Pg 117 - Big Book of Alcholics Anonymous:
"Seed has started to sprout in new soil, but growth has only begun"
I sat in a great meeting Friday night that revolved around this quote. I has in my head all those little seedling projects we did in elementary school. We'd plant a seed in new soil, in a small styrofoam cup, then give it time and the things they needed: sunlight, water, care.
Time & Care. Growth happens with these things.
Interesting how I can take the time to care for an outward seed, yet find it difficult to care for my own inner seed, planted 3 years and some change ago, in new sober soil. Also, letting things take the time they need to blossom and grow is an awareness I'm developing.
Yesterday we celebrated Gay Pride here in New York. My boy and I walked with a group called Broadway Impact. I couldn't help but reflect as I walked we walked down Fifth Avenue hand in hand on the first time I'd ever heard of Pride.
I was 15 or 16 and had picked up an XY Magazine in my hometown (remember that one?). There where photos in the back and I thought: Wow, how amazing, these people are living out & proud, unafraid and happy. I WANT THAT
I've lived in NYC for over 11 years now been to many Pride parades, worked a few, drank through most but yesterday was so different. I felt proud because I have something I've not had before: Pride in myself, love in myself which I can easily share with anyone but especially the man I held hands with the entire parade.
There we were living out & proud, unafraid and happy.
I felt the true meaning of that word yesterday thanks to this program and the fresh soil it gives me to grow in a new different and amazing direction.
After reading a wonderful post on Lindspiration, I was inspired to look up the meaning of & try to delve into the word: FORGIVENESS
The definition I got was:
1. act of forgiving; state of being forgiven.
2. disposition or willingness to forgive.
Well that's as clear as a normal day in London.
I've been thinking a lot about the HOW's for forgiveness, cause truth is I'm not sure how to begin it. I can say it, I can believe it but what about the action? What do I do? How do I start the healing?
The past has crept up in a lot of ways lately, both recent and distant. I keep thinking when this happens 'Gosh! I thought I was done with this'. I guess the truth is we're never really done, it's in how we shift perspective, how do we move forward, the past is never truly forgotten. Much like clearing the wreckage of out past we do it in hopes of moving forward. I for one, like forward motion, but find myself frustrated when things snag me back for a bit.
Really frustrated. I realized something though, I need to work harder, delve deeper and get those roots up and out.
So being that I tend toward the artsy side of things - I leave you with a quote & a song about Forgiveness:
"Forgiveness is a rebirth of hope, a reorganization of thought, and a reconstruction of dreams. Once forgiving begins, dreams can be rebuilt. When forgiving is complete, meaning has been extracted from the worst of experiences and used to create a new set of moral rules and a new interpretation of life's events." - Beverly Flanigan
The other one I can't find a good youtube clip of but here are the lyrics to 'Forgiveness' from the musical "Jane Eyre"
You mustn't be revengeful
You have to be strong
To offer good for evil
Return right for wrong
We must not hold a grudge
And we must learn to endure
Then as God is your judge
At least your heart will be pure
Is the mightiest sword
Forgiveness of those you hate
Will be your highest reward
When they bruise you with words
When they make you feel small
When it's hardest to bear
You must do nothing at all
Is the simplest vow
Of all their crimes
Is your deliverance now
Bless those souls
Who would curse your name
When the last bell tolls
You'll be free of blame
You can continue to grieve
But know the Gospel is true
You must forgive those who lie
And bless them that curse you
Is the mightiest sword
Forgiveness of those you hate
Will be your highest reward
The time will come when we will leave this world,
and then the injustice and the pain and the sin will fall away from us,
and only the spark of the spirit will remain - returning to God who created it
My Dad used to always say: "well, you know the answer if you don't try"
Usually this would come about when I'd been hemming and hawing about some ridiculous decision, not moving because I was so afraid to take a risk. What happened if I failed? or worse succeeded?
The words of my Dad echo through my head a lot lately, more so since getting sober. I can hear his voice again. It's a great benefit of being sober and a gift I didn't expect.
This one I hear a lot from him though. I still have those moments where I think: 'Eh, I don't NEED to take that risk' but oh how life grows when I do.
