Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. AIDS – THIS IS MY PRIDE – SURVIVAL !!! A Wordpress Production

Archive for November, 2008

4 – Not what Jesus had intended…

Challenging AIDS

Everything must Change, Brian D. Mclaren

In a modest church building in a township near Capetown, South Africa, twenty -some local Pentecostal, charismatic, and Baptist pastors were seated in a circle. Two guest of paler hue were present as well. My local host, Johannes, and me. We had paper plates on our laps and coffee cups on the floor beside each chair…

One fellow, a handsome dark-skinned man in his early thirties (I’d guess), had been strangely silent so far in our conversation. He made eye contact with me, and as he did, I noticed how his brow was furrowed and his jaw tense. Was he afraid of something, perhaps angry?

“Do you want to say something?” I asked him.

“Yes, I have something I … need to say,” he began. He moved forward to the edge of his chair, elbows resting on knees. Slowly, his hands stretched open, and they remained extended like this until he was well into his impromptu speech. “Brothers, I am not a pastor. I am a health care worker. I do HIV/AIDS work in Khayelitsha.” At this everyone nodded. Known as as informal settlement to some, a squatter area to others, Khayelitsha is the third largest township in South Africa…

The young man continued, “You pastors are…” He hesitated as he raised one outstretched hand toward heaven. “You are causing much destruction in Khayelitsha. It reaches to the skies. I know you mean well, but you don’t realize that you cause devastation in th lives of the people among whom I work.”

Eyes widened, pastors shifted in their seats, and the young man continued, “You come to Khayelitsha every Sunday and you set up your tents, which is good, but I have listened to your preaching, and you are preoccupied with three thingsm and three things only. First, you constantly talk about healing. You tell people they can be healed of HIV, and some of them believe you, so they stop taking their medication. When they stop, they develop new resistant strains of the disease that don’t repsond as well to the medications, and they spread these tougher infections to other people, leaving them much sicker than they were before. Then you are always telling people they need to be born again, but after they’re born again on Sunday, they’re still unemployed on Monday.

They may be born again, but what good is that if their problems are the same as before? You know as well as I do that if they’re unemployed, they’re going to be caught up in the poverty web of substance abuse, crime and gangs, domestic violence, and HIV. What good is that? All this born-again talk is nothing but nonsense.”

At this, I could see some of the pastors bristling. I wondered if a shouting match would erupt, but the healthcare worker leaned a little farther forward, and the pastors constrained themselves a little longer.  “Then what do you do? After telling these desperately poor people to get born again and healed, they you tell them to tithe. You tell them to ‘sow financial seeds’ into your ministries and they will receive a hundredfold return. But you’re the only ones getting a return on their investment. You could be helping so much. You could motivate people to learn employable skills, you could teach them and help them in so many ways, but it’s always the same thing: healing, getting bron again, and tithing.

“Even the religious organizations that try to help people with HIV – most of them get US aid money, which only allows them to talk about abstinence and fidelity. They can’t even mention condoms, and as a result, a lot of people die. And most of you – you won’t talk about abstinence and fidelity, because they subject of sex is taboo among us. And so more people die.

“You know your problem? You Pentecostals and you evangelicals specialized. You specialized in healing, in getting people born again, in creating financially successful churches – but you need to go beyond that. It’s time to get a better message – something bigger than just those things. If you stop there, all your preaching is nonsense.”

Nonsense was the verbal grenade, lobbed a second time now, unleashing the pastors’ vigorous response. For the next twenty or thirty minutes, one pastor after another replied with impassioned speeches, testimonies, sermonettes. Some were fatherly; some were brotherly; some were stern; some were gentle. But each defended the fact that being born again and getting healed were biblical, which means they weren’t nonsense. We never got around to the subject of tithing.

The young man listened. As the older pastors spoke, respectfully gave them his full attention and didn’t defend himself with they used the words like “heresy” and “false doctrine” to discredit his words. When there was a lull in the conversation, he responded in a quiet but firm tone. “Brothers, I am not your enemy. I am your friend. I believe in Jesus. I am born again myself. I even speak in tongues, so I’m Pentecostal like most of you. I’m sorry I offended you by the word nonsense. But if you would simply teach them some practical things that relate to their daily lives, that could make such a big difference.”

Everything must change, pgs. 25-27


Christmas in Montreal 08′

A few shots from Place Montreal Trust, The Eaton Centre and The Christmas tree at home…
Merry Merry…

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PMT…

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PMT…

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PMT…

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EC…

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EC…

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Christmas in Montreal 08'

A few shots from Place Montreal Trust, The Eaton Centre and The Christmas tree at home…
Merry Merry…

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PMT…

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PMT…

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PMT…

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EC…

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EC…

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Thanksgiving 08′.

