You Are Loved and Chosen


Anne Lamott spoke in Fort Worth a couple of months ago; I really dig her work and the sheer nerve it takes to reveal her thoughts, feelings and passions.

She is the real deal.

Anne said many, many cool things that night, things like, Jesus says “this is a come-as-you-are” party.  She also said, in referring to the traumas in our lives, “I don’t think we ever get over anything.”  In other words, the history of our past stays with us, even as we learn to move on around it.

There were three words she said, though, that have stayed with me, running through my head at random times like intermittent rain showers in south Florida.

Loved and chosen

In her book, Grace Eventually, Thoughts on FaithAnne tells the story of gathering kids for Sunday School and beginning with the “loved and chosen” game.  One by one, she picks a child, seemingly (to the child) at random (“Does anybody know somebody wearing a Texas Rangers t-shirt today?”) to come sit beside her.

She welcomes each of them with the words, You are so loved and chosen.  No one is left out.

It’s true.  Everyone–absolutely everyone–is loved and chosen, because as she explains, “God loves.”

When Anne spoke those words in Fort Worth, I had just been let go from my job and I thought to myself, “My boss?  Even her?  She’s loved and chosen?”

Stepping on God’s toes

A few years back, I got into a tiff with a friend over another friend’s callous and rude behavior.  I dropped into my perverse, gossipy self and said in my best holier-than-thou voice, “Well, just who does she think she is?”

Can’t you just picture my stance?  Feet firmly planted 18″ apart, hand on hip, lips pursed and nose in the air?

My friend looked at me and said in a drop-dead calm voice, “You better be careful, my dear.  Sounds to me like you’re making a judgment and on the off-chance that you are, you’re acting like you know more than God because God loves everybody the same.”


The point is that we all have stuff.  We all have days when we show up with our C, D or F game instead of our A game.  And we are much harder on ourselves than anybody else.  Am I right?

Before you take one more step on the day when you’re reading this post, think about this:  You Are Loved and Chosen.

When you forget to put the coffee in the basket and pour the water through the pot, you are loved and chosen.

When you back your car into the cart-corral in the grocery store parking lot, you are loved and chosen.

When you forget your anniversary, you are loved and chosen.

You know, there would be no need for forgiveness if you never screwed up.  And forgiveness is a beautiful thing; it brings healing and growth to your inner world.

Now, go on about your day, and if at any point it turns south, stop where you are and say, “Do I know anybody wearing jean shorts, a Ft. Lauderdale t-shirt and no shoes today?  You are loved and chosen.”

Photo courtesy of lisafanucchi

Happy Birthday to Me and B Here!


B Here Today is three years old today.  Like a toddler testing her legs, I’ve had fun writing about all kinds of things from goats and crickets to beach vacations and grieving the loss of my mom.

What started as a blog for recording my recovery journey has morphed into a place to tell stories of all kinds.

I’ve discovered that I love to tell stories and many of them are recovery stories because that’s my life.  I’m a person in long-term recovery from alcoholism; in fact sobriety for me began 22 years ago today.

8,030 Days

On May 20, 1991, I was a month into my 30’s, had just bought my first house and was really living the good life.  I had a job that allowed me to travel on an expense account, a loving relationship and all the outer trappings of success.

The problem wasn’t my life.  It was me not living my life.

I didn’t know that I didn’t know how to live my life until I was sober.  Sometimes it feels like it’s taken every one of these past 8,030 days to figure it out.

Somewhere between the time I had my first sips of my dad’s Budweiser when I was old enough to open the refrigerator and when I quit drinking in 1991, I crossed the line into alcoholism.  Was the line when I had my first alcoholic blackout at 15?  Maybe.

Was it when I drove drunk on snow-packed roads, ran over an animal and didn’t stop?  Perhaps.

Had I crossed the line on the Saturday afternoon when I fought off a potential rapist, found a pay phone to call for help but didn’t know where I was?


It doesn’t matter when I crossed the line, though.  Nor does it matter what I still had in my life or what I had lost.

What does matter is that I came to understand that my soul was drowning in alcohol and the only way to save it was to stop.

I am blissfully and blessedly grateful to the Higher Power in my life who guided me then and now.

God knows I couldn’t do it alone!

First B Here posts

From the inaugural post:  Boil sobriety down and what’s left in the bottom of the pot is a glop of daily moments that sometimes needs seasoning, sometimes tastes just right and sometimes needs to be tossed in the trash. 

From a post quoting my sponsor:  Recovery is about living life differently but it’s not expected that you’ll wake up one morning and Shazam!, you have all knowledge. 

