Friday, May 8, 2015

There is always more...

     To answer the question posed by the name of this blog series, the answer is a "resounding yes".

     I understand that today I am the product of many years experience in so many ways.  This means that my thought processes are the result of many years of thinking and doing.  These processes have been dynamic all my life with the exception of many days, weeks, months, and years of addiction.

     In the Present Moment I operate under the idea that once again or at least most of the time I am once again a dynamic entity.  It is here that I have recently witnessed what I hope is a dynamic process that I will emulate in my life should it be necessary.  That process is one of grief, sorrow possible depression based on a loss in my life and then the resurrection of mind and life.

    I have been so privileged to be exposed to so many wonderful people both in and out of the rooms of recovery.  I have recently been witness and a part of a beautiful pair of souls that have  suffered a tragic and unexpected loss in their family.  They are not young people and not "recovery" people.  Yet they are both considered by the community as very powerful, centered, aware and mindful persons.  It has been with amazement and wonder that I have witnessed the above process of "being knocked down" in life and then rising up to even greater heights.  These two souls as far as I am concerned are the examples that I seek always of how to live life in a congruent manner.  They are the living proof to me that is; "always more down deep within us we can call upon".

     While it is was evident and apparent at the time of calamity that both of these individuals have suffered a deep and horrible loss of life close to them, it was just as apparent that they would call upon the reserve if Spirit and loving energy they have been cultivating all their adult lives.  I was astounded at how quickly these two souls turned their thoughts and actions towards helping others that had also suffered the loss.  Their focus immediately turned to "helping others" via the Spirit of their lives.  This is a process that I all to often forget not having very many calamities going on in my life lately.  

   This example of how to become congruent not only with the principles of the 12 step programs but also those life practices that have been around of eons and ingrained many individuals all their lives has been just what I need and needed.  I am so grateful to these two wonderful people that they allow me to dart in their lives and witness that magnificent transformation from sorrow to acceptance and on to joy and celebration of life, moment by moment.  This situation serves the purpose of demonstrating to me and those surrounding these two precious souls what I like to think is the adage; "...practice these principles in all your affairs" even when and especially when it hurts so bad.

For my two blessed friends I offer the only solace and comfort that I know in the form of scripture; 

"so do not fear, for I Am with you; do not be dismayed, for I Am you God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you..." Isaiah 41:10

Love and light, richard




Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Great thoughts and ideas, to bad they are not mine !

   One of my most favorite people in AA, Bill M.  hails from Canada, eh!  He sent me the following writing and I think it deserves a wider audience.  With his permission I am posting this on my blog series to get that audience.  This posting is verbatim and not change in any manner.  If you have comments or ideas feel free to post them on this blog.  I will ensure that he gets them.

Love and light

Who is in your WE group today?

