A Full, Wonderful Existence

“Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces … are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin …” Big Book p.27

This is the case for me. All of my preconceived notions were torn down and replaced by a new purpose and set of values. I went from “I want” to “how can I give, and when is it appropriate to do so”.

In giving I receive, and in allowing others to do for themselves when it’s appropriate to detach, I also receive. As a result I have a full, wonderful existence and ILML!

-JamieQ

What a Miracle

“… there has been a revolutionary change in their way of living and thinking… they found that a new power, peace, happiness, and sense of direction flowed into them.” – Big Book pg. 50

Attending meetings, working the program & opening up myself to, initially, the idea of a Higher Power, then later pursuing a loving relationship with God, has resulted in a paradigm shift for me.

By following this path I am no longer lost. I have found my direction, learned that true power is guided by love, and finally feel a consistence sense peace and happiness. What a miracle. ILML!

- JamieQ

I Like That Philosophy

“The major form my complaining took was to ask, “Why me?” Healing starts when I stop asking, “Why me?” – Hope For Today

Yesterday a sober member of AA did some work for me at my house. He is a really nice guy with many years of sobriety. He doesn’t attend meetings anymore, not happy with the people and content there. He told me he lost his faith in humanity. I understand how he feels, as I have walked in those shoes.

I told him a little about my life loving philosophy, that I insist on loving life. I explained that people, places and things will never measure up to my expectations every time, and if my happiness is contingent upon people and situations doing what I want and going my way, then I will often be unhappy. That simply doesn’t work for me. So since I know I don’t have the power to get them and those events to always confirm to my will, what do I do?

I practice acceptance by exercising my spiritual muscle – getting closer to the source of my light and love. I learn to see the struggling child that just wants to be cared for behind the angry voice I hear. I recognize the days when I was practicing wrong behaviors when my creditor says, “I can’t pay you the money I owe”. I try to be understanding and have compassion. But I don’t roll over and take abuse – I am loving to myself too, and do the footwork to take care of my emotional, physical and finacial health. I practice my program so I can better weather the storms that are sure to come.

By working such a rigorous program of love, spirituality, sobriety, health, and recovery, I find myself loving life so much more often – even when things don’t go my way.

After explaining all this to him he said, “I like that philosophy”.

Thitch Nhat Hanh once said, “The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.”

It’s my deepest hope that in some small way, while I walk this green earth, I am able to help as many others as possible to learn how to love their life just a little bit more, while they walk this green earth. I love my life.

- JamieQ

The “Stuff” was like a Drug

“I will know peace when… I make spiritual wealth a priority… I am devoted to a spirit-filled, peace-filled life…” Until Today

My priorities prior to recovery were me, me and me. I wanted to be happy. The instant fix was drugs and alcohol. But I thought what I really needed was lots of money, shiny things, the perfect girl, my own house, and more. Between my feeling-number-outers and all that stuff, surely I would find happiness.

In early AA I still thought that getting all that “stuff” would solve all my problems, and getting it (along with staying sober) was still my primary purpose.

At 10 years of sobriety I had made the money, had the fancy car, the house, the girl and a wonderful little son. But I was hitting my first big emotional bottom in recovery, so I finally found a higher power and began a tentative relationship with God. However, my priorities were still materially based.

At 15 years of recovery, I hit my second emotional bottom and I knew I was whipped. Something had to change. That’s when I finally made it into the rooms of AlAnon. And that’s where I began to understand the concept of humility, putting the program and my service to others ahead of the “stuff”.

I discovered that the “stuff” was like a drug or drink, in that my satisfaction was short lived. But the program and service left me with a lasting feeling of self-esteem and happiness. The more time I spent communicating with my higher power on a really deep level, the more I trusted that everything is exactly as it should be, even when it didn’t go my way (sometimes especially when It didn’t).

Today, at 32 years in recovery, my priorities are to stay sober, work my program in all my affairs, and help others to the best of my ability. Putting these things first results in me being a pretty nice guy. The result of that is that I get along much better with others. My family life is great. I’m happy and successful in my work. And little by little abundance continues to flow into my life, in every area. I now find the world much less hostile, I have ceased fighting, and finally I’m at peace and ILML!

- JamieQ

I Walked Through the Pain

“(there is) no unhappiness too great to be overcome.” Big Book pg. 104

In recovery I’ve been broke, had my mom and baby brother pass away, my car repossessed, lost two homes, went through a divorce, and was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. Sounds bad, right? It was.

Yet here I stand today happy as I’ve ever been. How? Because I leaned on my program, Higher Power and others in the rooms for help. I walked through the pain, sorrow and fear, then made it to the other side.

Today I know it works no matter what, and because of that I love the program and ILML!

- JamieQ

When I Don’t Know What to Do

“There are times when we simply don’t know what to do… While waiting for direction… Do something fun… Clarity will come.” – The Language of Letting Go

I personally always like to have the answer (anyone who knows me well is probably laughing now). So the times when I don’t know what to do are usually frustrating and/or scary.

Letting it go, trusting the answer will come in time, and then getting busy enjoying life is the solution for me. It beats the heck out of staying in the problem when I have no solution.

Today I’m enjoying a sunny Sunday in Maui and ILML!

- JamieQ

Solutions and Rewards

“Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery.” AA Big Book

I could add that it’s also one of the greatest joys in life. One result of filling myself up with the program every day is that I’m better prepared to handle the moments when life (or a person) doesn’t adhere to my plans. Another is that I’m more faith-filled and fear-free. But perhaps the greatest reward of all is that I’m better prepared to share the solutions and rewards of recovery. I’m so very lucky to have found and embraced the program. It’s given me the ability to share my life with you. ILML!

- JamieQ