From the BlogMeet Ron

Heressssss more Chuck D.

“Wait till next year!” is the favorite cry of baseball fans,
football fans, hockey fans, and gardeners.
–Robert Orben

 

Hope was a casualty for many of us in our life of chaos and extremes. Some of us said to ourselves, “Life is just drab, I’d better get used to it.” We may have slowly changed our definition of normal to mean a hopeless existence. Others of us held onto some shred of hope that said “Better times are just around the comer,” but it only kept us from confronting how disastrous our lives had become. We are siblings in that we truly have been people on a dead-end path.

Our new lives have seen the dawning of true hope that has a solid base upon reality. We have the reality of friendships with our brothers and sisters. They provide comfort and support which are reliable and durable. We have the reality of our clearer thinking and our amended lives. We may not have everything we could desire, but we are actually on the road and progressing in directions we wish to go. We are engaged in the adventure of increasing our conscious contact with God. Our hope is founded in what we already feel in our lives.

Today, nothing is perfect, but hope underlies everything.
With the return of hope, I have my life back again.
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I would like to highly recommend reading the story in the July Grapevine “Something to Behold” written by a member who got sober in 1955. It shows what our meetings were like, focused on the new comer and not drinking “today” . Not a form of group therapy where not drinking is replaced with relationships, no work, finances, car broke down I could go on and on, God
forbid we talk solutions.  As a side note I spoke at a large meeting in La Jolla, Ca. couple of weeks ago (approx. 200) it was June 10th and less than 25 people knew it was the Anniversary of our Fellowship. They meet in a Beautiful Church with large signs ask “NO SMOKING” about 80 were standing outside before the meeting and at the break smoking. The meeting was in the Church Sanctuary and a girl with 4 year was the 5 min. speaker and in that short time ever other word was F— and S— and no one made a comment. ( I DID ) They call this the norm now. So SAD.

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In the life of the Indian there is only one inevitable duty – the duty of prayer – the daily recognition of the Unseen and Eternal. He sees no need for setting apart one day in seven as a holy day, since to him all days are God’s.
–Ohiyesa, Santee Dakota

Some of our past troubles came from our naive arrogance. We failed to acknowledge anything beyond ourselves. Whatever was unseen or eternal remained invisible to us. We were skeptical, scientific, task-oriented, self-centered, and unreflective. It’s like we had been racing down a country highway at top speed, hardly tuned in to the rich vitality of life that surrounded us. When we stopped the car and explored the road banks, we could suddenly smell the grasses, hear birds singing, perhaps see a whole community in an anthill, or watch a darting squirrel.

Coming to believe in a Power greater than ourselves is not something we create on our own. It is largely a matter of shifting our attention, of being open to the spiritual. We don’t need to force it. We need only be willing to quiet ourselves and notice. Ultimately, every moment is sacred.
Today, may I live from moment to moment.
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hERE ARE SOME MORE GOODIES FROM CHUCK D.

Choice of attention – to pay attention to this and ignore that – is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, a man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences. 
–W. H. Auden
 
Many of us have said, “I can’t help myself!” when we tried to stop our constant thinking about other people or their behavior. “I know it’s not good for me, but what can I do when they keep acting that way?”
Let us think of ourselves as living in a house with many windows. At each window is a different view, and within each view are many things to catch our attention. Perhaps there are some people, some traffic, some buildings, a horizon, and some trees. If we always go to the same window and focus on the same object, we are not using all our choices. We may have overlooked some things in our lives that need attention. There are many things we are totally powerless over. Our power exists in changing the focus of our attention.
   Today, I will notice where I am choosing to pay attention.
I pray for guidance in being aware of my options
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Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. 
–Helen Keller
 
When we look at our life and at the lives of others, it is clear that pain is part of life. We cannot escape this tragic truth; our growth and our wholeness must include it because our recovery stresses honesty. In our old way of living, we may have been bitter. Many of us felt sorry for ourselves. Some of us cursed God and wasted time in our self-centeredness, thinking life was especially unfair to us. Life is not fair; it just is. It is left to us to choose how we will respond.
People’s responses to life inspire us. We not only acknowledge the pain, but we see the heroic lives of others around us. They met their limitations and went forward with a willing spirit and faith. Today we can be grateful for the progress we have made in overcoming our suffering. We have friends who give us the joy of human contact. We have choices and possibilities where we never saw them before. We have a growing self-respect.
I accept the reality of life, and I will respond
with faith in the choices I make today.

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Despair is the absolute extreme of self-love. It is reached when a man deliberately turns his back on all help from anyone else in order to taste the rotten luxury of knowing himself to be lost.
–Thomas Merton
 
The surest way to unhappiness is to concentrate only on ourselves. Nothing will bring on despair quicker than thinking only of our own concerns. Extreme self-centeredness brings alienation from God, from our friends, and loved ones.
 
The surest remedy is to pray, not for our own comfort, but for God to bless someone else. If self-centeredness is contributing to our unhappiness, focusing some attention on others is the way out. We always get help for the blues by offering a hand to another or accepting a hand ourselves.
I can avoid despair by looking beyond myself. 

