And Man, was it cold out there tonight. We had snow, and lots of blowing snow, and it was cold.
I departed early to meet my guys at the church, and it was a good thing too. There was three feet of snow piled up outside the church door, which meant I had to find a way to get the door open so that I could get at the shovel, to shovel the snow away from the door at least. There was no shoveling the walk, because snow fell all night long, and I made several trips outside to shovel the stoop so that people could get inside. There was too much snow at the end of the night and I had to jam the door shut and try to get it locked a secure when we left.
Aside from the shitty weather, people came. It seems that folks are deciding against going out when it snows this way. It is too much for our older generation to go out in this kind of weather.
We sat a good group and we read from the Twelve and Twelve, and Step Eight.
“Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.”
It is a good thing, that so many of our men and women are “In” their steps. Everyone seems to be devoted to The Work. Going through the steps is a useful tool so that we hear the steps read, followed by a discussion. Whether you are at that point or not. It gets the creative juices flowing and folks get a preview listening to people, who are either at this point, or have been past this point in The Work.
A common theme that arose from our discussion was one particular thought:
When we make our list, of people we have harmed, and we write them down, we must be sure to put ourselves on that list as well.
When we attend the Roundups every Spring, we hear A.A. speakers, along with an Alanon Speaker. People in the rooms, are usually not familiar with those who have been affected by our alcoholism. That is another point of learning for folks who do the round up. We don’t often think of those we hurt until we sift through the steps. Most of us are so self centered that we only think about ourselves, and how others hurt us …
Another fellow shared that he sits in this place that “why should we forgive others, when certain people did hurt us, intentionally, and did it without any thought about the consequences?”
Forgiveness is about letting go and releasing us from that kind of thinking.
The read mentions the family dynamic. And my family was fucked up for a long time.
I’ve said before that when it was good it was really good. My parents provided well beyond what they could have. We had everything we ever wanted and more. On the flip side, when it was bad it was very bad. My father was a very angry, vicious, bitter and abusive man.
How does one forgive a man who abused you severely for decades, told you, you were a mistake, and should never have been born, then when finding out I was Gay, called me an abomination, and toss me out of the house because he could not have a fag under the roof. Then add insult to injury, when I got sick and almost died, that same man would encourage me to die quickly, and humiliated me before friends and guests over the holidays. He was an alcoholic. But he was also a man.
I put my family on the list. But since we do not talk today, and have not spoken in more than a decade, I have tried to make amends, but they fell on deaf ears. So fuck me right ???
All those people I hurt in the past are miles away, and out of sight and mind.
When I moved here, I began my life with a clean slate. I was sober. I have not hurt anyone in the ways I hurt those I did when I was drinking and using. Today, sober people make mistakes. We hurt one or anothers feelings and we correct those mistakes in the moment, or in the day.
My sponsor explained to me his life, which is very similar to mine. We did what we had to do to get and stay sober. We make no excuses, because we want to survive. Amends may come or they might not. It is about our frame of mind and whether we live in forgiveness, or reside in resentment and anger.
I choose to live in forgiveness.
With age comes wisdom. I know the story, forwards and backwards. I’ve studied all the characters involved. Some people choose to live in their ignorance and call it Christianity. I can’t help someone who lives in that space. I choose to call it what it is, and I let it go.
All I ever wanted from them is respect and my dignity restored. I did not get that. I won’t ever get that.
What I am, what I suffer from, and who I am married to is more important to them than WHO I am.
This is WHO I am, like it or not.
It was a great, honest discussion.
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Over the weekend, I was watching an old web series made by a friend of mine who lives in South America, Venezuela, to be exact. He and and his merry bunch of moto bikers travel the mountains and he films it on a Go Pro. So I’ve got the entire collection from the last round. Then on Christmas, they visit shanty towns and those less fortunate, and the give Christmas presents to all the children along the way. It’s a very good thing …
So we have the video, and then, there is the music. I have a program that will capture music from video and creates Mp3’s. I spent the weekend, sorting through video and music and I created entire new music playlists. Then I upload them to my phone, and it lets me sort them into playlists and to sort them as to the order I want the music to play in.
Over all it was quite a successful weekend.
Everybody is happy, sober and doing well.
More to come, stay tuned …