction…instead, treatment is made available…which, when used continually, has the ability for altering our condition…this is the 12 Step Way of Life…and like the final suggestion mentions, these principles must be practiced in all areas…for, i never used and drank for one reason only…there were a number of means by which i felt it necessary to continue…and these must be addressed on the daily now, in order for me to maintain sobriety

no longer do i see myself as a victim…i’m more like the perpetrator…or assailant…and i have to get out of my condition to start helping others…so many times have i taken from others in order to succeed where i deemed necessary…doesn’t this sound similar to where i described being at the beginning of this blog?…so yes, that is dangerous…when that old mode of thought arrives, it is only a matter of time before the destructive actions begin taking place…selfishness must be exchanged for unselfishness…and our recovery program immediately shifts that aim from us to them, within the first 3 steps…although, actions do speak louder than words…i can admit and believe and decide all day long…and then nothing will materialize, until i begin moving forward…doing things for the support of others through their own trials and errors promises growth and development for my own…reaching out to people for help…being a witness of removal from your own problems shows those struggling that change is possible…it is in looking to people as being the same and not different that links us to spiritual matter…as the prayer goes, “But, for the Grace of God, there go I”…sharing an emphatic connection brings sufferers together as a group in recovery…giving of myself to help others in need is the basis of our sober Fellowship…and i could not have gone where i’ve been without it

 

 

 

Feb 05

Win or Lose…Keep Sobriety First and Success is Possible

click links below to purchase copy of book

Jan 08

newest blog book collection edition out now…

bookemon

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Dec 31

Personal Divinitiveness Through Heirarcheal Insight…

blurry-visionmeaning to write more often here…been a month since posting a blog…things have been busy for me…my job is crazy…trying to wrap-up this special project…and home life with the family is meaning more to me each day…so hard to fit anything else in there…i’m sure it will all pan out equally, as long as i keep priorities right…the holidays are such a beast…especially for those new in recovery, or those still fighting to hold on to getting loaded…it took me so long to find correct vision in what was happening with my life…to see what others saw about me…and at times, this can still become an issue

around the mid-90’s i had found a new drug…Ecstacy took over my life…i no longer ate, slept…although people talk about it being some sexual, social substance, it can be quite the opposite…especially when you take it like i did…i wanted seclusion…aloneness…after a few months this took quite it’s toll on me…and i finally went home for the holidays…my mother did her best getting me into treatment…but, the only place to take someone without health insurance was outpatient…even though i knew this wasn’t a solution, i went anyway to see what they had to offer…which was acupuncture…and i’m sorry for those that differ, but sticking needles in a persons ear will not aid in removing an addiction to chemicals…if anything, it made me want more

divine-mind-intentiona few months later i was locked up…for the next year i spent time away with only one force guiding me…my Higher Power supplied direction through several different sources…all with sobriety and sanity in mind…it took being forcefully removed from the situation, planted with gifts, tools, and knowledge of that new way of life to bring freedom…soon, even behind bars, i felt absolute unrestraint…family…friends…teachers…doctors…noone else could have done that…it took opening my mind and heart in a way never accomplished before, because i had always been focused on self…when that rein was eventually taken away, i was able to finally vision what the outside world already knew…my path had been eventual self-destruction

this brings me to what i always talk about this time in the season…New Years has brought a practice of resolution to most Normies out there…a promise for removing practices, problems or ideals that have caused issue in their lives…whether it be from health…monetary…social…behavioral means…usually people are making plans on how to better through these personal statements…i will never drink again…i will stop using drugs…it’s because they want life to get better again…they see what is causing damage, and they want it to end…if this were a true answer for people like us, we could have ended addiction long ago…but, nothing…nothing found on Earth has ever been able to do that…especially when it came to relying upon decisions made by myself…i’ve always needed God’s help

fingers-crossedso, lets keep that in mind as the clock winds around again…when we rip that last page off the calendar pasted on the wall…take it down and put the new one up…open that new battery package and get time started back to normal…it will only involve action, not thought in how to move forward with life…and what makes that done?…by following the Great Entity’s will for you…which is always bothersome when looking on the daily…my sponsor tells me, when i haven’t a clue what my HP wants me to do…what course to take?…it’s best to look at what others need, and how i may help them today…”the answers will come when my own house is in order”…stop promising others…don’t promise yourself anything…just make that next right step…”action speaks louder than words”…and “faith without works is dead”