From Why Did God Create Sponsors?I believe God knew there would be sober children–and I’m not referring to chronological age–who would be regularly blustery and dumb-founded when it comes to living life without alcohol.

From Bug LessonI have jammed myself into many corners without realizing that my escape route is behind me. 

From Waiting for a MiracleI’ve been known to say in 12-step meetings, “If all I am today is sober, somebody please shoot me.”

From Dog Therapy:  For me, animals, and dogs in particular, offer a haven against the complications of being human and in recovery.  They live simply and serenely and for the most part, get their needs met on an as-needed basis.  They show me what it’s like to languish and live and love in spite of what may be happening around them. 

For all of you who have contributed to the lessons and the beauty of the last 22 years, I give you my heartfelt thanks.  To all B Here Today  readers who have given me your time and your responses, for connecting your heart to mine, I wish you peace.

Photo courtesy of kakisky

Trust the Process


Sunday was an exciting day for me; two of my friends who are Unity ministers as well as a married couple, debuted at the major church near where I live.

The husband in the duo is the former minister of my old home church in Missouri; he’s also a trusted confidante and dear friend.  I have a huge amount of respect for his wife, although I don’t know her as well (something tells me that’s fixin’ to change).

We had a terrific reunion today, lots of hugs and grins and you-look-greats.  As we chit-chatted a bit before the service, Rob mentioned the title of Aliza’s talk:  Trust the Process.

My insides went mushy, my face contorted and I heard myself groan, “Ewwwww.”

Rob said, “Just wait.  You’ve gonna love this.  It will blow you away.”

I did a mental toe stub.  Okayyyyyyy.

An overused phrase

Trust the process.  Geez, it seems like that’s the default phrase for every self-help guru and masterminding group on stage today, not to mention the mantra-like repetitions of people attending 12-step groups.

I mean no disrespect, but as word strings go, this one has jumped the shark.  I believe it’s lost some of its punch simply because people say it in response to everything.

Had a flat tire?  Trust the process.

Can’t decide which running shoes to buy?  Trust the process.

You’re going to have brain surgery?  Trust the process.

Praying for strength and wisdom, for God to lead you?  Trust the process.

See what I mean?  When someone tells me to trust the process, I have the same regurgitating reaction as when someone shrugs and says, “It is what it is.”  Don’t even get me started on that one.

Because I love Rob and Aliza, I decided to trust the process on trusting the process.

I listened and I heard.

Not surprisingly, Aliza’s church talk had a twist.  She told a story about a guy telling God that he wanted to do something of significance, so God said, fine, go outside and push that rock.

The guy happily pushed the rock for days and weeks and months until, in frustration he cried out, God, I’ve been pushing and pushing and pushing and nothing has happened!  I quit.

The poor guy mis-heard God.  God said push the rock.  The guy heard move the rock.

The process that he failed to trust was realizing that he couldn’t take all his steps at one time.  In other words, the guy needed to get really good at being in the presence of pushing the rock (or any other singular activity) before he could move the rock even one inch.

During Aliza’s talk, I sat there thinking about my most recent life challenge.  I lost my job then decided the time was right to launch a freelance writing and communications consulting business.

The time is right.  But I keep pushing the rock expecting it to move.  Like the man in the story, I want to meld a whole bunch of steps into one giant leap instead of being with one step at a time.

Why?  Because I need to feel secure.  I need to have financial assurance.  I need to blah, blah, blah.

Aliza spoke about putting aside our needs aside and trusting the process of being where we are.  I listened and I heard.

Today, that is enough.  Today, I’m going to trust the process and commune with my rock.

Just Another (Birth)Day in Paradise


I’m grateful that I excel at a few things in life because I really suck at body-surfing.

The above photo, taken just outside our resort in Cancun last week, shows some pretty high waves; even the pelicans struggled to fish.  Thankfully, they have more experience in the Caribbean than I do.

Here’s what I wrote in my journal the day after my big crash and burn in these same waters.

A bit bruised . . .

It’s so very early on this Monday morning but the sea calls and since my sweetie upgraded us to a balcony, ocean-view room, where else would I be at 6:25?

Still waiting on the sun’s entrance–she sent her minions to brighten the high clouds while I wait.  Pelicans glide by in ones and twos; hard to say how good the fishing is when the surf is so high.

The waves crash hard, as I did yesterday.  It began innocently enough and then my sweetie left to get an alcohol-free fruity drink.  I became like an unsupervised child who wonders what will happen if she wades into the water.

First the toes go in and the next thing I know I’m slamming around with waves slapping the back of my head.

