Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Three words that have saved my life !

   Nearly 25 years ago I booked time and met with my sponsor at that time to discuss what I thought was a monumental, ongoing and not so good problem I had been toying with for a long time.  During that meeting he was able to share with me his experience, strength and hope in a  manner I was not accustomed to.  He kept using 3 words that an ego driven guy like me did not comprehend.  Those words were; "I don't know!".

   The following article was written based upon that meeting and I hope it rings true to many who read this.  I know now that his concept and degree of honesty was based upon his love for me as a fellow human being.  This sharing was to help me shape my own destiny and repeat his sage sharing to many since that time.  This article first appeared in the Christ Church Unity Orlando monthly newsletter.

The Proverbial Inside Job!
A date with my Sponsor

          I had mulled over, viewed, reviewed, thought of and peered at my problem as much as I could.  No resolution is in sight.  This is a tough one and obviously one for my most powerful confidant, counselor and mentor.  That person I have sought out in life to help me when I am unable or do not want to solve my own problems.

          This guy always has the answers.  Why not?  He is over 8 decades old, is an ex “flyboy” from WWII, partial pioneer of a national banking operations system and has lived through a “recovery of the soul” for over 30 years.  This guy has been through it all and is wise beyond words.  I was never sure what God had up His sleeve when he paired us two together.

          So off to a mentoring session I go.  Questions and answers all lined up in my head.  Ready to lay it all out for him in my articulate manner so he could readily and easily grasp what I was up against.  It never dawned on me that after all the mental work I had been through with this current “crisis de jour” that maybe the answer had been staring me in the face all along and I couldn’t or wouldn’t see it.

          All the small talk is finished and here we go!  I start with my most convincing and eloquent explanation first.  Now I have “looked” at this problem from every angle and I can’t see any resolution whatsoever.  Forging ahead quickly I followed that verbal volley with “it is impossible for me to see how I am going to resolve this predicament, particularly since “they don’t want to see things my way””.  “Oh, “they” would be the other party in my problem that isn’t seeing things my way”.  Ah, I can sense a change in his posture.  Here it comes, I can feel it.  The answers to my problem are imminent.

          “Well” he says, “I don’t know”.  Wait!  What did my guru say?  “I don’t know”?  Although my mind went into a self induced tailspin he continues.  “It has not been my experience.  I just don’t have an answer for you.”  Hey come on!  I put a lot of effort into paying attention to this guy.  Where does he get off saying he has no answers?  That is not exactly how I thought this was going to go. I know, replay the problem to him in a different set of words and manner and maybe he will see this “tough nut” for what it is.

          There, finished reiterating my current life dilemma, now he should see it clearly.  I have taken special pains to explain this anguishing situation so even he can get it.  Now I can rest a second and see how this will set with him.  Oh, oh.  I once again am hearing, “Don’t know.  Not my experience”. “Really can’t help you with this one”.  At this rate I am going to have to solve this life situation all by myself.  Two more times I endeavor to make this gentle man see where I am coming from.  I am getting the same response each time.  “I don’t know.  Not my experience”.  I think this is where I am supposed to be quiet and think.  It sure appears that is what I need to do.  I am running out of ways to explain to him that “they” just aren’t doing what I need. 

          Somewhere along the line I had shared with this dear soul my thoughts on a piece of scripture.  Saint Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians; “…by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think…” (Eph 3:20).  I had pondered this tiny bit of wisdom before but was never ever able to fit a life situation to it for an experiential event.  I think my dear friend just moved me in the direction of an event which I was to grow from.  By him being loving and honest and only sharing that which he has experience of, he has lovingly forced me to look inside and see if I didn’t possess an answer that would fit better  than his “I don’t know” statements.

         Of course he has once again done the right thing.  I do have an answer that is “far more abundant than all I ask or think”.  It had been there all along.   I simply needed to let this individual love and nurture me towards the Spirit within in a manner which I would accept.  He is such a crafty dear man.  All of a sudden it dawns on me that I need to get up, leave and go about my life and utilize the solution to my problem which was there all along. 

          I think the higher lesson today was to continue to look inside as Paul urged the Ephesians.  I must remember that the Spirit of Life is always there to provide answers to more than I can think of or ask.  I guess the trick is to get my ego to not only look at, but also accept those answers.  Wow!  I think in his simplistic loving way, this long time friend of mine might be an “ego slayer!”  I certainly know by now what his response to that statement would be; “I don’t know.  Not been my experience”.  Hmm, seems this may be a spiritual philosophy I need to remember.  Let’s see, “I don’t know”.  That is one phrase which will definitely take some getting used to. 