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THANKS CHUCK D.

It’s not hard. When I’m not hittin’, I don’t hit nobody.
But when I’m hittin’, I hit anybody!
–Willie Mays

It seems like some days everything goes our way. Everything falls together in a way that makes life easier for us. Other days are just the opposite; on a bad day we seem to be all thumbs. In our spiritual practice we know we don’t control all that goes on around us.
We all are vulnerable to accidents, random misfortune, and illness. Yet, when we don’t fight against the events of our lives, somehow things go better for us. We can remember that as difficult as a day may be, we are never alone because nothing can separate us from our Higher Power. When we accept the bad things that come, even though they are unfair, we give them less power in our lives. Then we are free to go forward and leave more room for the good things.Today, I’ll accept the problems I must confront and leave room for the good things.
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The loneliness each man feels is his hunger for life itself….
It is the yearning that makes fulfillment possible.
–Ross Mooney

Many different journeys have been taken by the folks who finally entered this program in search of hope. Most of us have known our own brand of desperation, but we have one thing in common – the loneliness we felt. Some of us felt left out of our families and other groups. We were appalled by what was happening in our lives, alone with our secrets, as if no one truly knew us. Some of us even romanticized our loneliness as a form of heroism.

As we gave up our controlling behaviors, false pride over-competitiveness, and striving for power, we made our weak spots and secrets more obvious. We became more accessible to friends. As we count the blessings of recovery, high on our list is that we are no longer lonely.

In part, what kept me going and led me to this program was my hunger for life.
I’m grateful for the friends who truly know me now, and still accept me.

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A father is a thousand schoolmasters.
–Louis Nizer

We carry our fathers within us in ways we may not notice. When we do notice this in our thoughts and actions, we can use this relationship as a source of strength. When we hear a critical mental message saying we didn’t perform well enough, is it a father’s voice? When we feel a sense of strength and peace, are we in touch with our childhood knowledge of fatherly love? When we doubt our ability to get along with any woman, are we relying on what we learned in our childhood homes?

Perhaps we can recast our father-son relationship in adult terms. Were our fathers too removed from our lives for us to know them? Maybe we can see now that a father’s love was there but was overshadowed by the demands of survival or by a misguided life. If we are forever seeking our fathers’ approval, we may need to find the ways in which they are truly human and imperfect like us. Making peace with them – whether face to face or in the memory of a relationship – empowers us with their strengths and grants us the adulthood we deserve.

I will make peace with my father in my mind, and his strength and that of his father will be a well-spring, in my life.
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SOME MORE FROM CHUCK D.

Come, Love! Sing On! Let me hear you sing this song – sing for joy and laugh, for I the creator am truly subject to all creatures. –Mechtild of Magdeburgm  

Recovery without joy and song and playfulness is incomplete. The beauty of music uplifts our spirits and shows us the face of our Creator. For many men, music is their means of meditation and conscious contact with their Higher Power. When we experience the creativity of a musical piece, as it speaks to us, we take a step beyond the practical world, into the profound level of creation.
Some people say, “How can you celebrate when there is so much suffering, so much to grieve about?” We have grieved; we continue to grieve alongside our joy. But we need not pour all our energies into the painful and sad. Life is also wonderful. Music and dance and the joy of good fellowship enrich our lives and strengthen us to go on.
Praise the spirit of our Creator for all that is given to us!
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Originality is unexplored territory. You get there by carrying a canoe – you can’t take a taxi.
–Alan Alda

   We are on an adventure trip in this program. Each of us is a wilderness that is only partly explored and mapped. We can’t know exactly what we will find along the way, but we can expect to find some great and moving beauty, some spectacular experiences, as well as awesome and frightening ones, and some soft, pleasant rest spots. Any day will have a mixture of various feelings.
This program is not a map of the uncharted territory. It is a guide for survival in the wilderness. It tells us how to orient ourselves when there are no familiar landmarks and how to learn and grow from the experience. The more time we spend in this wilderness, exploring the mystery of living, the more comfortable we become with it and the greater appreciation we have for its unique beauty.
   Today, I pray for the courage to explore the original person I was created to be.
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I believe our concept of romantic love is irrational, impossible to fulfill, and the cause of many broken homes. No human being can maintain that rarefied atmosphere of “true love.”
–Rita Mae Brown
   What the popular media teach us about marriage and love is poor preparation for the real thing. When we enter a relationship we may be filled with a feeling of magic and excitement of new love. But that is not a good basis for a lifelong commitment. Love at first sight is no reason for marriage. Many of us, upon meeting difficulties in our relationships, said to ourselves, “Maybe it wasn’t true love after all, because now I don’t feel in love with my mate anymore.”
   Honesty and learning how to resolve difficulties provide a solid foundation for durable love. Some relationships do not survive the honesty of recovery. Sometimes the development of honest love only begins with recovery. The love that endures, the love of real intimacy, comes when we know the real person. Loyalty to our loved ones may deepen as we deal more and more with reality.
  As I grow in this program, married or single, I become more able to have an enduring love.
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