 

 

 

Nov 24

Spatial Graciousness…

together-2spent some time over the past few days thinking about how to go about writing this…usually making it a point to post blogs during frantic, busy holiday seasons…for those of us in recovery, it can be a trying time…no matter what your work schedule is…how your family situation lies…it’s most important to keep what is needed frontal…if it is our own issue with celebration during a crushing period of newfound sobriety, the meeting room is the vital place for congruency…like any other day of the year, this is the spot where those who are likeminded get together for answers, solutions and sometimes just simple support in hard moments…it isn’t what we have to say specifically…it’s just that we are there…

yesterday on the job, as i work in construction, the main contractor had declared a half-day…so, this is what i had expected, going in that morning…as a quality assurance technician, i was out in the field performing certain tests…then lunchtime came around and everyone started shutting it down…and i went back to my office to put up equipment…after entering data into our network system, i went to touch base with the engineers, making sure all bases were covered before leaving…when going over all that had been completed on my end, the head boss had me go out and sort through our asphalt samples, separating them by date…

angrythis pissed me off, as these bags are not only heavy, but piled up and stacked in multitude…i have been disappointed and angry back and forth for a couple years now, since my graduation as a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering…getting away from labor and increasing my scope, pay and position with employment has been my goal…expectation…demand…how dare this be my way at making a living anymore!…which caused me to throw bags around…slamming particular samples on the wooden deck…spitting…cussing…hustling back in forth, in hopes that this higher-up can see me from his window…all the while, i’m watching other employees from my department getting in their own cars, backing up and pulling away…a couple gave me waves…at one point, the admin stopped and rolled down her window…”Have a good Thanksgiving!”…as mad as i was, it was all i could do to look up, smile, and raise my hand in agreeance…

after going through the heap of piles, pulling out all that need accounted for, i divided what had been set aside…then i set out some scrap paper, logging in by date and label what i had found that was asked for…after compiling what had been recovered, i made sure to copy and align the list in chronological order…which when done had calmed me a bit…by the time i stepped back to the boss’s trailer, my disposition was normal again…i explained what had been recorded, what i had found, and what to expect when looking for it…he thanked and showed appreciation, which set my mind more at ease…i realized then it wasn’t simply labor that was expected of me…it was my knowledge and experience looked for when taking on this project…not easy for me to absorb, handle and execute…but, made more sense the longer i had thought about it…i know the difference in mix types…the numerology of type identification…and the dates in which they were produced, as i had placed them in collection originally…

thinkingsomething similar has happened concerning my family recently…after going through high school, my addiction and alcoholism had taken horrible turns for the worse…at the height of my using career, my parents had brought in a younger daughter and son…now being the oldest of 4 didn’t stop my binge on getting loaded daily…eventually this landed me in jail…my youngest brother and sister were still toddlers, and hadn’t a clue of why i was there, or what it meant of me being away for so long…so separation is something i haven’t a clear understanding on, concerning this situation…after being freed and completing probation of 10 years, my life began growth into new, prospective behavior…starting a family of my own, and committing to personal responsibilities, i went through several rough patches until reaching where i’m at today…still having a number of tasks and duties required from me, it isn’t hard to put things on the back burner, or forget about them completely…last week, my youngest brother asked to borrow my bicycle, as he was going to the ACL Fest in downtown Austin, TX…i was sure this was to avoid expensive parking and traffic when using his own car…so i hadn’t any issue with it, especially since he was adamant about using a bike lock to keep it from getting stolen…

he came and picked it up on his own, me leaving the garage unlocked so he could get to it…then, after a few days, he talked about coming back to bring it to me…that’s when the thought occurred that we just didn’t have much in partnership with each other…most of which is my fault…i’ve never been much of a brother to him…and this saddened me…how many times have i been there for him?…for what else have i gone out of my way to be of help?…aside from yearly holiday’s, what effort and space have i provided to be in service to this close member of my family?…not much…and i now mean to vocalize this to him next time we are together, which will be for Thanksgiving…i want to reach out and remain available…keep an eye and ear out for opportunities to bring us closer, rather than apart, like it has been now for years…although i don’t even know how much we have in common with each other, it is what is setting us apart that i have a chance for reconciling…

