“Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help.”
What comes before “then?” How can I/we accomplish this noble gesture?
In the past couple of weeks I have been in transition at work. It is amazing how “comfortable” we can get in our routines. Simply put, my job description has changed and I am no longer a “manager” and am now just a sales guy. If I look at just the facts, it really is a good situation. My boss and company have decided I was in the wrong position and allowed me to return to my “old” position with the same salary.
So, I am getting paid as if I am a manager; but do not have the headaches that go along with this job. That is a win from my chair; but… my emotions have taken me on a ride that I am much too familiar with. “What will everyone think?” “I am a failure” “John didn’t have what it took” No one but the almighty “I” generated this negative chatter.
The domino effect is one negative thought leads to another and the next thing I know is my confidence is gone; I am splashing in a swamp of self-pity, moping around like a little baby wondering why I feel like ka-ka.
Meetings, meetings, meetings. That part of my routine has not changed. I also call other folks in recovery, and they call me, just about everyday. My expectation is/was that I “should not be effected” all I need to do is “snap out of it” and stop being a “baby”. Sheesh, I am tired just writing this stuff down!
The plus side is, THIS TOO SHALL PASS, is very real. Lo and behold I kept picking up the phone and talking. I kept picking up sponsees and taking them, and myself, to meetings. I opened up the Big Book early in the AM, before jumping on the computer, before checking for text messages, first thing. Page 84 just after the Promises is one of my favorite sections of the book. It tells me “WHEN” these negative emotions crop up… not “IF”, so I guess WE all have this challenge in some way. It also mentions what our FUNCTION is… to “grow in effectiveness and understanding” man that is a tall order.
You want me to grow? Why? That sounds like work! I, ME, MYSELF the SELF-SEEKER mentioned in Step Three is the trap. I am the enemy of me… But AA and GOD have brought me to a place where I can LOVE me, and thus allow me to TURN MY THOUGHTS to others. Without help I am done. My THOUGHT LIFE can be scary, funny, stuck, blank, sputtering or even an annoying hum.
How does this relate to my prayer / meditative life? Reading Step Eleven in the Big Book is a way I meditate. Keeping my eyes and ears open when walking or driving is a way I practice meditation. Watching a sparrow flit through the air and adeptly navigate through the branches of a tree amazes me… how do they do that without crashing? They inherently KNOW what to do. To be in awe of a sunrise or sunset, to notice the bare beginnings of buds on trees, it generates an anticipation of GOD’s power that will soon be on display. To me meditation is very simple; thinking about GOD, prayer is thanking him for what I have, and for what has been removed. Just as the shoots of spring emerge from the cold dark soil, I too have and continue to emerge from the darkness of my disease and reach for the power of GOD’s love.
(To be continued)
by John R.