Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. Prayer and Meditation. A Wordpress Production

Archive for February, 2011

Archbishop Desmond Tutu … in his own words…

Courtesy: All Saints Church Pasadena …

Here is a story from the sermon of Archbishop Tutu.

“God created us in the beginning out of dust, and putting this first lot, like bricks you put in a kiln, and firing them and God was busy doing all kinds of things and for God, God put this lot in the oven, and when God came to the door he was like ohhh and rushed found everything was burned to cinders, and this is how black people came about.

And God then put a second lot in the oven and this time God is too anxious and opens the oven too quickly and this lot was underdone and that’s how white people came about …”

“When the missionaries came to Africa, we had the land they had the Bible, and then they said let us pray, and we closed our eyes and they said Amen, and we opened our eyes, they had the land, and we had the Bible…”

His message, we are holy. We walk on Holy Ground, and we are God’s viceroy’s on earth. You are created in the image of God. You are the temple of the Holy Spirit. You, You, You are the temple of the Holy Spirit, You are a God carrier.

His message was of peace and transformation.

You and I should be made for the infinite. Each of us has a God shaped space within us, and only God can fill that space.

Imagine if we all really believed this. If he is a God carrier, we are a God carrier. If we really believed the things we are taught you and I would say Ahh ahh it is holy, it is holy, because God suffuses everything.

At the burning bush Moses meets God, everything is a burning bush. If only you and I could we would say this is holy ground, not just here but everywhere, I tread on Holy Ground…

Nothing except sin is secular. So we come to this service God feels sorry for us, and the Holy the omnipotent the one before whom the arch angels fall down, I come in the form of bread I come in the form of wine and St Augustin said that you are that bread, you are that wine, you are in the chalice, become what you are. You are fantastic, you are holy you are God carriers. You are omnipotent.

You are a God carrier, you are God’s stand in, You, You, You … We are God’s viceroy…

Friday Follies …

Courtesy: Alex-Stoddard Flickr

The end of the week is here. Classes are moving forwards as they will. We are in full swing mode now. The drop deadline was the 15th, and half of the people who started in Philosophy have gone. When the prof took attendance on Thursday night he was surprised to see that so many people did not show.

We are reading Aristotle this week.

I am progressing in French. Next Wednesday we have an oral exam presentation for class. So I am preparing that this week.

Tonight’s adventure took us off the island to Chateauguay for our Friday night meeting. The place was packed. A huge crowd. And our speaker came from the West Island. A young man, 14 months sober, got up there and knocked it out of the park.

We were sitting all the way in the back of the room but his share was incredible. There were so many people there that we didn’t get to shake hands, we didn’t hang around after the meeting.

The weather is almost balmy out. They are calling for snow squalls tonight ending around midnight. It’s 11:30 now and there is no snow falling just yet.

Nothing else exciting going on here.

Stay tuned. More to come …

What are you made of ???

Courtesy: The Locals

The weather is downright frightful. After a day filled with blue skies and sunshine, we are sitting right around (-14c with a wind chill of -20c). Nobody stuck around at the end of the meeting, we all wanted to get where we were going and not dawdle.

It was a good day today. However cold it was this afternoon. I got to the church at my normal time and set up. I had 90 minutes from set up to meeting to sit and read for my philosophy class on Thursday night. (We are reading Plato).

There were about a dozen people for the early meeting. It was good to see my core group of members who show up every week, show up. The topic was taken from the Grapevine book, Getting and staying sober in AA.

Let’s focus on what we have …

Everybody enjoyed the topic. It was a good reminder at this point in the middle of winter to stop and make a list of things we HAVE in our lives.

They always say that if you don’t have a topic for a meeting, then the default topic always falls to gratitude. And that’s where the discussion went.

Partway through the meeting I dropped the bomb on people about our thoughts on changing up the meeting and changing the format to the speaker/discussion format.

Everybody at the meeting supports what ever we need to do to maintain the meeting. We had a lively discussion about the things I have heard about the meeting over the last few weeks. We talked about the energy in the meeting.

Let me be the first to say that our meeting is a good little meeting. In a bright space, there is not another room like ours in the city of Montreal. So if people have a problem with 0ur space, I need to remember not to take it personally when I am told that my meeting has negative energy. I beg to differ on that.

One of our guests spoke about the time issue. That maybe a 90 minute format was a bit long. So we are going to work on the time and try to bring forth a format that would not run so long,  a short speaker with a break in between the two forms then we would have time for discussion.

