Grateful for my Mistakes

“Mistakes are meant to guide you, not define you.” – Anonymous

I awoke this morning to an email from a close friend of mine. He told me about a mistake he had made and the countless hours he spent beating himself up about it. I shared with him some mistakes I had made that, at the time, were devastating to me, and the dark places they had taken me to. 

Today those mistakes had the opportunity to become instruments to demonstrate to my friend that he is not alone, that I truly understand — providing understanding, compassion and love. 

I am grateful for my mistakes, for without them, I would never have developed into the loving and intuitive man I am today.  ILML! 

— JamieQ

  

What About Their Part?

“… there is a price to pay if I refuse to own up when I’ve been wrong—guilt.” Courage to Change

When I have an altercation with someone else, my dis-ease usually says “How dare they!” So what’s the solution?  To look at my part. Ouch, right? What about their part? I’ve learned to set that aside, get into the solution, and say: “I realize my behavior was not ok and I will try to do better.” No guilt. No expectations from them. By taking responsibility for my behavior, I grow in character, strength, maturity and self-esteem. Plus, ILML! 

—JamieQ 

What An Adventure

“I was to know happiness, peace, and usefulness, in a way of life that is incredibly more wonderful as time passes.” Bills Story AA p.8

What a life. What an adventure. While so many of my fellow brothers and sisters, both in and out of recovery, struggle and battle with living life and being happy, I gently close the door on all the what-ifs, have-nots, and it’s-not-fairs, instead insisting on being in the solution, loving life, and embracing all that gratitude around me. ILML! 

— jamieQ

A Starving Man

“…blessings for which I was in no way responsible… The list ran to two pages… I ask God to help me remember my list, and to be grateful…” — Daily Reflections
Gratitude. Blessings. Serenity. Peace. Love. Happiness. Health. Abundance. Giving. Receiving. Nature. Strength. Acceptance. Joy. Laughter. Smiling. Where once I was like a starving man, quenching for these seemingly unreachable gifts, today I find my life overflowing with them. What a glorious adventure – out of the darkness and into the light. I’m so grateful to be traveling this wonderful road with all of you. ILML!  
— JamieQ

Bright, Glorious Sunlight

“Feeling our feelings is how we let go. It may hurt for a moment, but peace and acceptance are on the other side.” —The Language of Letting Go 
Like a raging flame, before the program I drank and used to put out the fire of my painful feelings. They were big, scary, uncomfortable and impossible to stop. 

These days, those same dark feelings come up, but I have some amazing tools to process them. I no longer have to stuff or deny my feelings. Today I get to embrace and walk through them. Bright, glorious sunlight is on the other side. I love this life!!!

The Easier, Softer Way

“With tears for us to mend, I brought my broken dreams to God… I snatched them back and cried ‘How can you be so slow?’, ‘My child,’ God said, ‘what could I do? You never did let go.” — 12 Step Prayer Book 
If everything I’ve tried hasn’t worked, and I’m finally ready to surrender, I may as well let go of any expectations for resolution and instead just enjoy all the other good stuff in my life. It’s the easier, softer way, reminding me that ILML! 

— JamieQ

In the Blink of an Eye

“We all had to place recovery above everything, for without recovery we would have lost both home and business”. AA p. 143

Two nights ago I was at a pre-prom party for my daughter. Talking with her softball coaches, I watched as they drank champagne with a quart bottle of Jack Daniels next to us. Yesterday I was at a friends house while some people smoked pot outside. Drugs and alcohol are abundant, all around me, and easy to access at any moment. 

This amazing life I’ve built — as a direct result of staying sober, and putting my recovery first — could disappear in the blink of an eye. I never forget how lucky I am and how critical it is to stay super close to my program and HP. I don’t ever want to go back again. ILML! 

— JamieQ