Having stubbed my toe and stumbled over cattiwampus bricks (that’s a Mom description that means askew), I’m grateful for the installation of a smoother walkway.
Seeing the bricks and knowing they’ll be placed to evenly connect one area to another, sends me on a time travel back nearly 20 years.
In my early days of sobriety, as I was literally counting the days as they added up, I was not praying so well. I remember feeling guilty for feeling good yet I didn’t know how to adequately express my gratitude to the God that I didn’t really understand. I worried about my lack of understanding around the God thing.
My solution was to build a brick road to God.
Each night, after maintaining sobriety for that day, I visualized placing a brick along a pathway that would eventually connect with God. I didn’t know how many bricks that would take but days passed and I found myself placing the 23rd, 42nd, 65th and up into triple digits.
My theory was similar to what the bricklayers will do here–by laying one brick down by another and then adding another, both sides will eventually join. I intuitively knew that if I put enough bricks into place, day by day, brick by brick, God and I would eventually hook up.
I can’t remember how many bricks were needed for that to happen. At some point I lost count. But I found what mattered.
I really need the God of my understanding today. Mom has been gone for four weeks today and I am grateful for God’s presence. I can feel it in the sunshine and rainbows and cat purrs.
I feel God’s presence in the smile of a stranger, an energetic encounter with a colleague and a sweet note from a friend.
Today, God’s presence feels like Mom is with me too and my mental picture of us skipping across the brick walkway, like we used to do when I was a little girl, is a happy one.
Yes, I’ve been there. Most in my circle have. Sobriety and a relationship with a higher power bring many gifts—closing the gaping holes with love and hope is one of them.
I don’t ever want to forget the period that felt pointless and futile. I didn’t want to live, but I didn’t want to die because I mistakenly thought once I was gone, that was it. As emotionally bereft as I was, my ego said, what will the world do without me? I am worthless and I have nothing to offer, but surely someone will miss me!
God has a plan and I locked onto tiny threads of hope as only the desperate can. I don’t believe that my soul was ever completely bankrupt. There was a flicker of life, of desire, still there so that when I heard the words, “You don’t have to live like this anyone,” I felt relief for the first time in a long, long time. God never stopped believing in me. He always had faith in me. Once I indicated a tiny bit of my own faith, a mighty fire began to burn inside me. The chill wind was finally being warmed.
I am grateful for life—a spirit-filled life—today. I pray that others get to experience similar feelings. But there has to first be willingness to begin to surrender the past in order to be cleansed and prepared for the peace and contentment that will surely follow.
In the midst of trauma, I can allow my spiritual filter to not let negative, emotionally-charged situations get through to my center. In the hollowness of grief, I can simply be aware that God Is, and trust the process of taking one step after another. In the center of my being, I can feel my being-ness and know that love is my bedrock. I am never alone.
James Bond fans: Watch for innuendos and listen closely to the voice of Tab Lazenby, head of the elite cat spy organization MEOWS.
I’ll concede that my current emotional state may be partially responsible for my movie takeaways; plus it is possible that I’m looking too deeply into what is, according to The Hollywood Reporter, “a critter movie gone mad.” What can I say? Yes, I lean toward over-analyzation.
In addition to the requisite theme of Good vs. Evil, I’m a sucker for any character, animated or human, that overcomes the adversity of life situations. In the movie’s story, a German Shephard named Diggs (I promise not to give too much away!) spends a good deal of his life caged, often as a result of his own conduct. He tends toward hot shot-ism but each time he returns to the kennel, he fronts his feelings with an attitude of “I’ve been here before. I can handle this. No one can hurt me.”
That attitude is so familiar to me. I grew up thinking I could only truly rely on myself and that if I acted tough, no one could see that all I really wanted was for you to like me. So I intentionally placed myself in situations where I had the potential to be a hero but more often suffered the consequences of foolish decisions.
Trusting anyone else came hard to me and as a result, I often found myself “caged.” My spirit took a lot of repeated knocks, until, like Diggs, I learned a vital life truth.
A self-imposed cage can be a fortress again pain but it can also lock out those who can help.
In the movie, Diggs learned his lessons the hard way. In real life, so did I. However, thanks to folks who refused to let me remain imprisoned and massaged my heart back to life, I eventually realized the lock on the cell door was on the inside.
And Diggs? I promised not to give the story away so you’ll have to see the movie. Let me know what you think.
Stay tuned for my feline comments.
Life goes on even when we don’t want it to, even when the losses not only seem unbearable, they ARE unbearable.
The before-sobriety me thrived on either end, lived for those highs and lows. They fed my disease of addiction.
Today, I still sometimes respond unhealthily to those extremes. Instead of drinking, I over-eat, I over-work, I obsess and I don’t sleep. I’m not very good in the coping department.
A Note from Heaven
If I could write a note from Heaven,
but if you’re quiet and still,
You may just feel my presence;
because, in Heaven, there is free will.
Don’t worry for the day,
it will come and go as planned.
Enjoy each moment you are given,
keep worry from your hand.
Keep sorrow to a minimum;
For if Heaven you could see,
You’d know I’m safe and happy,
I did not cease to be.
Moments in time are brief,
until we’ll be together again,
As Eternity lasts forever,
our lives, they have no end.