The rationale was good, as preconceived, ill-fated notions go, but I didn’t think it through.

History told me that if I waded out far enough, the roughness would abate.  So I tried.  I’m lucky the wave breaks didn’t damage my hearing and pop out my eye balls.

I didn’t get it.  Others were jumping and diving with impunity.  I was a flailing great white shark.

Finally, blessedly, God tossed me on my a**, a little too hard for my taste but at least He threw to the left and not dead center, otherwise we might have a bigger problem this morning.

My a** would still be planted in the sand.  So I’m grateful.

But far from broken

This trip celebrated my 52nd birthday; each year feels like a rebirth of sorts.  I believe a renewal of birth necessitates a new attitude and belief about oneself, a sense of humble new beginnings.  The rest of the day in which I wrote the words above was spent in deep contemplation while we walked the beach in our roles of sun worshippers.

My rebirth may not be as wide and vast as the captivating ocean, but in proportion to my smaller stature, it feels pretty huge.

The rest of the trip held more delights:  a day trip to Isla Mujeres–the Isle of Women; snorkeling with barracudas and a candle-light birthday dinner complete with classy singing waiters delivering tiramisu, and on our last morning, finally, a real swim in the Caribbean.

You know the vacation is good when you return home and resume life with no feeling of anxiety or getting-back-to-work-blues.  We talked about that very thing on our flight home.

When you enjoy every day–live it to its fullest–you don’t mind when a vacation ends.  My birthday, as terrific as it was, didn’t feel any better or worse than any of our other days at the beach.  Consequently, there was no birthday or vacation hangover.

Blessed be.  It’s so good to be me, even at 52.


The Ultimate Get Rich Quick Scheme


I’ve done it!

After years of old-fashioned hard work to make a buck while keeping my eyes peeled for an easy way to score thousands of dollars quickly, I’ve finally landed on a guaranteed-to-work plan to get rich.

Want to hear about it?

First, some background

I grew up with a work-hard-for-your-money ethic.  I believed the bull poop that anything worth having required hard work.  Even if your rear end was falling off, you put in your time, gave it your all and grabbed the paycheck every couple of weeks.

My parents were far from poor but family summer trips were definitely not extravagant.  Our vacations were usually camping trips to Colorado or California or Texas in a little pop-up borrowed from Grandpa.  We made some good memories.

Helping me pay for a college education was a stretch, but my folks were willing.  I screwed up though, and after nearly flunking my first semester (ah, budding alcoholism, but that’s another story!) they invited me to get a job and pay my own way.  I finished college with loan debt, a degree I couldn’t believe I had and dreams of making tons of money as an award-winning journalist.

Flash forward 30 years.  Lots of life circumstances behind me but finally, finally, the financial circumstances were looking good.

Not to brag, but I was probably making an annual salary that was nearly double what my father ever made in a year.   As Bill Wilson wrote in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, “I have arrived.”

Then one day in the recent past, the job was gone.  No fault of my own; the company just decided to lay me off.

Plus, the great state of Texas declined to pay unemployment into my coffers (which you would think from the words written two paragraphs before, are considerable–they’re not).

Now, the details

The knowledge about this get-rich-quick scheme first came to me a few days after the letter from the unemployment office arrived.  Bits and pieces of information then began to trickle in from additional sources.

Are you sitting down?  This is big!  What I’m about to share with you will change your life in addition to making you incredibly rich.

You ready?

First, here’s the information that my friend Megan provided while I was whining about the unemployment.

Megan said, “Who cares about the unemployment?  God is your employer.”

On that same day, the Daily Word spoke loudly to me, “God is my prosperity.”

The next day, I read Alan Cohen’s daily meditation in A Deep Breath of Life.  He referenced Proverbs 8:18, which reads, “Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and prosperity.”

Is this not the ultimate get rich quick scheme?

OMG!  If you’re not sighing deep relief right now, you should be!  You can stop obsessing about your financial future!

For the most part, I have.  Within about 36 hours, I really heard the truth in the above statements.

The energy of money ebbs and flows like every other form of energy in our lives.  Opportunities sometimes knock on my door and sometimes they skip my house and go to yours.

But the omniscient GUS (God, Universe, Spirit–my personal nickname) is unchanging.  Again, the Daily Word reads, “Knowing God as infinite source is the key to abundance consciousness.”

There you have it, the perfect plan for prosperity and riches.  If you’re having some doubts, that’s okay, but do yourself a favor and don’t discount the scheme entirely.

Maybe you could start with practicing Wayne Dyer’s words, “You’ll see it when you believe it.”

B in peace!

Photo courtesy of clarita