Note to "xxx"
...Forgive easily, laugh joyfully, and serve
others with Love and compassion.
There happiness is.
And keep writing.
FELLOWSHIP OR FRIENDSHIP
Tuesday I chair the 8 AM "Early Risers" AA meeting. It is the one for which I was a 'no-show' last Tuesday. Do you remember the meeting in which I apologized the next day, and they looked at me as if to say, "Whatcha talkin' 'bout, man?" What a beautiful moment in my week! A moment of virtue being learned.
Anyway, topic tomorrow is about FRIENDS in AA, and what they mean to me. My AA friends mean more to me than all 'friends' before. These are the people--finally--who accept me at face value, who neither fame nor defame, neither applaud nor blame, neither rate, nor berate. They only share out of love.
Friends, the night after my first AA meeting--I did not even know their names--came to the cocktail lounge where I worked and sat at the bar, in what I figured was the AA way to 'police' their own. How wrong was I! They (usually three guys) came in to be supportive for me, at my job, which was pouring a tank-truck-load of alcohol into glasses for people to drink. In fact, these bar visits by my new AA friends probably are a huge reason why I did not drink since the night before my first AA meeting, a long time ago.
So many who helped, spent time--and money, so many who lent their expert advice, so many who did actual physical labor at my house, so many who patiently tolerated my ranting , my lengthy 'shares', my stupid perspectives, my truth-stretching, so many of these are friends today. Most who were here when I first walked into the room, have passed on. But I find myself frequently quoting them, verbatim, though I do not remember who said what...nor when.
Without friends like mine from sober day one, I would not have had "sober day TWO"! I would not be here today. And so for me there is but one goal left...that is to pass it on, help others to recover from alcoholism. And I only can do that by practicing certain principles in ALL my living of life today. Yep, those Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. A spiritual way of living.
In several areas (family?) I have run into brick walls, walls that maybe I have built. God will either remove them, or let them be. He has not yet 'talked' to me about that -grin! Or perhaps I've not listened to the Spirit-Voice.
Back to topic: FRIENDS.
Fellowship means Friendship. I prefer the friendly term, maybe because I felt so friendless for so many years. So empty. So alone. So forsaken, so abandoned. SO DRUNK! I chose the prison I had built for myself, to be the place where i should die. Death did not come. It did not happen. God intervened. New friends, many of whom had lost everything, saw in me something worth saving. And there I was. God intervened. And here I am.
Two of the alcoholics I know have mountain homes, one in Colorado, one in North Carolina. We have a standing invitation to visit, and enjoy what they have worked so hard for. Isn't that just miracle stuff? For me, it is.
And now, with some years of sobriety, God has sent me to you bloggers. What a profound difference you have made in my life. I have a new motivation to write, to learn, to share, to just be among you. I have learned how to better meditate, pray, spread happiness and good cheer, relate and identify with the new person in the room. I am learning where God is, and where He is not.
Without you bloggers, and our unseen but extremely personal and spiritual relationships, my life today might not be overflowing with love, and I might not be eternally grateful. I might never have translated gratitude into action.
Two specific matters in the lives of young people close to us which are very disturbing, will be ongoing for some time. And if anyone has room on their prayer list, please add our intentions. Thank you, dear blogger peeps.
Did you know the literal meaning of Bethlehem? "House of Bread".