Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"Are the 12 Steps the end or the beginning? Yes!"

     Of late it seems that many of my sponsees and contemporaries in this 12 step program are being caught unaware or being startled at the fact that they may have put together a lot and I mean a lot of days without drinking yet their lives are totally; "...unmanageable."  They seem to have been living under this idea that the 12 Steps brought about the end of their struggles as opposed to the reality that the 12 Steps actually open them up to many and more problems and at the same time give them aid in resolving all these new found problems.

     For example.  In my own case, I spent the first ohhhhh 20 to 30 years in this fellowship thinking and acting (and believing) that I had finally peeled enough layers of onion  back to have exposed and treated all my "underlying problems".....ah the naivete of long term dryness.  I was to realize that there were deep issues within my psyche that I may have been denying or just did not know that I did not know.

     Fear of economic security was one.  I had retired from the US Navy and the US Postal System and decided to move to where I reside now, Punta Gorda, Fl.  That retirement and subsequent move went seemingly well and easy.  Then I went from elation of deed in my life to total paranoia about how was I going to "make it".  It took a few months of daily meetings, a lot of sharing very openly and the direction of a new found sponsor to help me see that I was just OK and that The Divine was truly "doing for me that which I could not do for myself".   Numerous other areas have popped up to keep showing me that I am truly a work in progress.

     While it is true that I have not had to fight the fight of drinking physically, the emotional and spiritual drinks I have taken in the last decades continue to be that which I must be" eternally vigilante" of.  I have had to face health issues which I never ever thought I would have.  The same goes with intricate relationship issues with my family.  The list goes on, " infinitum".  My only answer to all these problems and solutions is the awareness and knowing of a Power Greater than Myself.

     As these people in my life circles continue to bring their maladies to light and seek guidance I have become aware that the 12 Steps are truly a beginning and an end to my life today in this present moment.  They have and still do give me a solid basis of living a healthy life in all manners and they also give me strength and courage to seek else where for answers to life problems that the program willingly admits "it" has no answers.

     Therefore, for me the 12 Steps do represent a beginning of life as I know it today in this present moment by helping me make wise informed decisions.  If the philosophy and activity of the 12 steps don't help resolve my issue then they prompt me to seek a Higher Authority whether that is a Divine Source or another human enterprise which I could use.  Pride at least in this present moment does not prevent me from asking for help, just for this moment.

     So the question of "Are the 12 steps the end or beginning?" can be answered with a yes to both counts.  Their spiritual principles helped me end my way of life that was killing me and their principles now help me to live a way of life I never knew and continue to do so today, one day at a time.

Love and light,

Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Sponsee's come n go yet their love remains forever!"

     As an active member of this 12 Step fellowship I do and have sponsored many many persons.....especially after nearly 4 decades of being here.  I have seen many come and go and I remember each and every one of them.

     Time is moving along in life and many of my sponsees are older and are even having grandchildren or great grandchildren.  It is such a privilege to watch them grow and become so open, free and happy in life.  Of course this also means that many of them are getting to age as I am that maybe our days on earth are waning.  I feel that a terribly big great part of me moves along when one of them makes their transition.

    Over the years I become so close to my sponsees that I feel a great loss and do have the need to grieve their passing.  I am so privileged to have a 12 Step program to do this in.  The impact is somewhat abated and life is a little easier.  These feelings are totally different from those of a sponsor passing away.

     All 8 of my past sponsors have been an intricate part of my life.  I held and hold them all in very high esteem.  They were and are gentlemen and gentle men.  Of the 8 there are I think 4 still living I think.  These men gave so much of themselves to me over the years and I trust I will never forget that.  That is why I try to give it all back to my sponsees.

     For my loving friend and sponsee Bette who appears to be in her final transition I can only think of the phrase we spoke of so much and felt so deeply about..."...yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for thou art with me."  My life has been so enriched for the last 16 years of your 34 years in this fellowship.  You have made my life seem just a little more complete.  It is said; "love and be loved", you dear Bette are the epitome of that philosophy.  As I travel to say goodbye to you Tuesday I bring a message of ITS eternal love for you.  I just pray that I can find the words and  feelings to let you know this.

Love and Light,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

" I was told, "Bring your dreams to the program!", I did and I am glad"

     Early in recovery before I could really state what I wanted in life, I kept hearing this phrase; "bring your dreams to the program".  I had since long ago given up dreaming for anything other than to get out of trouble and stop being in pain most of the time.  I dreamed of being, well, normal.  I did not know what that meant, yet i wanted to be that.  I just wanted to be happy, I think.  Being a little neurotic and a lot of afflicted I am not sure exactly what I was thinking.

     After some time I started to build a list in my head of things I wanted to be or to do or to experience.  Standard list for a 40 year old male, 8 years in recovery, above average intelligence.  You know.  Be a formula one driver, be a movie star with Bruce Lee.  Some would think that I had the emotions and desires of a 14 year old.  Why not?  I stopped developing emotionally at age 11 when I started my road to addiction.  When I came to recovery it seems that is where I picked back up emotionally.  My children could not understand why sometimes I was into the same things and they were at their ages.  After they read this they will know.

     Moving ahead in recovery my inherent core beliefs and values started emerging and became part of my every day life.  I was mildly surprised to find out I had such a good set of morals and internal compass to follow.  Little by little I started to accomplish what the Taoist believe as; "return to that which you were"...

     Today some 4 decades later I have adopted a thinking  process in the Present Moment which allows and encourages me to dream, with moderation of course.  I have given myself permission to want and appreciate the gifts that The Spirit of Life will shower me with.  In fact yesterday I was able to live out one of my dreams aka "bucket list".

     Having lived and traveled in Italy I love and appreciate good Italian food.  One of our dear dear friends is a trained chef which specializes in Italian cuisine and especially The Tuscan region.  She was able to come to one of our local culinary academies and teach a class on Traditional Tuscan cooking.  Ohhh yeahhhh, I was in the front row.  For a small price I was able to learn so much in a 2 hour class it was surprising to me.  Did you know that 25 year old balsamic vinegar costs about $200 per bottle and is so sweet and heavy you can drizzle it over fresh cut strawberries......yummmmmm.  We all had a truly wonderful time and our friend turns out to be a natural teacher and very smooth educator.  I would love to become a chef and teach as she does.  What a gift and what a  fun way to make people happy and sustain a prosperous life.

     I had a dream and that dream became manifest in Reality one day at a time.  I trusted The Divine to bring to me that which IT feels is for me to have or do and It responded in kind.  Am I truly blessed?  Oh yeah and more.  I am looking forward to whatever "The Source" decides I need to do to once again to satisfy at least one more item on my "wish list" aka "bucket list".  Who knows, maybe it will be ice cream for breakfast.....oh oh, I already do that.

Love and Light,

richard aka
ezduzit777 on twitter


Friday, October 28, 2011

"The desire to enjoy the "Present Moment"

   "You gotta stop and smell the roses!", like what the heck does that really mean?  I never knew.  My grandmother had a saying for every moment and every situation.  I just ignored most of what she had to say.  Things like; "to forgive is human and to forget is divine"...really?.  Little treasures like that.

     Now in later recovery, later?  Hmmm, contented?   Hmmmm long?, yeah, long recovery, some of my grandmothers old sayings are starting to actually make sense to me.  Like the one; "you gotta stop and smell the roses."  I know that roses could only smell in a present moment, certainly not in the past, for I can't be there and not in the future since I am not there yet.

     I think that the term "roses" may be a reference to The Divine.  The glorious smell of a rose just blooming in the cool morning can bring waves of joy, peace and love to mind quickly.  Much the same as those quiet yet dynamic interior thoughts we can have of God or IT.  Both actions can foster nearly identical feelings and thoughts.  For so many years I would not, not could not, but would not stop long enough to enjoy Life, GOD or any physical beauty around me.  Now today in long recovery I am learning that "smelling the roses" is the payoff for all the effort and tribulations of recovery.

     In long recovery, and by the way, one does not have to wait for long recovery, "right now" would be a grand time", it is my choice each and every waking moment of just exactly what I want to experience in my daily life.  It is through my perception that I "see" what is going on and thus make wise informed choices.  Looking to IT for peace, love and joy vice allowing myself to me mired down in my humanity of doubt, worry, expectations and human suffering.