I know now and try to remember just how powerful these three words are and that they most likely did cause me to totally re-think my problem and therefore change my thinking.  It is my belief that these three words from this wise old man did in fact save my life.

Love and Light

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Life would be just great except for "Them!"

   Back in the early 1980's I heard a lecture by then Rear Admiral Bobby Inman up his retirement from his current government post.  He was able to articulate his thoughts about just who "them" was and what could or should they mean to us.  What a great great talk. He was truly on target.  His sage advice? His wise counsel?  Of course "them" is "us".  Who would have thought that?  Not me.

   Now many years later I am thinking once again about "them" and what they could or should mean to me.  Of course everything I feel and think is my responsibility and truly begins and ends within me.  It is an inside job and always will be.  It seems that during my current life I can allow my Self to choose to let "me" think that all of my not so nice feelings and thoughts are because of "them".  "Them", pick a person, place or thing.  My little mind known to me as "self or me" loves to help me think that I do not and should not take responsibility for my own feelings and thoughts, why should I?  It is actually "them" that causes those feelings.

   Of course I have learned and know for sure that if I allow "self or me" to rule the thought process I am going to be in troublllllle!!!  I must be "ever vigilante" to not allow that lower self of me to have control or even a small voice.  My true life and mature feelings as an adult come solely from that Power Greater than myself" some call it God, others call IT by many other names, I choose to call It "IT".

   As soon as I recognize the fact that I am once again blaming, judging, criticizing those that I think are causing my problem, I must at once look deep within Me to find "that still small voice" of reason and love.  IT is what that voice is.  I do not have to be in the lotus position nor on top a mountain to "go within"....that still small voice is readily accessible and actually at my beck and call.  I just need the proper motive, such as I do not like insanity in my life anymore.  It is not good for me nor others around me. So I need to not only seek IT deep within me, I also need to remove the word "them" from my vocabulary at that time.  This dual action by me ensures that relief from "my" thinking will come quickly.

   So it would seem that Mr. Inman was correct.  It is not "them" out there anywhere" that causes my pain and suffering, it is "me or self" that does.  And still true today is that "I, IT, Self" will in fact relieve me of the burden of what I perceive is "them being the root of all my problems".

Love and Light,

aka ezduzit777 on twitter
follow me on FB as Richard Curtis


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Decisions Anyone???

     It has became apparent in the most recent of times that either I make decisions, informed decisions for myself or someone or something else will make them for me.  I may not like the decisions that are made for me.

     While practicing my active addiction my only decisions were based on near real time and solely were made in  support of that active addiction.  Things like; where is my next drink, what will I need to do to get that drink, do I really care what I am supposed to be doing while I drink, do I care what the ramifications are of my drinking, and the list went on and on.

     My life at that time was actually more of the decisions I did not make rather than the decisions I did make.  I had a horrendous fear of making any decisions for myself or anyone else which would make me responsible for the outcome of that decision.  I would let things happen no matter how good, bad, or ugly they were rather than actually make a decision.  When others made the life decisions for me and they turned out right, I somehow made sure I got the credit.  Yeah.  Guess who got the credit when it all turned out wrong?  Not me!

     Ok.  So we get recovered of some form and now I gotta grow up....argggggg.  Grownups make decisions, informed decisions.  No wayyyyy.  This process once again threatened me with having to take responsibility for my own life and own decisions.  Not a favorite pass time of mine.  So through the natural recovery process I begin to rely upon a Power Greater than Myself and IT seems to be doing well at helping me find decisions.  "...we will intuitively know how to handle situations..." was just what I needed.s

     To be honest, and I am, I did not start making really wise or informed decisions until nearly 2 decades of sobriety.  Even then my decisions were not of the best kind.  At least I was making them.  Every time I made a good and wise decision I seemed to catalog how I did it, what it was like and how to do it again.  Some would call this learning.  Another new subject for me.

      Now days I make every attempt to utilize one of the best slogans of the program; "Think, Think, Think".  Do my homework.  Make inquiries.  Meditate.  Mentor with my adviser's either in or out of recovery.  If possible wait an appropriate amount of time.  Wow....this stuff really works.  Do I sometimes make not so good decisions?  Yes.  I am but a fallible human and will always be saddled with that.  I sure do make less not good decisions today than I ever ever did.

