Thursday, July 06, 2006

These are just words... take them or leave them... it's your CHOICE...

Oh my, I don't know what to say in certain situations and sometimes I am not the wisest guru on the block but I try to do some good each day...so what are any of us capable of when we make selfish, self-serving choices? Life, they say, is all about the choices we make, good or bad. I know that in the past I have made series of bad choices and I paid for those choices. The good thing is that time, pain and suffering has tempered my body and soul. My mind is sharper than it has ever been, life may be rough and tough and I may seem to flounder in the emotional maelstrom of marriage, but I try today not to make selfish or self serving choices.

I spoke about my guilt and the way I feel when I talk about me and I complain about what I need, or want or think is necessary to make me happy. I go to meetings each week and when there I dump my shit out for my friends to help me see light and wisdom. And I spoke, I got all emotional last week, and I feel guilty for having an emotion for having a moment of weakness, that I have not mastered the practice of getting rid of self. Well, that's why I practice Buddhist meditation and I read Buddhist writing and I follow a man called the Dalai Lama. The best way I can help myself is to help another human being. Do something for someone else and feel good about yourself. I try each day to make not only Good Choices, but the Right Choices. It is one thing to sit here and write about wisdom and knowledge and sobriety - if I am not acting on those good thoughts then why bother. Life is the mission we are all on. Life begins with a question and a choice. What will the question be today and what choice will I make when I get out of bed each day. I can start my day in a shit pile or I can start my day in a garden of my own making.

What am I if I make self serving choices, living a life that serves no one but ones self makes one truly self centered and cut off from the rest of the world around them. It takes courage to step out of ones comfort zone to start learning about the world around them and in that one finds the path to serving something greater than ones self. I don't believe that self serving people are capable of understanding the truth about humanity because their tunnel vision does not offer peripheral vision or the sight of that which can be found on the fringe of ones point of view. How sad that person must be, caught up in their own world and in their own head self serving people are also selfish with themselves as to how much of themselves they give to another.

I went to a meeting the other night and I'm sitting there with friends and we're all sitting several tables over from certain folks that most of us never want to become, but could be. There are meetings where we sit around a table or at a number of tables. Montreal sobriety is funny in that way. Going to meetings in this city affords one to see sobriety in action. And but for the grace of God go I, because I could be some of the people I see in meetings. I'm not a self righteous sober person, but you know the longer I stay sober and I observe and listen to people the less I want to get like some of those I know.

You come to my meeting - for instance, you have to walk down a flight of stairs, and people have a self-set flashing "Neon Sign" above their heads. The longer you stay in a room of sobriety the better you get in reading that sign. Some people walk around acting out what that sign says in public. I would rather walk on my lips than talk bad about someone who's 20 years sober, but, GEEEEsus, I would not want to be like them or become them. Sobriety is not about me, and it isn't all about me all the time. I know a few very old sober people who have to make every word that comes out of their mouths all about them in front of others. Oh, I've been sober 20 years, and I was an ass and I was (am) self centered and all that shit....... yadda yadda yadda... ok shut up already !! We've all heard it before.

The good thing about this life is that I can observe people and I can make choices about the person I want to become based on those I do know and those who were part of my family at one time in my life. I am no longer bitter like I was, I am much more forgiving and understanding and prayer and sobriety and HINDSIGHT has given me certain wisdom about my family. And That wisdom came at a high price, I just pray that one day God answers the question that remains unanswered in my heart.

I try not to talk out of both sides of my mouth and I know when to keep my mouth shut and not say anything. I see people at school who want nothing more than to sit in front of others and be admired for just being in the room. Certain women of my acquaintance. They make me want to throw up. I may be smart in certain areas, but I don't act like a cunt when I am in class so that the attention gets placed on me for the entire class period. GEEEEEsus....

I don't know what makes people go bad or do bad things. But as a person in recovery I can tell you that I was not much better was I? I made bad choices and hurt alot of people. I guess it depends on where you take your life, to become a better person or remain a shit pile of a person that you might be. Can bad people make good choices, of course they can. And I believe in the redeeming factor that I believe that God affords all of us. I still pray that certain people in my life find redemption before it's too late. But you know if bad people ever decide to make good choices, do they get steadily more good, that's all in your perspective. People can become good - after a trip through the bad lands. Recovery is a model that I am certainly familiar with.

Life is all about
PERSPECTIVES...
And those perspectives change the more
you learn about yourself and others

I've seen really bad men go good. I've seen men get out of prison and become some of the most admirable and trustable men I know. People in recovery either get sober and get good, they get sober and stay miserable, they get sober and become self righteous, or they get sober and they find peace and serenity, and throughout their life they become like a friend of mine named Peter he's been sober over 20 years, he is the wisest - most emotionally and spiritually centered man I know on this planet. FEW I know have gotten here at 20 years of sobriety - And His was a really LOW Bottom story. He is a rock that stands on my shoreline when I need him. so yes, bad people can get steadliy good, but that takes alot ALOT of work on themselves. (this is within a recovery model) but the steps and recovery principles can and do translate into the real world at large.

