Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Step Three

Surrender, surrender. There wasn't enough time for me to share at the meeting tonight and so I have a little something to say. The subject was attitudes making a difference. As I heard the discussion include concepts of expectations and resentments, my mind wandered on to self-will, feelings of victimization and self pity. And being caught in that trap of wanting to be well thought of by others. All I could think of was the need to surrender.

To place my will and my life in the CARE of a Higher Power. As Courage to Change p157 goes on to say . . . think of this care as a source of love and support that surrounds me in my daily life. I do not need to earn it or to work for it; I need only be receptive to it.

I surrender my best thinking. I surrender my feelings of frustration, temper and temptation to lash out. I surrender my angst, my fear, my doubt and my sadness. Instead, I look toward the light and let go of the person that I think I need to be.

What's good about today is putting aside my ego, a minute at a time.


Oh, my gosh. I have to add Comfort Spiral to my blog list, I truly enjoy her and don't want her to take my last post to heart!


I have an e-mail address to share that I'm in the process of figuring out how to place at the side of my blog with the other gadgets, so in the meantime, here it is


stunningly original address, isn't it. Can I tell you that I'm very concrete or have you already stumbled on to that?

Monday, June 29, 2009

I Get To Choose

Just read a blog, not on my list, but one of 'my favorites'. I like to keep them on my favorites for awhile before I upgrade them to my blog list. Regarding this particular one, I've read enough!

More and more, I'm realizing my power to choose what I want to surround myself. Drama has no place at my table. Not in the form of people or TV or blogs. There is so much heavy duty good in the world to give my attention to that I no longer give my energy to stories that reek of selfishness and sabotage.

I don't judge them, to live is to grow and I bless them on their path. But I get to choose what I like and leave the rest and the more healthy choices I make, the more abundant is my relationship with the world.

What's good about today is that I get to choose what I love and what loves me back.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Thanks

Dance I did.

My heart is full with appreciation of the abundance in life. Dillard would call it the fecundity of nature ("God is a maniac"), the fact that there are always new people to meet (and look for God in their faces). Think if our female bodies carried only a couple eggs and the counterpart for men. We could hardly populate the villages necessary for our lives (I need carpenters and farmers and people in meetings and teachers and writers and sailors in my world, just as a partial list).

What if plants only produced a flower or two, and if the rain dashed them to the ground, well, we'd have to wait until next year to see one. I have a spray of feverfew blooms that I chose from a hundred, easily 70 daisy type flowers from three stems. Nature is crazy abundant.

Last night, my friend and I were checking out a nice pair of trousers that someone was wearing. She was teasing, saying, oh well-they wouldn't fit me, she guessed they were a 36 waist and a 34" leg. Her work background is a convent and a clinic that serves the poor. I kidded her back, saying that I didn't remember her having a retail background. She said, 'I don't but I help size up clothing for homeless men'.

That tears me up again.

What's good about today is that I'm right where I need to be, hearing what I need to hear. And I hear an awful lot of it on your blogs. Thank you God for your abundance.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Say Yes

Last night an acquaintance called to invite me with them to a dance tonight. I took down the info but was non-committal. I have gone a few times, got uncomfortable with it and haven't been to one in over a year. I hung up the phone and went back to my book, For The Time Being by Annie Dillard.

Within 10 minutes I was reading that 'The Baal Shem Tov danced and leaped as he prayed, and his congregation danced too. Hasids today dance and leap. Dancing is no mere expression; it is an achievement . . . if the dancers could persuade a melancholy person to join them, his sadness would lift. And if you are that melancholy person, he taught, persuade yourself to dance, for it is "an achievement to struggle and pursue that sadness, bringing it into the joy."

What's good about today is that I can take direction!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday is For Forgiveness

Before the meeting I was talking to someone who had been badly hurt by their girlfriend. I said that from an Alanon perspective he would feel better once he was able to forgive her. What he got was an insight that he had been affected by another person's alcoholism.

