Sunday, August 31, 2008

The well is God's; I bring the buckets.

May I be aware always that God's power and peace are a bottomless well within me. I can draw bucket after bucket from it to refresh and purify my life. All I need to supply are the buckets and the rope. The water is mine - free, fresh, healing and unpolluted. A Day at a Time

Here's where I am on the journey: Most recently I went to the new physical therapist my surgeon sent me to. This visit was strictly for the purpose of evaluation. He tested my strength and flexibility, and since I never want to be thought of as a wimp, I really put everything I had into it. And he was really impressed - that's what he said. Of course, the next day I was miserable with back strain and pain in various other parts of my body which was a great reminder that my ego isn't on my side! Also, this weekend is the third anniversary of the wreck. I'm finding myself really missing Ron. I just wish I could talk to him and hug him. I am grateful for the power and peace of God.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


"Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love." Reinhold Niebuhr

I was loved before I found recovery, but I didn't believe it so it did me no good. When I had told my first sponsor all the worst things about me and she still loved me I had to believe that she loved the real me. Ron said the thing that saved him was that people told him, "Let us love you until you can love yourself." From living close to him for 22 years, I truly believe that somewhere in there he stopped loving himself and letting other people love him. As a result, he stopped caring whether he lived or died and so died before his time. I wonder how many other people die before their time because they don't care about themselves.

Friday, August 29, 2008

If You Knew

What if you knew you'd be the last
to touch someone?
If you were taking tickets, for example,
at the theater, tearing them,
giving back the ragged stubs,
you might take care to touch that palm,
brush your fingertips along the life line's crease.

When a man pulls his wheeled suitcase
too slowly through the airport, when
the car in front of me doesn't signal,
when the clerk at the pharmacy
won't say Thank you, I don't remember
they're going to die.

A friend told me she'd been with her aunt.
They'd just had lunch and the waiter,
a young gay man with plum black eyes,
joked as he served the coffee, kissed
her aunt's powdered cheek when they left.
Then they walked half a block and her aunt
dropped dead on the sidewalk.

How close does the dragon's spume
have to come? How wide does the crack
in heaven have to split?
What would people look like
if we could see them as they are,
soaked in honey, stung and swollen,
reckless, pinned against time?
- Ellen Bass

This is something I know but forget. I shouldn't. I've experienced five sudden and tragic deaths of dearly loved people in my life. One day they were here; the next minute they weren't. But I still forget. When I was angry with Ron and said something mean to him, I would think, "I'll regret this after he dies. But I don't care." Sure enough, I did regret it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


"Be slow to take offense if indeed you ever take offense at all. For being offended gains you nothing and can cost you much.

Have patience with the mistakes and follies of others. Instead of harsh criticism, offer genuinely helpful feedback so that everyone benefits.

Forgive early and forgive often. Set yourself free from the heavy burden of resentment, and move quickly beyond the pain."
Ralph Marston

I've had too much time on my hands while I was waiting to recover from surgery and so managed to collect a few resentments. I talked to one of my spiritual advisors and realized that I was just afraid that a couple of precious friends were displeased with me. Instead of feeling that, I got angry that they "insulted" me. In one instance, I decided to ask the person what he meant when he said what he said. That cleared it up and I could let it go. In the other instance, I decided to cut the person some slack. It's the first time in our over 10 year long friendship that she's said anything even vaguely critical so I certainly could let one time go.

I used to hurt myself a lot through the behavior of others. I am so grateful to have been taught that I need not take anything personally. It is my responsibility to keep my side of the street clean. Once I've done that, I can feel free to forgive. Of course, it's only necessary to forgive if I've taken offense; so a better way is to simply not take offense in the first place!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Eyebrow lowering experiences

In the dream I'm a man who is preparing for a job interview. In an effort to look calm and relaxed, I am trimming my eyebrows so that they look lower on my face - which somehow I think will make me look calm and relaxed. I dreamed this about a year ago and my daughter found it very funny. We can get a good laugh just by talking about whether something is an "eyebrow lowering" experience or not. It's no wonder I dreamed about my eyebrows. I've worried about them my whole life. They just don't look right, and I never have known what to do about it. I had an anesthician shape them but it didn't help. Finally, I went to Ulta to get something to fix my eyebrows. My daughter insisted that I get help from the staff. So, I went home with a rather expensive "eyebrow kit" with brushes, pencils, wax and stencils. Get that? Stencils! You have a choice of several different types of eyebrows. You put the one you choose over your eyebrow and color it in in that shape. Then you get rid of any eyebrow that doesn't fit in the stencil. Voila! I have correctly shaped eyebrows and have solved a life-long problem.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"The moment a thing seems wrong to you or a person's actions to be not what you think they should be, at that moment begins your obligation and responsibility to pray for those wrongs to be righted or that person to be changed. What is wrong in your surroundings or in the people you know? Think about these things and make these matters your responsibility. Not to interfere or be a busybody, but to pray that a change may come through your influence. You may see lives altered and evils vanish. Twenty -Four Hours a Day

Well, what a lovely way to say, "mind your own business." If you believe in the power of prayer like I do - if only to believe that prayer changes the person who is praying - this could be pretty powerful. I hear people say, (and I've said this myself) "I know I'm powerless and there's nothing I can do about this." But the truth is I can pray.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


I'm re-reading The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda. I used to read these books in order to kick myself out of self-pity and into action. I don't suffer as much from self-pity as I did in those days. I know who's making the choices in my life now. But I'm still plagued by sloth! Now that I have a good excuse for inaction, I use it and really enjoy whole days of doing absolutely nothing. Too much of that and I fall into depression though. So, back to what used to inspire me to act like a grown up and use a little self discipline. Don Juan says there are four enemies: fear, clarity, power and old age. We acquire these enemies by trying to learn to acquire wisdom/knowledge - at first the process will make us very afraid. If we don't give in to fear, we acquire clarity which can seduce us into believing we know everything and the antidote is humility. Once we've acquired clarity, we will become powerful. There are all sorts of ways to misuse power - we should always follow paths with "heart" instead. Finally, of course, is old-age. We will feel incredibly tired all the time and want to give in to our overwhelming desire to rest instead of living out our destiny right up until death. I think this is where I am. Creating a new life at my age with my disabilities is hugely challenging. However, if I let my end-of-life sloth take over, I will surely die an early death from sheer boredom. If I take good care of my body, I should be able to live out my destiny since sloth and boredom don't entice me at all - beloved Law and Order re-runs not withstanding.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Now I see clearly

I've spend a good deal of time this week re-reading old journals from 2004 (the year before the wreck). I do this from time to time just to measure progres - or lack of it. I decided I should do it more often because I see so clearly what was wrong then. I had severe sleep problems due to back pain and anxiety. Yet I kept trying to get up at 4:30 in the morning to get all the housework and financial stuff done before I went to work. I hardly ever made it up at that hour since I had had very little sleep. Well, I could go on and on but I won't. The point is - unrealistic expectations of myself. I still have them. I think I will get off my case.

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