     My latest triumphant decision?  I started this article over 4 weeks ago.  I could never get past the title.  I had not made a decision that I wanted to reveal  just another portion of me to the world.  My friend Michelle over at "Bleeding Espresso" helped me uncork the feelings and make a wise and good decision to move ahead and be what I can be.  Thank you Michelle for your personal demonstration.

     Next big one coming down the line? Sighhhh.  Will it be strawberry icy bars or pudding cups?  Gonna think on this for, well just a bit.

Love and Light,
follow me on twitter as ezduzit777

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What comes from the mouth starts in the mind!

   In many meetings I hear the term; "...the alcoholic mind...".  Seems to refer to a mind that is not operating correctly yet, one that is still riddled with the effects of the disease we call alcoholism.  That being said, I guess that means that some of what is said and that I hear is probably coming from, well, an alcoholic mind.

   Maybe some of those sharing that seem to need to use profanity or try and have some form of shock value for the rest of us are really speaking from an alcoholic mind?  I mean I remember my 4th grade teacher saying that if we could not express ourselves without profanity then we probably had no idea what we were trying to say.  It is true that at the end of my active addiction that I truly spoke like the "two fisted sailor I was".  Yikes!  I do apologize to anyone who knew me then and can remember what I had to swear about.

   As I moved into longer "non drinking time", not to be construed with "sobriety", definition to follow, I became ever so aware that my language was in fact at many times inappropriate for mixed company such as children and elders which I thought I respected.  Four letter words don't make for a very meaningful conversation at anytime anywhere.  I started to make a conscious effort to see if I could in fact change my learned behavior in my speech and become a ahhhhh adult! What a concept for me.  Current working definition of sobriety is; "...emotional stability which allows spiritual growth.".

   Now many 24 hours later as I sit in the rooms and counsel with others one on one I sometimes hear my old self and frankly I don't really enjoy it.  I am shocked at the number of people who continually need to express themselves using the language of their past active addiction.  This is what they meant by an alcoholic mind.  The mind which has not moved forward.  The mind that is stuck in days of old. The mind that is somewhat infantile and afraid to act like a responsible person.  I am totally aware that for myself and I suspect for others there is absolutely no reason for me to resort to profanity, none.

   I also see a danger, only because I am now living with the results of some of this behavior in speech, in the toll it took on my children.  My children are older now and are raising their children.  I remember not so all along ago though that I was hearing those four letter words out of their mouth.  I used to hide my head and tell myself it was "those other kids" that was influencing them.  Wrong.  It was me.  Not a good example was I at many times.  While I truly regret that influence on them, I know that it is theirs to correct if it still a habit with them. I cannot correct that in them.  Nor can I correct that in anyone around me in or out of the meetings.  I am allowed and responsible to at times to bring it to others attention if it is offending me.  Then I trust I will have; "...the courage to change the things I can...".

   So when the noose of life slips tight like a perceived bad day, a driver cuts me off, my check bounces, lost or stolen money, you name it, some situation that I really don't like comes along, I try to change my spots.  Oh by the way, scientists declare that leopards DO IN FACT change their spots as they grow older.  That's for me.  The two fisted drunken sailor wants to be accepted as a whole, holy person.  That is my goal.  Be accepted for what I am in this present moment.  Do I have moments of momentary slipping back into old self?  Of course.  I may be good and I may have been born on Christmas Day, I am in fact still a human struggling to be "all I can be".  It says on page 62 at the bottom of the page that; "God is our Father".  Guess that not only gives me the right to act as a child of God, it gives me the task to act as that child; "...in all my affairs."

Love and Light


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

and now xx years later, still a buck huh?

     It would seem that a portion of my recovery has in fact stood still in time while the rest was in progression.  That part would be the "prosperity of my life".  I have pushed, pulled, slogged and fought my way through "lack of prosperity thinking" which was created all during my childhood and developing years.  I was the kid who loaned his mother, a single mom raising two boys, money at 5% in 1952.  Yeah lack of prosperity has been a nemesis.