awakein that i will end with saying this…life has been colluded with much divisiveness, as of late…politics…society…religion…sexuality…ideology…healthcare…ethnicity…employment…you name it…and have we not been in places like this before?…have not solutions to these issues ever been found?…forget a group of people…what about within yourself?…at what other period in your life have beginnings started inside your own heart, mind and soul?…it takes an individual to start the team…one thought…one feeling…one belief…discarded for what another has used to meet challenges and reach goals and conquer difficulties…that is what the open-mind means…success in life sometimes means discarding old ways for new ones…for if i am the only one who knows the right way to anything, wouldn’t that make me God myself?…and playing God or being God are definitely two different things…involving the open space around me and seeing through different eyes will bring my position in this world to new heights…above and beyond…the only way to freedom is up and not down…there is so much more out there to behold…no matter what is facing us presently…tomorrow is always a new day for us…we should never hold today as the end of it all…

 

Nov 07

Ceased Victimization Through Honesty…

Sun shining through bars window in a prison

attended a conference covering correctional facilities service work this weekend…meaning look into taking meetings into prisons, treatment centers, etc…picked up an application to fill out and send for turn in…quite a good line-up of speakers at this event…the first was a local judge, which did alert my attention, as i couldn’t see how much he would contribute to the discussion…however, he had been a trial lawyer for some years before appointed judge…and his current court covers mental health, child protection and divorce cases/settlements…what he pointed out most through his talk, in my mind, is the point that looking at how to help others is far more important than focusing on what one personally wants…removal of selfishness in how to best serve people in dire need of help

second speaker was unlike any i had ever heard before…he brought guitar’s and harmonica’s to sing along with his story…quite phenomenal…the third had made many visits to the penitentiary…it was in jail that he was introduced to the program…however, it took quite a bit for him to accept another’s help for solving problems…when serving a 10 year sentence for manslaughter, he spent most of his time locked up in working through the program…emerging from the bars as a free man, in the sense that alcoholism/drug addiction had been solved, as long as he continued to follow a few simple steps

this ended up being a great time for me receiving a letter from a fellow drunk/drugee i’ve known for years…we have been writing each other back and forth for a few months now…she had gotten a DWI and failed to complete the probation, which violated and revoked her into prison…fortunately, she was able to join a program called SAFP (Substance Abuse Felony Punishment)…this has classes that are there to help those serving because of drug/alcohol type offenses…as far as i know, this lasts a couple of years…after sending her my book of blog collection, she said she had written a lot and wanted to join the online sobriety community, once getting out…i told her that after sending me enough material, i would create a sober-blogging profile for her…so, below is the first thing she has sent…looking forward to hearing more from her

img_2460Hello There, Self;

This week has been like the Mad magazine back cover , where if you fold the picture in half on the sides there is a hidden picture within the picture. Being here has truly had it’s inner hidden agenda, that has opened the door to my own personal beliefs being smashed.  Prime example has been the illusion lived as viewing myself a victim:  a good person being separated, but somehow corresponding with thinking errors of “ownership attitude”

I’ve made myself look at what others have seen in me, by taking time to be open with their opinions.  What I found I did not like.  The hatred that came about towards myself was not even anywhere close to how I had been feeling.  I have been lying by omission to myself in protecting life of sickness.  Becoming addicted to pain, victim stance, negative emotions.  The thought if I looked like I knew what I was talking about, or acted angry, negative or mad.  It would push people away and they wouldn’t get close to where I would be.  In position to being loved, and then therefore subject to being hurt.

This new awareness has opened up a block, and “stuck mode” in aspect of knowing what sick feels like.  Being absolutely terrified of success.  Being a liked person and drama-free.  Even taking another’s pain away, or holding feelings in to save others.  Day by day, not allowing them to be of service.  This goes deep into the Control Aspect – or as 12-steppers believe, “playing the actor”.  I have faith that unknowingly playing God, and by not being honest about my behaviors, I have made others my victims (my children and sister).  Now that I am aware of this (through peers A-Z, strangers) I am able to admit by thinking and action have to be let go, or cease conduct by accepting the consequences of growth.

Knowing this now, I can begin Step One and realize it is action, not words.  Even when I think I’ve got it, I don’t. There is always more to address, and more will be revealed as I learn how to Let Go and Let God!  Thank you for this assignment.