I spent the rest of the meeting thinking about the nature of forgiveness and that it is freely given by our higher power if it is sought. As Steve E. mentioned in yesterday's post, the blessings do not have to be earned. No one has to earn my forgiveness either. The more forgiving I am of myself, the easier it is to extend that attitude of forgiveness to others. If I am not forgiving of others, I stew in resentment, uncomfortable until my resistance melts away.

What's good about today is that life can get easier if I am willing to try new ways of thought and action.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thursday Thanks

Thanks to my commentors on the last post for the empathy that you gave me. I was anxious about my post and you helped me feel better about it all.

Today was great which seems like a miracle to me. But as I write this I realize that I shared my issue with other people and I prayed about it so maybe it's not too surprising that my brain healed overnight! Thank goodness that we humans were programmed to sleep for several hours before we start another day. Even when I sleep lousy I am always in a different place from the day before. That old piece of advice 'sleep on it' has made it through the ages for good reason.

Other things that I'm thankful for include not abusing anyone at work (no amends to be made!), a fabulous sale at Talbots, a sweet note from my son outlining his plans (thank you Alanon for teaching me not to nag) and signed with love, a call from a friend keeping me in the social loop.

What's good about today is staying in the moment, for good or bad, this too shall pass.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's Only Wednesday

The funny thing about change is that I don't get to control it. A program friend and I had a good time laughing at ourselves one day because we agreed that asking God for a change has a caveat, as in, please God, don't embarrass me or bankrupt me or make me move or put me in a funky relationship. In other words, please give it to me in a palatable manner which I can understand. And appreciate. In my own time.

One messy thing that I ask for is to feel my feelings. So, they come out sometimes with force and surprise to me and others. This morning at the close of a meeting I was in the best of moods when I realize that my 'cheat sheets' were gone from under the monitor that I usually use. They were phone #s for different specialists that we only use occasionally, instructions on how to set some things up-handy things when on the computer, less handy put away in a desk drawer down the hall. I just about hit the roof. Went from zero to 110 mph in a millisecond.

It's the ferocity of my reaction that surprises me. I'm still feeling the confusion of it as I sit at home, hours afterwards.

What's good about today is that I don't have to figure anything out but I always have the chance to Trust God.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Maniac

It's time for me to give the Annie Dillard book back, she finished Pilgrim at Tinker Creek with some philosophizing about life and death . . . "your needs are all met. But not as the world giveth. You see the needs of your own spirit met when ever you have asked, and you have learned that the outrageous guarantee holds. You see the creatures die, and you know you will die. And one day it occurs to you that you must not need life. Obviously. And then you're gone. You have finally understood that you're dealing with a maniac."

An excellent blogger who speaketh with good program is I, Agnostic on my blog list. I find her very spiritual but don't tell her that I said that!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Comparisons Made Between Working the Steps and Making Jam

1)Have the experience of those who've gone before you.
My mother made jam with fierce countenance and concentration. I have her example that it can be done but with less fire.

2)Start a step only when you are ready but don't put it off forever. Coffee up and turn the phone off.
Careful planning includes fresh berries and a fire extinguisher. A very clean kitchen enhances my feeling of competency (fancy word for control).

3)Focus, focus. Half measures avail us nothing.
You're handling molten lava of sticky strawberries-pay attention!

4)Prepare well and know that you will make mistakes, otherwise labeled as experience.
This time I added sugar before the pectin, an illustration of my best thinking instead of reading the directions. Holy Hubris, anyone for strawberry syrup?

5)Know there will be painful parts.
Again, molten lava. Also canning jars plucked from boiling water, how tough are your fingers?

6)A solitary process but good to be able to phone a friend somewhere along the way.
No one else is allowed in the kitchen but good to have someone in the house to give information to the rescue squad OR to run around putting windows down when you hear thunder. You cannot leave the molten lava alone.

7)Try not to cuss.

8)Don't sweat it, the world wants good things for you. There are 'best practices' but there is no single best way to walk the steps. Besides you'll probably do it again some day.
Jam was not invented by rocket scientists or even people that could read. Batches of jam that don't gel still taste wonderful as sauce or spooned directly into mouth while standing in trashed kitchen. Not to be confused with standing trashed in kitchen.