I have never blogged (if that is what this is) but this morning I just felt like writing some thoughts down inspired from my morning meditation. After I wrote this I kind of felt like I wrote it to someone so I am sending it to a short list of folks who I consider to be on my we team today.
For many years in AA I never heard the expression that the first word in the steps is WE and how this concept of we is so important in AA.
I now hear this phrase regularly at meetings about how it is a WE program.
But what does it mean?
Today in my meditation the title question came to me which is “who is in my we group today”?  who is in your We group today?
Ego wants it to be just ME
Ego wants to desperately survive and be all important and to not share Me with anyone or at least only if “They” are subjects and admirers.
Or perhaps Ego doesn't trust and so feels it can only survive if it stays isolated as an “I am alone” and on my own thought and feeling! This is not only untrue but it is one of the key elements of stinking thinking and character and life wasting Rot.
God gave each of us an allowance much like my parents used to give me an allowance for doing certain chores.  How am I spending my allowance is always an important question for me.  Who is or is not on my We team is an important contributor to how I am spending my allowance from God. Everyone's allowance is finite and once it is spent it is spent.
The idea of oneness suggests everyone is in my we group.  I am a human within the human population of the world and thus WE share the world and are all part of it at this moment in forever.   If we were to go back say 2500 years ago or for that matter a week ago the we of the human race was quite different. Humans have been added and subtracted moment to moment so the we is in constant change within the  motion Lau Tzu describes as “Returning and Yielding”.
At another level of we it is who I am sharing a particular space and time and relationship with. If I am in a car with 4 other people we are a we at that moment and if the car runs out of gas WE have a problem together and a shared we experience. As soon as we get gas and reach our destination the we may now be just a shared memory of the past .
We;  family for instance. There may be some in your family you don’t feel very close to and the we only means some kind of shared blood relationship . On the other hand there is often a close bond and comradely with some members of our family. Outsiders can not really become a part of this we in the sense of blood relationship but perhaps they can become part of our family with other shared bonds. Humans have a we bond with their parents and siblings (alive of dead) as there has been much shared experience and feelings one way and another.
Our human nature longs for a loving we experience with our blood family and in particular with our parents. Ego wants to be admired and loved and supported and if it doesn't get that it rebels and feels abandoned and rejected and alone; or we try and latch into another  co-dependent relationship to replace our lost family. 
Ego sometimes says fine! Screw you >>>. Its me against the world! When we take that attitude into our day (or our life)  the world spits back and the isolation and aloneness becomes a self created reality. Alcoholism is often called the loneliest disease as it creates this aloneness and isolation to sponsor the relief that alcohol gives to the tortured lonely mind.
Assholism is a disease on its own and it is just alcoholism without the alcohol. So many so called non alcoholics can suffer from Assholism. We all can break out into the symptoms of Assholism in our mind or actions from time to time.  The problem often is that we don’t know what we don’t know.  We may be sending out an aura of defensiveness and resistance and not know it. We think we are nice guys who others just don’t understand or that we are just unlucky in life and life relationships.
Conversely sometimes we can get a grandiose distortion of our reality and impact on others .  We collect “right points “ as we go through our day. Of course often our ego thinks that for me and it to be right it means we must prove you to be wrong.  Matching and bettering are two forms of our ego trying to collect some additional right points. If you tell me a story I have to tell you a better one from my story inventory.
The difference between an enlightened person and an ignorant person is that the enlightened person knows he Is ignorant.  Ignorance can be a blind spot and because we often only look through the window of self-centeredness we fail to see what others see about us.  Good and bad.  Our filters only see what our ego wants us to see or thinks it sees.
For me this is one of the great benefits of regular meditation, as insights and thoughts seem to come from NOWHERE >>>>>> i.e   “no-where” >>> to “now – here.”  Doing steps four and five six and seven every so often and step 11 every day, provides additional insights and clarity for what follows the words I am _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ??
We in AA  can mean the we that is at a particular meeting or a conference. At that moment in time there is a we in the space and anyone who is not there is not  part of the we of the experience. However there is a “We” associated with an AA group that extends beyond the physical proximity of the now. If you are a member and have signed the book you are in fact a part of the we and are eligible to say that word as a member of the group. We may say in our group or when Ego wants to feel important it might even say my group.
So then there is another level of We which is that circle of people we feel bonded with and whom we feel are “On my side” or I may also feel I am on their side. This ought to include a sponsor or a mentor, and a person who is on their side. I have had a sponsor and a spiritual mentor with whom I would have little or no contact with for lengthy periods. When I would think of them I would still know that if I called or we got together we would be WE instantly and even with physical separation we were still a we team of bonded brothers.   This we of personal compassion and bond is also one of constant change and motion. There may be a small group of individuals I feel particularly bonded with today and of course this group can become larger and smaller at any point in time. When a newcomer comes to a meeting and shares they are in trouble and need’s help I can almost observe the compassion and I most certainly feel a bond of we with that person in my instinct to help, out of the human bonds of love and oneness.
On the other hand whenever I feel thoughts of judgment, resentment, competition or criticism either against me, or me against others,  the we diminishes and separation is created.
I hear people say and sometimes I catch myself feeling like just being isolated or alone. This is the ego trying to protect itself out of fear .
Ego likes to put a large number of other people in the ”they” category. If I have an attitude that you are either on my team or you are automatically on the other team then you are part of my They.  I am sure that doesn't worry you but it sure as hell ought to worry me.
I have had the great experience a few times in life of feeling a deep team “we” feeling; A couple of times in sports when younger ; a few times in work situations where there was a true team with a common goal and deep respect and team bonds who won or lost as a group.  I have had this great we team experience in my aa life. I have felt it with sponsors, sponsies, and aa groups I belonged to. From the very start I have felt it with AA as a whole. I felt this wonderful we bonded feeing of having bonds to millions of people most of whom I have not met. I have travelled and found almost instant we support and mutual love with other members all over North America and at world conferences.
One of the most important and fulfilling we feelings is to feel one with this mystical force of creation in the universe. I feel this we and in synchronization with this force each time I witness an unexplainable God-Incident and realize that this was not just chance or a random set of conditions coinciding but a part of a Devine creation of space and time coming together.  I have often thought this when attending an AA meeting. That group of humans in that configuration will never come together in the same place at the same time and the exact experience will never happen again >.. ever!. no human power could create or recreate the exact configuration and the exact outcomes and meaning that occurs in that hour. You have to be there and conscious to be part of that co-incident creation. If there are 20 people there and we could track their lives from birth to that meeting the number of incident events and experiences that brought them there to that coincident event is mind boggling. We can either believe those trillions of experiences and thoughts and actions had been totally random chance or we can believe they are just a part of a more grand and Devine order that has coincided to create yet more and shared now's  and healing amongst those present.
So I leave you and this blog today with that question I started with.
Who is in your WE group today? I hope I am!  You are in mine.
such is the truth.
"that which we focus on EXPANDS Focus on the GOOD"