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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Redeeming Lives from Ashes

This past month an article I wrote appeared in the parish magazine. I have been shocked by the impact this article has had on people. I always am surprised when sharing my own experiences around suffering and life positively impacts those who hear my story.

I remember that, in early sobriety, I was promised by an oldtimer that my own dark past would become an asset. Nodding politely, it ocurred to me at the time that his insane rantings might be the result of not having had any alcohol to drink for over 20 years. I know now, of course, that he was right.

The beauty of Catholicism and of AA is that neither is designed a havens for perfect people; rather, they provide the type of hospice care wounded hearts, minds and bodies need when the fight is finally over.

Surrendering means we go over to the side that is winning. In the case of alcoholism, it means turning our will and our lives over to God and a way of life that allows us to feel comfortable enough in our own skin - one day at a time - so we no longer have to drink alcohol or use legal or illegal drugs to escape the pain of life. That pain does not disapear. No one goes through this life unscathed. Instead, today I can feel what I am supposed to feel without needing to mask it, run away from it or avoid it. I don't have to like it.

In the matter of life, I have learned I cannot do much by myself. I need the Sacramental graces provided by Holy Mother Church to be able to face those around me without wanting to rip their heads off (most of the time) when my feelings get mangled. When I fail - and I do fail - I have the genius that is Catholicism to fall back on. I can go to the confessional, not because God cannot forgive me if I go directly to Him, but because He told us to go to each other for forgiveness. He told us to be with Him by opening our hearts and our souls to His priests and saying, "Look what I did now....". It is humbling, it is soothing and it keeps me accountable before God and man for the actions I take.

Today I am tired. I wish I could be at home and in bed and sleeping and all those comforting things but I cannot. I have obligations and committments and people depend upon MY dependability. What a switch for a loser - to become a winner simply by saying, "I can't. He can. I think I'll let Him".

I am having a blast writing a treatment for a movie idea and relying upon the wisdom of one of my tribe to guide me through the process. I have never done this before and just writing the treatment is tough - I haven't even started the screenplay. Of course I know I want to be the lead. I want John Cusak and Keanu Reeves to be the young men in the movie. I want Eddie Izzard to be in it too - oh, and Gene Hackman as the Owner. I know what the soundtrack will be like and I can see the scenes in my head...but the dialogue...I wonder if one long improvisation would be appropriate?

1 comment:

chimakuni said...

I can't...but HE can!

Words of wonderful wisdom, friend.

Yes, your wounds, your pain and YOU are an asset...don't forget to put the best part of you in that equation...your wonderful laugh and sense of fun!

Love you my dear sister in Christ -