9) Share the results with someone you trust. Which, by definition, is probably not a relative.
Share only with people whose faces light up at the gift. It is wasted on those who fear botulism. Pray for them.

10)Carry your new knowledge with you and re-visit the process often.
Raspberries will be coming within a month, get ready now!

Thanks for letting me channel my internal Dave Barry!
Yours in program,

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Does the Black Fly Say Thank You?

More examples of abundance and the cycle of life this morning.

There is a family farm nearby where you can pick strawberries. I went there this morning to pick enough to make jam. The same reptilian thoughts go through my mind every year I get to the field, too many people here, there won't be enough for me-me-me. Look at that picker, she moved rows, she's coming into my space, what if I'm in her space, if she tells me to move-what will I say, will the owners get involved, oh shame shame!

And instead, I find abundance. Nature is fecund. Many, many berries under every leaf cluster. Ruby red beauties nestled on straw beds placed by other humans working together. That satisfying snap as a ready berry leaves its cap behind. Thank you, thank you Mrs Plant. Your offspring are coming home with me. Then a black fly takes a bite out of my shoulder.

I eat. He eats.

I ease my car out of the field and acknowledge a mother and her toddler. Over her shoulder I see the tiny cemetery next door.

My son is hanging out at a friend's house today where his older sister will be married. 'I think I'll stick around for that', he says.

I can't make this stuff up if I sat down and tried. Nor could I plan it. What's good about today is that I can notice it and share it with you.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy Friday

What stood out for me in this morning's meeting was the phrase 'a psychic change' that must take place. When I was forced to surrender my best thinking, when I realized that nothing that I knew helped me and that my best bet was to go to a meeting to create a small peaceful time of relief, that was my psychic change. That was my steps one through three in a nutshell. It was my gift of desperation and the beginning of a new way of life that felt like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

It is not about 'being good'. A year ago I read someones profile who lives with active disease and she made the statement that she 'tries to be good' and my heart broke for her and my eyes still fill up at the thought. As Melody Beattie states in today's reading, "Life doesn't have to be hard".

It is about letting life happen, taking care of that soft animal body within us and nurturing an open mind and an open heart. What's good about today is that I can let go of the struggle and know that I am right where I should be in a life of abundance. Blessed Be.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


That muffled rhythmic sound is me clapping myself on the back. In one of my wknd blogs I pledged to stop second guessing myself. I surrender the second guess. The first one will have to do. It's going well.

For you Language of Letting Go fans, quote from this week goes like this: Something important is being worked out in us, and in those around us. We may not be able to identify it today, but we can know that it is important.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Thanks for all your comments.

Tuesday Night has been my Alanon home mtg for the last 3 years or so. The only sponsor I've had attends the mtg as do about a dozen others, sometimes we have twenty or so attendees including a couple newcomers. There is an Alateen mtg next door. Both mtgs started 5 years ago.

Although I had gone to other mtgs in the same town, I put off trying this one due to this reason. I had been working in this building when I met 'my alcoholic' and was subsequently (understandably) fired over an ethical boundary issue. No one could believe it. I had never had a bad review in my life but I was in love, threw caution to the wind, let the chips fall, etc etc. I didn't care. I would have left the country to be with my alcoholic, I would have given anything. We both believed that a higher power put us together. I still believe that. It was how I was brought closer to my God. It was the only way he/she/it/them could get my attention.

Those were exhilarating although fearful days. But fast forward a few years and with great trepidation I crossed the threshold to go to a mtg in that bldg. I occasionally catch a glimpse of my old boss working late. Sometimes I stop in to chat with my old best friend. The Alanon meeting convenes in a board room where I used to attend a different kind of mtg. It's just a set of four walls to me now.

But that actually wasn't my point.

My point is that I like to talk myself into belittling my 'old' meetings. I don't live with active alcoholism, haven't for 5 or 6 years. The thought of being in a meeting because I'm bothered by someone else's behavior aggravates my recovering co-dependent's heart. It hasn't been my scene for quite awhile. I plot my escape plan, strategizing through my last months of attendance and ratchet down my service obligations. But . . . last night I settled in and had a pretty good meeting.