     In the very early days of recovery the old timers would look at me and ask me if I thought it was; "all about me?", actually I would answer yes.  They reminded me that maybe that was a little egotistical or narcissistic and I should mend my ways.  Of course they were right at that time.  Life may have evolved to the point where it is all about ME, noting that me is now ME.....not me.  The little "me" has given for the most part, not all of it, way to the Higher "ME" and yes recovery is in fact all about "ME".

      It seems to come down to the fact that as promised early in recovery that I would be given choices.  Today I am afforded the opportunity to choose between racing dangerously around and through fear in life or choosing to take my time and allow the Guide in life to direct my efforts.  It truly is in fact "All about ME!".
That means that it is time to close my eyes, open the screen of my imagination and see, smell and experiences in this present moment that I know are manifestations of God or IT in my life today during each "Present Moment".  Namaskar'.

Love and Light,

richard aka ezduzit777 on Twitter

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Hmmmm Honesty or Insanity?"

   The question keeps popping up of late; "should I or do I share the contents of my 4th Step with my significant other?"  For as many people in recovery there are probably that many answers.  Each of us must take responsibility for ALL of our actions, in or out of recovery.  I have my own experience and that of two persons I sponsor  to share, and yes, I have their explicit permission to share various parts of their story.

   First answer, "Yes" for the wrong reason.  Circa 1977 a gentleman named Bob P. completed his 4th and 5th step inventory and sharing and then immediately shared a large portion of that process with his wife.  At this point his wife became fearful, angry, outraged, vindictive, get the idea.  I asked him why he would do this and he stated that; "I just thought I needed to be honest with her".  I remembered that his wife had not ever known about his escapades during his active addiction and this was a monumental exposure to her.  We immediately launched into another 4th step inventory trying to decipher what Bobs real intention or motive was for telling her.  He discovered that he really was trying assuage his conscience about his activities and under all his nobleness lie the truth that he wanted to shift the "monkey" to her back.  If she balked at his explanation and revelation he could simply claim; "I was just trying to be honest and open.".....we neurotics can be; "...cunning, baffling and powerful".  As The Divine would have it, Bobs wife was a psychologist and knew the advantage of using outside professional help.  After about 2 years of intense couples counseling with a truly trained counselor, their marriage is more solid than ever and very much "open and honest".

   Second answer "Yes" for the right reason.  Circa 2001 another sponsee of mine Alice also completed her 4th and 5th step.  She inquired of me; "what about disclosure to my significant other?"  I asked what her intention and motivation were for disclosing a few sordid details of complete insanity while practicing her addiction?  She said that she wanted to not be fearful of being found out and that from this point forward she wanted a open and honest relationship.  She then began a process of determining which facts she would share.  At the end of this fact finding process she then decided to put herself into counseling with a good well trained couples therapist.  Her intent was to try and understand all of her part in this process of the relationship and then work with her significant other in the presence of a trained professional.  It worked.  Three months of counseling and a request to have her significant other join her and now today they are on steady good ground in their relationship.

   It would appear to me that intent and motivation played a large part in both of the above cases.  Bobs intent and motivation seemed fear based and selfish while Alice's was a positive effort to be very careful and compassionate with her partners life process.  Yes both courses worked. The first answer though was rife and fraught with possible pitfalls and potential disaster.  The second answer was based in deep seeded love of herself, her partner and the God of her understanding.  This sounds like Alice in fact (which she did) looked forward in the steps a little to steps 8 and 9.  She knew that she had to be on solid mental and spiritual ground if she were to discuss this openly and honestly with her partner.  Bob on the other hand simply operated out his current fear and took what appears to be the "easier softer way"....but was it?

  Obviously there also has to be two no answers, one for the right reason and one for the wrong reason.  When this decision is made "in the Sunlight of the Spirit" it usually is pretty straight forward and the way becomes apparent readily.  If we make any decision based upon any of our self generated fears we are setting ourselves up for some form of disaster and represents answering no for the wrong reason, self.  Honesty is always the best policy in every case.....tempered with loving intent and motivation.  So a no for the right reason, at least in the present moment can be a powerful and correct thing.  Later after re-establishing a solid emotional and spiritual recovery one may be provided the opportunity to change a no to a yes.  After all, the sordid past waited this long what is a few more hours, days, weeks, etc. if the payoff has such a marvelous ending?

   My own experience?  A combination of the two....and I assure you that saying yes and then seeking the guidance and help of a trained professional was the key to being happy, joyous and free as I am today.  I long ago had to come to the realization that my recovery program DID NOT have all the answers and processes need to keep me in balance.  I must heed this urging and did seek outside help and today urge all those I know to do the same. We in the recovery programs are not trained in many situations which people need help in.  Our text is explicit in urging us to seek outside professionals, so maybe we should.

   So just for today my personal lament is; "The doctor is out"!

Love and light

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Let? Not my usual style to "let" anything happen!

    Upon entering recovery for substance abuse I was to find out through repeated personal inventories and living life that I never allowed anything to happen naturally.  I always had to push, pull, wheedle, cajole, manipulate or hustle to have things occur as I wanted or needed them to happen.  I needed to be in control of my life, always.  That way I could also protect myself, I was always vulnerable.

    As my knowledge of the recovery process increased and in particular the Big Book the thoughts on page 68, I became aware that I needed to learn how to "let go, let happen, let God" just "let".  This was going to a monumental effort on my part for I never had allowed myself to be part of the "streaming consciousness" of life.  Page 68 holds the words; "...let God demonstrate through us that which He is capable of."

    This means I have to give it up....let go and let God...let all things happen naturally.  Easier said than done I think.  Of course I now find out this concept of "letting God" was the tip of the iceberg again in my life.  This concept is now part of my life operating system today.  For example: I understand in consciousness that I Am a manifestation of the Spirit of Life or God as I understand IT/HIM/HER.  This means that I should learn to "just be", not do, "just be".

    I do not have to try nor work to change what IT creates in each and every present moment.  My task in Life is to improve and maintain "a conscious contact with God as I understand HIM".  I am supposed to "...let HIM demonstrate..." through me.  I Am supposed to be pro-active in allowing the Divine Essence of Me to be that which all see and experience each present moment of Life.

    Each time I think or say "I must work at ___" I must be once again trying to do Gods job.  All things great and small are manifest of IT.  I just need to get out of the way and "let HIM demonstrate...".  The idea for me today seems to be "relax", "be silent", "let go", etc.  This does not in any manner absolve me of my responsibility to "shuffle my feet" and do what I need to do to get out of the way and let HIM use me to accomplish that which IT needs to by demonstrating through me.

    Just Be!  Such a sweet easy process.  Quiet down, retreat, meditate, go in, sit in the silence or Hold the High Watch are all examples of that which  I should be doing each moment of Life.  I have had long periods of total spiritual bliss by allowing HIM to demonstrate through me.  Conversely I have had horrendous moments when I have decided I needed to be in total control of my life.  Not a fun thing to do.  Usually quite painful in some manner.  I know today the "easier softer way" is the right way..."let HIM demonstrate through Us that which He is capable of doing."

    Om mane padme hum, om mane padme hum, om mane padme hum, excuse me but it is time for me to mane padme hummmmm.

Love and light,


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Congruous? Sounds difficult to me!"

     When entering into recovery, I slowly, very slowly had to deal with the fact that I had become a chameleon in life.  Whatever it took in the present moment I would be.  If life seemed like it wanted me to lie, I did.  If life required me to stroke your ego, I did.  No matter how badly I had to prostitute my morals or good character, I did what it took for me to survive.  I actually had no moral compass nor had any clue which way morality lie.  I was an empty shell of humanity existing at a human level and nothing else.

     It was excruciating to have to admit I was not only "...powerless..." over anything, for I was of course a US Navy Chief Petty Officer.  Powerless?  Not in my vocabulary.  Of course initially I was focused on "things" outside I might be "powerless" over.  You people who knew what recovery was all about for you were living it, understood that I needed to realize I was "powerless over" that which caused my "powerlessness".  My substance abuse was but a "...symptom of underlying problems".  All those problems and symptoms were within, not without.  I did not want to hear I, the inside of me was the problem.  That meant I was inferior to my contemporaries, which at that time were in the "drunk tank" of life with me.

     I was to find out that the phrase; "as within, so without..." was going to become a mantra in life for me.  At first glance I did not understand it, then I fought it, then I ignored it.  Seemed like the right thing to do at the time.  The concept that something within me was going to dictate what was around me frankly just went over my head.  What?  For such a self thought smart guy I really was not that hip on what made me tick.  Oh? God?  Remember I had not even yet begun to reconcile that idea.  There came the rub with this; "as within so without".  Without a source or force to call upon to create my own reality, how could I?  Ahhh, the  beginning of understanding how I was powerless over everything within me for I had learned to operate from the wrong source within me.  Get the right "source" and get well.