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Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers south of the border.

I didn’t have to cook today, thank God. The weather here is snowy and cold. Tonight was the last class for Christian Ethics. Which means I have the final take home exam. Pastoral Ministry ended last night, and we have one more class of Gospel and Acts on Monday night. I have 2 final exams and 1 paper still to write for this semester and then I am finished.

Let us Pray…


Thanksgiving 08'.

thanksgiving_thankful

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers south of the border.

I didn’t have to cook today, thank God. The weather here is snowy and cold. Tonight was the last class for Christian Ethics. Which means I have the final take home exam. Pastoral Ministry ended last night, and we have one more class of Gospel and Acts on Monday night. I have 2 final exams and 1 paper still to write for this semester and then I am finished.

Let us Pray…


Medical Update

Red Ribbon

I hit a new high today and I a told by my doctor that my T-cells number has broken the clinic record and I am now famous. I’ve been on Lipitor for 3 weeks and my triglycerides are down and my cholesterol is down almost a whole point. Which is great news. The numbers are as follows:

CD4 – 1365 A New Record. I am healthier than a negative human being.
CD3 – 83
CD4% – 39%

So now we are on commercial stock for medication since Quebec is now covering all my medications and I am off study stock pills. YAY !!!

Stay tuned. More later…


Change…

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… and it all begins with cookies!

A couple weeks ago I shared with you that my two coffee buddies were not in a good place, Ms.Nikki has flown the coop and left the group, she was our resident cookie lady. And Peter has been a no show for now two weeks running. Today I went for coffee at the diner and I was all by myself, again.

I had to go buy coffee and cups for the meeting on my way to the diner, and as usual I had to buy cookies. Our meeting is reknown for our selection of tasty cookies to go with tasty coffee. When Ms. Nikki left the group I figured that I would just carry forward the cookie job. But one week morphed into two weeks and two weeks into four… Cookies are not cheap, even buying the generic cheapies.

A package of cookies runs $4.00 a package. In keeping with what Ms. Nikki was buying, that ended up being 4 packages of cookies a week. That’s $16.00 for each week. Milk runs $3.80 for a 2 litre jug. That’s $20.00 a week for cookies and milk. I spent $25.00 today for supplies. So this month I spent $85.00 for supplies out of my pocket for the month of November.

At the business meeting I wrote out a check to myself so that the group could reimburse me for the monthly expenses. I then posed a question to them about buying cookies. I assumed the responsibility and so incurred the expense. But this month they decided to reimburse me. Which led to a very loud discussion about whether or not the group coud afford $100.00 a month in expenses. We decided NO. But my co treasurer did give me $10.00 a week budget for cookies which will come out of the kitty.

The other group members decided that we would all pitch in and buy cookies from now on.

We had a new comer attend our business meeting. His name is Owen. He is button cute. He’s got some time under his belt. And he and his fiance have decided to join the group. And he pledged some service time to the group. In order to get on the meeting roster as a new comer [to chair meetings] you have to have 6 months of sober time and 3 months of service and attendance at the group. The rules used to be that you had to have a year sober and 6 month service time to the group in order to chair.You need over a year of sobriety to get a key… and there are only 3 keys out. We have relaxed those rules to try and get some new blood into the system. Although attendance has been really bad over the last two months. More to the point, we haven’t had new members to the group in almost a year. [none that stayed any length of time] We lost 10 members in the last year as well.

Now, I know new comers. We haven’t been able to maintain our new comers. They come for a few weeks and then they turn tail and move on. We haven’t had anyone new come to do set up in YEARS!!! And Nikki, Peter and myself have been setting up for the last seven years together. And now that they aren’t there, it all comes down to me doing it all by myself. Which is alright. I get there early and take my time making coffee and putting out all the chairs. So supposedly, these two newbies are going to come and do some service.

I am not going to hold my breath…

My whole Tuesday routine is shot to hell, and some of our group members want me to delegate power to new people. Well, if history is our mirror, there hasn’t been a newcommer doing service at our home group since I first got sober. And that would be seven years ago. Even coming early and having the room open 90 minutes prior to the meeting and putting cookies out, we haven’t been able to attract newbies to come and fellowship with us.

