Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. The Ferryland – New Foundland Iceberg Easter 2017. A Word Press Production.

Celebrations

Sunday Sundries – Celebrations

tumblr_ln3takPnYT1qemrxpo1_500 dyingwontkillyouCourtesy: Dying Won’t Kill You

Another weekend is in the books. Today is day 4 of Nuclear Antibiotic Treatment. I was warned that they are the strongest antibiotics on the market, and they are also doing a number on my innards. I was very sick to my stomach this morning. UGH !!!

It has been an interesting week, and I get glimpses of clarity here and there.

I’ve spent so many months, being all things to all people, to the degree that I forget to pay attention to my own needs, mentally and physically. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for so long, that the time came when I got knocked out of rotation, because I got really sick.

My doctors warns me to take it easy. “Taking it easy and just being” is difficult when you are always moving and engaged. God, in His infinite wisdom, has done for me what I could not do for myself.

Only this weekend, my voice is starting to return.

I’ve been hitting meetings, here and there, but I am not back to full steam with all my responsibilities across town.

tumblr_m1lyltsDdZ1qgwqw9o1_500 pjbudI’ve been seeing the ugly side of my friends recently. And I don’t like what I am seeing, nor what I am hearing from their mouths. Sitting on Step Seven, God is showing me Character Defects and Shortcomings in the guise of my friends and fellows.

Everybody in the rooms is on their specific journey. Not all men and women sit at the same place on any given day. Some are taking it easy and trudging along as they are able, and for some of my friends, they are judgmental about the status progress of their fellows.

Judgmental enough to state that they have specific expectations of their fellows, and that, if you aren’t in it to win it, working your steps and being On Top Of Things 100% at their behest, that there is a certain price to be paid for lack of action.

And that price is the friendship and attention and care that some may bring others, because they feel as if they need to punish some for their inability to “get things done, on their time frame, to their liking.”

And I the thought came that those same friends who expect so much from others, aren’t even engaged in their own step work, none of them. Every time we bring that subject up, they are all busy.

I don’t suggest any work for any of my guys, unless I am it in myself. And I am.

How can you suggest something for another, and not be doing the same yourself?

A certain man I am working with is trying his best, and it hasn’t been a cakewalk.

But I stick with him, because I have faith in him. My personal motto is “You Don’t Turn your back on your friends, ever…”

Others do not share my vision. Having ongoing conversations with some of my friends, about what I can do, or what I should do, have been fruitless. Several suggestions were floated to try and get a pay out. But some of my friends, are unwilling to devote time to people, who aren’t in the solution, as they see fit. They either don’t have the time, nor are willing to spend the time necessary to see things through. (Oh, that’s too much work…)

After a heated conversation the other night, I spoke my opinion. That did not go over very well.

You don’t turn your back on your friends, ever …

That is treason to the soul.

Over the past month, my phone has rung less than usual. And I find that odd.

While I was here all summer long, keeping the meetings open and serving my fellows along with a rag tag handful of friends, who were not leaving the city, I did my best.

A second group of people were traveling the world, seeing other places, and working out of province. Now we are all back under the same roof. And everybody is where they are on the journey of life, as we speak.

We celebrated six months of clean and sober time last night, for one of my guys. And I opened the meeting and chaired, because our guy who was supposed to be there, was a no show.

I asked a friend of mine for a topic, and she suggested Step Seven. That was a fruitful discussion when all was said and done. The one word definition of Step Seven is “humility.”

When we need help, most of us, don’t realize we need help until it is too late. Or we think that we just could not ask for help, because we should man up/woman up, and do it ourselves. But that’s what our Higher Powers are for right?

Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

Most of us say we believe, but when push comes to shove, we forget our belief.

God, it seems, in lots of cases, seems to step in right when we need it, as we need it , as long as we need it. And that has been the case for my friends and myself as of late.

Tonight, I headed out for the Sunday Meeting. I was flying solo for set up, and I had only one chore for tonight, to give another of my men his first year medallion and cake. He has not had a drink for 365 days. We are all so proud of him.

Another of my friends, a fellow woman of our group, took a 24 year medallion and cake from her sponsor. It is still amazing to me every day, how much our women change when they get “into the work.” This is the model that I use for my guys. Reading the Book, doing steps, calling, tenth steps and honest hard work, really does pay off in the long run.

Many are at the stage in sobriety that they are “willing to go to any length to get sober.”

We hear that line read, every time we hear How It Works.”That if you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it, THEN you are READY to take certain steps.”

It took me almost twelve years in the rooms to understand quite succinctly, what that line really means. Because it happened to me. And it has happened to many others as well.

And so, with a little courage, and faith, we work with newcomers and each other. And we invite them to participate. The odds are against us/them. But there are those few who are ready to step up, because stepping back, would mean much more suffering.

The other line that means the world to me comes from A Vision for You …

“Obviously, you cannot transmit something you haven’t got.”

Wow, is that line packed with meaning. For how many years, did I have to trudge this road, to figure out succinctly, what that meant as well?

I had to practice the work and do it myself, and see the results come. Along the way, I was working with a sponsor who cares about me and is always there, work my own steps, go to meetings, hit retreats, and hone my message, and find that voice that suited me.

And voila … God did for me what I could not do for myself. And the men and women who were put in my path, came for a specific reason.

It has become seriously obvious that some of my friends, in the rooms, are sober, (or not so sober) at the moment,(read: Dry) are sick individuals. My sponsor warns me to steer clear of them, and do not react, and not to say a word.

He did tell me to pray for them for 21 days.

