“You’re not stuck in traffic, you are the traffic.” “Right now, you are both the youngest you’ll ever be again and the oldest you’ve ever been.” “You have no friends. You have no enemies. You only have teachers.” “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” ~ Lao Tzu “Never attribute a person’s level of intelligence to the amount of money in their paycheck.” “You’re a ghost driving a meat-coated skeleton made from star dust.” “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ~ Ian MacLaren (widely misattributed to Plato) “Be the Change you wish to see in the World.” ~ (Not) Gandhi
when i started the recovery journey at 46, i had few (if any) expectations about where it may take me. frankly, i didn’t expect much as i had been such a shoddy marksman when it came to working out anything in my life that i dared not hope for much at all. i had long before crossed every line i had drawn no matter the cost, mostly to keep myself from seeing my true image in the mirror.
in these 11 years, i have seen my world evolve . i have looked back without fear. i have let go of some ancient and toxic thinking. i have been able to forgive myself for so much and forgive others too. i have focused on working with others. i have learned about honesty and am still trying to embrace it. i have trusted myself enough once in awhile to lean in to life instead of running away. here is an excerpt from a book titled “faith, hope, and courage” which has inspired me all eleven of these years.
“I made it into this Program because someone else worked their Twelfth Step on me. Someone passed it on to me. Someone was out there after they got clean and sober, caring about others. I need to never, ever forget that. Had they simply gone on with their lives and forgotten about people like me who were still out there using and suffering, I wouldn’t be here today. My gratitude begins with that fact. It is with that gratitude in mind that I reach out to others, especially the newcomers. I need to have them in my life. That is where my spirituality begins.
For me, spirituality comes from caring about others. I have found that the more I focus on improving the quality of the lives of others, the less I am into myself and my will. I feel a freedom and peace from within. The gifts I am beginning to receive in my life are greater than I could have ever imagined.
Something else I have done is that I have forgiven myself. I have forgiven myself for being an addict. I have forgiven myself for all the damage I did to my life, to my physical health, and to my career and finances. But most of all, I have forgiven myself for all of the horrible, negative and unloving things I have felt about myself. It was not until I offered and accepted my own forgiveness, that I was truly able to grow in my sobriety.”
i have so many to thank for this grace in saying 11 years sober without whom my life would never have seen me here. everyday is proof that miracles are real. and everyday i get to work on coloring inside the lines while i draw outside them.
May I be well, happy, and peaceful. May my teachers be well, happy, and peaceful. May my parents be well, happy, and peaceful. May my relatives be well, happy, and peaceful. May my friends be well, happy, and peaceful. May the indifferent persons be well, happy, and peaceful. May the unfriendly persons be well, happy, and peaceful May all meditators be well, happy, and peaceful. May all beings be well, happy, and peaceful.
<ol> <li><a href='https://afterthepop.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/08-flower-live.m4a'>Amos Lee Flower (Live)</a></li> </ol>