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Step Three: Made a Decision to Turn our Will and Our Lives Over to the Care of God As We Understood Him

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This time, much like the first time that I worked my way through the steps, at Step Three, I feel as though I am standing with my toes dangling over the edge of a vast cliff and attempting to will myself to leap. Before me, a self and a way of living that is uncertain and unknown, behind me is my past self, all that I have believed and known and been and all that I must let leave behind.  What is before me is less uncertain today and what is behind me that must stay behind is much less that it was the first time. And Yet, where I am going MUST be where I have not dared or been capable of before and what I will leave behind is clearly what I have clung to and been unwilling or unable to release before.

Highly metaphorical, I know, so what exactly would I be leaving behind? and What awaits when I leap off that cliff? To the first point, I am not sure that I know right now. I only know that holding on to it has been allowing me to slip back into spiritual and emotional sickness.  The central task in this step is to ask yourself how far are you willing to go? Am I ready to really and truly hand my life and my will over to the care of God? Get ready because here comes the insanity, not having done so is allowing me to fall back into sickness, threatens to get me drunk again and is potentially causing me to make other people miserable and my response to the central questions of this step today, at this moment is: I don’t know.  Not the response that I want to have, and I see in it the absolute insanity of my sickness, but there it is in full glory.

What if this time upon examination I realize that I have to change my views on sex, or am called upon to truly take up my calling and dedicate myself to being a prophet? What if, I have to let go of writing all together?  Or feel compelled by God to become a real minister?  What if my entire world view must change? Am I ready to join a religion or a church? Because I don’t actually have a defined understanding of God and maybe that is the problem! What at the end of the day am I willing to change, relinquish or bring into my life in order to achieve the promises entirely, have serenity and know that I am serving God and my fellow man at my best potential.

I suspect that moving past this and starting my next 4th through 9th step will illuminate the answers, but there is the rub eh? To get to those steps, I have to take a leap of faith, I have to drum up within myself the worst case scenario, assume that I must go that far and then say “yes, I am willing” – In short, I have to be Abraham with his son on the rock and blade in hand, ready to go to any lengths.  I don’t know, I doubt, I am not sure. I am afraid.

It isn’t all fear and negativity. I dream sometimes of a me for whom God has expunged fear, doubt, rage and frustration; A me without violence, who knows and understands the path of serenity, love and compassion well enough to teach it and who reaches first for spiritual solutions to all of his problems. I dream of a self that is patient and kind and loving; who pursues his dreams and goals, that is useful to himself, his family and his community. I dream of using my gifts in some way that it benefits the sea of humanity around me.  Though each of them frighten me because, I don’t know how to be sure what those paths or how to achieve any of it, or what I might miss over here if I do.  It all scares me, but I really do want it and I always have. I wonder (not doubt) what my wife would say if I told her I I want to go to divinity school – not saying that I do necessarily, but who knows right?

Anyway, today was more of a rambling attempt at self discovery than I real blog entry, but this is where I am at. God Bless us all

 

 

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Written by jamesjanus

March 12, 2013 at 5:33 pm

The Spiritual Experience and I

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It is perhaps one of the things at the root of my craziness these last few days, and I have been crazy and my life has been crazy; that for a few brief days I could feel the presence of The Word, I could see the beautiful and the divine.  I am at my most confident and the height of my…”Muchness” when I can feel that presence, though I never, ever say that outloud, at least not in those words.

I don’t know what it is like or how it comes for other people, but for me, it always comes back to two things, writing and, for lack of a better word Information. I do not know why, but my conscious contact with God, comes less from kneeling down and praying, than sitting down to write.  In the average moment, my mind is the most interesting and distracting thing around. Constantly in motion in my head is a minimum of 5 different, focused, active and constant trains of thought, with literally hundreds more whirling around unfocused  and skipping across my consciousness  or running deeper in less conscious parts of my brain.