I just cannot understand how friends can turn on each other at the drop of a dime.

I watch them act around each other and myself. I listen to the words that come out of their mouths. This is where my sponsor warns me to be vigilant with my words, thoughts and actions, and to pray. The words are incongruous, and I don’t understand detestable language or action.

Friends don’t turn on each other, friends don’t disrespect each other, and once again I repeat, friends don’t turn their backs on their friends.

Sadly this is going on right in front of us at the moment.

I learned a while back, that people may be in the rooms, and have time, but not be very sober.

We have been seeing this thought play out in open community.

Steps Six and Seven take time to present themselves, at least that is how it happened for me.

The diligence of time, and the grace of God and not drinking, has its perks.

It was a good night, capped off with laughter and lots of cake.

In a few weeks time, I hit the 14 year mark.

One day at a time. And by the Grace of God.

More to come, stay tuned …


Friday – Celebrations of Time

tumblr_na1os98mxP1t7d7l8o1_500 freshieCourtesy: Freshie … Celebrating the Montreal Canadiens who played tonight in their playoff championship on the road to the Stanley Cup finals, and mourning the loosing club of this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs… What a disaster !

Spring has finally come to Montreal. And people are loving it. For the past few days, it has been warm enough to go out in shirtsleeves at night. But I carried a hoodie just in case.

It has been a wonderful and warm couple of days. All the rain they said would fall, did not materialize at all. Skies remained blue through the week and into tonight.

Synchronicity – Coincidence – Is it ODD or is it GOD …

Not long ago, I told a story about how the universe is alive and is listening to what we say and watching what we do. And the universe has a funny way of letting us know that it is present in our lives, even if we don’t subscribe to that kind of thought.

I noticed that we have been missing certain people in the meetings. And one particular young lady came to my mind the other night, quite surprisingly. Yes, I hadn’t seen her in a while, I sent that thought out on a Tuesday evening, and the universe responded Thursday night.

I got to St. Matthias early and was sitting out front, and my young lady waltzed up the street to the church. Funny, this is another example of universal consciousness being alive and well.

Yeah, she decided to come to the meeting on her own.

I asked the universe to send her to us.

And she showed up.

Is that ODD or is that GOD ???

Tonight we sat a full house. The topic … “That Spiritual Angle.”

Spend enough time in a room, and we begin to find our spiritual angle. The one that works for us. And I think, among all the meetings I go to on a weekly basis, the Friday night meeting, is the place where our young people, and older people as well, have been actively cultivating their own spiritual angle.

God, Higher Power, Spirit, whatever you call it, has been a constant subject in our meeting for more than a year. That conversation arises from the frequency that As Bill Sees It, deals those topics out. There is a lot of God in that little book.

I’ve learned a lot about the spiritual angle from my friends. In fact, I have come to need it and rely on it and also come to respect what that means to my friends, and how they see the world. We think we must know everything when it comes to God, and some don’t want to know anything about God, but on Friday, we all meet in the middle to discuss it and in that discussion we have evolved.

There is more than one way to skin the proverbial sobriety cat.

Belief and Faith is individual to each of us.

Everybody respects where each of us are on the time line. And nobody sits there and preaches one way or another, like they have the definitive answer. That would be presumptuous and arrogant to say the least.

Knowing God from many directions is very useful in working with others.

It was a full night of friendship and fellowship. The house was packed. And we celebrated three of our number in their Second sober anniversaries. Two is a big deal. The chip is silver and oval in shape and style, rather than the bronze medallion.

When you get your Two, you keep it close, because when you get to Ten, that silver chip, gets dipped in Gold and you get it engraved for your tenth anniversary.

Kind of tradition in Montreal.

Everyone is important in every meeting. But the most important person in any meeting is the newcomer. Celebrations in our group are festive and meaningful, because of the population. Chips are important to our young people, because they see us, and each other celebrate time, and that gives them hope that the gift is there for them as well.

When I began to attend this meeting, it was a small meeting with no more than twenty five people in the back hall around a smaller table setting. I watched two particular people come and and claim a chair for themselves.

Over the last two years our little meeting blossomed into what it is today. We are in the main hall with double the head count, so many heads in that count that we split the group up for sharing so that everyone has a chance to speak.

Tonight, three very important members of our group took their two year cakes.

My recommendation is that you find a meeting to call home, and STAY in that group for as long as it takes. For as long as it takes, will give you the opportunity to watch your fellows get sober. Watching light come to ones eyes and the shadow depart is a blessing. And you too will see what others are experiencing, and you will have those moments too.

I’ve watched my friends come, stay, and get sober, and tonight they hit the Two mark.

We are all so proud of them. Because we are family. That is why those who come, come, and stay, because of that welcome and love freely given.

A good night was had by all.

On my transit back, I saw advertisements on our Metro TV. In many stations, there are flat screen tv’s that show arrival times, weather, news briefs and assorted others media sorts.

Our Glenn Site Hospital that I told you all about some time ago, opens officially on April the 26th. The first of the many hospitals that are moving to the Glenn, is the Royal Victoria, just a stones throw from home. They will commandeer 40 ambulances for a two days, transporting every patient in the Royal Vic to the new Glenn site.

That is going to be One Huge Project …

The Children’s Hospital, just up the street from home moves on May 26th, one month after the Royal Vic transfer. They will also follow the ambulance protocol. Then the old building will be demolished and a new public park will be built on that site.

In a couple of years, there will be plenty of green space, just up the block.

It was a great week. Spring is here, and people could not be happier.

More to come, stay tuned …