It was brought to our attention by a visitor from the states that it was his experience in his home town that Alcoholics Anonymous had stared to become [everything] anonymous. So they closed their meetings specifically for and serving only Alcoholics and that raised their numbers. We at Tuesday Beginners have gotten really lax over the years. Many of our regulars are cross addicted and they share that at the meetings both the early meeting and the late meeting. And that might be our deathknell.

With Ms. Louise leaving in January to go to Florida that leaves 3 people to chair two meetings and get speakers for the late meeting. If we don’t get some new blood into the system over the next two months there is a good chance that we will have to close the meeting down. And on December 17th is the groups 59th anniversary. That meeting used to have over 100 people coming to the speaker meeting. And once we used to average upwards of 50 plus people at the discussion meeting at 6:30p.m. We haven’t seen numbers like that since I got sober.

Owen talks a good talk. He has connections. And he is young and on fire. And really I would like to hope that he fuilfills his pledge, which would be really nice. So we’ll see. I don’t know if I can adapt to any more change to my Tuesday routine without loosing my mind at the same time. I’ve been doing this for so long and I enjoy doing it they way I do it. I need to keep some normalcy to my Tuesday routine or else I am going to go crazy.

God grant me serenity…

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Seasons Change

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Found on Randall’s Blog:

As I sit here in my office early on this Tuesday morning my window looks out towards the house and behind it the eastern sky is starting to lighten up. It’s quite beautiful and amazing.

The rhythms of life are intricately connected here on this earth, and they feel even more tied together here in this field. Winter is coming, so preparations are being made. Equipment is being placed into storage, poultry is being sent to market, cattle is being shipped or moved to winter homes. And the land is allowed to rest.

Rest. Hibernation. Winter brings that to us in different ways, at least here on the Canadian prairies. We are forced by the coming rhythm of winter, to change gears, downshift, conserve energy, rest. And that is a good thing.

I don’t know who we would be if we didn’t have winter. I suspect choosing to rest if it wasn’t forced upon us might be difficult. Probably even seen as a weakness. And if our neighbours didn’t rest, then probably neither would we.

So we are forced, by the plans of God and the grace of the land, to rest. And even if we inside ourselves don’t slow down, that’s our choice. Sometimes the land and the rhythms of life God has given us, are smarter than we are, and if we are teachable we will learn a thing or two about seasons of rest.

Learning to live well in that balance is a secret to life that not all people understand. Whether you are a high stakes banker living in the glass towers of the big city, or a farmer working the land. There are things about the balanced life that we need to learn, so that our lives too will be blessed in ways that give us life.


I’ve Learned … Stumbling…

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I’ve Learned

I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you.
All you can do is be someone who can be loved.
The rest is up to them.
I’ve learned that no matter how much I care,
some people just don’t care back.
And it’s not the end of the world.
I’ve learned that it takes years to build up trust,
and only seconds to destroy it.
I’ve learned that it’s not what you have in your life,
but who you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes.
After that, you’d better know something.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t compare yourself
to the best others can do,
but to the best you can do.
I’ve learned that it’s not what happens to people,
It’s what they do about it.
I’ve learned that no matter how thin you slice it,
there are always two sides.
I’ve learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.
I’ve learned that you can keep going
long after you think you can’t.

I’ve learned that heroes are the people who do what has to be done
When it needs to be done
regardless of the consequences.

I’ve learned that there are people who love you dearly,
but just don’t know how to show it.
I’ve learned that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.
I’ve learned that true friendship continues to grow even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.
I’ve learned that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to
doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned that no matter how good a friend is,
they’re going to hurt you every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that.
I’ve learned that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I’ve learned that no matter how bad your heart is broken,
the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we become.
I’ve learned that just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean that they don’t love each other.
And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.

I’ve learned that sometimes you have to put the individual
ahead of their actions.

I’ve learned that two people can look at the exact same thing
and see something totally different.
I’ve learned that no matter the consequences,
those who are honest with themselves get farther in life.
I’ve learned that your life can be changed in a matter of hours
by people who don’t even know you.
I’ve learned that even when you think you have no more to give,
when a friend cries out to you,
you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned that writing,
as well as talking,
can ease emotional pains.
I’ve learned that the people you care most about in life
are taken from you too soon.