Jo

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Nov 04

Answers of Tools for Bottoms and Relief from God to New Life…

img_2439around 2008-2009 a crowd of guys from my home group visited this cigar lounge…it was a place to sit and chat while puffing on a stogie chosen from their wide selection…great place…a few customers came in to drink, as well…but, they didn’t serve alcohol…it was like a BYOB bar…they did sell ice cold teas, which i liked a lot…all different kinds of exotic flavors…just a nice place to go and chill…unfortunately, it didn’t last very long…i guess they just didn’t get much in the way of customers to stay afloat…but, i did get to meet some good men in the program…some of which i stay in contact with today

this type of interaction ended up moving to dude’s houses…sort of a casual 12-step meeting, instead of the more organized types you find in the group-halls or clubhouses…just a place for certain, selected members to gather and talk with each other about sobriety and what life is like today, using the steps for not picking up a drink or drug again…definitely more relaxed atmosphere…not a place people were forced to go to from the courts…really only meetings for those doing the deal…trusting each other with confidentiality…and making connections for sources with experience and guidance through stepwork

canstock5148130-6-25-32-pmeventually things broke up…people stopped showing…a couple guys moved away…it just ended…then a men’s meeting started up at the group…this has grown phenomenally!…a women’s meeting starts right after…and i’ve seen it blossom, as well…it just goes to show how important it is for the men to stick to the men, and women to the women, in this program…some people do look for hook-ups…there have been issues…what’s important to realize is there’s no 13th Step to the program…sobriety must come first…all else comes later, after we’ve cleaned house and started helping others…it’s how i met my wife, who is in sobriety…we were both working on our own problems, taking care of business…and then just happened to bump into each other through mutual acquaintances…fellowship is cool like that…we can meet up and have experiential, growing personal relationships with each other…these sometimes elaborate into intimate and meaningful partnerships…each looking out for each other, and never separately or selfishly divided

last year one of the men from this group at my home club was seriously injured in a horrible bicycle crash…it did severe damage to his head, which kept him in the hospital for a few months…surgeries were involved…major complications were with some vital arteries…his motor skills had diminished, keeping him paralyzed through parts of his arm and legs, keeping him in a wheelchair…this prompted a group to bring meetings once a week to him…i was able to make one of these visits with my sponsor…after showing significant improvement, his hospital stay ended, yet he was still under strict therapy…this moved the meetings to his home, once a week…it reminds me of the times i had spent with a group of guys before, and something i really look forward to…simply a no-brains, like-minded collection of individuals, banding together for quiet chat on life, sobriety, difficulties, spirituality and solutions

birlik beraberlik & zirve mutluluğuusually these have been book studies…although, if someone speaks up about a particular problem they are having, it quickly switches to a discussion meeting…a couple weeks ago we started in on a chapter from the 12 & 12…i was immediately drawn to some articles mentioned in the pages we read from…but, one dude was having issues brought up from the reading, so the topic switched over in helping him out…and, i made sure to make some quick notes after getting home and include them in this blog…some of them were important, as they are things i’ve been thinking about lately

specifically, it went into the types of people who are only sincere in approaching the steps of our program if looking to stay alive themselves…this is what is known as a bottom…since the 12 Steps direct actions exposing the ugly side of a persons behavior, thoughts and feelings, not everyone would be drawn to that type of solution…if this includes correcting mistakes made by searching deep down into the secrets of a person’s life, not everyone could be willing to explore the dark long ago…unless this was a matter of life and death…faced with that kind of dilemma, only the most desperate, hopeless and powerless sufferer would follow those kind of principles…and lately, i don’t see this as just alcoholics and drug addicts being prospects for this solution…many types of people who face calamities can benefit from this way of life

in fact, Frank Buchman, creator of the Oxford Group, was not a drug addict nor an alcoholic…this should be a clear example of what i’m talking about here…the 12 Steps were born from this organization, in that it sought to remove selfishness from one’s purpose in order to live without fear, searching God for a “moral re-armament”…Buchman dealt with resentments, eventually discovering a way to rid that type of sustained anger by forgiving and making restitution for harm done…thus, the 4 Absolutes (honesty, purity, unselfishness and love) were adopted for the Oxford Group movement…this was a pivotal way for people in desperation seeking help to progress through life successfully…for those without any answers (such as drunks and dope fiends), this became an altruistic beginning to a new way of walking paths…which is why organizations such as AA were born, as it has always been easier taking advice and suggestion by those who have lived much the same horrible past…it is how fellowships have been known to grow and flourish