We are outside the blue sheet deadline so that means that we have another month to talk about what we want to do and when we want to do it. It might be wise to hold off making the change as long as possible because we are in the dead of Winter and I am sure the numbers are not going to pick up until the weather starts to turn warmer.

Rick picked off our speaker at the Sunday night meeting we went to on the weekend. From listening to him share at meetings, I imagined he was long sober because he sounds so wise. It was a good share, from the gut, honest and down and dirty, let’s not skate over the sticky parts …

When we get sober we get to see what we are made of. That’s what I took away from the meeting tonight. Have I figured out what I am made of? Am I still a work in progress? There aren’t two ways about it … If you are getting sober and you do the work, what comes out is who you are.

I really admired our speaker. I see him at other meetings and he is always smiling and genuinely happy to see everybody at any given meeting.

I think that on Friday I will revisit the Gates of Hell. I like that meeting, it’s full of young sobriety. I admire the young people. I find myself wanting to get back to basics once again and find my way back into community, even if it isn’t at my home group. But we had a handful of young people show up to hear our speaker tonight. It was a good thing.

So that was the day in brief …

More to come, stay tuned …

The Gates of Hell … les portes de l’enfer

Courtesy: Thiswillnotdefineus

Si nous sommes laborieux à propos de cette phase de notre développement, nous serons surpris avant que nous soyons à mi-parcours. Nous allons connaître une nouvelle liberté et un nouveau bonheur. Nous ne regretterons pas le passé ni ne veux pas fermer la porte sur elle. Nous comprendrons le mot sérénité et nous connaîtrons la paix. Peu importe à quel point bas de l’échelle, nous sommes passés, nous verrons comment notre expérience peut profiter aux autres. Ce sentiment d’inutilité et selfpity disparaîtra. Nous allons perdre de l’intérêt dans les choses et les intérêts égoïstes davantage à nos semblables. Auto-recherche de la volonté échapper. Notre attitude générale et les perspectives sur la vie va changer. La crainte des gens et de l’insécurité économique va nous quitter. Nous savons intuitivement comment gérer les situations qui, auparavant, nous déroutaient. Soudain, nous constaterons que Dieu fait pour nous ce que nous ne pouvions pas faire pour nous-mêmes.

Sont là des promesses extravagantes? Nous pensons que non. Ils sont accomplis parmi nous, parfois rapidement, parfois lentement. Ils se matérialisent toujours si nous travaillons pour eux.

*** *** *** *** ***

Tonight took us on an adventure to the East end of Montreal. Up the hill on St. Urbain to a little meeting called “The Gates of Hell.” Friday is usually travel night for the 3 musketeers, but our leader was not in the mood to go out after work.

So, I called my friend Patrick and we met up at the St. Laurent Metro and walked up to the meeting. This was the first time in sobriety that I attended a meeting in a language other than English.

Seeing I am studying French at Dawson, Patrick told me that I would get a lot out of the meeting to practice my French in a communal setting. All the prayers and readings were done in both English and French.

The Promises – Above in French – were the topic for the evening. After the topic was introduced there was a 5 minutes period of meditation before the floor was open to sharing. Which commenced in both languages.

I did a lot of listening – I felt out of place because the room was packed, we had about 50 people for a discussion meeting, which is a lot of people. There wasn’t enough time for everyone to share and not everybody did.

I saw a few familiar faces in the crowd from a few meetings that I go to regularly. Lots of sobriety in the room. Maybe I will visit the meeting again next week.

Let’s Talk about Mental Illness …

I created this post a long time ago for some of my readers since it is something that we deal with on a daily basis. Dealing with depression in our home is daily work. Being HIV + now so many years, I have dealt with my own needs and having been in therapy many times over the last 17 years has helped me immensely. Staying sober now is how I deal with my daily issues. I have tools to help me stave off problem days.

But for many, getting much needed assistance is far from coming. Talking about mental illness has been taboo for so long, that in today’s day and age with all this technology, how can we not talk about it.

Depression is a problem that many deal with, getting proper help is a problem. Because for most, there aren’t enough doctors to go around and medication is not cheap, once you get a diagnosis. If you get a diagnosis.

But it is important that you get from the problem to a solution. If you suffer from mental illness or you think that you might have a problem, there are solutions. All you have to do is speak up. Tell someone, get the help you need, because if left untreated mental illness can kill.