I’ve learned that it’s hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice
and not hurting people’s feelings and standing up for what you believe.
I’ve learned to love
and be loved.
I’ve learned…

Omer B. Washington


I've Learned … Stumbling…

pic_006513001189349823

I’ve Learned

I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you.
All you can do is be someone who can be loved.
The rest is up to them.
I’ve learned that no matter how much I care,
some people just don’t care back.
And it’s not the end of the world.
I’ve learned that it takes years to build up trust,
and only seconds to destroy it.
I’ve learned that it’s not what you have in your life,
but who you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes.
After that, you’d better know something.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t compare yourself
to the best others can do,
but to the best you can do.
I’ve learned that it’s not what happens to people,
It’s what they do about it.
I’ve learned that no matter how thin you slice it,
there are always two sides.
I’ve learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.
I’ve learned that you can keep going
long after you think you can’t.

I’ve learned that heroes are the people who do what has to be done
When it needs to be done
regardless of the consequences.

I’ve learned that there are people who love you dearly,
but just don’t know how to show it.
I’ve learned that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.
I’ve learned that true friendship continues to grow even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.
I’ve learned that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to
doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned that no matter how good a friend is,
they’re going to hurt you every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that.
I’ve learned that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I’ve learned that no matter how bad your heart is broken,
the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we become.
I’ve learned that just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean that they don’t love each other.
And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.

I’ve learned that sometimes you have to put the individual
ahead of their actions.

I’ve learned that two people can look at the exact same thing
and see something totally different.
I’ve learned that no matter the consequences,
those who are honest with themselves get farther in life.
I’ve learned that your life can be changed in a matter of hours
by people who don’t even know you.
I’ve learned that even when you think you have no more to give,
when a friend cries out to you,
you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned that writing,
as well as talking,
can ease emotional pains.
I’ve learned that the people you care most about in life
are taken from you too soon.

I’ve learned that it’s hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice
and not hurting people’s feelings and standing up for what you believe.
I’ve learned to love
and be loved.
I’ve learned…

Omer B. Washington


Pastoral Ministry

compassion

After spending the past 3 days reading letters, encyclicals, pastoral letters, and books, I finally finished my term paper on the care of lgbtq youth. 15 pages, and it reads quite well. I am happy with it. 4 am Sunday morning. The final draft of this paper is now up for you to read.

It is now located in the PAGES section – under Pastoral Care of LGBTQ Youth…


Pastoral Care of Gay Youth

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I am in the thick of formulating an academic scholarly paper for my Pastoral Ministry class. My paper is a precursor for my practicum next semester. And I am writing on the subject of the Pastoral Care of Gay young people and what their parents can do for them, what not to do to them, and how spirituality may help them both.

I have copies of John Paul II’s Pastoral Letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. We all know what the Magesterium says about homosexuality and I know where John Paul II and Benedict the XVI stand on the issue of Homosexuality.

The second letter I am looking at is “Always our Children: A Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children and Suggestions for Pastoral Ministers.” The Church sees Homosexuality as a “condition” and is seen as “an objective disorder.” John Paul goes on the say that “Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this “condition,” lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It Is Not !!!

From the Conference of Catholic Bishops:

The Bishops offer advice to parents on coping skills and attitudes to take on the issue “There seems to be no single cause of a homosexual orientation. A common opinion of experts is that there are multiple factors – genetic, hormonal, psychological – that may give rise to it. Generally, homosexual orientation is experienced as a given, not as something freely chosen. By itself, therefore, a homosexual orientation cannot be considered sinful, for morality presumes the freedom to choose.”

  • Every person has an inherent dignity because he or she is created in God’s image.
  • Like all gifts from God, the power and freedom of sexuality can be channeled toward good or evil.
  • Christ summons all his followers – whether they are married or living single celibate life – to a higher standard of loving.
  • Respect for the God given dignity of all persons means the recognition of human rights and responsibilities.
  • The Christian community should offer its homosexual sisters and brothers understanding and pastoral care.

More than twenty years ago we bishops stated that “Homosexuals… should have an active role in the Christian community” (National conference of Catholic Bishops, To live in Christ Jesus: A Pastoral Reflection on the Moral Life, 1976, p.19) What does this mean in practice? It means that all homosexual persons have a right to be welcomed into community, to hear the word of God, and to receive pastoral care. Homosexual persons living CHASTE lives should have opportunities to lead and serve the community. However, the church has the right to deny public roles of service and leadership to persons, whether homosexual or heterosexual, whose public behavior openly violates its teachings.

There is that word that sticks out like a sore thumb… CHASTE !!!
A quid pro quo determiner for service to the church.

The church also recognizes the importance and urgency of ministering to persons with HIV/AIDS. Though HIV/AIDS is an epidemic affecting the whole human race, not just homosexual persons, it has had a devastating effect upon them and has brought great sorrow to many parents, families and friends.