I've been thinking about what shifted for me and I really think it has to do with Steps 2 & 3. Coming to believe that no matter what I do success or failure that I am still loved, supported and growing. That my failures (if I choose to see them that way) are all part of this wonderful and amazing journey of life...or maybe they are just stepping stones to the next success.
I love the freedom of trial and error. It's in the trying that I learn, grow and become free.
I am grateful today for my Dad - he was a great man & left an amazing legacy
I am grateful that I try new things and fear less
I am grateful that I have a program & design for living
I am grateful that I can look at life & choose what helps me serve a greater good
I am grateful to get a service position at my home group
I am grateful for my friend Linda who turns the big 3-0 today!
When it all comes through, just the way you planned....
Things are always different.
I've worked at my 'day job' for 11 years. Most of that time I've worked with a designer and together we've run the gammut of friends to enemies, crazy to sane and on and on. It got to a point with us as well as with some other outside things here that some reassginments were done. TODAY
I've been dreaming of this day, MOSTLY on the days when things were bad but on others too. So it happened, there was no heavenly hosts, not even a huge sigh of relief. The truth is I'm still doing the same job just for someone different.
What matters is me and the work I do. I'm letting that statement echo through my head for a bit.
I'm grateful today for:
sleeping in & being late, and not getting worked up about it
things happening in God's time not mine
knowing that it's all good.
learning a lot about expectation over the weekend
trusting more and more
a beautiful apartment that is taking shape and will be ours officially June 23rd when we move in!
taking time to get it right and having the time to do so
a new project & blog I'm contributing to: WSNY
Ever have one of THOSE days. The kind where you just can't seem to be present in your own skin even though with all your own might - that's what you want? So then you try to force it, push it, will it to happen?
That's where I've been lately for the last week or so until today. Looking at it now though, I think it's purely a product of over-committing myself and stretching myself WAY too thin...and in the process losing myself within the insanity that is my schedule lately. It's stressful - but I find I don't get the time to TRULY ENJOY the things I'm doing.
It's a lesson I'm learning. I don't have to please everybody - one of my PRIME character defects is being a people pleaser. It's a hard one to let go of too. I struggle to find the balance between being of service to people and being a people pleaser. Perhaps it all comes down to intention.
Anyway - I'm looking forward to the next 4 days of being away from the city and out at the beach. A re-charge for my serenity I'm sure.
I'm grateful today for many things:
The opportunity to feel a part of in this life lately.
Looking forward to a beautiful weekend
That people depend on and trust me
For progress in areas of my life that were maybe lacking years ago: spirituality, relating to others, listening
For my friends Steven & John-Andrew - they inspire me
For the thought in my head today (via Marianne Williamson and others) that if I let my light shine it allows others to do the same
For the strangers on the NY streets today who returned my smiles
I was at a meeting last night and enthralled by what I heard.
As I listened to a fellow's story and every single action he took prior to getting sober was escape. I started to think about that word and how my entire life I've always felt the need to run away. When things get too serious, too happy, too sad, too whatever - I would feel unequipped and need to get OUT. To escape, to not feel, even if only for a few moments, to relieve the pressure.
I think I knew at a very young age, who & what I am supposed to be in this world.
I think I also knew the work that would be, the responsibility & discipline that would entail and I got scared.
I found it easier to run away from that person & hide.
The messages I got as a child and throughout growing up whether intended or not was that who I was meant to be, was not wanted. These messages did not come from my family & I am grateful for that every day, but my surroundings etc. I interpreted them as just WRONG in flashing red lights.
I think that once I got sober I was given the chance, to turn back to the person I am meant to be in this world - without guilt or shame. Embracing my true humanity is how I honor my maker, because he's the one the made me who I am.
Thinking more about escape though, I marvel at the little ways in this world that I can still check out still escape - it's so easy and I'm SO used to it. THAT becomes the trick of living sober, to keep present & moving in the rhythm of life instead of against it. I love that I can recognize when I want to hide, when I do hide and know that it's all part of the process of changing the first instinct of mine from HIDE to SHINE.