Is Something Gaining On You?

The past is behind you; watch where you’re going!

I was just reviewing old bookmarks, and ran across the last blog entry of a writer friend who is no longer with us.  If you want to read it, you can find it here.  Marsha was a fine writer and teacher, and a good person to have in your life.  She brought the pleasures of poetry and literature into the minds and hearts of thousands of students.  A pretty darned good legacy, when you think about it.

Reading her poignant post got me to thinking about the idea of a “life well-lived.”  Who decides about that?  I am agnostic, so I don’t look forward to some Great Beyond.  As far as I know, this is it — the whole show, not a dress rehearsal.  (Although I generally hate being wrong, I wouldn’t mind being mistaken about that; however, logic prevails.)  That being the case, the only life I expect to have beyond the grave is in the memories of people, slowly to fade until the wisps are carried away by the winds of time; a tiny part of the whole, but unnoticed down the years by those to come.

So, unless I want to indulge in magical thinking I have to accept that the sum of my life is my legacy as well, and I have to ask myself whether I’ve lived that life so as to leave something worthwhile behind, however ephemeral.

My desire to take a hard look at that question has varied over the years. I stopped drinking and drugging in 1989 and thought I was sober. As it turned out, I really wasn’t. (Think unaddressed process addiction that far preceded the chemicals.) Only in the past few years, after another “rock bottom,” have I started to deal effectively with that one.

Overall, though, I think my total progress and some of the things I’ve accomplished are probably not to be ashamed of. Whether others share that opinion is none of my business. I’ve slowly come to understand, at least intellectually, that I live in my reality, and what’s going on in someone else’s is not my concern.

However, I think it behooves us all to occasionally look back, think of our lives to date, and decide if they’re something we can be satisfied with.  If we feel as though we’re on the right track, maybe we can attend to the details a bit more closely. If it seems as though we are a bit short, then we might sit back and consider how we can re-map our journey. Perhaps our criterion should be something like, “Have I helped others as much as they’ve helped me.”

I don’t know.  What do you think?

Community

This entry is a few days late, as we just got our Internet back.

I’ve just been looking at videos from the Florida Keys and reading about the devastation in the Leeward Islands. On St Maarten they have no food, water or shelter. The people have banded together to search the wreckage of supermarkets and other sources in order to gather and share what resources they might come across.

I was uncomfortable because, for about twelve hours and five minutes, we had no lights and no air conditioning. Of course we had several good flashlights and a big supply of batteries, and we had a little battery-powered fan that kept us reasonably comfortable. Essentially we lay in bed, napped, played with our cats, watched the storm on our phones, and I read a sci-fi novel on my Kindle. We snacked from the cooler. We talked. Our day was thrown off balance. We couldn’t go to work.

I’ve been thinking, though, about how easily our lives can be thrown out of balance. Continue reading “Community”

An Unsolicited Plug

For several reasons I make it a point not to review books or accept ads, “infographics,“ and guest posts on this blog, except in extremely rare situations.  When I tried it the first one led to more, and to requests that didn’t meet my standards (never easy to refuse for a codependent like me), plus other complications, like conflicts of interest, etc.  I don’t like hassles, and promoting business in whatever fashion is not the purpose of this site.  However, it’s my blog, and I occasionally make exceptions for myself when I think it’s important enough.  This is one of those times.

My long-time readers will probably have noticed the blurb in the sidebar for Joe C’s book, Beyond Belief, Agnostic Musings For 12-Step Life.  No doubt the word “agnostic” turned some of them off.  I’d like to comment on that, and explain why the ad, recommendation, or whatever you want to call it is there.

Continue reading “An Unsolicited Plug”

Thought for the day 6/30/17

Turn it upside-down: if late, practice patience; if put upon, understanding; if hurt, forgiveness. Seek always to learn what virtue can be applied so as to turn a problem into an opportunity to grow.  

Whose Goals Are They, Really?

I got married the first time because it was expected that I would when I reached a certain age.  It was a lousy match, and ended in divorce — for good reasons.  (I got two wonderful kids from that marriage and I don’t regret it at all, but it wasn’t exactly my choice — more a matter of the path of least resistance.)   Continue reading “Whose Goals Are They, Really?”

Holidays Are Dangerous For People In Early Recovery

thanksgiving-mayhemHolidays can be tough for recovering people, their families, and friends. Emotions are close to the surface and expectations — good and not so good — are in the air. It’s a pretty safe bet that all of us have issues of one kind or another that are closely associated with holidays, especially Thanksgiving and the other Winter holidays. The dark jokes about wrestling around on the dining table and knocking the turkey on the floor can carry more truth that we’re happy admitting.

Wrestling aside, all sorts of things may surface when families get together. Continue reading “Holidays Are Dangerous For People In Early Recovery”

Who Looks Outside Dreams

“Who looks outside dreams;
Who looks inside awakes.”
~ Carl Jung

blankmap-world-1ceSometimes Professor Jung sounds like a Buddhist teacher.  When the Buddha spoke of awakening or enlightenment, he meant the ability to see the world as it really is, uncolored by our opinions, fears, history, desires, and ambitions.  Jung’s statement is rather less detailed but no less true.

No one should be aware of and remain more aware of this than recovering addicts.  We are, by definition, people who looked — and may still tend to look — outside ourselves for the resolution of problems that have their roots inside.   Continue reading “Who Looks Outside Dreams”