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thanksgiving pitch-in at club east

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Thursday

Nov. 22nd

Noon

Cost: FREE

Club East will provide Meats, Breads & Condiments. 

If you’re signing up to bring a covered dish, please bring it by early for set-up.

Help us make this a great dinner for everyone!

turkey2

(ahem… except for the turkey, of course)

daily reflection: a classic prayer

Lord, make me a channel for thy peace—that where there is hatred, I may bring love—that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness—that where there is discord, I may bring harmony—that where there is error, I may bring truth—that where there is doubt, I may bring faith—that where there is despair, I may bring hope—that where there are shadows, I may bring light—that where there is sadness, I may bring joy. Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted—to understand, than to be understood—to love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life. Amen.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 99

No matter where I am in my spiritual growth, the St. Francis prayer helps me improve my conscious contact with the God of my understanding. I think that one of the great advantages of my faith in God is that I do not understand Him, or Her, or It. It may be that my relationship with my Higher Power is so fruitful that I do not have to understand. All that I am certain of is that if I work the Eleventh Step regularly, as best I can, I will continue to improve my conscious contact, I will know His will for me, and I will have the power to carry it out.

repost: thoughts on guilt v. shame

Via one of my consistently go-to sites — the inimitable What…me Sober? — comes this introspective and tactful comparison/contrast of guilt and shame. For anyone who has been in  recovery for more than six months, the following should come as no surprise:

  • Guilt — I’ve done something wrong.
  • Shame — There’s something wrong with me.

In a somewhat free-form comment at What… Me Sober? I pointed out my own life experience being that the above message was too often from the Church, and the message always seemed to be connected to some type of conditional behavior. While many self-proclaimed Christians said I needed to pray or read Scripture more, there was an equal number that said I obviously needed to have a demon cast out. And of course, every pastor wanted to know if I was tithing.

All of that to say simply this: It took a long time to get through that kind of deep-seated misleading theology so AA could become a healing factor in my life.

Don’t take my word for it, though. Here’s a money quote from the highly readable post:

People like us addicts, who come from a place of shame, are likely to find it hard to to react usefully to guilt, because we were taught to believe that guilt makes us less worthy. The reality is exactly the opposite. As we learn to admit our mistakes, wrongs, and other transgressions, we move farther from shame, collecting reasons to feel better about ourselves.

Go read the whole thing. Lots of food for thought.

daily reflection: “thy will, not mine”

. . . when making specific requests, it will be well to add to each one of them this qualification. “. . . if it be Thy will.”

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 102

I ask simply that throughout the day God place in me the best understanding of His will that I can have for that day, and that I be given the grace by which I may carry it out. As the day goes on, I can pause when facing situations that must be met and decisions that must be made, and renew the simple request: “Thy will, not mine, be done.”I must always keep in mind that in every situation I am responsible for the effort and God is responsible for the outcome. I can “Let Go and Let God” by humbly repeating: “Thy will, not mine, be done.” Patience and persistence in seeking His will for me will free me from the pain of selfish expectations.

repost: 300 days

From Storm in a Wine Glass comes her first-time-ever 300 days sober and a some refreshingly honest insight into why the rhythm up to today has been so freaking different this time around:

This time around was very different or at least it feels that way. Whereas I before knew it was a problem and that I needed to stop, it was only 300 days ago that I’d really had enough. Before this, I’d always still wanted to drink despite knowing I had to stop. This time I just knew I didn’t want to drink anymore, problem or no problem – I was done. I’d had enough of feeling like shit every day. I’d had enough of not being my best. I’d had enough of losing control. I’d had enough of being scared. I’d had enough of not being me. I’d had enough of having enough. I just couldn’t take it anymore.

Great stuff. Take a few minutes and read her heartfelt, honest impression that no one else had the responsibility to drag her kicking and screaming into recovery.

daily reflection: “i was slipping fast”

We A.A.’s are active folk, enjoying the satisfactions of dealing with the realities of life, . . . So it isn’t surprising that we often tend to slight serious meditation and prayer as something not really necessary.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 96

I had been slipping away from the program for some time, but it took a death threat from a terminal disease to bring me back, and particularly to the practice of the Eleventh Step of our blessed Fellowship. Although I had fifteen years of sobriety and was still very active in the program, I knew that the quality of my sobriety had slipped badly. Eighteen months later, a checkup revealed a malignant tumor and a prognosis of certain death within six months. Despair settled in when I enrolled in a rehab program, after which I suffered two small strokes which revealed two large brain tumors. As I kept hitting new bottoms I had to ask myself why this was happening to me. God allowed me to recognize my dishonesty and to become teachable again. Miracles began to happen. But primarily I relearned the whole meaning of the Eleventh Step. My physical condition has improved dramatically, but my illness is minor compared to what I almost lost completely.

daily reflection: a safety net

Occasionally. . . . We are seized with a rebellion so sickening that we simply won’t pray. When these things happen we should not think too ill of ourselves. We should simply resume prayer as soon as we can, doing what we know to be good for us.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 105

Sometimes I scream, stomp my feet, and turn my back on my Higher Power. Then my disease tells me that I am a failure, and that if I stay angry I’ll surely get drunk. In those moments of self-will it’s as if I’ve slipped over a cliff and am hanging by one hand. The above passage is my safety net, in that it urges me to try some new behavior, such as being kind and patient with myself. It assures me that my Higher Power will wait until I am willing once again to risk letting go, to land in the net, and to pray.