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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Foundation Of HOPE

I'm glad I'm here, alive on the planet I mean. That wasn't always the case, you know. I didn't care for life much, especially MY life. That was obvious to anyone paying attention to the way I carelessly handled this precious gift of life. I didn't take care of myself then ultimately I behaved in a manner that put my very life at risk. The things I put in my body, the incredible amounts of drugs and alcohol, the other risky behavior. Intoxication, firearms and automobiles don't really go well together...that was I lesson I only learned in sobriety.

All the reasons I had for hating life and I never really gave consideration to reasons I might actually want to carry on. I fully admit, that from my perspective a life of sobriety, living by spiritual principles I can't fathom how that all actually happened. I've been recently blogging my 30th High School reunion that took place last night. Because that was happening this weekend, I have had a real opportunity to re-connect (via the Internet) with old school chums and my life as a child.

I was NOT a troubled child...I was not mal-adjusted...sure I felt awkward, a bit different inside but that never manifest itself openly where others could notice until late in my High School career when my drug addiction became an open secret because I had been in rehab. Even then, classmates, though not really understanding were supportive. I was never bullied or taunted, frankly I never really even saw that kind of "Mean Girls-Mean Guys" kind of behavior at my school. I'm sure their was clickishness and such but I never saw any extreme behavior.

The bottom line was really until I was 12, I had an idyllic childhood and even after suffering through rape and sexual assault, I still had many opportunities where the sinking ship of my life could have been righted. At age 17 and 18 when I went through rehab, I was given several chances there and even stayed sober for a prolonged period of time...Certainly if I had found the spiritual life like I have today I could have been fine but was NOT to be.

I can't and I don't feel sorry for myself about what happened to me when my addiction took over and the world turned completely upside down & inside out. It was a living Hell...and that is no cliche, trust me, it was suffering to a degree that today I can hardly comprehend it. I have a hard time believing myself that I hated ME so much, to want and very seriously try to take my own life.

The many hard lessons learned from those experiences are complex and varied. This blog exist primarily to share those lessons daily as I live my life, One Day At A Time. I've certainly had moments where I felt like such a failure for what happened, that it all seemed such a waste but today I simply do not have the time nor patience to even bother going there. It has happened, past tense and I cannot change that. What I can do however and strive to do every single day is life the kind of life today that takes full advantage of those hard knocks lessons and uses them to improve and enhance the lives of others. Not an easy task...but oh is it ever rewarding.

I feel strongly today that all this has been given to me as a gift. That sounds MAD doesn't it but hey, how else could I possibly see it. I cannot deny that my life has under gone a monumental transformation and for the better. I love life today and find it truly a blessing to use the life I have been given to glorify the one who I believe saved me, my God. I no with absolute CERTAINTY when I deny self, put my own wishes and desires on a back burner...I can open myself up as a portal for the Grace and Goodness of God to shine through.

Some of it is simple: Look what I did to myself, look what happened when I ran the look at what has happened when God is in control. That is the easiest part...but now I know what FOLLOWING really means and though conceptually it isn't difficult to figure out what I need to is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Why? Because DENYING SELF goes against my grain, it isn't natural or easy. Living for Him and to help others can be hard physically sure but it can be harrowing emotionally when you see how others suffer in this world today.

I no longer hide behind wealth and big houses, escaping by travel the every day realities most people face. Listening, truly listening to others is also not natural and once you start to listen you realize how many hurt and damaged people exist in our world today. That really cuts straight to my heart...I don't like to see people hurting. And you realize very quickly that there isn't always a way to make that hurt go away. Sometimes God asks me to share the hurts of others and I think to myself "Lord, haven't I had enough of my own pain and suffering, why must I share the torment of others?" Sometimes the answer is simply: "because you CAN so I want you to so do it". I try to follow through when that happens...

I know from personal experience how lost and isolated one can feel in our society today when they are troubled deep inside. Hope starts to fade away and your left with just yourself and that can be discouraging. It makes a difference when someone takes the time to listen...I never really knew...

In a matter of a few short years I have journeyed from the depths of total despair to a place of hope and love, given freely to me without reservation. I like my life today...No, it isn't easy, it isn't always fun but it can be full of laughter and hope and opportunity. Obviously when I was changing I was too busy focusing on myself to really pay much attention. But today the greatest gift i get is to watch others grow and discover that God loves them and so do I. It is an amazing sight to watch a person who was completely without hope realize that they can do this, with God's help they can.

What a joy to witness such things today. I used to live a life that was surrounded by pain and it" a life grounded in HOPE.