Done correctly however, when I sit down to write, everything can change, if I pause and try to feel idea, the problem, or simply the presence of The Word, then shortly after I begin writing everything can vanish and I  disappear too, thoughts and all, my mind is quiet and my whole being is a conversation between my fingers and God. I may not know what I am even writing once things get really cooking my fingers just seem to fly across the keyboard and words come out.  When I make it to this point and for some lingering time after it has past, I feel inside of me a presence that is dense and heavy, but powerful and good and what is more I feel the energy, the material, the matter of the universe around me and I given to the impression that it is information, the Ones and Zero’s of the divine and beautiful creation that is our universe and it doesn’t feel like something that is touching me, but rather like the rest of the same great fabric that I am a part of, not an extension of me, but the same as me; something of which all of the “ten thousand things” are just an expression. All expressed different, but all part of the same system, One

01000001 01101100 01101100 00100000 01100101 01111000 01110000 01110010 01100101 01110011 01110011 01100101 01100100 00100000 01100100 01101001 01100110 01100110 01100101 01110010 01100101 01101110 01110100 00101100 00100000 01100010 01110101 01110100 00100000 01100001 01101100 01101100 00100000 01110000 01100001 01110010 01110100 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01110011 01100001 01101101 01100101 00100000 01110011 01111001 01110011 01110100 01100101 01101101 00101100 00100000 01001111 01101110 01100101

Like this, but different. I am not Neo, but it that is a very similar analogy to how it can feel.  This is my love, this is my understanding, this is my gift and my song, this is my meditation and conscious contact and every-day from here on out, I will plead to hear the word, feel the muses moving in me and see and understand the divine and beautiful, because I must, I must in order to transform, in order to be useful, in order to do what I meant to.

Written by jamesjanus

April 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Higher Power

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I’ve done it, I got myself a Sponsor. It may sound simple, but for for an alcoholic it is something to be proud of. When not drunk, we are shy and awkward, but full of pride and it is most difficult to ask a near stranger for help. It also easy to be caught up in looking for the “perfect” person, as it requires a good deal of trust to put some of the quality of your sobriety into someone else’s hands. I am utterly intimidated and confounded by step 4 though and I knew I had to pick someone, so, while I didn’t make my choice without consideration, I made the criteria very small and picked someone who seems to have a serenity about him, is working the program and has himself definitely done a 4th step before.

 

I also shared last night, for the first time in a long time, from a deeper place inside my heart and it felt good. There is so much work left to be done and I am still waiting to really feel that connection with my higher power returned and to re-establish proper habits of prayer and meditation. I am not yet, fully engaged and committed, but I am dedicated and working on it daily. It is hard, getting back into it. I feel awkward at times at home, my mind still holds apprehensions when talking about spiritual things and wonders what Kim will think or feel if before I crawl in bed I kneel down to pray. However, I want that, I want the humbling and to truly, deeply and honestly commit myself to God and hand myself over to it.

 

It may have been easier before, because I had a real concept of what that god was, now I am not so sure and though I know that is okay, there is something disquieted in me by that. I suspect to whatever force exists out there, whatever created the grand experiment that is the universe, names and concepts mean little. Kim is right about that, God is vast enough and great enough that we could have no greater concept of him than an Ant or Gnat can have about us. The Buddhists’ would say that we are to God as a single grain of sand is to the whole of the Universe.

 

I do not believe we are puppets, I do not believe that God is angry, jealous or punitive. I do believe in divine intervention, guidance and a strength that we can draw from. Writing this now, I do not know what I doubted my concept of God, except some desire I suppose for it to be less lonely. Some part of me wants to belong to some form of organized religion because it is easier.

 

Here is, the best I can describe it, what I believe. There is a creator, that creator is his own creation or rather is exists within him/her. In simplest terms, all things are God and God is all things. Most of all God is The Word; the whole of creation is an expression of his/her mind. All things issue from The Word. Creation is built on systems, many of them, all with parts that perform their functions and it all works, as it should. There are more things in this Universe that are beautiful than we know or appreciate. That which is beautiful, when observed, appreciated and illuminated to our eyes is also divine. This world of ours is teeming with the beautiful and the divine. The system of muses (angels or demi-gods) is present, completely obvious and invisible and it is that system that works through inspired thought, destiny, intervention, ideas and emotion to turn our eyes, our words, our minds and hearts toward the beautiful and the divine. People, Flora, Fauna, Events, Sex, Family, Accomplishment, Arts, Music, Emotions (All of them can be beautiful, save hatred), Words, Ideas. It can all be beautiful and divine if we are looking for it, if we hear the call and see the signs the muses throw at us. It expresses itself in all of us differently.

 

For me, when I am kind, when I love, when I forgive, when I help, when I write about the beauty I see around me, when I am intimate or reveling in sexuality and worshiping the human form, when I am sad or comforting someone who is, when I am angry for the right reasons, I find the beautiful and the divine and therefore I find The Word. Most of all, when any of these things, or anything else leads me to understand that even regardless of whether it is full of suffering, joy, sorrow, ecstasy or pain, life is always the most beautiful gift and that we or anything at all exists is so improbable as to be truly deserving of the term “miraculous”. Without Life, there would be no suffering, no pain, no addiction, but there would also be no life. Living, while sometimes painful provides the possibility of joy, non-existence does not.