And it is not only the sufferer that suffers, it is the family, the siblings, the parents and spouses that have to deal with you on a daily basis. And I can tell you that when hubby was diagnosed after his nervous breakdown and subsequent Bi-Polar II Rapid Cycling diagnosis, if I did not have a support system to help me, I am sure it would have been much worse.

We had issues with insurance providers and health care providers. But eventually we found a good psychiatrist for hubby to see, who still maintains him as a patient today, so many years later.

I can’t encourage you enough that if you have a problem and if you speak out that you can find the help you need. It also falls on the people around you to help take care of you. Because it takes more than one person to take care of someone who is mentally affected. The patient themselves and someone to take notes and to assist the doctor in making sure that the treatment options taken on are really working. It is our observations that help medical professionals to do their jobs well.

That is why I created this Bi-Polar Rapid Cycling post and it can be found in my Pages, down on the sidebar of the blog. You can always find it on the front page once this posts gets buried once again.

If you have a problem, then let’s talk about it …

So without further adoo, here is that post.

*** *** *** *** ***

What have we learned boys and girls about the Bi-Polar disorder. The right medication is the key ingredient to success. Finding the right match of medication to make the light go on in the tower and for life to be regained. It took ten months of mixes and matches to find the right mixture and dosages of medication, not to mention the time I waited for the medication to work.

Bi-Polar runs on the system of cycles. They do not all run concurrently and they don’t all make the whole of a person, and sometimes they don’t even make sense, but added together they will, they run on their own timetables and sequences. Every person is unique and each of us carries our own issues and dilemmas. Issues do not go away without bringing them into the light for examination and information and study. What do I know about my husband:

  1. KEEP A JOURNAL of your progress and the Bi-Polar person
  2. Journaling can become very crucial to self help and to help others like US
  3. The more knowledge you collect the better you are at predicting the future by maintenance and vigilance
  4. You are your own best physician, take the time to learn it will benefit you BOTH
  5. I learned this with HIV, I know my body better than any doctor that I will ever see
  6. It is my knowledge that helps a doctor to treat me optimally!!
  7. Therefore what you observe becomes knowledge for a Psychiatrist or Psychologist and the GP following the patient
  8. Sexual issues are at the top of the list
  9. Mommy issues are just as bad
  10. Is he sleeping too much or too little
  11. Is his mind racing all the time or not enough
  12. Is he not motivated Enough to live each day to his fullest
  13. Is he Overstimulated – therefore halting the creative process
  14. Is he depressed for longer periods of time, therefore maybe a medication needs to be removed, tweaked or changed
  15. Is he emotionally stable on a steady day to day basis for longer periods of time
  16. Is he up or down or too much or one or the other
  17. Does he eat in regular intervals or binge eats during certain hours
  18. Because he’s in recovery and not going to meetings – I have to take that into consideration because I still go to meetings.
  19. Is he exhibiting addictive behavior, food, sex, ambivalence, smoking
  20. Is he being irresponsible with money
  21. Is he eating too mcuh and not getting satisfaction with each meal
  22. Are there other medical factors we need to look at
  23. Thyroid, genetic or emotional issues
  24. Does he have enough structure to fill his day
  25. Is there too much structure for him (overstimulization)
  26. Does he feel fulfilled socially
  27. Should we enroll him in school – University – goals are important
  28. Are his classes stimulating him to his maximum potential
  29. Boredom is KEY here… Most bi-polar people are inner geniuses and don’t know whether it is mental or creational
  30. When the High is Too high, the fall is too great
  31. When the Low is too low, it will take some work to bring him up
  32. Creation at optimum levels for him is a recipie for disaster because he does not know when to shut the valve off and that creates hysteria in his head
  33. Finding BALANCE is Key to proper maintenance
  34. Making sure one cycle does not become troublesome – that’s where I failed to see the problem
  35. Making sure he has psychological support – someone other than me to talk to
  36. I can only do so much for him, the rest is up to him
  37. Medical supervision with the Psychiatrist is important to make sure we are monitoring the medication levels properly. This is very important. It takes a LONG time to figure out, most don’t know this, but the closest person to the patient should follow the trends of ups and downs to find the trend of good and bad.
  38. I spent a year studying his behavior to help his doctor find the right mix, adding to that his own observations as to how the medication made him feel and how he progresses with certain meds, throughout the medical process of divining the right medication mixture.
  39. Keeping an eye out for odd behavior is also important. Over long periods of times cycles can become natural cycles if you don’t catch the bad ones quick enough. This is not an easy task.
  40. Re-Integration has been an issue. How do you explain two lives at different stages of living after someone has been absent for months ata time, and you, the spouse and family went on with their lives, while you (the patient) were down for the count. I still go to meetings and have a life along with monitoring YOU, if YOU the patient do not take the proper steps to catch up, you will always be behind the lead runner in the race.
  41. Pushing a bi-polar person to change is useful – being angry is also useful –
  42. Responsibility is an adult necessity, and if you can’t be responsible, then we will treat you as we need to, until you can rise to the occasion. Irresponsibility with money, food and sex is Unacceptible.
  43. Bi-polar depression is a diagnosed mental problem and should be dealt with accordingly. With proper care and multi-pronged approach one finds their way. I am still trying to figure out how to be in two places at the same time, and to be in two heads at once. This is a challenge, because I am not God.
  44. Detecting the cyclical behavior is a learned behavior, just like certain other behaviors are learned.
  45. One must find the balance between a bi-polar person abusing you and taking advantage of you and the bi-polar condition being a daily handicapp and a crutch. My husband tries to do both sometimes at the same time.
  46. Whining and complaining about being forced off your ASS will not be tolerated. You want something to complain about, I’ll give you one problem to really complain about! I don’t want to hear about your complaints because you sure as shit don’t want to hear mine.
  47. Does he have occupational therapy, (The Gym, landry, house chores, getting out of the house) Sitting on ones ass or sleeping too much is problematic and can bite you in the ass
  48. A Spouse or family member of a bi-polar person needs a break at least for an hour a day or one day a week. sometimes that is impossible, so you build in structure to allow you both to have time for yourselves.
  49. Make sure you take care of your needs first, if you are sick or dead you are useless to care for anyone else, right !!
  50. Bi-Polar is just as much a mental disorder as a behavioral disorder and by watching key behavior patterns or cycles, along with medical treatment and supervision, one can manage their condition with a responsible partner to help them along the way
  51. Do not take no for an answer, fight, kick, scream, make sure he gets better
  52. FAILURE is NOT an option
  53. Treatment can work, but you have to be able to invest time and patience into wanting to find a solution and living through the darkness, because it does get light, and times will get hard, but you figure it out
  54. WALKING AWAY from a sick person is unconscionable, some people cannot hack the life of the patient spouse, this is what separates the MEN from the Boys and the WOMEN from the girls.
  55. Illness can either make or break your marriage, which are you going to choose?
  56. For Better or for Worse, in Sickness and in Health, in good times and in bad, till Death do us part, Did you say the same vows WE did?
  57. Marriage is a battle and I am a fighter. Are YOU?
  58. Never say Die, Never say NO, Never give up, there are ALWAYS solutions, IF you know where to find them
  59. Talk to everyone you know
  60. Trust only those you must
  61. Not every doctor knows his asshole from a hole in the ground
  62. Finding the right Bi-Polar doc is as important as finding the right GP or HIV doctor, half ass men in white coats are a dime a dozen, finding the right doc takes time, KNOWLEDGE and perseverance
  63. Know thine enemy frontwards and backwards
  64. To Thine Own Self Be True…
  65. Learn the signs of problems before they rear their ugly heads and tip you off balance, this is where I failed, over the last few months
  66. Every cycle has its marker tags, learn to spot them quickly
  67. Cycles can be time sensitive, moon cycle sensitive, each cycle runs on energy it comes and goes sometimes quickly sometimes slowly
  68. Cycles can last a few days or a few weeks or a few months
  69. Remember the good cycle and try to keep the bad cycles at a mininum
  71. There is a God, if there wasn’t I probably would not be here at this moment
  72. Pray, Pray and Pray some more…
  73. Find your faith, or FAITH will find you
  74. Trust me on this one…
  75. Evil exists in the face of illness – it taunts you and makes you feel small and insignificant and powerless, and useless, FIND the Path to not falling into the trap
  76. Pray, Pray and Pray some more
  77. I know this very well…
  78. Prayer – Acceptance and Powerlessness are helpful to help you stay grounded and humble
  79. Sometimes I cannot do this alone, that’s where YOU come in
  80. We can Do this Together
  81. You are not alone
  82. Bi-Polar is manageable – I am still finding our way, now 3 years after his diagnosis, we are a work in progress
  83. One Day At A Time…
  84. You are right where you need to be at any given moment on any given day
  85. Pure Intent and Open Mindedness really help ones journey of faith and life
  86. Illness either kills you or makes you stronger
  87. And That which does not Kill You makes you Stronger
  88. I am not dead yet, I am not finished living my life, So God says…
  89. It is all about the Mystical Life we each live in our own way
  90. Find your Mystical roots and you will find your way through the now and into your future
  91. I don’t live in the past – It distracts from the NOW…

Review …

I really love this photo.