Without condoning self-destructive behavior or denying personal responsibility, we reject the idea that HIV/AIDS is a direct punishment from God. Furthermore

Persons with AIDS are not distant, unfamiliar people, the objects of our mingled pity and aversion. We must keep them present in our consciousness as individuals and a community, and embrace them with unconditional love … Compassion – love – toward persons infected with HIV is the ONLY Gospel response.
(National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Called to Compassion and Responsibility: A Response to the HIV/AIDS Crisis, 1989).

NOTHING in the Bible or in Catholic teaching can be used to justify prejudicial or discriminatory attitudes and behaviors. We reiterate what we said in an earlier statement:

We call on all Christians and citizens of good will to confront their own fears about homosexuality and to curb the humor and discrimination that offend homosexual persons. We understand that having a homosexual orientation brings with it enough anxiety, pain and issues related to self-acceptance without society bringing additional prejudicial treatment. (Human Sexuality: A Catholic Perspective for Education and Lifelong Learning, 1991, p.55)

I am also using Donald’s Text: Out on Holy Ground to help explore gay spirituality and to talk about the history and placement of Queer people in the community. I think I am on the right path. I know many of my readers out there don’t comment. But I am asking you guys for your input.

I know I am not an active member of the Catholic Church because of their position on Homosexuality, that is why I am more aligned with the Anglican Communion. But this paper is going to a Catholic Monsignor. It was suggested to me to read the Bishops letter by Fr. Ray, who is one of my professors in Christian Ethics. So that is what I did.

I also live in Canada. And I am writing towards a Canadian audience. Well, I am writing to one person, but by extension, this scholarly paper should be able to be transmitted to a community to be used for Pastoral Care, so this might be my first PUBLISHED work in my University Career. The Clergy in my social circle understand that they live in today and they must respond to Pastoral Care in a more immediate nature. Even Catholic priests have their beliefs on Church teachings. We do not live in an archaic time. We live in today.

They may not agree with Holy Mother Church, as I do not either… We live a more progressive Pastoral Model here in Montreal.


Anniversary

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Today hubby and I have been married for four years…


Thought from Finding the Perfect Church…

Because the simple act of prayer – asking God for those things that weigh heavily on our hearts, must be followed up with a period of silent “Listening” for God’s voice to speak to you. Because sometimes we get the answer… ‘keep praying, not today, NO!’ Cookie cutter Christianity is too easy. You must live your faith actively in community, that is one sure way to find Jesus in the field.

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Start with your garden
Plant it, Till it, and let it grow
Listen to your heart song
and share it with the world
Take off the blinders on your eyes
and see the world in its imperfect state
Find Christ in the field and walk with Him
talk the talk and walk the walk
practice your faith in ACTION
in time your heart will soften
and you will see God
and you will find that

‘Perfect Church’

is but
‘Perfect Union with Christ’

AND

One day
A church will find its way to you

Because you will be ready to serve…


Anger and Resentment…

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“But you are not who you were – once ago. This is who you are today.

Acceptance is the key to all my problems…”

This is part of a comment I left on Adam’s Blog yesterday. Sometimes when I leave comments here and there I go back to reread what I wrote because sometimes I cannot believe that I could be that wise. Someone on that comment thread said I was wise, I guess that comes with sobriety. I am not who I was once ago, and in recovery, I can’t get it all back, all at once, as it once was. This is who I am today…

I had a drinking dream today, I still remember it now. I was with friends and I had one too many shots and I was falling down drunk on the sidewalk. And I was looking up at them and one of my friends had that “look” on his face like, “I can’t believe what you did, you’re such a lush!” Then I woke up – a little bit disoriented and I rolled over and looked at the clock, ok it was 2:30 in the afternoon and today is Tuesday and I knew I had to get to the diner for coffee and I got up and started my day.

I do my morning, well afternoon meditation and I log onto the computer and check my daily reads. I check on the posts that I commented on the day prior to see what people have to say, then I log into Face Book. I like that page because at the top of the page is a question…

“What are you doing right now???”

Now I know who is on my friends list, and there are sober people on my list so I can write stuff that normal people don’t write about. So I wrote, “I had a drinking dream and I am going to my meeting!” and I get comments from my friends about my recovery. That is a good thing.

The subconscious mind is a funny beast. It is thinking when I am sleeping and today it wanted to drink. I could see the drink, I could taste the drink, and I could feel the emotions coming from my friends. I felt bad, and sorry. I was talking to some friends after the meeting and Sean said to me that it is good to be reminded about the fact that I cannot drink. Normally… Even with seven years of sobriety, I still dream about drinking. It never leaves you. That is the fear, that I might loose the fear to drink and one day I might drink.

