"When your heart responds instinctively to other people's joys and sorrows, you will know you have lost your "self" and attained the experience of your "one-body-ness" with the human race--and love has finally arrived."
"--TAKING FLIGHT" Page 167 by Anthony De Mello
Things have been happening to me. Many of you personally participate in the lives of others. My guess is that most who read this are female. That might be the reason so many bloggers and their comments show great amounts of empathy for others. You "live in" the lives of your children, family, and friends. You "feel" what another is suffering. You experience true happiness when someone in your life or elsewhere, is enjoying the good times. You rejoice with some, undergo sadness with another. That is what WE are becoming or have become. People who truly care, who really try to place ourselves in the shoes of another.
I used the word "we" above, because I find myself breaking through a wall into a room where "myself" does not matter so much anymore. This is fairly new to me. Reading these blogs for a whole year has left an indelible mark on my mind, on my soul. This is all about change. During the past year I have changed more than any thousand days prior .
My perception of huge transitions taking place in me began several years ago when I volunteered to use my musical gifts in a nearby church community. I simply followed one morning, a barely audible conscience-voice, walked up to the music director and said, "Can you use a violin player?" It was the first time I actually committed to "give" of myself--outside of Alcoholics Anonymous. This slowly brought out of me a willingness to look people in the eye, to openly greet strangers everywhere and anywhere, to, well, I guess to "fear not" anything or everything. I see now that God was working in my life, and I was beginning to cooperate, in a feeble fashion of newness.
And what a wonderful time of discovery it was for me! I found that people actually liked me...just for myself! I could finally make mistakes, and nobody berated me. I began to feel as if I was something of value in God's world. Most important, I finally found God, reconciled myself with God. I recognized that I believed in God, and He in ME!
After 35 years reading page 55 in our Big Book, I finally saw and understood the words. I became aware of Who God is, and where God is. He is "us" and we are Him. He can be found in one place ONLY--deep down within us. Sometimes--not always--God speaks through you, to me. Sometimes God uses me to speak to you. I see God in me, trying to rise to the surface of my whole self, trying to breach the fortifications (against Him) which I have spent a lifetime building. And now, occasionally I "Let go, and let God" do for me what I could never have done for myself.
Little by little these changes are taking place. I now can 'allow' God to allow me to 'like' or 'not like'. He allows me to feel what you feel, care for you, help you, love you. Since God is in you, a part of you, I not only can love that part --I MUST love that in you which is God.
And that is where the greatest change has occurred, in the realm of human relations. Trial and (much) error, embarrassment, heartache, sleeplessness are chacteristics of this learning experience. And perseverance has shown me some of the highway ahead. With care, with guidance, with advice, with prayer and prudence I am walking that road now.
Within the scope of healing, It has been proven to me at least a dozen times during these last few years, how God can liquefy the human heart from a state of dislike, even hatred, to one of forgiveness and love. God's special gifts of patience and tolerance become necessary allies in these ventures.
I would enjoy writing that this is all "sit-back-and-watch-it-happen" stuff. That is not true. Willingness is the key (familiar?). Prayer is the venue. Action joins these ingredients, mixed with a total helping of God's Grace. And then I can begin to approach that "complete psychic change" necessary for long-term sobriety. Use of the word "sobriety" here means a lack of chaos--mental or physical. Sobriety now means to me peace, happiness, serenity, a feeling of usefulness, loving and being loved.
Our (my) whole attitude and outlook on life has changed" and I suppose that is my message here today. The world certainly has not changed...I have changed! God is weeding this garden, but only as it becomes ready.
Mark Twain: "Good breeding consists of concealing how much we think of ourselves, and how little we think of the other person."
Let us all stay sober with each other today. OK? And let's allow God to show us the way to change our attitude, our outlook, our hearts. He really wants to do that!
Love you all.