Better than Gold
Courtesy: Hike Now Nyiragongo Volcano
“… The newcomer feels like they have struck something better than gold. They may not see at once that they have barely scratched a limitless lode which will pay dividends only if he mines it for the rest of their lives and insist on giving away the entire product.”
It rained again today. But the skies were dry during the outing this evening. And the rails were running efficiently and on time. There was no sign of yesterdays tragedy in the Metro when I got there.
The above reading is truncated. But the thought that I want to use comes from this portion of the passage. the visual of “mining for Gold.”
Some felt this passage in its entirety was lacking, because it doesn’t tell you how to begin. That from day one, we have to pick up the pick axe. And over time to begin excavating our own mine for the wealth promised by recovery.
I’ve spoken before about “the chair” and what that means. It took me over a decade to realize this piece of wisdom. It isn’t about us, or me.
We come in and find our chair. It is custom where ever you go, if you hit the same meetings continually, people always sit in the same chair, where ever it is in the room. I find that people usually sit in their comfort zones, either up front “at the table” or more to the back of the room.
We listen from our chair, we share from our chair, and over time we learn that where ever we go, there is a chair for us, any place in the world. Over time we learn from our chair, and in time, when it will come, we speak from our chair, and you never know when something we/you say, will impact another soul, by identification and in that moment a life may be changed.
Do we have to go to meetings for the rest of our lives? Yes, if we want the long term rewards of this mining process. Alcoholism never leaves, we are never really cured, or recovered. It is a one day at a time effort.
And serenity comes when we maintain our spiritual condition. Sobriety is contingent based on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. The outside world doesn’t change. We have good days and bad days, but the good news is that we don’t ever have to drink again.
And we begin to learn the wisdom of “The Work.”
It took me a long time to get the message that my life could change in even bigger and better ways if I undertook “The Work.” In the beginning when I first got sober I did a round of work, and I coasted. In years past, I did another round of work, and let it go. I coasted for a long time, upwards into my 11th year of sobriety.
I thought I had learned all that I could. Boy was I WRONG !!!
Coming out of year ten into eleven I met a group of women who pounded “The Work” with their girls. They were passionate and committed. And over time, I realized that I wanted that passion and commitment as well.
The Roundup of 2013 came and I heard the message loud and clear.
There was more Mining to do. This was year twelve and into this year.
I picked up my pick axe and started working. I dug deeper and deeper, it seemed for months and months. I dug with reckless abandon. A new sponsor came and I hit another round of “The Work.” Then sponsees came into my life. After years of meetings, making coffee, sharing and learning, the time came for me to give back what I had mined to another alcoholic.
In order to keep it you must give it away. Hence the fact of the above passage, “We insist on giving away the entire product.” The gold isn’t ours to keep or hoard. We don’t get to keep the gold, we get the gold, we bring it inside ourselves, we learn and integrate, then we have to give it back to the source.
We must freely give what has been freely given to us.
When we work with others, we hand them their own pick axes. And we encourage them to start digging themselves. And they get to experience their process and one day they too will give it back when they get to the point that they get to work with others in their lives.
There is wisdom in the book. And as each person is able and willing, we hand them the book and we read it with them, side by side.
In the beginning for many, warming a chair is all that they can do for a time, until they get their feet wet, and find their way into the fellowship.
There is Gold in them thar hills. Go find it. But be reminded, you can’t keep even an ounce. You must give it back.
The only thing they tell you must change when we get clean and sober is Everything. And that this is an inside job.
If you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to get it, then you are ready to take certain steps.
Eventually you will find that there can be life without the drinking and drugging. And there are plenty of people to participate with you. Find them.
Come on in, the waters fine, Leave on shore your troubled mind. We don’t care where you’ve been just so long as you come on in …
And old song we used to sing on retreat weekend in school.
More to come, stay tuned …