With the loss of my two friends at our home group, it now falls upon my shoulders to make sure we have supplies, cookies, milk and so forth. Last night I went to buy cookies, $16.00 for four packs of cookies plus $3.00 a week for milk rounds out my spending of $100.00 a month on supplies. I can’t afford another $100.00 out of my pocket so next week the group will have to either pony up the cash to reimburse me for the spending or we will do without cookies from now on. I have to go buy coffee and cups for the month and that is going to cost me more out of pocket, but meeting supplies come out of the budget and prudent reserve.

I am learning about feelings in my sobriety. I am also practicing what it is that I preach. Am I living what I am saying? Can I back up what I am saying to others over these blogs and in life, with my actions in my life? I’ve been following a number of people over the last few months, Adam is recovering from Cancer treatment and I’ve tried to be a voice of wisdom for him in remembering that you cannot ask for more than your body can give you at any one given moment. And who you were then, is not who you are today. Sometimes I scare myself with some of the wisdom I have collected over the past few years, that is now coming to fruition in my life, that I can share it with others.

Acceptance is the key to all my problems…

We talked about anger and resentment today. A very “delicious topic” as Doug shared. You know I don’t get angry a lot. You know when I get angry? At the grocery store. People shop in packs. They block the aisles as they stand there and stare at food on the shelf and I imagine them saying to themselves, “What do I need to buy, and do I need to buy this?” In the meantime I want to get past them and I am in a hurry to get somewhere – it seems all the time in the grocery store. We have a method to shopping. We know what we need, where to find it and how to get to the cash quickly.

I always use the express lane 10 items or less. And as ALWAYS, there is some jackpot joker at the express cash who is complaining about something, wanting a refund for something or they don’t have enough cash to pay for what they are buying and the cashier has to process refunding all that merchandise back into the system as we wait for them to do that. It NEVER fails…

On my way home – it is freaking cold out tonight. (-3c and snowing) although I didn’t see any snow falling on my walk home. I had to go to the store to get dinner. And I hit a pack of shoppers in front of the beer stacks, Christ get out of my way puhleese!!! Then I get to the cash and sure enough we hit the jackpot again, some girl was going to buy food. She swiped one card NSF, she swiped another card NSF, she swiped a third card NSF, finally she gave up and walked out of the store. And the cashier had to refund all the items that she had scanned again… OY give me a freaking break… ok, breathe…

This is about all the anger I had in my day today. I work diligently at not getting angry, my life does not lend to anger nor resentment. Which is good. Anger is one of those feelings that I tend to avoid. Resentment is another beast all together. Usually if I am resentful, about someone or something, I am spinning my wheels about someone who really does not deserve the time or space in my brain, and/or they have no direct impact on my daily life. I get resentful at people for reasons that are all about me, and when isn’t it all about me?

For the most part, life isn’t all about me in most cases.

Sometimes I resent some of the people who come to my meeting. Some of them are self centered and they are so antisocial that it makes me ill. People usually come to the meeting they get a coffee, they join the pre-meeting chat and say hello and they become part of the atmosphere. Then there are those who deign to speak to me (and that’s when it becomes all about me) and I have to stop and say “I don’t have to like everyone in the meeting and they don’t have to like me either. So Be It…

I don’t have to rent them Free Space in my head, with a resentment. I mean really, I don’t spend time caring about many people who come to my meeting. I don’t know, sometimes I get resentful over the most stupidest things. Just to keep the hamster in my head on its wheel spinning at 60 MPH… UGH!!!

God give me strength… There are no justified resentments…

Life is a lot easier when you don’t rent space in your brain to people for free…
I am powerless over people, places and things…
I can’t give away – what I don’t have myself.
But I do share what I have in my wisdom bank of time.

I am not who I was, This is who I am today…
I must remember what it was like, what happened and what it is like today.
I cannot get it all back, all at once, in the way I had it before.
Acceptance is the KEY to all my problems…
All I have is today, these 24 hours, and I should make the best of them.

This is who I am today !!!

In 21 days I will pick up my 7 year medallion. It is already in my bag. Nikki bought it for me. I opened the card today at the diner. 7 years. I had hoped, in the beginning of my sobriety, that I would be as fluid and as wise as some of the people I knew then, who had seven years or more of sobriety.

I wonder, Am I wise yet??? Some people think so…