Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I tried religion repeatedly and it failed to do for me what I needed it to. You either believe our literature or not. We read every meeting that religion, psychiatrist and medicine won't work. I exhausted all three. The day my psych doctor looked at me and said "Clinton, there isn't a pill on the planet that is going to do for you what you want it to do. The best I can do is get you on level ground enough that if you want to get better you are going to have to do the work". He may have told me that before, but that one particular day was the day I "HEARD" it. I believed him and I have never went to a doctor after having heard of a new depression medication on a tv commercial since. I treat my psych issues methodically but the struggle I have with hope, reason to be here, and purpose are things I personally have to address everyday with methods from NA, AA and string of spiritual practices. None of my problems are magically prayed away. I cannot denounce any of destructive behavior patterns, selfishness, self-centeredness, resentment or cowardice as the work of some mystical evil force. It isn't the boogie man, the devil or satan. I am my own destructive force. I am the only thing that can cut me off from the sunlight of spirit. It would be great if I could shift focus from my defective character and claim an evil force made me steal, take drugs or hurt people, but by saying that I take no responsibility for myself-my actions. The whole nugget of recovery is shifting blame off others, our family, magical spirits and placing it where it belongs- On our diseased thinking and self centered actions. Today I am responsible. I'm responsible for my choices and my actions. I'm responsible for my INTENTION. I'm convinced the reason I flailed about in and out of recovery for 17 years is I kept trying to go to the "default" God of as it was understood FOR me. It wasn't until the slate was cleaned off and I began to put together truly my own understanding of a high power that my life began to take flight. I started pathing a stoned pathway to a loving spirit, my own direct river to the sea. I"m certain that the reason AA then NA have stuck around for decade after decade is the fact it urges you go come up with your own HP AS U UNDERSTAND HIM. All those programs that have hijacked the steps that conveniently leave "AS YOU UNDERSTAND HIM" off will fail for most people in the south because we were told some FUCKED UP CRAP about the creator of all things. Front loaded with boobie traps and land mines , judgmental and punishing, it's hard for us folks in the south that don't drink the Koolaid and nod with the Pat Robertsons and Robert Tiltons of the world. Most religions close people off, put themselves behind walls , draw battle lines of "us and them". Spirituality opens you up , it connects you to everything , it removes walls and erases battle lines. Why anyone would want to put anything as powerful and meaningful as a connection to all things bigger than you in a tiny box and guard it like it could be taken from you is beyond me. I find the more I give this hope and love away, the bigger the return. My understanding constantly evolves and grows and not many days go by that I don't hear something or see something that deepens my gratitude and fuels even more wonder about this Wonderful World and My Connection to it. When it's my time to leave here I hope for two things. First, I hope that I fight like hell for just one more day, one more hour , one more breath and two, that I leave this place a little bit better, a little bit prettier and a little more filled with love, simply because I added that to it. My days of taking for the sake of taking are done, as long as I stay plugged in. The secret of life as I know it is to be thankful for what you have and you get more to be grateful for. Oh, and that the universe rewards effort, it will rise up to meet you when it sees you a trying, and sometimes it uses people to reach out and meet you in your efforts too. God works for us and through us. Don't let anyone tell you who God is or isn't. When someone claims they speak for "God", I back away pretty quickly. When I want to know about "God", I watch animals, I watch the miracle of a seed grow into a tree, or bright pink and green Caladium leaves appear straight out of the dirt from a bulb that looks like a dog turd. I watch a violent thunderstorm appear in 20 minutes from a clear , hundred degree August sky in Texas. I watch an old married man feed his old married wife in a nursing home when her hands no longer can hold a utensil. I see God when a man has walked for miles to buy his child medicine at a convenient store in the heat to discover he forgot his money and a stranger pays for it for him, because he knows how frightening is is to have a sick child. I find out who God is when it is me that is compelled to do for a stranger what they cannot do for themselves. Dorothy in "The Wizzard of Oz" went on her journey looking for happiness. If I can't find a connection a to power greater than myself in my own back yard, then it's me that is at fault. You can find spirit in a tool shed if you are looking for that connection. The best news is, it is in our energy, or composition, our DNA to seek and make this connection. It's the one sure thing we have in common, an innate desire to reconnect with that thing that is bigger than us. It's why we feel so empty and desperate to fill that space with whatever we can find within arms reach. I looked for God in a package store, a pill bottle and a Doritos Bag, to no avail. I did do extensive research in what God is NOT. Breath, Forgive and find a way to enjoy this experience of being a spirit in human form. Find a power sources and recharge as often as you plug your smart phone in to an electrical socket. Step fully into the flow and find out along with me just what you were designed to do before self or circumstance redirected, misdirected our flow of spirit.
People Magazine asked Valerie Harper's, "Why with terminal Brain Cancer would you say yes to Dancing With The Stars" and her reply....."When they asked, I thought, 'Why would I say no?' " says Harper. "When life asks you to dance, you just have to dance."

(I am not a dancer but I really appreciate her answer. When life asked for our participation, we just need to show up, do our best and let go of the results. Life isn't really a spectator sport.)

I was going to tag everyone on my list with this, but hope this will suffice. I just wanted to remind everyone I care about, impossible things happen every day. The word itself states Im POSSIBLE. "Hold On for One More Day, it can be the day the tide turns and it all turns around".
Notes from something I put together and found. Good stuff. It's long.
Everything we hate, resist or disown about ourselves takes on a life of it’s own and it undermines our feelings of worthiness.

