Monday, October 24, 2011

The Only Thing We Have To Fear...




In AA and other 12-step programs modeled after AA it is suggested that those wishing to embark on a program of recovery embrace these three things.

Honesty is listed first and I believe that is not an accident, as for me, honesty is the one thing I struggle with the most.

The last 20 years of my life has been a sad, pathetic attempt to find peace, stability and acceptance through making myself into a different person. Different names, different places, different identities. I thought that if I could just assemble the right list of attributes - military veteran, lawyer, multilingual, well-traveled, educated - and then tell a sufficient number of people, it would "become" true.

The problem with this approach is that people are not lists. Lists are two dimensional things. People are multi-dimensional.

Invariably the end result of this fabrication and deceit was that those whom I started out trying to impress and engage with ended up feeling betrayed by and wanted nothing to do with me.

For several weeks now, I have been involving myself in #OccupyDenver, the local manifestation of the global #OccupyWallStreet movement. I don't march or demonstrate much. I prefer to be in the "kitchen" we have set up and hand out food and water to thirsty and hungry people.

Last weekend, this came across Twitter.

Quite immediately I went into a small panic. How would I respond? What would I say? Right then and there I knew that I did not have the ability to respond properly.

I took a breath.

I prayed.

I asked God to guide my fingers.

My fingers, seemingly not under my own direction, tapped out this in response.  

Then this.

I didn't know what was going to happen when I went back to the park the next morning, but I made myself go.

That next morning I spoke with the young lady who asked about it. She said she was glad I am honest and am doing better.


The Denver Post, which is no stranger to my story, breathlessly reported that I had "resurfaced" and the post got minor play on the Twitter.

Since then, other things have happened.

So, what is my lesson is all this?

What insight can I gain from this going forward?

This lesson that I am getting from this, perhaps 20 years to late or perhaps at EXACTLY the right time, is this:

The degree to which I am honest and open with the Universe is directly related to how much I am accepted by the same Universe.

That is all I need at this moment.

Be well, do good work and keep in touch.

1 comment:

  1. in the 80's, there was a film named "Julia" with Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave adapted from a semi-autobiographical script by Lillian Hellman. The opening scene as i recall is a rather misty shot of a figure in a fishing boat with Fonda's (Hellman character) voice reciting a definition of the term "pentimento"

    (from Italian pentirsi: "to repent"), in art, the reappearance in an oil painting of original elements of drawing or painting that the artist tried to obliterate by overpainting. If the covering pigment becomes transparent, as may happen over the years, the ghostly remains of earlier marks may show through. Pentimenti most commonly occur owing to slight repositionings by the artist of the outlines of figures or of their clothing. Many signs of such "repentances," or pentimenti, are found among the thinly painted Dutch panels of the 17th century. One of the most famous examples is a double hat brim in Rembrandt's "Flora" (c. 1665; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City)-from Wikipedia..

    my meager understanding of this term has evolved in that by getting sober, we have already changed our mind about our work. we have repented in a way and are developing a new creation- or work of art as it were. and accordingly, in recovery, we are asked to do this without forgetting or fearing the past as this may be the only way to a peaceful future.

    my best wish is that you do the work to forgive yourself. this will show and make room for others to do the same.

    my sponsor always reminds me that feelings are not facts... merely feelings... and they continuously change.