     It seems that a buck, you know, one silver dollar, coin of the realm was the going price of sobriety when I came to this fellowship.  I cannot ever remember for the lonnnnnngest time in this program ever going to a meeting and not putting $1.00 dollar in the basket.  That was my "duty".  Those persons I saw putting more, whether that was $2 or $3 dollars more, well, they were older, longer in the program and it was their responsibility to take care of this fellowship.  Whoa.  Why does that now sound so self serving and selfish?  Probably because it was selfish and still would be if true now.

     It appears that our economy in the world has grown in some proportion since the beginning of my recovery yet my "free will donation" had not ever changed.....still a buck. Somehow I never saw the need for "me" to be the supportive one of the very thing that helped save my life, my fellowship.  It was always someone else job, not mine.

     Some years ago I witnessed an Intergroup that went defunct because to many people in to many groups felt it was "someone else's job" to donate their fair share.  So many of us just thought it was someone else's job.  Not sure why we let the Intergroup go down the drain.  No mistakes in the Universe eh?  After the demise of that Intergroup my sponsor and I talked a lot of who is the keeper of this fellowship.  We chaired a lot of meetings on this subject.  I began to understand that I was responsible for my portion of the fellowship.....if I wanted it to be here forever then I needed to do my part.

     Just for today I am active as much as possible.  I also began many years ago to scale up my "donation" so that it reflects a change in my consciousness and reflects a change in prosperity through recovery.  I do not mean "tithing" or any manner of giving such as that.  I simply try to assess what it is I have as a result of this fellowship and what would I like to give to to help back to my fellowship.  As compared to some it is small, yet it is a huge effort on the part of a person who at one had a "total lack of prosperity thought process".  I have come a long way baby!!!

    Once again I am given the opportunity to be the example, being the lesson.  Many see what I "put in the basket" and their eyebrows go up.  Sometime later we notice their donation has also increased......ahhhh "...courage to change the things I can..." myself and maybe others by my demonstration.

Much of our literature was driven by scripture in the early days of this fellowship.  This subject of  "just a buck in the basket" seems to remind me that: "...as I give so I receive...".  We are urged in our early program involvement to "give freely of that which was so freely given to us...", why can that not apply to our donation per meeting?  It just does though, it just does.  thatThe miracle of all this is that this "conscious thinking of prosperity" within the program has definitely filtered over in all of my life, and I am just tickled with that.  It is a privilege to be able to give of my "time, talent, and treasure" in all my affairs.

Just a buck huh?  Nope, not today.

Love and Light,


PS:  feel free to respond in any manner and I you would like I will respond to you.....


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"How would I know"

     When I hear someone say; "..I don't think they are ready for this yet?".  They being a "sponsee" and "this" being a particular part of step work, I often wonder how would they know what is going on in another Mind???

     I have found that just for me; "... I needed to quit playing God..." oh that line has already been immortalized in the Big Book page 62.  As a sponsor or any type of mentor in life, I need to very aware that all persons do not show their life on "their sleeve".  The old adage; "Don't judge a book by its cover" seems to apply here.  Do I think I can divine or glean some sort of inner knowledge that "he or she" is or is not "ready"?  I usually can't keep track of what I am thinking much less what another is thinking.

     It seems that by listening intently more than talking with new people sponsee or not, allows me to share with them on an emotional level.  If I need to do all the talking, if I need to be the one in charge, if I have to be in control, well I am in trouble and they need to find another mentor.

     Dr. Martin Luther King used the words; "...free at last, free at last, thank God I am free at last.".  If we try to have power or control over others, when will they ever get to utter those words?  And, more importantly when will I get to voice those words just for me?  There have been times in the past recovery years that I in fact would try to, "in the name of recovery and love",  make sure all others around me did things "my way".

     It seems that wherever I am actually trying to be in control of others I never seem to know or admit it. This illness which is characterized as; "...cunning, baffling, and powerful..." is truly at work when this happens to me.  Usually when I start to talk to or report to MY mentor (sponsor), yes at nearly 40 years in this fellowship I still have and still use an active sponsor, does it become noted that I am once again suffering with my illness.....not drinking, but my illness, that underlying insanity of life which is unchecked by the practice of the spiritual principles of the 12 Steps.

     So it now comes down to, am I responsible or even supposed to be concerned with others that indicate "they do not think so-n-so is ready?".  I know now that I am responsible for me and how I treat others.  Of course I am also responsible to sharing with others if and only if they reach out.  That reaching can take many forms.  If I am diligent and successful in my prayer life through Step 11 I will know when and if to share my experience, strength and hope with others  Otherwise, just be me and be mindful of what I am doing in life and "...let Him demonstrate through me that which He is capable of..." (BB. page 68).