     So here I was at the beginning of recovery just a solid mess of questions, fears, moral ills and unable to completely turn my life around.  Completely?  Who said I had to completely at the very first cut, had to change my life totally and completely?  Of course I had said that to myself.  Wrong.  You ladies and gentleman urged me to accomplish one day at a time and one thought and idea at a time.  You urged me to consider that the spiritual principles underlying the 12 steps would enable me to not only see the correct path to recovery of my "inside", they would provide the mechanics and build the want or desire to accomplish this life changing feat.  Well now, good solid direction!

     Day by day I began to look inward and realize that I was a mess.  I was not able at any juncture to "walk my talk" more than a portion of an hour or day at the beginning.  My entire existence had been  fabricated on lies and untruths about myself and all of life which included you, humanity.  I was a basket case of recovering emotions and spirituality for the first nearly 12 years of recovery.  One day I was in tune, the next day out of  balance.  One year up, up, and away Superman of service and love for my fellow humanity and the next "Lucifer" himself.  Around 20 years of working at this thing called emotional recovery leading to spiritual growth things started making sense.  I began to be entirely honest with me and you.  I began to understand what made me hip, slick and cool on the inside.  It was of course the explosion of "light" I had seen in so many of you.  I was beginning to sense, feel and pay attention to my own "light" and the source of that light was God as I understand "IT".

     For the next 17 years of recovery I was called upon to starting an interior house cleaning process that would rival all others I had done.  I would  also have to become my own "observer" in life.  I watched what I said.  I became sensitive to what I was doing.  I felt for my fellow human on a level I never knew existed.  I was on "The Way" as they used say in the first days of my fellowship of recovery.  I was beginning to live in  balance.  I was actually becoming "well" on a human level and on an interior basis.  Recovery and beyond were my thoughts.

    What does any of that have to do with today?  I have determined from my own actions that all of this step stuff and recovery stuff leads me to a congruous or harmonious life.  That would be harmony between the inner and outer worlds.  I know that "I Am" in control of my Reality.  I find only "I" can keep my Self in Harmony between  "Heaven (inner) and Earth (outer).  Of course all this occurs one breath, one moment, one  minute, one hour, one day, one....etc. at a time.  I need to be ever vigilante of my thoughts and actions that they are being congruous with the rest of Life.  Congruous?  My definition would differ from all the dictionary's in that I would call it "my perception" as view through the filters of "IT", the God of my understanding.

     Suffering from a "progressive illness" reminds me that as quickly as I grow in "the Sunlight of the Spirit" my illness keeps pace.  At an unconscious level both "IT" and my illness function, today it is my choice to give power to "IT" as opposed to my illness.  That is the choice I was promised so many years ago and remains true today.

Love and Light,
aka ezduzit777 on Twitter and
Richard Curtis on Facebook





Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Enabling? Me? Hmmm I don't think so!"

    When I first came to recovery my family and in particular my spouse were exposed to the philosophy of "do not enable" the sick person.  Certainly love, comfort and care for, just don't enable them.  Do not make it easy or easier to continue to be sick.  In my case, they needed to quit making excuses for me, they needed to consider helping themselves if I did not respond to treatment and they needed to lay the results of my terrible thinking in my lap where it belonged.  They needed to quit being some of my excuses.

   This process was entirely foreign to them and it totally baffled me.  I really did not understand nor did I like what they were being encouraged and taught to do.  I kind of didn't really want some of my "support base" eroded just in case things didn't go the right way.  Selfish?  Oh yeah.  Of course this is the period of time I really had a lot on my plate of life trying to get me recovered in some form of fashion.

   Now some years later I have been thrust into situations where I need to learn to "stop enabling" others and figure out I am powerless even yet in another area of my thinking.  Since I was not part of the "stop enabling" training some decades ago, I now find myself asking me if I am being an enabler?  Do I do the wrong things try to help and be right for other people?  Do I act our of emotionality rather than positive loving support?  These are questions I am sorting out with the advice and counsel of those that are in the "know"  They would  be the people who been through these processes and came out the other side in very good emotional and spiritual shape.  They are my trusted advisers either in or out of the recovery circles.  My recovery program has always been quick to point me in the direction of outside help with no hesitation of using "outside sources".  There are some very smart people out there that I could use their expertise.

   It seems that this process of "not enabling" is far more intricate and vast than I ever thought.  How I must have acted and sounded in early recovery when those around me were trying to get it right.  I was very much ignorant of the process and requirements for the process.  Now I am in the process and somewhat lost.  My literature tells me; " some of these we balked."  I must admit I may not be approaching this with a "fearless" attitude.  Seems that this whole idea may just be one of the areas I need to grow in.  The deep seeded want and need to help my loved ones in a positive and helpful manner.  Not necessarily in "my manner".  This would be a much simpler task if substance abuse was part of the situation.  It is not.  I am well versed in that process.  I need to know how to stop this enabling.  It seems that is what I am doing without a structured program.  Kind of ad hoc. That is why the outside help is being sought.

   "More will be revealed."  I sure hope so.  I am planning on it.  I have decided to let God win this race.  "IT" is certainly infinitely more well equipped for this task than I am; "and I think I will let Him/Her/IT."

   The fruits of my labors now will become apparent in future blog items.  One will be able to determine just where I am in this quest for help and direction.

Love and Light,

aka ezduzit777 on twitter

Friday, July 22, 2011

This word "but" can be a real killer !

   How many times have I made a powerful personal statement only to find out I completely negated it with the word "but"?  This word seems to pervade the human vocabulary at the wrong times, at least never at the right times for me.  When I came to recovery I never once considered that I truly may grow up, mature and think of others.  This process has really had a profound impact on my use of this word "but".

   One of the best examples I can think of is when someone very close and loving to you says; "I love you, but...."  But?  So I thought I heard; "I love you" as in totally unconditional acceptance, tolerance, happiness, joy, love and then got stopped cold in my tracks with "but".  I guess I really heard; "I almost and just maybe love you....however there are some areas which I hold in reserve....blah blah blah".  so it appears that this word ?but" can be a killer in some instances.....well most.  

   Gosh, I wonder if I do this with that Power Greater than Myself? Would I?  Probably not on purpose, well probably.  I actually can think of sometimes in my life when I said things to myself like; "I really don't need God interfering right now, I have things under control".  Very dangerous practice it seems.  Also a mite stupid as I think about it now.  I am now hearing in my head; "say what you mean and mean what you say!".  Why is it those old cliches come back at the wrong times?  Every time my grandmother uttered yet another prophetic saying I would cringe.  I just knew that I would hear it in my ears somewhere in the future at the right but wrong time.

  I have been reminded many times by my mentors in recovery and in Unity, my spiritual choice of practice these days that the word "but" may just mean "a human opinion to follow".  Similar to; "Yes I know you are totally correct, but...." just fill in the blank with a judgement, opinion or something I really shouldn't say.  It seems somewhere along the life path my ego decided it needed to be right either all or at least most of the time.  There are moments when that is still true.  By listening for and to that "still small voice inside me", I can become aware more quickly and take actions as necessary to defeat that process.  Again a process that I never in a million years would have thought I would cultivate back when life changed for me so drastically.

   Back to "but".  It seems that by listening to and hearing others use the word I am becoming more and more attuned to how I do not want to be.  I truly want to say to those I love; "I love you" and have that mean 100% without reservation.  I truly want to say to God as I understand IT/Him/Her; "I trust in you" and again have that mean totally without hesitation or second thoughts.  This takes practice, this takes awareness, this takes honesty.  Those are qualities I did not come to this way of life with.  Maybe I possessed them innately, I really did not consciously practice any of them in my way of life.

   So, these days if I want to live a congruous life, one which is in consonance with all that I think I should be doing, I have decided like a few other words need to get lost out of my vocabulary.  Words such as; "hate, never and of course but".  It just seems that these absolutely negative words have no valid purpose at all in my life.  I feel certain that those in my life would agree that they prefer to hear me speak in the most positive terms possible and not have to consider whether I am being completely or totally honest.  I know it certainly makes life much more simpler and in fact easier for me.

   It now seems that in my life today "the easier softer way" is in fact "The Way",  The Way of Truth.