So it is Wednesday night, almost midnight as I get around to typing this up. It was a good day. I got all my coursework done before class. I had a couple of assignments to finish up for tonight’s class.

I don’t know how I feel about French this semester. I think we cover too much material on any given night. I find myself taking more notes than usual and half the time, I can’t see the far chalk board. There are two in the classroom. I sit on the right side of the room, and my prof usually uses the left side, even sitting in the front row, I still can’t make out everything she writes down.

I guess I am doing ok , though. We have been doing translations in class, from English into French and French into English. We had a listening comprehension pre-test tonight and I got both sets of questions correct. There will be an exam on Monday that we have to prepare for this weekend.

I got a call from a friend before I left for class. He wanted to get together for coffee this evening after class. It’s been a long time, since a member has asked me out for coffee. Many of my friends who used to live around here and those I used to hang out with are no more.

We had a good time.

There is snow piled up all over the place. I noticed on the way home that there are snow drifts that are at least ten feet high in some areas. They are still clearing snow in the downtown core. It was a little bitter out tonight.

Tomorrow is another day. One more class to go this week and I can call it a day. I spoke to my friend Louise this afternoon and she told me that on Monday she is going to have the last operation to complete her breast reconstruction surgery process.

Last week she wasn’t going to do it because they told her that she would need general anesthesia and that did not go over very well with her, since the last time they put her out for the surgery she did not come out of it very well. And she wasn’t looking forwards to being put under again. And add to that the cost of the O.R. was astronomical.

The other day she got the call from the doctors office telling her that no, they did not have to put her under that they could do the procedure with a local, and not general, and they dropped the price of the O.R. to a more manageable price. So the boobs will be finished next week. Finally after almost a year from start to finish from Diagnosis to Breast Removal Surgery, healing to Breast Reconstruction we are at the other side of this cancer.

And she survived and things are looking up and we could not be more happy.

Well, that is a short synopsis of the days events as they happened.

More to come, stay tuned …

Brrrr… Tuesday

Courtesy: Fearfame

Last night, it snowed. Then the temperature rose and it was downright balmy. But in Montreal, if you don’t like the weather, wait 30 minutes and it will change.

From this morning into tonight, the temperature has steadily dropped and became bitterly cold. Right now it is ( -16c/-23c with the wind chill).

And you know, if you have been following along … If it is cold outside, people don’t come to the meeting. Numbers at the early meeting were up. We had a great turnout. We have newbies coming to the meeting once again.

But I know better than to get my hopes up. You give your phone number out and you wait for it to be used. Newbies talk about coming round and helping out, and they don’t show up. And when they do appear, you hear why …

With the time afforded we try to impart a few lessons to the newbie. Simple things they can hold on to and hopefully incorporate into their daily lives. We’ll see how things pan out this coming week.

Our topic for this week:

Admitting Powerlessness, January 1991.

“Listening to someone else’s sharing in a meeting a few months into AA, having stayed away from the first drink a day at a time, it suddenly hit me how much pain I had suffered, how close to death I had been, what a nightmare these years had been.

When I surrendered to the fact that alcohol was greater than myself, accepted life without ever drinking again, the compulsion was removed, left me, as if it had never been there.”

From: Beginners Book, Getting and staying sober in AA. Pg. 11.

The topic of powerlessness has been a running theme in my life for the last week. I have several friends who are in the program who are facing their own unique challenges as of late.

And I’ve been studying what they are doing to get through these tough times, I find it peculiar that even though people are in the program with considerable time invested in sobriety, how little some of them utilize these simple lessons that we learn in the program.

I’ve learned in as many years that I have integrated specific lessons into my life so that they come up when I need them, and I don’t really have to think about them at the moment. It comes as second nature.