What's good about today is that it is not about the meeting, it is about me and my expectations.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Greetings, Blessings & Apologies

I'm so thankful that I met the blogging community and continue to read blogs that are new to me. It struck me that it is not unlike going into a new mtg and knowing perhaps one person and then slowly getting to know others and their stories. Telling your story and becoming recognized by others. How Sweet It Is.

One minor apology, I managed to lose a comment, I did not know that was possible but give me enough life and I will make a 'mistake' in each part of it. Anyway, this morning message is that I love all of you. I pay attention to who you read and I get new people to enjoy. In a very short time of 8 weeks you have welcomed me in and I appreciate it and carry your wisdom, hope and experience with me to give to others.

Aloha, have a day full of joy.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Went to the morning mtg today and felt that I was in the midst of old friends even though my tenure there is only a year and a half. I've done more with some of their members than I ever have with my own Alanon compadres. There is an honesty and humanity in that room that cuts away the baloney that separates us.

'Just for today' (I'm riffing off an Alanon bookmark) I stayed calm in the face of confusion, gave encouragement instead of looked for it, reminded myself to treat myself well, noticed when I was getting ahead of myself and reined it back in and BRIEFLY saw the grace in everyone I met today. Not only did I trust God but I also trusted and accepted myself for where I am at.

What's good about today is that I can get off my own back.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Good Morning

I was cruising the on-line version of the NY Times this morning and it occurs to me that I read anything that hints at the human experience. That is what I'm after, a glimpse of what other peoples lives are like. That is also what I require in meetings as well (and blogs?), a look at other peoples insides.

A major congrats to Mary Christine for a very personal view of her insides. I was pained at one point. Didn't want her to be the only naked one in the room. Ready to tell my own installation of 'years in the program' and invite others to do so as well. It seems that she is on solid ground now in year 11 and my worry is eased.

What's good about today is that I can look at my motivation when I get the urge to act quickly. Happy Blessed Sunday. (Someone in a mtg yesterday thought that I'd been raised by nuns--Jesus Christ!, I thought--No, I answered, Raised by Canadians.)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Second Guessing Myself

Someones share this morning mentioned 'second guessing' and I realize that I can add that to my 4th Step inventory. Doubting myself puts my mind in relentless spin mode, there is no end to it. I would not subject another person to the automatic harangue that I put myself through. It is another way to beat myself up and I won't permit it anymore.

What is good about today is that I won't accept unacceptable behavior from myself. I expect that I won't be as exhausted from the constant micro-management that I have put myself through.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Ramblings

I think it is a time for me to read and see what's been said in the last couple days. I feel like I haven't been to enough meetings lately. I say that because I feel overwhelmed by everyday things.

I'm a little unnerved because a person who I would call a friend in recovery has picked up and is 'out there'. I met her in the am open AA mtg which I used to go to daily. A few months back a mtg member killed herself. By rites (what does that mean?) I could resume the daily mtg now that I don't have to be at work so early but it does invite in pain as well as healing.

Damned disease.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Lot of Bloggin' Going On

Lordy, I think everyone I follow had something to write about today, even Gospoduchi. What do you all think, is it better to blog first or read and then blog? It's a poll, if you are reading this please cast your vote.

(I think I'm better off blogging first because I can lose my focus pretty quick.) Anyway, I feel really perky today. Even though I wasn't a fan of last night's meeting, it got me out of the house and I made a couple of stops along the way. I think that I've said it before but my sponsor told me once to 'get out of the house' when I start to get depressed. It really works. I have to tell myself in caps though, GET OUT OF THE HOUSE, as if it was on fire.

Tomorrow will be a big day OUT OF THE HOUSE. Starting it with an open AA meeting before work and then in the evening go out to Arlington, MA with the girls to a women's comedy benefit which should be a hoot. So, my spirits are up. I have my own car, a new pair of sandals and big plans for tomorrow, what more could a human want?

Okay, okay, world peace and enough food for everyone. And everyone keeps their physical and emotional sobriety. Have I left anything out?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

God is Everything . . .

or God is Nothing.

