Sunday, September 28, 2008

Out of the Rabbit Hole or Franks Sunday Servive for 9/28/08

I don't know about all y'all but this was a tough week for me. Between panic over having to pay $2000-$5000 for a Wall street bailout to election tension to confronting my intimacy issues, this week, I am happy to lay to rest.

A good friend who has her own share of woes, namely, her beloved doggie having breast cancer (yes you read that correctly) gave me a wonderful piece of advice. She reminded me of the serenity prayer. And really the prayers sums up what is needed for any & every situation that involves stress. Most of you know it, but here it is anyway.

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Each individual American has no control over this bailout or the election. So huffing & puffing about how unfair it is may be good to do for a brief spell, you know, to diffuse. But then the time comes to let go. Hell, I can't even control a 2 1/2 pound chihuahua, how could I, with the powers of my mind, control our very flawed government?

In terms of dealing with my intimacy issues (gawd I cringe at even having to acknowledge the term) there are actions to take. See my issue is not getting close to my beloved partner, my thing is getting close to anyone else on earth. Honestly I don't in general like people all that much. And lessons of childhood taught me that sometimes the people who say they love you will turn around & disrespect in physical, mental & emotional ways. And the childhood stuff I can & have dealt with for the most part. Now it's just letting go & believing Creator will direct me to safe people who I can call a true friend. They are out there & I've had some very good friends over the years. But a part of me never fully takes the wall down. Even after years.

The 3 A's go like this: Awareness, acceptance & action. I'm aware that generally becoming close to others is kinda yucky. I can accept that there are some safe and cool people out there that I'm lucky to already have in my life. The action is to practice contacting those folks more, showing them who I really am, even when being vulnerable is the last thing I want to do. My pattern of getting a little close & hiding is not working. The pain is subtle, but it's there all the same.

This week I let myself share my sadness with a friend. It was not so bad. In fact I felt pretty good (thanks Zee!). Another friend & I got together for a walk in the park and I asked if I could practice calling him at least once a week. Action indeed.

My recovery sponsor wants me reading pages 68-71 in what we call the "big book" everyday. The pages basically discuss letting go, being directed by a higher power and being of service when we have troubles. And when I applied the power of spirit to each issue, by asking my Creator to show me what to do, quite quickly my attitude changed. Thus I got out of the rabbit hole. Here is what we in recovery call the third step prayer:

God, I offer myself to Thee-
To build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness
to those I would help of Thy Power,
Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.
May I do Thy will always!
-Alcoholics Anonymous

What this tells me is that I don't have to do this life by myself, guided my own sometimes faulty thinking & ego. Instead there is a holy guide, who will build & do with me, not instead of or for me, but with. Notice too the prayer doesn't say "take away my difficulties so my life is easier." Instead we ask that our problems be removed so others may benefit. This means for many of us, a difficulty must first be experienced, then our higher power works with us to better the situation so someone else can know they are not alone & things will get better.

Never did I think the state of our nation would be as bad as it is. But now, for today, I'm seeing the opportunity for grace in all this. And today I'm learning to get though it all with Creator & a little help from my friends.


Zee said...

Fantastic post! Really - this is the most beautiful thing I've read in a long time. Lots of good reminders - you have such a great way of looking at what the big book says and a) articulating what it's really getting at, and b) applying it to your life. You're such a wonderful example and I'm so glad we're friends and I get to learn from you!

And, of course, I'm happy to listen anytime you need to talk. :) Hang in there!

Frank said...

Thank you so much sweetie! For everything!

BTW M says hi.