When we make peace with ourselves we instantaneously make peace with the world.

We choose to forget who we are then we forget we have forgotten.

Find compassion in your own mistakes then the mistakes of others will not affect you.

We attract whomever or whatever we need to mirror back the aspects of ourselves that we’ve forgotten.

Within ever desire is the mechanics of it’s fulfillments.

Our fears stop us.

We see in others what we like and what we don’t like in ourselves.

We cannot see ourselves. I am your mirror and you are mine.

The Ego is our false and ignorantly assumed identity. So ego then is the absence of true knowledge of who we really are, together with it’s result : a doomed clutching on, at all costs, to cobbled together and makeshift image of ourselves, an inevitably chameleon charlatan self that keeps changing and to, to keep alive the fiction of it’s existence.

Transformation itself only takes seconds. It is a shift in perception, a change in the lenses we look though.

When you come face to face with an aspect of yourself that you hate, express it. Express it with the same intention of releasing all your judgments, your shame , you pain and your resistance to taking back this disowned aspect of yourself.

The pain of perceived flaws cause us to cover them up. When we deny certain aspects of ourselves, we overcompensate by becoming their opposite. We create entire personas to prove to ourselves and others that we are not that.

We are dominated by everything from which our self becomes identified, We dominate and control everything from which we DISidentify ourselves.

You must be willing to spend time exploring your own inner world. “If you do not go within you go without”

Pain is passed down from generation to generation and if it’s not questioned will never break the cycle.

The pain you experienced when you were 3, 5, ,6 and so on is just beneath the surface of your consciousness. Until it is transformed it is always there driving your life.

Prejudice is passed down and so is pain, guilt and shame.

Pain has it’s purpose, it wants to guide and teach us about higher levels of awareness.

Every word, incident and person that still has an emotional chared needs to be retraced, faced, replaced and embraced. Then we face the incident, owning up to it’ss reality as part of your past. We need to become fully aware of the influence it ahs on our life. Then we look at the incident from a different perspective which allows us to replace our negative feelings with positive ones. We take control of our lives by choosing our interpretations. That enables us to embrace our disowned past and unplug ourselves from other people.

It’s our perceptions and our interpretations that affect our emotions not the incident itself,. It’s our perceptions and interpretations that deny responsibility and lay blame..

Each of us has to make a conscious decisions to alter our world by altering our interpretations.

To overcome fear we must overcome our fear and we FACE IT and REPLACE it with love.

We have to set aside our harsh judgments and come to terms with the mistakes we’ve made. We must know that we worthy of forgiveness . This divine gift teaches us that part of being human is making mistakes.

Forgiveness comes from the Heart not the EGO. Forgiveness is a choice.

Desperation comes from the gulf between God and Self.

If we don’t challenge our most basic beliefs we won’t grow as spiritual beings. Our lives will simply run along lines established by our parents and we will never go beyond those boundaries that were set when we were kids.

Boldness has a genius, power and magic to it.

When we realize that no one is coming to save us or do it for us, and that our old wounds are there whether we love them or hate them, we realize that we are the ones who have to fulfill our potential.

I knew that to truly change my life I would have to be uncomfortable.

Prayer without action is dreaming.

If you tell yourself that you are going to eat healthier foods and don’t do it you are broadcasting to yourself AND the universe that you can’t be trusted. If you say to yourself your going to get a new job next year and don’t do it your sending a message that you cant be counted on . Even if it is a small task you are saying to yourself and to the universe you don’t keep your word. These broken promises wear down our self esteem. Each time you do what you say you are going to you are telling yourself and the universe you can be trusted and counted on. Then you can work on larger goals.
Had an encounter tonight that completely caught me off guard. This has happened before but usually only when I was is a "mental facility". Talking to a well dressed man in his late 60's, clear blue eyes. Discussing his love of music then WHAM, I realized he suffered from schizophrenia when out of the blue he told me about human trafficking by our local courts, stolen identities and the the government dissolving on Sept. 11th to bring about some sort of Reformation league of justice. I looked into his eyes and wondered how to did manage to exist with this illness to get to his age. Very well dressed and his eyes were so crystal blue, so clear. I have monsters that occasionally appear a mess with me but I go long breaks from it now. It made me grateful to the core that my mood disorder is very treatable and I don't find myself on street corners preaching a message that an illness whispers into my head. His wife died three years a go and how she must have loved him to deal with his illness for decades. No one in the theater enjoyed the music tonight as much as he did. I took the scrap of paper on which he had written 2 web addresses for me to go to and join up for the new legion of America and slid it in my pocket and thanked him for speaking with me. I'm grateful for the meeting and grateful that for today , all my illnesses are manageable and that the universe is terriblely kind and forgiving. My hope for him is there is not a part of him left that knows the rest of him is missing. If I go crazy again I hope i don't know it, complete decent in to madness is preferable than being keenly aware that you are completely out step with sanity. I was going to say reality, but reality is just perception, I guess sanity is too. Go figure.
What a great weekend. I was fully present and invested in every moment . Riding with the current of the flow is so much more pleasant that fighting against it. Have some real clarity this morning regarding gratitude. If I don't bring it with me and put it in to action with those I come in contact with, it doesn't do anyone any good. Are the words coming out of my mouth necessary and are they kind? Does the energy I bring to the mix foster growth or disease?