Life is a great big Craps Roll. Living with addiction and illness is a big Crap Roll, Living with Aids is a big Crap Roll. Surviving SHIT parents and living to tell the stories is a big Crap Roll. So you roll the dice and you deal with the outcome, if you let yourself be defeated you will be defeated for life, until you get sick and tired of being sick and tired and you start climbing up the mountain that stands before you, or you die. And I think I've rolled my die several times over and I keep coming up with winning numbers. I think being cynical about life is a waste of time, life is too short to sit there and pine over lost opportunities and lost family and the past. The past is just that, the past, it only holds you back from moving forward.

"If one relies on the past to inform the present and forecast the future, what is left but to remain an automaton guided by old knowledge – not allowing for change and evolution?"

Life is all about possibilities and opportunities, and evolution. Opportunities won't come to you unless you go out and seek them for yourself. I've learned alot about opportunity, and how to go find it, one step and one day at a time. AIDS is not kind and was not kind to MANY of my friends, yet to this day, it spared me, so I MUST be doing something right!!

Life has given me a series of bitter pills that I was forced to swallow, not of my own doing, and I have since had some hindsight observations that inform why I may have had to swallow those bitter pills, because they have helped me reach this state of my life. I am more forgiving, I am much more understanding and I am clean and sober and I can walk through any fire and not get burned to death.

I like to tell my friends that if you think you have problems, and you really want to worry about something "real" then be my guest and take some of mine. I have 13 little problems I take every day - and HIV that tries to make me miserable at times - I also have a husband who is Bi-Polar and has his fight that I have to walk through with him and that was my choice but still, it is a challenge not meant for the weak or meek. I can't speed up his recovery or make the boo boos go away any quicker than they work out themselves. I can't assume that every day will be a piece of cake with Bi-Polar disorder. This is my mission at home, my maintannance comes when I have taken care of everything at home... busy, busy, busy...

I am also in recovery and I work to stay on point (as much as I am able) so maintannance is a daily ritual. I also have classes and social work and my boys to check in with and care for, not to mention the folks that I spend time with nightly. So are your problems or complaints worse than mine? No? I didn't think so...

Life may have given me some bitter fruit - and I've had my share of sweet fruit as well. Is it Better to eat the apple and spit out the seeds, leaving a trail of trees and tears, a life well-lived? I know we all have cried our share of tears and we probably - combined have cried our river of tears, but I don't shed a tear over insane men and people of my past any longer. I like to think that I live my best life........ every day ....

I like to think that "my boys" are all trees that stand tall in their spots giving shade to those underneath their boughs, they bear fruit to share with others and they protect the castle I have built within them to guard the pad they live on. You know, at least, I know that when I am dead I will have left all of my wisdom with certain people that will pass on what I taught them to others that they meet and love.

I've investigated several portals in my life - the time line of my life is littered with the wreckage of choices that I made walking through certain portals, and with that wreckage are all the regrets that I once had. I don't dwell on my regrets because I live life now without regret. I love without regret and I "DO" without regret. When I stop to think about regret, I don't really have any because those pits of regret got me where I am today. I don't regret anything that I have done in Montreal since the day I got here, but I have some regrets from the later past - but they don't impact the present very much, because I followed the spiritual path and look at me today, I am months away from my very first University Degree at 39. I have lived 39 years, I have SURVIVED AIDS and HIV and I thrive... I chose this path and I walk it with courage and faith. Recovery has afforded me many things like life, friends, family of choice and wisdom.

In walking this spiritual path that some of us are on - there are no closed doors or missed opportunities, no regrets. I don't stop to look at closed doors for very long because if I do I might miss something on the way to the door that is Opened to me at that given moment. When I began University some 4 years ago almost, a counselor told a class of us in orientation that

"Everything begins with a question, what's your question?"

I've been trying to answer that question since that day. And I've answered many questions since I've been in Montreal, and every time I answer one question, another one arises, and so forth and so on. Faith is a question, that question is the fire that burns within us and it urges us forward to walk - even if we don't have a clue where we are going. Faith tells us that if we start walking that we are never alone on the path because there are others on the path with you.

Take only that which you need, travel lightly, baggage is not required. Share your water, food, widom, love with others. Help others on the path with you, be kind and share what you have without question, for you never know when the Master might find you and wouldn't you want to hear him say "Well done good and faithful servant."

2 Comments:

Anonymous G. said...

Questions always beget more questions, don't they? You answer one question and move along the path, and more questions pop up. I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm glad you found more questions to ponder from my post. ;)

10:57 AM  
Blogger Jeans said...

Hi Jeremy! I found your blog through Scott and Beverly's. Thank you for being so honest and sharing yourself with us. My dad is an alcoholic, but is not in recovery. He doesn't see it as an addiction. I pray for him all the time. Luckily, he is a good man and dad, so he is never violent or anything like that when drinking. My sister is bi-polar, so I can understand a little bit of how difficult it can be to live with someone that has that disorder. It was really hard on us before we knew what was wrong with her.

I think you are right about not being selfish. I try to ask myself daily (though I have not done very well at this lately), "how can I die to myself today?" It seems that there are always little opportunities, if not big ones, and I always feel better for having done what I could to be less selfish.

11:19 AM  

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