Love and Light

aka ezduzit777 on twitter









Friday, July 15, 2011

"The road to hell or how IT happens"

   So in the beginning, I like most all others in a recovery program struggled with how do I get well?  The program was truly the easier softer way.  Stop the addictive process, clean house, find God and love myself.  Fairly straight forward and easier than staying in my addiction.

   My mentors in recovery explained to me that I would once again return to my addiction in the reverse fashion of getting recovered.  So for years I have been watching people around me in the Fellowship and noticing what they were doing or not doing.  I wanted to know what it was like to go "back out" without having to actually do it.  Over the years I have in fact seen people develop certain behaviors that were indicative of "heading down the path".

   Spiritual pride seems to head the list.  That feeling that they were invincible and that as emissaries of God they could do no wrong and that in fact their Higher Power had sanctioned all they said and did. Seemed like that was the first noticeable trait.  This behavior was closely associated with the direct opposite or spiritual bankruptcy.  Many of the people who did "road work" for me, also had a complete loss of faith.  They just quit believing or seemed to be able to argue that HP did not work, at least for them.

   As these observable behaviors started manifesting in my friends,  I also noticed a definite and pronounced lack of "program activity".  For example they cut down on meetings, not calling people in home group, not communicating with mentors, not willing to give people rides to meetings.  This withdrawal from the "healing source" which is the support of HP through many, appears to be the most damaging behavior.  Once my friends had gotten to this point they had shut themselves off from all help both divine and human.  They no longer felt "the son-light of the Spirit".  The darkness of illness began to be the most prevalent feelings for them by now.  It appears that as they became more and more ill with their particular illness, the more and more they moved away from the aid of HP and all those that loved them.  Doomed is the word they used to describe this phase of relapse.

   This process was a serious eye opening experience for me.  I vividly remember the first time one of my home group members picked up her own personal "poison" after 23 years of recovery.  I was flabbergasted. I could not comprehend this occurrence.  Actually I think I finally got the message very deep within me for the very first time.  "This is what happens when you don't stay in recovery".  I was sad for her family and  I was very much brought to a  new awareness of the overall healing process.  I also remember vividly, the FIRST time one of my mentors aka sponsor, looked at me over coffee and said something like; "you my dear friend are on the road to hell".  In an instant all that I had studied in others and tried to keep in my conscious thinking flooded my mind.  Yes, he was right, I was on the road to hell and actually knew it.

   The final step for these beloved members of my home group was to begin to lash out and retreat when met or spoken to by their friends and peers.  I remember one man I sponsored and I dearly loved actually drove to my home and told me to lose his telephone number since he was just fine and did not need my help.  I was heart broken, for I knew what was going to be the next big event in his life.  I just knew it.  Yes, he decided 4 days later to end his life, and did.  Why could I not have helped?  What could I have done?  My mentors reminded me that I was not in charge of the Universe and must as best as possible accept the will of the Divine.  Hmmmmm, took a while for me to reconcile that one.

   So, what are the lessons learned here?  I think two fold.  One is that I have seen over and over what the process of becoming sick once again looks like.  I have watched and participated in many recoveries and many returns to illness.  I have studied, cataloged and written to memory what the signs look like.  Secondly, I have had to come to the awareness that as a rule, I of my own abilities am "Powerless" to stop this "road to hell" process.  I can certainly interact, warn, notify and then must sit and watch the Universe do what it knows best.  It is not up to me to make the person well.  It is up to me to be there if the person ever decides to get well.

   I am aware today that all the above thoughts and ideas certainly fit well and are appropriate for those persons suffering from some form of addictive substance or.  I am also very much aware that the thoughts and ideas also seem to fit reasonably well with some persons that while not addicted to a substance, they are indeed suffering from some form of neurosis.  The recovery process is nearly the same and the return to "insanity" also seems to fit well.

   So I have had to listen to that old cliche founded in scripture; "physician heal thyself" many many times in my head.  In the time I have been hanging around recovery circles I have had 3 very serious brushes with the "road to hell" concept. I have stood at the brink of doom and had to remind myself that I had the knowledge of how to stop my relapse.  In that instant all that is holy and divine became evident to me and I did the next right thing.  If you want to know what it is I did, leave me comment and ask me. :)

Love and Light,

aka ezduzit777 on twitter
also on Facebook




Monday, July 11, 2011

So, it is not what I think but how I think eh?

   Recently while having lunch with a fellow recovering person, he mentioned that it doesn't matter what we think but HOW we think.  That took a few minutes, hours and day to soak in. Wow!  "How!"

   So the process is what needs attention and not necessarily the bottom line or what.  Best example would be in the BB where it urges me to have a "code" of "love and tolerance".  That is a process not a conclusion.  It means that I had to and now have to begin to quit judging others in life.  I need to focus my attention on the only thing that I can really have any affect on, me.  This at times was not and is not terribly easy to do.  I certainly grew up with many prejudices that I did not know were even in place.

   I found myself beginning to "think, think, think" before I allowed myself to make decisions about people, places or things.  I needed to change that instantaneous process I had created of everything in life is wrong except me.  As recovery allowed me to move along in life I began to feel better about me and absolutely about others.  The thinking process, "how" was changing ever so slowly.  There were days or even weeks that I had mental setbacks.  Deep brooding or unnecessary anger towards someone.  That I know now was and is all fear based.  Something is wrong with me.  I then have to "root out the cause and condition" that is making me fearful.  Repeated annual 4th step inventories and sharing with a sponsor began to have a tremendous effect on my thinking.

   The vast changes I needed to make in my thinking did not really come about until long into my recovery time.  Somewhere around my 20th year in the recovery process.  At that time I was so focused on me and what I thought my new primary problem was, I had driven myself to a major crossroads in life.  I was trying very hard to be cognitive of "how" I was thinking but the bottom line was excruciating.  I had come to the conclusion that my situation in life had to change but couldn't rationally figure out "how".  After 6 months of outside professional therapy by a wonderful person, I was able to see that my thinking process was valid and for once in my life I had indeed been able to ascertain that there were things, very scary things I needed to do for me and no one else.

   The individuality of recovery became so apparent to me at this time.  My sponsor had kept cautioning me that the answers I was seeking and the process I was trying to instill in myself may not always be the answer for others.  Good training for the future.  Many sponsee's since then have had the benefit of his counsel and of my intense counseling efforts. I learned a lot about me and my thinking process of "how I think".  Today I know that I was at that time www.unity.orgin a "take action or succumb to this illness" state of life.

   I made a major change in my life and and at nearly the same time was led to a spiritual philosophy of living that was so dynamic and uplifting that I was truly as the second step says; "...reborn".  In my new found life I was to find nearly everything I had ever wanted in life.  A new way of thinking was the most profound.  Every spiritual axiom that I had tried to incorporate into my life from the "program"  began to appear in my life.

   Now nearly 20 more years and a number of life changing moments later, I was mildly stunned by my friends remark of; "not what I think but how".  It almost seems absurdly simple that if I change my thinking process I will indeed change my life.  I think this is exactly what Dr Wayne Dyer wrote a book about.  The spiritual philosophy of Unity, has enabled me to utilize my basic life process given to me by the 12 step programs and expand those basic principles far beyond anything I had known.  The basic beliefs of Unity which enhance all the spiritual growth I enjoy today are:

1.  God is the source and creator of all. There is no other enduring power. God is good and present everywhere.  

2.  We are spiritual beings, created in God’s image. The spirit of God lives   within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good.

3.  We create our life experiences through our way of thinking.

4.  There is power in affirmative prayer, which we believe increases our connection to God.

5.  Knowledge of these spiritual principles is not enough. We must live them.

  When I pay attention to life, when I am truly aware of my thought process, the two philosophy's of the 12 step program and Unity appear to be an unbeatable combination.  For me and of course me alone, the growing process in Unity has led me to an even more open mind and enabled me to study other philosophies in life including; Buddhism,Taoism, Hinduism, Judaism, mystical Christianity and Kabbalah.  This course of study and learning has been and still is very powerful and helping me touch that Power Greater than myself at any given moment of time.  Living one day at a time is now approaching living one breath at a time.  When needed I make every effort possible to touch and feel the God of my understanding in any needed instant.  That fits well with; "...practice these principles in all my affairs.".

   Am I finished in life studying myself, my motives, my desires?  I hope not.  Even with all the efforts I have put in to better myself through my thinking, my ego from the subconscious still wins battles.  I trust this means this is a life long process.  I do know that by my adjusting "how" I think, I have every chance of changing "what" I think.  That seems to be the bottom line.  