I get that.

I tried a new meeting tonight, a hybrid AA/Alanon Big Book Study. Too much talk, too much yak, too much ego, too many words, too much doctrine.

I was at a Buddhism talk a while back. They were explaining that there is the dharma with a little 'd' and then there is the Dharma with the big 'D'. The dharma that is not capitalized is the teaching and the sensibility that is conveyed by teachers. The Dharma is that which is beyond it's name in power and scope, that which has no name or imitation. Both valuable but not to be confused with each other.

God is Everything. What's good about today is that this easily intimidated, co-dependent can discern what works for her!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Power of 'More'

(The astonomy photos show me the works of power and creation that make me happy to know they exist, the accompanying explanations, I will never understand!)

One thing I have in common with professed addicts is that I want more. All the time. It is a part of my (all human's?) wiring that I leap from enjoying the present to wanting more. Examples include wanting ANOTHER good car deal for myself now that my son has one, wanting ANOTHER day of the weekend even though my thoughts can crave the orderliness & ego gratification of being at work and yes . . . this morning I was watching a sparrow picking his way along the fringe of grass by the fence. I was enjoying this zen moment of nature and THEN I looked around to see what MORE I could see.

More. More. More. Awareness, acceptness and then action. I'm aware of it but can I accept it?

I bet I can. A minute or a day at a time. And that is what is good about today.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Free Advice

Never eat a large Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate candy bar for supper. Generally, I eat a healthy diet but on Friday nights I color outside of the lines. So although I ate a lot of healthy stuff yesterday, the entree was the whole zillion ounce bar.

It took me awhile to put it together . . . came home from work feeling like a limp dishcloth . . . 8pm and I'm feeling pretty damned good . . . 10pm my friend calls apologizing for the lateness, I tell her no problem, I feel better than I have all day . . . 2:30am and it's not fun anymore . . . 3:30 and I decide that I better set the alarm because I will not be doing my usual early risin' thing on my own.

Mega Caffeine Jolt is what I'm thinking, maybe it's a continual release since it was in food form, slowly metabolizing. But I DID make it to my morning meeting though I did not have much to say today!

Anyway, it's the end of a jumbled up, emotional kind of week. Feel a little separated from my higher power but it will come back to me, I know what to do. Today's page in Courage to Change reminds us that 'the Third Step places my will and my life in the care of a Higher Power. . . I think of this care as a source of love and support that surrounds me in my daily life. I do not need to earn it or to work for it; I need only be receptive to it. I continue to have a will to exercise and a life to live, but I do so bathed in a light of love and understanding.'

That's what's good about today.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Claiming My Seat

Yes, I am a co-dependent. Yes, I turn it over to a higher power.

Tomorrow I will be at my Saturday morning meeting, my home meeting. In the seat that was saved for me. I will surrender my best thinking and I will listen to others who are traveling the same highway. Together, my gentle companions and I will speak our truths and hear our higher power speak through others. We will refresh ourselves, dust ourselves off and re-enter our worlds, strengthened by our common purpose.

We need never feel alone again.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Not So Crabby After All

Just finished reading the Crabby Lady's Blog and it cheered me up. I am crabby but nowhere near that bad. Or that good at being crabby. She makes me look like a neophyte. I feel the best I have all day!

Trust God. I found what I needed to hear!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Good Morning

God's will, self will, where's there's a will there's a way=I gave myself the day off work. It makes me nervous so I've been doing the things that work for me

1)went to my favorite 7am meeting
2)cooked like an Italian, breakfasted on farfalle w/roasted peppers, asparagus, capers-you get the idea
3)favorite CD playing
4)the dog suggested sitting on the deck so he can watch me read a little Lawrence Block
5)trust God and watch for miracles

Monday, June 1, 2009

Reflected Light

A little while ago I was walking Sony, my cocker spaniel, and complimenting him on his very waggy tail which made it wag all the faster. I looked up and ahead of us against the trees was a milky, golden light that was cast on the highest green leaves. Turning around, I expected to see the source but the sun was lower than the tree line.

The show was ahead of me.