Well, I woke up today with not enough sleep, running late, and last night hanging from my shoulders. I was already tired and falling into a funk. To top it off, I was in a hurry – so I forgot to 1) contemplate, 2) pray, 3) release, and 4) meditate. That’s four no-nos right off the bat. Oi.
As I drove, late, to my 10:00 AM meeting, I realized I’d done none of it, so I attempted to do so while driving. This is difficult, mostly because of all the distractions, but it is somewhat possible – so I did the best I could. As I drove, the fog in the air hung beautifully just above the ground, and brought a somber peace to me; I was alive, and I knew it, even though I still felt down from last night.
I didn’t really feel like hitting the meeting, and the thought occurred to me to hit the parks and shoot some photos in the fog. It’s been a long time since I’ve shot photos, and I always carry my camera, so I was liking this idea. But by the time I got into the city, I could see the tops of the buildings disappear into the ever rising clouds. Had I been a twenty minutes earlier, I may have had the conditions I wanted, but alas, I was watching my excuse to not attend a meeting disappear. It was the only excuse I could come up with.
Working against what I really wanted to do, I semi-reluctantly went to the AM meeting.
A man that had chaired the group for quite some time had recently died. I don’t even recall what topic was read, but the room was filled to the brim with memories and good things to say about this man. Everyone that spoke about him stated that their life was blessed for having known him, and gratitude filled the air, thick with love for a guy I had only barely seen chair that very meeting. It was amazing, the stories I’d heard; from touching, to funny, to grateful.
Gratitude. As I’ve said before, the Almighty Gratitude List, albeit verbal as opposed to written, is a very powerful tool. It took very little time before I began noticing the people in the room that I was thankful for; and I could rattle off two handfuls of them from there alone, not to mention others I’ve met in my sobriety. Not only was the morning fog lifting outside, it was lifting in my heart, and soon – the sun was shining, even if only slightly.
At the same time, I began to realize that the “issue” I had yesterday may not have even been an issue. In fact, I was highly confused about some things when I walked into the meeting, and I was beginning to question everything I had believed to be the case just over 12 hours ago! After the meeting came to an end, the group went to eat at a local restaurant and invited me along.
I didn’t go, because I’ve developed my own healthy, morning routine on the weekends (both Sat. and Sun.); I go to an early lunch where AF works and get a salad. I don’t get much conversation time with AF (like I’d like), but I did get some. During the conversation, part of the “issue” came up, and let me make this loud and clear (I’m speaking to myself here): I was WAYYYYYYYY off. When I say Wayyyyyyyy off, I mean like continents apart! That’s what I get for listening to Left Side and Right Side, however brief it may have been.
I had almost refused to go to lunch because I was so uptight about some things, just worried and afraid, and I would have been miserable company. But with the quiet fog this morning and the gratitude and love that saturated the morning meeting, I decided to just let things go, and go get lunch like I usually would. I am glad that I did – it saved my day. After I ate, I didn’t want to leave, but I didn’t feel like I should just loiter – not because AF minded, but because I didn’t want the business to.
Meanwhile, I had read Step Six as suggested by my sponsor, and was nearly done reading from the book, Drop the Rock, which AF had suggested I read a while back. I pulled the book up on my phone, and began reading. Soon, I was completely engulfed in the book, and at one point, I asked AF if she had a pen and napkin so I could take notes. She gave me a pen and miniature notepad, and I began taking notes on Character Defects/the Seven Deadly Sins.
There’s a lot of stuff there! And yet – it’s so simple. Character defects didn’t make much sense to me, though I did have a basic understanding. <sigh> I’m so grateful that AF had me read that book. Step Six took on an entirely different meaning to me than just saying, “God, take away my ‘bad stuff,’” and better yet – I now understood some of the reasons why I was hanging onto some of them. As frightening as it was (the defect itself), it was a relief to see what it was, and to know what was expected/suggested. Every newcomer should read this book! And when I hit Step Seven (which I hope by tonight), then I’ll read the last chapter of Drop the Rock, and hopefully gain still more insight.
So now, I’m sitting in a dance hall, upstairs, rather than a coffee shop. It’s an interesting location. I mean, I’ve been here before, but not to write a blog. There is a meeting that is supposed to start in a moment, and my sponsor said that he would be here; so I left the coffee shop and came up here to connect with him afterwards. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t going to find any kind of peace and quiet, or I might have waited until the meeting was nearly over before showing up. But it is what it is – the luxury of getting the opportunity to work The Steps with guidance. I’m okay with this!
If I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it NOW – I am so grateful to have a sponsor that is willing to walk me through these steps. This is an unbelievable process, and with an honest, open, and willing mind, I am going to thoroughly, completely, and wholeheartedly work through these steps – as suggested by the ones before me, who’ve done it, time and again, successfully.
[UPDATE: After meeting with my sponsor, I am not to Step Seven yet – my sponsor has me writing a list of defects, and then mirroring them with an asset. This might take a while, and he said not to beat myself up. The guy already knows me so well – it’s almost like he’s been there!]