“Sooner or later, all of us realize that we have to draw our moral lines somewhere… Today I will draw the line at anything that blocks me from my Higher Power.” — In God’s Care
I grew up in the 60s and 70s, definitely a child of hippies. My dad was dropping acid, smoking pot, and bringing home iguanas and monkeys to live with us. Me and my 2 brothers rode Honda 50 minibikes around the neighborhood like banshees, and as young kids stayed out playing in the neighborhood ’til dark every day. We had a ton of freedom, everyone seemed to always be naked, but my folks tried to teach me the difference between right and wrong. I tried my best to listen and follow the golden rule, but there was a lot of “do what I say, not what I do” going on.
At 15 I myself became an alcoholic and addict, putting everything I could find to change how I felt into my body until I was 20. During that time I managed to lose any concept of morality that had existed. I was self centered to the extreme, angry, hurt, confused, rebellious, Godless, and diagnosed by a psychiatrist as a pathological liar (I couldn’t tell when I was lying).
The program was a roadmap back to morality. And that was just the beginning. Beyond the steps, sponsorship and approved literature, I sought out other means to become a better man and improve my spiritual connection on a daily basis. Practicing actual physical actions like writing this blog, doing yoga, making daily gratitude lists, doing affirmations, journaling regularly, reading approved and outside literature, and highlighting what resonated with me. These actions took my journey to the next level.
Today, the dream of being able to love the man I saw in the mirror is no longer just a dream, it’s my reality. Becoming a great father, a great husband, a great employer, a great brother, a great son, and a great man is one of the greatest joys I have experienced (and continue to experience) in my life. It brings me closer to source.
Of course, sobriety was the beginning of it all—without that, none of this would have been possible. But after my craving for drugs and booze disappeared, my craving for all the promises replaced it, and it’s pushed me far beyond sobriety and doing the Steps just once. These days, I work a strong recovery program, peeling off layers of defects, allowing my true, wonderful character qualities to shine brightly.
That said, I’m certainly not pure as snow with regard to morality. I still lie occasionally, which forces me to make amends. I still exaggerate and then need to correct myself. I still gossip, and catch myself, as it feels bad inside my gut. I get angry, yell, swear, and do things I’m not proud of. All that at 35 years sober.
Seriously? Oh yeah. And here is why. In my opinion, perfection in character and morality, in words and actions, in thoughts and opinions, is unachievable. Luckily, I’m in total acceptance about that. What I’m really after anyway is spiritual growth, the promise that, if I do the work, I’ll continually move towards becoming a better and better man each day. And by consistently working a dedicated and diligent program of spiritual action day after day, year after year, that’s exactly what’s been happening to me.
I am grateful to have found The Program and to work it to the best of my ability. It keeps me connected to source. I’m more of a contributor than a contaminator. And as long as I’m living in the solution, and doing my very best to work The Program, ILML!