   I have a picture on the wall near the desk that is of a beautiful although very creative image of a large cat.  The picture is by the artist "Nedobeck".  His inscription for this cat reads; 

"I am me, 
I am just me, 
I am a little like other cats, 
but mostly I am!".

   If I can always be aware of "how" I think as opposed to "what" I think, then I think there is a chance that I can live One Day At A Time as; "...mostly just me!".  Of course I am aware that "what" I think will usually always give me a clue that "how" I think has become invalid or no good.  Oh oh, sounds like another process to write about later.   I am beginning to understand what my old timers meant when they used to ask me to; "check my brains at the door."

Love and Light,

aka ezduzit777 on Twitter



Saturday, July 9, 2011

I am but a grain of sand on a large beach? Hmmmmm

In one lifetime it seems so monumental to have made the swing of the pendulum from "nothing" to "everything" then back to "center".  Sounds cryptic?  Not really.

As a child and on into teenage and young adult years, I was trained, enabled and encouraged to be a "self contained person".  None of this training was done maliciously nor on purpose, it was just the way my "tribe" and circle of life lived.  Because of physical limitations such as most childhood allergies and some typical illnesses I was isolated a lot from school and a young society.  I developed a psyche that said; "I was everything unto myself".  I was told; "use your brains, you are smarter than most...".  I became very "self centered", how could I not?  I thought this was normal.  I thought everyone was like that.  With absentee parents because of working or suffering from their own malady, I was pretty much left to my own thoughts, Machiavellian or angelic as they were.

At a pre-teen ager I learned to use alcohol as an escape mechanism and really began to isolate in life. I was pretty much a loner and what acquaintances I did have had as many emotional or life problems as I did.  "Birds of a feather....", actually more like; "misery loves company!".  This type of life activity and thinking for the first 32 years of my life created a few glorious moments of fame and fortune and many many moments of self imposed misery and pain.  Unfortunately, those that loved me the most and were the closest to me, family and long term friends all 1 of them, suffered along with me whether they liked it or not.  So this period of my life I see as the pendulum swinging as low as it could possible go before death and I am strapped to it.  I had decided; "I am nothing!" and had been living in that manner.  Only way to go is up!  Onto recovery and life and hopefully the opposite of being "nothing".

So that is what happened and how I got  What occurred or what did I do to get me where I am now and then what it is like now with some depth....I hope.

Love and Light


aka ezduzit777 on twitter

Monday, June 13, 2011

"What or who" is in charge of my mind?

    I often wonder what faction is in control of my mind.  Is it "who" which is my humanity and the committee or the "What" which is the Divine of Me.  As I write the last two sentences it dawns on me that I never have to guess, I really always know.

   When I ponder this question it usually means that "me, my ego, or the committee" is in full session and I do not want to acknowledge that.  It never feels good to have to admit to myself that once again I have pulled a power play mentally and taken back my will and my life.  That is a sign of my illness and of my lack of character in the moment.  All the moments I have allowed The Divine or "What" control are wiped out and I must admit to being crazy one more time......not a fun thing.  The only bright spot in this process is the idea that I will consciously let go of my thought process and let The Light of God spill into my present moment mind.  All this thinking process takes place at the speed of the mind.  From sanity to insanity in one thought.

   As I feel new life rush into me and the old thought and feeling leave, I know that I have returned to that place that some called sobriety.  I prefer to call it "my natural state".  That state of mind which I was at birth or possibly even before.  That perfect "love" feeling and thinking of a newborn child.  This is not only possible on a moment to moment basis, it is  the goal in my life.  

   The one day at a time concept has taken on the meaning of one thought at a time for me.  Life can be fast paced and hectic yet my thinking can always be divinely inspired or controlled, that is my choice.  I can bask in the sunlight of the spirit or listen and feel the abhorrent power of "the committee" which is chaired by a mumbling old politician name "Dr. K."  That mumbling and feeling of powerlessness is truly a maddening feeling and one that I work at to not feel.

   So, to answer the question of this blog; "What" is in charge at this moment and "who" has subjected itself to "What" and is writing this blog item.  "who" knows if and when the process could change but "What" is always up to the occasion.  The concept of "What and who" is as old as man and just for today is resolved in the favor of "What".

   This concept was originally spoken some 50 - 60 yrs ago by Dr. Tom the dentist from Baton Rouge, La.   Thank you Dr. Tom for being.

Love and Light,

richard aka "who" or
ezduzit777 on twitter

Thursday, June 2, 2011

So, who really needed prayer?

   Early this morning I participated in a family prayer session at a  distance.  I was the father of the family and one of my children was facing extremely long delicate neurosurgery.  I felt like I had to do something important.  After all, I am the father, what would a father do in this case?

  Ever since coming to recovery and learned that prayer is supposed to work I have struggled with the idea that I am supposed to pray for others but that actually those prayers will more than likely be for me.  Sounds crazy eh? I have now experienced over and over many times in prayer for various reasons.  I have also learned from my mentors that prayer is actually for me to align or adapt myself to Gods Will.  I am the only one that can change my makeup as a human and I cannot change anyone else.  All those times I prayed for others I was really re-working my interior being to turn only to the Divine within.  I was also readying myself to receive a response to prayer.  Of course I needed to learn there were many many answers I could get.  Yes, no, maybe or even wait.
   So, in Its Infinite Wisdom the Most High made me just a little more aware of this prayer process the other night when praying with my family member.  I took charge the evening before and scheduled time with the loved one.  Scheduled?  Mandated I think, for I am the father that knows all and is in touch with Him....sigh.
My loved one being as savvy as they are just allowed me to bumble along.

   The next morning before surgery I set up the telephones, made ready the prayer time and thought and I just knew I was doing the right thing.  I contacted my loved one and then brought in the 3rd party for a prayer conference call.  What a marvelous prayer time.  Just what I needed to hear.  Nothing like live prayer.  It lifted me up to the Higher Consciousness I needed to be in and I just knew it would do the same for my loved child that was facing surgery.

   As the prayer session was brought a close I felt that as a  father and human being I had done the right thing for the right reason.  I felt good about "I".  Hmmm.  Should have taken that as a sign for myself.  When the third party prayer person had hung up the phone I asked my loved one how they felt.  Hello? Hello?  No response.  I thought well it was very relaxing and very quieting, quite possibly they had fallen asleep as they were driven to the hospital. Hello?  Hello!  Yikes, the telephone in my hand indicated there was no call in progress.  What?  How could that be?????????  I had done everything right!

   I re-called the number of my loved one and was told; "yes in fact they were asleep and had fallen asleep BEFORE any call was made!".  They missed it!  Instant egoic thinking on my part was; "how could they do this to ME when I had done so much to bring this about?".   Selfish to a deathly fault.  I then immediately went in to prayer for myself, I needed it. Wait, maybe that was the answer.

   My loved one had all the support they needed, had all their family around them, had consulted many doctors and was comfortable with the surgery.  They were ready and prayer up and on the way. The one who needed Gods Infinite support and love at this second was ME!  This whole prayer thing this morning was a ruse by God to get me to turn to Him.  The answer to all my affairs in life is turning to God.  Again, for me to turn to God.  I should not think for a  second that means others in my do or do not.  It is truly none of my business.  Wow, over a half lifetime at this recovery stuff and still being shown new and wondrous things by "babes".  In particular, one of my babies.

  Who really needed prayer?  The only one that I can impact directly on. Me.  By the way, the surgery was a total 10 hour success and the patient is moving on and along with their life in a truly remarkable fashion.  Always a lesson for me to learn.  Thank you God.

Love and Light,
aka ezduzit777



Saturday, May 21, 2011

"...only a belief in a Power Greater than himself...."

   Usually 2 categories of persons recognize this partial quote from the text Alcoholics Anonymous.

   One is the those  Big Book Thumpers which is a description of those persons who not only study, well after all it is a "text" the Big Book in depth, and they usually do not miss an opportunity to share their wealth of knowledge, down to the colons and semi-colons.  This is also where I should define Big Book.  Yes it is the blue book titled Alcoholics Anonymous, yet when I speak of Big Book Thumpers I usually am speaking of those persons who devote themselves to the first 164 pages of the book.  That is the portion referred to as a text and is the original, well almost original verbiage of the text.

