Wednesday, October 9

Improvements: Removing the Dross From My Life, Revisited 10/9/13

Refining gold, removing the dross.
     I'm squeezing in my gratitudes while I can, before the next day rolls in, claiming the time.

     As most of you know, this place provides a gratitude journal for the visitors of this inn. I ask those who drop by, to sign the registry to this place by sharing three gratitudes. It's easy to do, really.

      Would you give it a try?

My Gratitudes for Today:

1. Met with a client today, the time we spent was powerful and rewarding. I enjoy seeing progress. I'm happy helping others deal with long-term issues, many of them stemming from childhood.

      I love seeing others celebrating life more than they ever have.

2.  This evening, I had dinner with a friend of seven-plus years. Afterwards, he spoke at an event.  I tagged along.

      It's fun seeing another person using their craft.  My friend has quirky humor that I delight in.  I like the honesty we share with each other.  It meets my need for communication, belonging, inclusion, love, respect, and support.

"Improvements" vs. Change

      My life is in transition.  The word "changes" is not used when I refer to them.  They are improvements.

       Most people don't like change, nor do I; but, improvements we don't mind.  The outcome of these refinements are eagerly sought, like the candy I longed to buy after earning my weekly allowance as a kid.  I know a month from now I'll be happy settling into a new environment.

       Greater peace of mind, will be mine, not that I don't revel in it, now.

       As a kid, my image of God, was that of a cruel divine being, who, like Zeus, doled out punishment, usually embarrassing and degrading, when I missed the mark.  I feared a wrathful, harsh, unforgiving deity.  He was too much like my father.

       Like Greek mythology, if I misbehaved, I was greeted with catastrophe, similar to being struck by lightning.  All that would remain that would speak of my existence would be a greasy smudge on the sidewalk of my psyche.  My faults splayed out on my psyche like the road kill that's been pressed in the asphalt on the Fruitvale Street Bridge in Alameda over the past three months, getting blacker and greaser as time and cars roll by.

      That image of God is gone.  In its place is knowledge of a God whose nature is loving, gracious.  He's quick to forgive.  He desires the best for me.

      What a change.  And am I glad.  My heart is healthier and more whole.

3. I luxuriate in a God who is patient.  The God I know is kind.  From Him, and the loving people I know---instruments of His bidding---He frees me from the unhealthy parts of my character.

       They are being replaced with new and better qualities.

       Because of working with a sponsor, unhealthy, reactive parts of me---remnants of past abuse----are clearly seen.  This is awareness, the first step towards wholeness.   I realize anger, fear, anxiety and others areas where I want to grow do not serve my best interests.

       Am I glad. I no longer get triggered.  I now respond.  The days of reacting are over.

4. I appreciate knowing I can't change the areas where I struggle through the dint of my will.

     Why am I happy?  The pressure is off of me.  I now know God removes my frailties, not me.

     What a relief.  The areas in my life needing growth are more than the grains of sand on Crown Beach.

     Because of recovery, I am seeing tremendous growth.  Because of the past nine years spent being a member of  Al-Anon Family Groups.  I'm thrilled knowing the best in my life is yet to come.

      My life is richer, more satisfying.  This happens because I am letting God remove the dross of my life.  He alone refines me.

      My efforts in improving my life were an utter failure.  My life is getting better because of others who patiently, lovingly, with a tender gentleness, allow me to bare my woundedness.  Because of their support, I experience His cleansing, healing.

     They are the arms through which I am experiencing His tender embrace, not his wrathful anger.

     The dross of my life---sorrow, fear, anxiety, anger, and resentment and many other damaged areas of my psyche---are being removed, almost daily.  In its stead, I am enjoying the gold of being more present.  I am becoming more authentic. 

     My friendships are more satisfying because I am letting others know the Pablo I am when I am by myself.  I am becoming more comfortable with being the me I always been but kept to myself.

      It is fantastic living beyond roles.

     The fullness of life I enjoy is far beyond my wildest dreams.  Life is not wonderful and better because God has changed.  I've changed.  I am connecting with healthy others, being loved, supported.

      And it has made a world of a difference.

How About You? 
What are the qualities in the God of your understanding?


Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

On this Thursday night, I am grateful for...

1. A transformative, two hour celebration memorial today at the Three Crosses Church of the short but profoundly well-lived life of Sara Husokowski Anderson, wife of Edwin, new mother to William (2 months), First Grade School Teacher, and neighbor. Only God knows why, but somehow we have to trust that and release her to her new, next journey in the eternal world of spirit.

2. A renewed appreciation for loved ones, family, friends and neighbors. I hope to no longer take any one for granted, but to find new energy to invest time, talk and touch as I can...

3. Some quality time with our 24 year old son tonight to clarify important matters, and help him chart a clear path forward into a new future.

Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

On this Saturday night, I am grateful for...

1. Time to share and catch up this morning over Eggs Benedict at the incomparable Montclair Egg Shop in the Oakland hills, with my younger brother Paul; a fellow traveling, kindred soul.

2. Spending much of the day with my third oldest son Vincent caring for my Mom, sharing Chipotle, shopping and running errands.

3. As always, whenever possible on a weekend day-off; taking time to heal via a glorious, late afternoon nap!

4. Watching two great films at home, back-to-back; with my Polish Kohanna; the 1967 brilliantly acted thriller, "Wait Until Dark" on PBS, with Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, and Richard Crenna and the contemporary "Now You See Me," with an all star cast including Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine.

5. Sleeping in on a Sunday morning; not having to get early tomorrow morning (at 4:15 AM) to go to work.

Pablo said...

Dear Carl,

It's encouraging hearing there was celebrating of this young woman's life and the reminder you have that we want to treasure every moment, every person and especially our loved ones.

You have my prayers as you mentor your third son.

That movie was scary. I saw it when a young kid. The ending, when Alan Arkin leaps in her flat, made my heart jump.

Thanks for sharing what's alive within you!

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.