Friday, June 29, 2007

Strength of Spirit

Friday night and I'm sitting here contemplating the state of my existence. How pathetic is that?

The good news is I'm sober and happy to be that way. I had a fairly unsuccessful week at work, and a few years ago I would have been stone cold wasted by this time on a Friday evening. Drowning my sorrows and creating a deeper depression, which I would wallow in for the weekend, dreading Sunday night because I'd be drunk again and know I'd reek of stale alcohol at work in the morning. Hating it but unable to stop. At the end, after I lost my job, it was just an around the clock stupor. Looking back, I can't believe how far down I let it take me.

Alcoholism is truly a three-pronged disease: physical, mental, and spiritual. The physical part is bad enough, but when you throw in depression and spiritual destitution, it's crippling. I was helpless against it.

Fortunately, I had some friends that pulled me out of the gutter, and with the Grace of my Heavenly Spirit, I've got a pretty good life today. Sure, my job gets me down sometimes - it's semi-stressful and I've always been prone to live on the outer reaches of the emotional spectrum - but overall life is pretty good.

I've come to the conclusion that what has made the difference for me today is my belief in a Higher Power. I've always believed in God in a sort of nebulous kind of way. I believed there was something up there, but I wasn't sure what to make of this God character. All powerful? Big question for me. I just didn't understand God, and wasn't interested enough to try. I just cruised along on a whim, for the most part. I had goals and ambitions and I achieved some of them, but about the time I started getting somewhere in life, I was filling that spiritual void with spirits of another kind. It derailed me and boom, there I was. In the hospital, don't know if I'm going to die, or live and be permanently impaired, or make a full recovery. The doctors couldn't say right away.

That was when I said, "Okay, God, I'll let you have it. Whatever happens, happens. I'm out of answers, I'll leave it up to you and do things your way."

All I know is it's been working for a little over four years now. Things don't always go my way, and lately I've been having some frustration. But now I can look at it and know I'm giving it my best, I'm doing what I should be doing and the results are truly out of my hands. All I can do is give it my best effort and then let it go. So, that's what I try to do.

I still have a nebulous understanding of God, or Heavenly Spirit as I say. All powerful? I still don't know. I do know there is an energy that I tap into and it's real. It's positive and comforting and full of truth and other things that I still don't grasp. When I try to tap into that energy and go with it, do the next right thing and trust that I'll be okay no matter the outcome, things usually work out just fine. It might not be the outcome I hoped for, but if I look at the big picture I might get some perspective and decide it's okay anyway.

I find it ironic that alcohol is also referred to as "spirits", and alcoholism is a spiritual disease. It's funny, really. Drinking "spirits" stole my spirit. I've got my spirit back now.

On that note, I'm going to play around with my WIP for a while. The excitement is palpable. Peace and cool pillows...


At 7:47 PM , Blogger GutterBall said...

You know, I catch myself asking for things when I pray. It starts off well -- please be with my sister at this difficult time, please take care of my mom and dad, please look over my friends near and far, etc. -- but then I realize that I'm not really asking for things. I'm politely demanding them.

I hate when I do that.

So then I just start talking. To God. Like He's sitting right there on the end of my bed listening. Those are the best times. I get stuff off my chest. No, it's not exactly an answer to prayer. It's not granting wishes. But it's...comforting. Personal. Reassuring.

I like that. I wish everyone had that.

At 5:16 PM , Blogger Wonderwood said...

Hiya GeeBee! I hear what you're saying, I do the same thing. I do it in the steam room at the gym. I just go into a quiet mode and start thinking it rather than saying it out loud. Then I try to get quiet and just let the thoughts come on their own. It's my own personal conversation with the Spirit, and it is comforting. I just kind of let it go and say "show me what you'd have me do, and give me the awareness to see it when it's there."

Trying to live a spiritual life is something new for me (well, four years new) and there will always be room for growth, so I hope it never gets old. The rewards are tremendous, if I told you half of the blessings I've received in four years, you'd call me a liar ;-)

Thanks for stopping in, it's always nice to see your comments.


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