   Second we have those persons in the fellowship that have paid attention only when their sobriety, happiness, or even life is on the line.  Remember, we are speaking of a last ditch effort to resolve or absolve ourselves of some terrible self made problem.  Hmmmm, usually, no, always self made.  This is where fox hole praying seems to be the mode of prayer.  You know, "Dear God, I am desperate, help me and I will (fill in the blank) for you".   Most persons at this stage of sober life seem to inherently understand the word "only".  That means, well, ONLY!.  No room for wheedling or cajoling or deal making.  It is now or never.  Either get it now or get whatever it is you have conjured up for yourself.  God at this point is the ONLY solution.  Wow, think of that, this occurs at the end of the 3rd step.

   Now here is the kicker for those of us that have lonnnnng term non drinking (some even use the word sobriety here).  This position of being between a rock and a hard place and needing Divine Aid immediately, happens to those that don't drink for long times and choose to live their lives just as they want to.  Not as they should using the 12 principles they learned so long ago.  Being human and acting human is a condition that does not go away with time not drinking.

   I don't care how many meetings I have went to, how many persons I have sponsored, how many sponsors I have outlived (7 as of this writing), how many prayers, how many hours of meditation, times of service work, just about any tool of sobriety I have learned, if I live my life in a fearful humanistic manner I am vulnerable to all the consequences of my actions and will once again find myself at this point of; "...once again only a belief in a Power Greater than Myself....".

   Many years ago I had thoughts, ideas and aspirations that I would one day live the life of a, hmmm, totally empowered Divine Creature and wouldn't have to worry about all this insane thinking a neurotic recovering alcoholic is capable of.  Just doesn't work that way at all, it just doesn't.  I am me regardless of that which I feel I have grown out of or to.

   So what have I  found beyond the active 12 Steps that I can use today?  I choose to live at that point of "belief" spoke of in this last para of Chapter 3.  I try to be there in each present moment during each breath.  This ensures that I never have to immediately go to this point depending on my activities of life, I am always there.  Never saw this coming in the beginning of this program life.  It is indeed the exact place I should be at to enjoy life and all that comes with life.  This allows me to set God equal to Life.  Life is Good.

Love and Light,
aka ezduzit777

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Us vs Them or What is this earth people stuff?"

Ever hear someone around a recovery table say something like; "those earth people..." or maybe; "they......" meaning people outside of the rooms, you know the ones whom we are not like, the ones who are the majority of the human race.

Once I finally made it to recovery, it was a small step to being darned near perfect, a legend in my own mind.  When I adopted this attitude, obviously no one outside of recovery could measure up to my "high" standards.  Why they didn't even have 12 Steps.  Did they even have a "HP"?  So I became a "those people" or "earth people" name caller.  I was pretty much the example in the rooms of recovery at that time.

My sponsor one day asked me if I felt just a little superior to "those people".  Of course, was he kidding?  Sure.  I didn't drink, I had a HP, I went to meetings, I had a sponsor (although at that second he was under suspicion) and I had cleaned my act up, well pretty much.  It was at this time he pretty much laughed in my face and told me told "keep coming back" and maybe I would get better and survive myself.  What the heck does that mean?

I began to really listen and watch people who used those terms; "earth people, etc).  This was not a good feeling.  They said it pretty much like I did, kind of spitting it out or with a huge dose of pity.  Did not sound good at all.  I started to review just who/whom those persons were that we had judged.....hmmmmm children of mine, wife, friends, co-workers.  I liked all these people and loved them truly.  I started to get the feeling that I was a sick and recovering person in a small fellowship and looking out into the world at all of humanity.  They were and had been doing all the things in life I had wanted to or still wanted to.  Healthy relationships, active honest parenting, higher level schooling, elevated job they seemed to have it all.

In my second 4th Step I discovered that I was in fact "coveting or envying" the life that most of those people had.  I didn't have what they had.  I did not readily know how to get it either.  How dare I demean them (earth people?) because of my inability to grow up and mature as a normal adult.  This revelation made a huge difference in my life. I was suffering from an illness and sick and yet my ego wanted me to say; "ahhh those people!"  How dare I.

I became much more tolerant and loving of "....those about me." and a little less tolerant of recovery people who wanted to bash the rest of the human race.  I had been ostracized by humanity by being asked to step out of the mainstream of life based on my actions in life while abusing substances.  Now I was striving to grow up, mature, recover and re-join the human race.  What a thrill!  To be accepted by everyone as me.  To be part of the great whole instead a small part of the ailing community I was in.

Today I seem to be somewhat in balance.  I have a solid 12 Step foundation for living which was given to me at early recovery.  I am pretty well accepted in my work, church, and societal areas of life.  I enjoy and love my fellowship and all that goes with that.  Conversely, I also enjoy and love life that is mainstream humanity.  I suspect this means that one day at a time I have the chance to be called "a normal human being" or maybe even "one of those people!".  Wow, yet another goal met by the Creative Force of Life.

Love and Light,
richard aka ezduzit777

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Humility is ___!

This may once again be one of the most nebulous words not only in the 12 Step fellowships, but any spiritually motivated gathering.  To grasp this thought, feeling or concept may be a life endeavor and probably will be for persons of my ilk.  Or, "crash, bam, alla kazam, out of an orange colored sky" the realization could come in a present moment.  To even write about this word seems like I am being falsely humble.  Tough concept I think.

When I first entered these rooms of recovery I smugly held that I knew quite well what this "humility" thing was all about.  After all I was a humble dude most all of  the time, or so I thought.  I was to find in the upcoming decades of recovery that I had a lot to learn.  An awfully lot to learn.  And, maybe even more to un-learn.  I had been given quite a few lessons in life by my "tribe" and probably none of them fit well with the idea of being humble.  This thing, "humiity" is one of the largest most life changing concepts I was to grapple with and is far and wide bigger and bolder than anything I could think of greater in scope that the 12 Steps.  In fact it is entirely possible as I look at it now, that the 12 Steps are actually merely stepping stones to humility and at the least a mechanism for us to start manifesting that natural spirit of Life we all have and truly want to be.

So as I was meandering through life trying to be spiritual and/or humble I started trying to formulate an idea of what humility was and how did it act or look in me.  Yeah.  Ok.  I had no clue.  Then when I started talking about it and asking questions I was told that I may want to check out spiritual pride which is the opposite for I may have been acting out those characteristics.  This was going to be one of those life efforts that just wasn't going to be easy.  And of course, "...the easier softer way" was my way of life.

One day which probably was really 10 years or so long I made an internal discovery.  As I sat in the very best attempt I could at meditating, I began to feel a "...peace that passes all human (my) understanding...!", I was becoming aware of my own Divinity during this time (why are you laughing? aren't we all children of the Most High?  Therefore, Divine!) and was truly beginning to like and want more of  these interior feelings.  The more I gave up of myself the more I felt the Presence of the One and Only Power, God. The shear enormity of what I was discovering was actually overwhelming to me.  I had never been big on religion or spirituality and now I was headed for humility?  Wow.

So all this background brings me to the big question.  What is, how is, this thing called humility?  I honestly may not be able to articulate this.....hmmm, is that false spiritual pride?  Maybe.  Ok.  Yes, on many occasions I feel totally devoted to and 100% a part of the Spirit of Life which is what I call God or "IT". My, my, my, I actually said it out loud in public and am still standing.....amazing.  Feels pretty good.  In all seriousness, I have been guided to not really speak of this subject much .  It kind of had a hush hush feeling to it.  The kind of subject and discussion one would have in the back corners of an abbey somewhere.  Now days, I am very happy to speak out loud of my God, She, He, IT is firstt in my life and should be a huge part of my thinking, speaking and writing at the appropriate moments, like now.

At one time I was asked by a young sponsee one time how he could begin to demonstrate the qualities of humility and loving kindness.  My answer to him was; "love God more than yourself".  Good thinking and just maybe the exact course I should take each present moment of my life today.  Love IT (God) more than I love myself.  

I make the distinction here that I am speaking of the ego "self" or personality "self".  That portion of me which seems to want to always interfere with my progress in achieving "God consciousness or Self Realization".  I normally refer to this portion of my existence as "the little me, the little i, or little self".  Everything else is capitalized and reserved for IT.  Oh oh, did I just start the premise of "duality"?  We will hold that idea for another article.  This awareness of the BIG and little me gives me the opportunity to stay awake in the present moment and think just "what" am I serving at the moment.  If the present moment decision is that I am "self" serving, the the command is "STOP IT" and love IT more than your "self".