Love and Light

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Birthday? Anniversary?? Which is it....???? maybe Gods Day....

    Here I Am on the eve of yet another year going by...now let's see, is that birthday or anniversary?  Never ever got a definitive word on this.

   The very old timers I returned to life with loved birthdays.  Time for celebrating, ya know, dinner, cake, meeting, cake and all the family together.  Many times the celebrant would walk into their home group with the whooooole family, including granpa.  What a noise they would make when chips came out.  Zoweeeee.  So I kind of really enjoyed that camraderie and togetherness.  God only knows I never ever had any of it in my young life or even for a large part of my married life when I was a praction-er of my disease process.  Yeah birthdays were cool then.

   Then I fell in with a crowd that was ahhh sophisticated and suave.  You know, hip, slick n cool.  Well now none of the foolishness of "happy, joyous, and free", oh no, we needed to be mature and solid man.  Oh how funny is that in retro-spect.  This crowd patted backs, shook hands, maybe maybe not bought a "annivesary card".  Anniversary?  Yeah.  Truly grown up we were eh?

   Over the next years the event see sawed back and forth....just collect the chip n smile and be grateful.   Never could figure out the birthday/anniversary difference.  Seems like the longer I was around 'the rooms" the more blaise I had become about the event.  Lethargy?  Non-chalant?  Not caring?  No.  Just being focused on life and letting, letting IT run my life.

  There is an earlier blog item (http://goo.gl/rOSqX) that details my current feelings about "chips, medallions, etc.)....I call them Pocket Idols in that article.  Still feel that way.  I do believe there is a appropriate manner in which I should allow the world to know that God ("IT") has, does and always be the reason for my success.

   I have no desire these days for a chip or medallion, my home group doesn't even have them.  I have no desire for parties nor open celebrations.  I am so very humbled and grateful that my dear dear friend and past sponsor in Orlando sent me a card once again this year and has for the last 26 years.  I Am absolutely ready to take my lovely wife to dinner and let her shower me with gifts she chooses each year that will enhance or embolden my recovery.  These are what I value today.  These are what I would call "my just desserts" for my efforts.

   So when I awaken tomorrow having been around these rooms of recovery continually since
08 February 1974 I have decided that I am going to celebrate "the day that the Lord has made for me...".  I started my road to recovery learning to live one day at a time and intend to do today and then tomorrow.

   I will also try to think of a loving powerful terse statement for my loving family on Twitter n Facebook....rats, does that connotate a celebration after all???  Need to work some more on this for the next year.

Love and light,

aka ezduzit777 on twitter
and Richard Curtis on Facebook

Sunday, January 8, 2012

"progress not perfection..." a copout?

     It seems to me that in the early days of recovery I adhered to the process of; "...progress not perfection..." most of the time to justify my lack of recovery in a particular area.

     I am now wondering if I did this as a "cop-out" during this phase of recovery.  Each time my sponsor or one of you group members would "jack me up" about a particular character defect I had been working on less than diligently I would retort; "...it says progress not perfection" and I now know I meant "go away and leave me alone I like suffering".

     After all I came to the process of recovery the king of excuses and cop-outs, I had an excuse for everything.  I would lie about anything and usually did.  When the truth was the best way I would still lie, sounds pathological right?  It was.  I would use the statement; "progress not perfection" as a shield or club, whichever fit the best in the moment.

     Today I choose to stay in Reality or The Present Moment, whichever you choose.  I have decided that the "easier softer way" is in fact the way of Truth and honesty.  Born of the conviction that "IT" is always my source, I know I can say, do, face any situation in a given moment.  There is no need to hide out away from life.  Nothing is scary today.

     Today when people I sponsor opt to use this line one me, I simply remind them that "now" is so much better than later to tackle change in their lives.  They do not have be in pain and suffer, all they need to do is live life in Reality and in The Present Moment, for that is where The Divine resides.

     Am I certain that I have this process down pat today? No.  If I were perfect in every way the Great Reality or IT would not need me here on earth to demonstrate His/Her Love.  I believe that I am the arms and feet of a Heavenly Father and IT uses me and all my trappings of life to teach others.  Better  I should do the footwork and "pass it on".

Love and Light