I have a friend who broke his arm, and is in a cast past his elbow, down to his thumb. He can’t eat, shower or dress without the help of another human being, his partner. A nice little lesson about ego and admission.

He has spent the better part of the last few weeks bitching and moaning about the damn cast, and how miserable he is because of the problems the cast gives him. It has been obvious to me that he is not happy about having to rely so much on another person for everyday things.

We are powerless over people, places and things.

I have, until the other night, kept my counsel to myself. And the other night I hear him admit, to a degree, his powerlessness. That acceptance is creeping up on him. And finally I said to him, reminded him of the lesson of powerlessness and that it was time that he let go of it because he can’t take the cast off until the doctors take it off. And dwelling on misery is useless because it only hurts him in the long run.

Todd taught me a great lesson many years ago.

I worked in a bar. Men are pigs. They come and go as they please and leave you mess after mess and having to follow behind them cleaning up after them, cleaning toilets, because men don’t know how to use a bathroom without making a mess, used to make me insane. I would spend countless hours bitching and moaning about it.

And Todd said to me … “why are you expending all this energy bitching and moaning. All this time, knowing full well, you aren’t going to change them, so you might as well buckle down and do your job and let it go.”

I did what I needed to do. I learned to keep my mouth shut and things got better. I’ve had plenty of situations that present themselves as lessons. And I’ve learned a few lessons along the way in sobriety.

There are things that just come when needed. Things that make life easier to live life everyday. Lessons I apply every day. I don’t even have to think about it, I’ve incorporated simple things into life, like infrastructure.

The frame for life is built. And the way I have built my life so far utilizes the structure I have learned in sobriety. I am hooked into the program every day, I try not to take it for granted. And I think, sometimes, I talk to my friends who are struggling and I say something that sounds flippant or rude, like I don’t know what they are going through or do I know the finer points of the situations. The lessons are still there to use. You either choose to use them or you don’t.

I choose to use sobriety to my advantage. It’s quite interesting to hear people with time, forget the simple things. Like getting to a meeting on a regular basis, reading and maybe, for better or for worse, uttering a prayer, or maybe calling another member…

I don’t see the logic in suffering when there is a way out. I heard tonight about how the ego plays a part in letting go, that when we live in ego, things don’t usually go well for us.

We had lower numbers for the late meeting. Small numbers = intimate meeting. The speaker was great. I heard a lot of good things. He hit all the major points, meetings, service, helping others. He had it all wrapped up inside of 30 minutes, and we got out of there before 9 o’clock.

A good night was had by all …

I’m starting to ramble … Time to let go of this piece and stop writing.

Rome …

So I guess I’ve been a little MIA. I haven’t had the desire to write much and the prompts we’ve been getting just bore me to tears.

But it is snowing at this hour. Environment Canada says 5 to 10 cm. Nice, just what we need is more snow. Oh well, at least I don’t have to go out in it.

Feast your eyes upon the great Airbus A-380.

I can’t get enough of it. I read a blog written by an airline pilot in the U.S. and he had a video up of a 737-800 take off and I was hooked. Then the other night I was farting around on You Tube and found collections of videos of the A-380 from all over the world. So that’s what I’ve been up to as of late.

I’ve been floating the idea in my head of going to Rome for the Beatification of John Paul II the end of April. It would be a weekend event. I was trolling Travelocity’s Website today and flights are not cheap.

A regular flight across the pond will run me $980.00 round trip. I even looked into flights across the Atlantic on an airline that flies the A-380, since I am on the topic, and those flights run $1900.00 round trip. Alitalia and Air France fly the jet transatlantic in both directions, which bumps up the airfare quite a bit. One goes through London, the other through Charles de Gaul in Paris.

From the videos I gather that the planes are pristine, beautiful and sleek. I saw videos from Emirates Air, Singapore Airlines, British Airways and Air France and Alitalia. It is quite the experience.

Add to that a hostel for 2 nights at $480.00 ca and I’ve spent a pretty penny on a papal mass at the Vatican. I don’t know if I can justify the spending to hubby. It’s not like we are awash in money or anything like that, but it was a thought.

I did my homework. I know how much it’s gonna run. The mass isn’t on the Vatican website yet. The schedule only goes through April. But we know from the announcement that I posted last week was for May the 1st.

I have to find a way to bring up the topic gingerly. After watching all those airline videos, I am in the mood to take a trip somewhere, so why not make it count if I get the chance? You only live once.