So, bottom line?  It would appear that today my own inherent guidance to my young friend; "love God more than yourself" is right on.  If I will strive and achieve this relationship as much as possible, I believe I will be portraying, displaying, manifesting or Being the state of being humble.  If I am being humble then I can say that I in a present moment have in fact achieved humility.

Do I accomplish the desired relationship of loving IT more than myself all the time?  No.  Is it possible?  I think so.  History shows us examples of humans who are thought today of having been "humble".  Am I putting myself in that category?  Yes.  It seems to me that if any human being is demonstrating humility, regardless of Julian Date, then they are all in the same category, they are humble.

Am I being "un-humble" for writing and saying all of the above?  Hmmm, wait a  minute this is where I started I think.  I all humility this may be a great place to end this entry.

Love and Light,


PS:  Catch me live on Dr. Anna Shouse's Unity FM Recovery talk show on 5 April 2011 at 5PM EST

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Honesty? Never was my strong game

When I was young I fell into the ways of not being quite truthful....okay I lied a lot.

I was very sick physically most of my first 10 years alive and was told to use my intelligence for I showed signs of being a bright child and also to use my imagination to while away spare or dead time.  Grandparents and parents were busy making a living and did not have a lot of time for a sickly child who could not go to school always.  So I learned quickly in life to fantasize and even lie to get attention or to justify things I may be doing or had done.  As most of us have learned, the habits we adopt as young children have a way of following us in to adulthood, especially the bad ones.

As life moved on and I aged into pre-teen and adolescence my habits get getting worse and then I added dependency on the chemical ETOH for emotional support and problem solving.  Adding fuel to an assortment of abhorrent behavior was not the smartest thing I could have or should have done.  My reality world was becoming limited to my fantasy world and life of deceit and lies.  Embellishment was a way of life and most around me recognized that.  I refused to be honest and through denial got worse by the year.

The very first in-depth  honesty of any sort I can remember as an adult, well as an older person, was when although I had not drank for over 6 months, I asked the U.S. Navy to put me in treatment for my illness in the fall of 1974.  For just a moment in life I actually felt clean and pure inside, a feeling I had given up long ago as a child.  I had given up a lot of child like qualities long before normal people do. I did not get old before my time, I had quit maturing long before my peers.

As I entered and subsequently became involved in my Fellowship, the word "honestly" came to my ears a lot. At first I thought; "yeah that's cool".  Then I got it!  They wanted me to honest "in all my affairs"......I don't think so.  As it turns out, this honesty was to be the saving grace of my life, as it is even today.  As with most great ideas in my life I resisted the totality of what I was expected to accomplish in recovery.  All the time?  With everyone? In every situation? Nope, not gonna do that.  That would make me vulnerable and that was not a state of being I was ready for.  They told me that honesty was a display of Spirituality.  No wonder I knew nothing of it, I knew nothing of being a spiritual person.

Well you can see what was gonna happen here.  I was making an effort to learn of a Power Greater than myself but not changing all my ways.  Not even most of them.  This provides conflict in a person which now could not be resolved using a chemical or substance.  It had to be "au naturel".

An so after numerous days, weeks, months, years, decades we come to "Present Moment".  I believe that I have caused myself so much agony over the last decades that at least in this present moment I am cognizant of my honesty, rigorous or otherwise, being a manifestation of the Divine within me.  I can only be honest in this present moment and I can only touch my God in this present moment.  so finally I have a grasp of what it takes to be honest in life.  Not any type or form of honesty, just honest.

It takes a continuous day by day, breath by breath conscious contact with God as I understand IT.  It takes every tool, every suggestion ever honest moment I have to bring about this natural process of being honest.  For this I am  truly grateful.  Do I slip? Yes. do I like that? Absolutely not.  Do I treat it very much like taking a drink of alcohol?  Totally!  Any deviation from my God is in fact in my mind a drunken spree of a short or long duration.  Spiritual and emotional sobriety depend totally on me Being. Honesty absolutely depends on me totally Being.  There is no other process in life, only Being One with The One.  As that occurs all things great and small become manifest in my life.  Honest, they do.

Love and Light,

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The difference between "being used" and "feeling used"

During those days, months and years, that I was actively pursuing my disease on a daily basis, so many times I would end up feeling used and abused.  It was not uncommon for my head to tell me that "I was being taken advantage of" or "how someone was treating me as a fool".  These types of thoughts were the way my persona got permission from my brain to go on yet another bender of some sort.  Great excuse system for a drunk.

When I was feeling very insecure and at times very paranoid, the feelings of being used were nearly overwhelming.  This just created more negativity deep within me.  It was like a vicious circle.  Like a squirrel cage treadmill, I just did not know how to stop the merry go round.

Today by changing many of my persona characteristics I now know the feeling of "being used".  Being used by the Power of the Universe, by friends and loved ones seeking help, by the world at large by accepting my never ending love for them.  This feeling of being useful is actually very cool and quite a great uplifting feeling for me.  The difference being, I submit myself to the process of the "Life" and get used for Its Highest Good.  I used to fight and not submit anything to anybody at anytime and  that result was I got used and abused.

So today the key for me to continue to; "practice these principles in all my affairs" is submitting my will to The Universe.  The Universe aka "Power Greater than Myself"is that which is my own free will enables me to just give it up of my own free volition.  Anything less that total submission for me is going to result in my feeling like I am once again being used and abused.  Even for me this is a simple process to remember.  Submit will, bask in sunlight of the spirit.  Fight and do not submit and end up suffering at the hands of my own Egoic personality and fate I do not want to suffer again.

So for any of my friends out there, either known or not known. thank you for today and your sharing.  I am thrilled to report that based on your sharing and your honesty I truly felt used today by God deep within me.  I would not trade that for anything in the world.  This feeling of "being a tool on earth for the Divine" is something no one could have convinced me of in the beginning of this journey through life in recovery.

The feeling or mental state of being used is far far greater than anything I had been promised by anyone in recovery and even than that stated on pages 83 and 84 of our Big Book....far greater.  It is also a feeling that is worthy of my attention in the present moment each moment.

Love and Light,
aka ezduzit777

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The loss of a loved one....I am learning at last!

It seems to me that in my early days of life I kind of blocked out most feelings of loss for people. the earliest I can remember is 7 years old and that was to shape much of my life if not all of it.

My maternal grandfather as I viewed him was the only person in life whoever paid attention to me.  He made sure that he spent time on our farm and let me ride his huge "clydesdale" horse.  He as my only real description of love at the tender age of birth to 7 years old.  When he made his transition I was forced to go up to the casket at the viewing and touch his hand and say goodbye.  I was saying goodbye to love, that hurt.  It hurt so bad I think I never really knew the true feeling of love until 32 years old.  During that run of 25 years I not for once felt the feelings of warmth and compassion as I had with him.  Not even with the mother of my children nor my own mother. I truly was a broken person.

When I was introduced to the 12 Steps I did not read nor here anything about how my interior love system was gonna get fixed.  I knew that my drinking problem was gonna or actually had stopped.  I knew that I would clean up my insides and head, but what of the most important item I had been missing all these years?  A definition of love to work from for my life.  A feeling of wellness from the world, a feeling of being wanted for me myself and nothing else.  It was not humanity around me that was failing, it was me and I saw nor heard a solution.  All this changed one day when a man stood in his Truth at a podium in the Lutheran Seaman's Mission in Olongapo, RP. and said to me; "I don't care where you have been nor what you have done, I love you for where you are seated at this moment".  Obviously I was setting  in a 12 Step meeting.  This man was obviously much larger in his caring for humanity than anything I had seen in the 12 Step program yet or since I stood beside my grandfather.

While the underlying principles of this program indicate a repairing of many things, I could not dare to hope for a total repair of my loving system. This task was far greater than what I had seen thus far in this program.  I would go on in life and find out that there is a loving humanity in life that would aid me or anyone in learning how to love again.  While I kept getting told about a power greater than myself could return me to whence I came, it was far easier to see it in my fellow man. I was to find out they were one in the same.

It was a monumental achievement for me to actually begin to care for and have some form of love for anyone which included myself.  As the years have went on and I was able to be shown the way to return to that which I was at birth, a loving entity of all things.  I truly began to enjoy life and people.  This for me was far beyond anything promised me at the beginning of my 12 Step life.  I had considered this far beyond the scope of any12 Step program.  My promises began to be fulfilled at a personal level which I had not expected.  Today I now know not to have expectations of others but to simply accept them at face value.  I am now capable of demonstrating outside of me that which is inside me, the power of love from my HP.