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Oct 19

Finding Darkness Within Light…and Lightness Among the Dark…

img_2326finishing what i have started is sometimes an issue of mine…but, today i do my best in making that happen…whether it be work…play…family time…togetherness with friends…which is what i meant in bringing with me to the Men’s retreat last month…attending this twice before…once a couple years ago…and the first time in 2012…the mission is for intensive work of the 12 step program to continue sobriety…over the course of a couple days during the weekend…we band together to practice these principles…my hopes have always been in finding what i’ve missed…certain ideals, meanings and actions come forward…and i’ve always left with freedom from the bondage of self…it’s an amazing journey…something i look forward to every year, and hope to continue throughout my lifetime

i did happen to take a few quick notes from the speakers while there…one has caught my eye, and had me questioning it’s purpose…i don’t quite remember in what reference it is to…the word is orthodoxy, and next to it in parenthesis is the phrase “trick bag”…looking up this meaning, it is the “condition, quality or practice of conforming”…usually identified when relating to religion, this is still a term i haven’t been acquainted with…although, it fits exactly with how i’ve meant to practice this program, or live this way of life…as far as a bag of tricks, or whatever it was my note eluded to, i still haven’t the foggiest notion…i don’t see how conformity would be tricky…but, maybe it is in how a bag could be thrown at me, once put into a practice

inside our literature there is mention of this “great reality within”…something i’ve continued to search for on the daily…and occasionally there is found glimpse of the truth…or an instance of prophetic vision, if you will…it is hard to explain fully…but, there was an event during this weekend out in the wild with a sober group of guys that may lend an example of what i’m trying to say here…it has always taken an outside view for me to piece certain variables together…whenever i’m questioning propositions, or wondering upon thoughts, its usually another eye and mind to place reverence…rather than discarding it for meaningless, mindless garbage…i am able to find agreement with a separate party,,.this helps me in accepting what i’ve seen and perceived as value, or fact

img_2360an event started during my first attendance at this Men’s retreat was hiking…there are so many different trails to wander while out at this foundation camp…the water boiling from the head of this river running through the park comes from a spring, which leaves its temperature around sixty degrees year-round…this gives some of the guys excitement in taking a swim…my first year at this deal was jam packed with step-work, so the majority of my time during the day was in reading, listening, writing and talking…a group of us got together and made a pact for traveling up through the woods to a 400 foot cliff face that overlooks the campsite and hill country…it was quite a trip…doing this at night, we made sure to bring flashlights and stick together, unless we ended up lost…following a guided trail, we had to cross the river, leaving us soaking wet from the thigh down…regardless, it was an amazing journey…taking nearly an hour to reach the top left us lots of time to speak with each other…and staring at the stars under the absence of city light left us nearly speechless

after seeing how many men wanted a little free time at the facilities and spend extra effort to explore, the organizers of this weekend in the hills decided to change the schedule some…this allowed a few breaks along the weekend for guys to venture into town and check their phones…go fishing in the river (catch and release!)…or check out the trailheads (as long to make sure not surprising other visitors in their campsite)…this year provided a chance to make this trip up to the bluff during the daytime, which quite stoked me…making the trip twice before at night, this provided an entire new experience…grabbing up a collection of guys willing, we made the hike right after lunch…and how much different that was…seeing the surroundings along the trail brought out much an altered experience…i was able to encompass the landscape as a whole…feeling the pressure of heights and drops, looking from left to right, and up and down when taking steps across the dirt and rocks…every now and then was a break through the trees, which made it visible to witness exactly how far up we had climbed that far…it was thrilling, fascinating, beautiful and challenging, all at the same time

img_2327at night i was only able to picture clearly what was in front of me…most of my attention was kept in what the group of us guys were talking to each other about…and during this day trip, my eyes took up a good part of attention…this obviously brought our speech in seperate directions, at times…and out of the darkness we could see the Milky Way…it wasn’t easy finding the brightest star in the sky…they all just seemed to be of increasing/decreasing size, instead…and while the sun was up, we could see for miles…looking down at the river the water was so clear to see the bottom…other camps were clearly viewed…it was just awesome finding the differences, and having the chance of absorbing it all…similarities aren’t always the goodness from finding in others…sometimes it is the changes that fail in keeping us apart…i can greet and find and accept it all, no matter what happens…as long as i strive in pointing out positives, rather than gripping hard onto the negative…this was something i left that weekend with, and pray to never lose complete sight of…as long as i continue to share what i’m going through currently with other walkers of sober life, it is hope that never leaves

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