Other than that, it was an uneventful week. Wednesday we had that snow storm and there was snow all over the place, so I skipped class because I didn’t feel like walking to school in the middle of a snow blow.

Thursday we had class and it went well. We are reading Plato. Fun !!!

Friday I slept in and farted around on the interwebs. Hubby has been keeping himself busy going here and there. He went to visit a friend this evening and now he has to walk home in the middle of a snow blow.

So we’ll see how this all plays out in the coming weeks.

More to come, stay tuned…

Second Chances Tuesday …

Courtesy: Only Men

It’s all about second chances …

It snowed earlier today, but the skies cleared into the evening, most probably the proverbial “Calm before the Storm” that they say is coming overnight. Looks like the latest update from Environment Canada says that over the next 24 hours possibly 20 cm of snow to fall tomorrow. I will see how the day pans out before I decide on class or not.

It is a bit chilly out, nippy actually. It was another low numbers night. Only a handful of people for the early meeting – but what we lacked in quantity made up for in the quality of the meeting. We talked about step 2. From the Daily Reflections…

” … Step Two gently and very gradually began to infiltrate my life. I can’t say upon which occasion or upon what day I came to believe in a Power greater than myself, but I certainly have that belief now.”

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. P. 27

“Came to believe!” I gave lip service to my belief when I felt like it or when I thought it would look good. I didn’t really trust God. I didn’t believe He cared for me. I kept trying to change things I couldn’t change. Gradually, in disgust, I began to turn it all over, saying: “You’re so omnipotent, you take care of it.” He did. I began to receive answers to my deepest problems, sometimes at the most unusual times: driving to work, eating lunch, or when I was sound asleep. I realized that I hadn’t thought of those solutions – a Power greater than myself had given them to me. I came to believe.

I took my share from the action of turning it over.

I have perspective having done this twice, the differences between the first time I came in versus the second. I had definite issues the first time, real life and death issues going on aside from going to meetings and getting sober at the same time.

I was too busy counting the days down to really focus on working steps. But Todd kept me on a short leash, and I learned to turn it over on a daily basis, one day at a time. I was even able to turn it over to Todd himself, when I went to work every day. I could go to work and focus on that work only, and being able to let it go at the door proved to be very beneficial.

I survived … Who do you thank? God or the man?

I had to learn some of the same lessons consecutively… There are particular themes that stand out in sobriety that I have in hindsight experienced.

I slipped and went back out. On the way back, I had a serious dose of humility and humiliation, having to come back in the same city I got sober in. And when I decided to pull up stakes and move in sobriety I came to Montreal.

I was a few months sober and I had a list of expectations for God for my good behavior. There were things I needed, so I thought at that time.

And they told me to Keep Coming Back…

To Stay in my day and One day at a time …

Little by slowly I had to relearn how to live one day at a time, because Although I had lived, I think I took for granted for a while what I had been given. I was alive, and there was distance between the two occasions of getting sober.

One day at a time my list of expectations was whittled down to nothing. I had to reintegrate a lot of the lessons I learned the first time, a second time. It took me a little over a year, once again, to learn how to stay in my day. The circumstances were different this time around. My death wasn’t hanging over my head, and therefore I had let that go to a degree.

But you never forget. I get misty eyed when I think about it now… The life I had lived for so many years.

The second time around, I was a little insane, I had all these needs that I thought I needed, and that was all shadows and mirrors. I learned how to turn it over and stay out of my head. I had a second chance to make it right, and to this day, I have never looked back.

I made decisions this second time around for me, I did them in sobriety. I was living for me and nobody else. And to this day, for some, it is a punishment to ignore me and treat me like shit.

Gifts in sobriety …

I still have family that care about me. My mother’s sister, Paula, who lives in Florida still, sent me a gift in the mail this week, which was a pleasant surprise. And she said that she loved me, since I was born and that I could count on her no matter what, even if we live so many miles apart.

My family of origin, do not know who I am today, and they choose not to know and to keep me in the dark where it comes to family for some of the choices I made in sobriety, both the first time and the second. So fuck them…

Second chances …

Our speaker tonight spoke a miraculous message about second chances. Sobriety late in life is a gift. Celebrating 50 years of marriage after a life of alcohol and abuse is miraculous. It was a blessing to hear this man share tonight. On May 22 he will celebrate 9 years. Next to him, all the way was family.

We all have our crosses to bear… I have mine …

They say it might snow… bring it on …