As life has moved on with me in tow, I am being shown the way for me to lovingly, miss, mourn and continue to hold in love those which are departing from this earth plane from me.  In recent years my own mother has transitioned just behind a beautiful woman who was my sponsors wife.  They were  my chance and time to step up and help those around me and to sit with my feelings and not have to do anything other than feel numb for a lack of understanding..  Reaching out to others in time of need seems simple as long as I remember that it is the "what of me" which is doing the reaching out.

I started this blog entry with the notion that for most of my life I did not know nor did not care to know when, how or where to love.  My HP in the form of other people has demonstrated this life lesson to me.  Just for today I do have a clue about others and I think they are just swell.  I guess this is one lesson that is larger than the 12 Steps or least from my perspective it has been.  It has taken, inside, outside, divine, village and many other kinds of help to get me to this point of life. Just for today I will accept help from any positive avenue, it's all my HP in disguise anyway.

This blog entry is dedicated to Dan and all those beautiful ladies over in Cranston Pl...."may your sorrow be short and your love long", thank you for showing me the way.

Love and Light,


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Compassion and care for others, not me!

The surroundings of my upbringing did not lend itself to teaching me very much about how I should treat other people, my family and friends.  Until the age of 32 it was "me" and only "me"that drove most of my thinking.  At times I would have a flash of brilliance and try to do something or say something to help others, but certainly I was doing that for what I could get in return.

Now I look back and understand that my lack of feelings for others was my training.  I like most other human beings was only doing what I had been nurtured to do.  I had been created at birth by a Divine Source  and then re-created by family, friends and society.  When I learned of the 12 Steps it was a realization that I was going to need to be re-created once again and it would take my Divine Source to do it.  I could not fathom nor see anything in my newly found program that was grand enough, including a HP that could accomplish this feat.  What I did not know was that the catch phrase; " all our affairs." would include once again include family, friends and society which were to become  be the tools of my HP's re-creation of me.

Over the next 3 decades HP has had Its "hands full".  I never learned to deal with change very well.  Every time I was called upon to take the concerns of others into consideration I balked.  I had to be led "by the nose" to the realizations that a times I needed to have compassion and care for others and not just my little self.  For years I viewed this process as far beyond the scope of 12 Steps.  It was.  I needed more help than they could give me in my limited human capacity.

It would become apparent that I was one individual like many others in my circle of life that was going to need special or outside help in all three afflicted areas of my life; physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I was informed that if I were to affect a significant spiritual change all other things would take care of themselves.
Through all the mechanics available to me in "the program" plus many others I have found, I have been blessed with having a significant change in attitude.

I now know what compassion feels like for I have had compassion shown to me and I was able to feel it, understand it and then emulate it.  I know also what it is like to care for others in a loving way.  Again, this was given to me and I simply re-create those feelings for others today.  None of this happened over night.  None of this happened without a measure of spiritual pain.  None of this happened without the necessary discovery and corrective actions for my character.  My biggest discovery in seeking that which would enable me to become the person I wanted to be was a spiritual movement known as Unity.

Unity has lifted my higher in my spiritual recovery than I could have ever imagined.  Remember I was told that I needed spiritual recovery which would fix all other things for me.  This newfound spiritual movement was to propel me into none other than the "4th dimension" I had heard so much of.  While the 12 Steps were instrumental in building a basis for life, Unity was to give me the boost in life for me to have spiritual volume in my life.  Seeking consciousness through prayer and meditation at level which I never found in the program was to be my "saving grace".  I have been privileged again to go from wondering what the heck meditation was to leading meditations for the public.  I would find out that thee are millions of like minds out there seeking God on so many levels that I could never be alone again.  Along with my prolific involvement in Unity I would also be led to a mind/body recovery through the discovery of a passion for Tai Chi.

This Chinese mind, body and spirit movement program would be the catalyst to enable me to address many physical, emotional and spiritual needs I could not, noooo, would not address through any other way in my life.  This phase of my existence allows me to recognize and give compassion to those trying to learn and become healthy.  This practice has aided me in growing past many deep psychological ailments which the program and Unity began to correct but couldn't for I would not allow it.

Today I am keenly aware that there is infinitely more to living this life than I ever thought the day I met the 12 Steps.  There is indeed a Universe which is friendly and depending on my momentary perception, all creatures in that Universe are also friendly, compassionate and caring.  While some say;"it takes a village to raise a child, that would be me" I say; "it took the Universe to raise me".  Yes there is more than just 12 Steps, I just needed to wake up and go find it!.  I got mine just for today and I suspect yours is just there waiting to be manifested at your request.

Love and Light

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pocket Idols?, Knock on Wood?, nahhhh

Is there more than just the 12 Steps?  Of course!  I would ultimately find such great things as; maturity, change of  habits, understanding of my inner most self.  All things that were never ever on my mind before I met the 12 Steps.

I just read a very candid, honest blog entry by someone writing on "rituals".  Interesting subject for a 12 Stepper and probably will turn into a subject that is ongoing for life.  At least for me this subject has caused me to become very much that which I always wanted to be.  An "in touch with, attention paying child of the Most High or HP".

When I was being raised by the tribe, my name for family, friends, etc. while growing up, I learned all that I was supposed I guess about luck, fortune, or we could call it the "easier softer way".  After all, when I wanted something for myself or something to occur that probably was not within my grasp I was taught to ask or seek "Good Luck".  Knock on wood three times, throw salt over my shoulder, (did this once to my ex wifes' horrification, the salt was in the shaker still) and all the other "good luck" talismans or sayings one can imagine.  By far and wide, I never really had any of this good luck happen to me.  I also noted other instances in life where people were calling up some unseen powerful "thing" to help them with their fame or fortune or good luck.  Everything from rubbing Buddhas belly to carry a four leaf clover.  Again, none of that ever worked for me.  Always gave me a feeling of; "how come I  never get nothing?".  Bad English and even worse living habit.

When I began to effect the principles of the 12 Steps in my life and I began to change, well grow up or mature is more like it. I started getting the idea that these rituals for me were not what I should be relying upon.  It was shared with me that maybe I should place that dependence for the correct process in my life with an entity which could actually deliver, no luck involved.  Your idea for me was to make that entity God or my HP.  The late Dr. Emmet Fox writes; "...there is no such thing as luck there is only God.".  Well when I first read "Sermon on the Mount" by Dr. Fox I was convinced that my mentors (sponsor) and Fox were onto something.  Hmmmmm, turn my thoughts to HP. Yep, this one was gonna work, as long as I  did it that is.

For me to bring this simple concept into my life though I would have to do some ritual house cleaning and cutting and begin some new rituals.  Like, pray all the time.  Pray for others which brought me into line with the Divine, be thankful/grateful for what is and not wheedle or cajole for what isn't.  This process was not for the feint at heart.  I would share this idea with many and they would just look at me.  However, the proof was  "in the pudding".

My life began to get extremely simpler and better.  The more I let go of my past rituals and became ensconced in my new patterns of life, the happier and more free I became.  In my 3rd year of this new way of life I did hit a wall which I would then ignore and turn a blind eye to.  It was way to hard and scared the heck out of me.  In fact it was one of my new found ideas/rituals.  It was started by an angel in this fellowship named Sister Ignatia and kept alive, well at least until today.  I was to have the passing thought of; "hmmmm I guess the power is not in the chip (medallion) it is in the Power Greater than myself.  Oh boy. Nope, could not deal with this and did not until the year of 1993 - 1994.

I made the conscious decision "FOR ME and me alone" that I would not carry nor accept any more "gold plated bronze medallions" as recognition for doing what I should be doing naturally and all my life, "...Being of maximum service to God and those about me".  Again, Dr. Emmet Fox writes of "pocket idols" and now I understand that term.  This was a very big ritual for me to overcome.

Today I make a conscious effort to rid myself of rituals thinking that all of them actually represented "pocket idols" to my unconscious.  Why not?  I was raised/taught that way.  Keeping me in the present moment where my HP lives, moves and has IT's being has replaced, well almost completely, these "pocket idols".  I am such a happy, joyous and free person through prayer and meditation as opposed to a querulous and disappointed personal through ritual.  It is one my most favor thoughts that "praise and worship" works, with HP, myself and ALL others.

Now if I could just figure out where to "pigeon hole" the thought process which has me buy lotto tickets each week.  Just for today I am putting this under the heading of; "...I must do the foot work, etc.".

I thank and bless Lisa for the idea and push to write this portion of my life.

Love and Light,

aka ezduzit777