The wind is blowing in hard from the Southeast, thundering across the lake and rattling windows again...this past Winter had been extremely windy and the Spring now appears to be following suit.
There apparently were still hundreds of sticks and limbs, stuck high up in these old Oaks, Maples, Cottonwoods and such, shaken loose by the ice storm 8 weeks ago. They are now falling to the ground at an alarming rate. Like fallen soldiers scattered here and there where they fell, waiting for the fire...
Are we all just simply waiting around for the end? Waiting for OUR fire? It's a good question really and one that has become more relevant it seems as I have gotten older. What am I living for? Why?!
For years I lived just to survive from day to day, simply getting through each day physically/mentally intact was a victory of sorts. Sure...I raised my kids, I was married, I had a good job and many responsibilities but it all became so overwhelming, that eventually it simply became a game of survival.
It was a physical grind and emotionally/psychologically it was brutal as well. I drank heavily just to maintain some sort of sanity (so I believed). There was NO spiritual element to my life, not consciously anyway. I moved through my day, trying desperately to simply it as much as possible to: Get my responsibilities complete, meet my obligations to my family, work, society...then DRINK. Daily...er, nightly, until I passed out in blissful, drunken oblivion.
There isn't a whole lot of true LIVING going on in that kind of life, is there?! Nope...but that became the normal pattern that I excepted as the best course to take to ENDURE life. No joy, no happiness, no peace, no LOVE and NO LIFE, NONE, NADA...NOTHING. I was NUMB...and I did not care.
After I sobered up and began to rebuild my life it was apparent that I had been simply getting by, day by day until I died. That was the total purpose of my existence...no wonder my X (Wife) chose to bail as quickly as she could, once she accepted the reality of the situation. I could not blame her-She had lived with it way too long as it was. Of course other people will see the reality of such circumstances much sooner then we do, IF we ever see it. Some people, too many people die this way...
Today I believe there is a higher purpose to life. I believe in a CREATOR who made all of us in his image and I do not believe that just existing until death is why were are here. I found quite early in my recovery that it was essential for me to take the focus off of my selfish, self-centered ways and find a life based on large part in service to my fellow human beings.
There is a cliche' in recovery circles that says: "We must give IT away, to keep it". Basically stating the importance of working with other alcoholics trying to find sobriety to be able to keep our own.
In my experience, I have found this somewhat simplified explanation to be totally accurate. Early in my recovery, the only thing that kept me going from day to day was the opportunity to help someone else. It felt so positive, so...HEALTHY to be able to give something so positive back to someone else after all those years of TAKING. I was a TAKER who was discovering the pure JOY of giving...and it was good.
It felt good sure but more then anything else it WAS good for the SOUL...my Soul in particular. I wasn't entirely sure I still HAD one after all I'd been through, after all I had said and done. I walked a thin line for many years in the DARK, I had to learn about such things as kindness, LOVE and cheerfulness.
And learn I did...for as time went on those positive attributes become attractive...addictive almost. Kindness breeds kindness I found and my life sped off in an entirely different direction...toward the LIGHT. And it's living a LIFE in the LIGHT that has made all the difference for me.
Are things perfect today? Certainly not, but I feel capable of living through whatever comes my way today. And I can choose to do this today with eyes wide open, always looking upward toward the LIGHT...For nothing can convince me to ever return to that life, lived in DARKNESS and despair...