 

My concepts have been much informed by my Catholic upbringing, but I am no Christian. I am child of the universe, a poet and writer, a prophet of the muses and it seems to me that no matter whose prayers I use when I connect to my higher power it feels like something much more ancient, more substantial and far more loving than and worthy that the angry, self involved god of the old testament.

 

I am not sure why any of this should matter so much, because, what I do know for sure is that when I pray for help, for strength for guidance, I seem to get it. When I pray for those same things for other people, it seems to help. I do feel better now though, having gone through this exercise today, Felt really plugged in there for a little bit, which tells me I can still make the connection.

Written by jamesjanus

January 16, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Recovery Reboot – Step Two & Three

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“Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity” Step Two

I affirmed in step one, that I am an alcoholic, that I am powerless over not only alcohol, but the defects of character that result from it. In step two they are asking me to believe that God, or some power greater than myself can restore me to sanity.  I want to believe that, because I am in trouble. Kim and I have managed to make a bit of a mess of our relationship, and I own a good deal of that. I have pushed everyone else away and made as many bad choices as I could. Our finances are good and fucked, my health and happiness are greatly diminished and everyone around me suffers.

My part in Kim and I’s troubles is big and last night I frightened her by being aggressive, yelling and pounding on my chest, it hurts very deeply that she wonders if I may start to abuse her, I feel like that is unfair. But then is it? If I am not myself, perhaps she wonders who I am?

For going on a year, almost every time I get her to open up to me, I then punish her for it by judging or pushing or in some way trying to fight or fix rather than listen and it is because I am angry with her, but too afraid to talk about it and too weak and I know I am not mad for any logical reason, that my reasons are unfair and I don’t know how accurate some of the things I think are, because I am not sane.  And that is the reality, that I am not sane right now. Not that I am dangerous or out of control, I am not, but I am not well, I am not truly sober and that drives me to make poor choices, to resent, to lose paitence, to behave in ways that are not my real character.

The tragedy is, she felt safe with me before, safer she said than she ever has and I cherished that so much and that the disease and defects are not on top of me 24/7 and there are times when I am truly present, but by the time I am, I have made her withdraw from me.

I wish there was a way to include her more in this process, to have her understand what the disease does and how it is completely impossible for me to overcome it, on my own.  I am not weak, just not strong enough to overcome this. Once, a few years ago, I gave myself over  to a god of my understanding, a simple program and a fellowship and it transformed me from a miserable, hopeless, irresponsible and selfish waste, into the man that Kim met and fell in love with, into I believe my sane, happy self. I want more than anything to be that and I am willing to go to any lengths to get it.  I

Kim and the boys have become the most precious thing I have ever had in my life and ironically, the last few days it has been that fact that has kept me wrestling with handing myself and my will over. The disease keeps telling me that if I am not running the show it will just stop. I have to have faith in god, the program and in Kim. Like it is hard for her to feel safe with and place trust in me, it will be hard to place faith in her, but I must. I have to to trust god and I have to trust her.  Restoring her trust in me, will take time and I have to be patient.

I believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity and I believe that if I let it and I work the program, my life and the live’s of everyone around me will get better on their own without my “help”.  I don’t want to help anymore. I want to enjoy, inspire, support, hold and be with my love and my family.

Step Three

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we see him

I knelt down last night, beside a sleeping Kim and I said the the third step prayer. I didn’t mean it yet, but today I do. Today, right now, I am pleading with God to take me, guide me, relieve me of the pain, the misery and the impulse to run things. Fill me with strength and humility, more than anything humility and the willingness to do the right things, to listen more than I talk and keep letting go. Help me to be the best husband and father I can be. Help Kim too, help her back to herself and to find the forgiveness and love in her heart for me, help us come back together and be beautiful again, help us to be that safe harbor for each other again.  Relieve me of anxiety, fear, guilt and shame and help me to just live, love and laugh.

I have made the decision to turn my will and my life over to you, higher power, god of my understanding. Help me to keep making that choice, each moment, of each day.

Kim, I know you will read this, you are my sheltering sky, my beautiful, wonderful wife, my Mo Anam Cara.  I am sorry for faltering, for disappearing and for not taking the right action sooner. I am putting everything in god’s hands and I trust that everything will be okay, this will pass and we will be beautiful again.

Written by jamesjanus

January 11, 2012 at 6:08 pm