Endigar 024

I suffered a bit of a crash after the elation pf picking up my 9 month tag with my home group.  I usually do – any success seems to send me into a tailspin, and depending on the level of achievement, may activate a time of dark, oppressive depression.  I don’t understand this, but since I am going to die in a few decades, I don’t really care to spend much energy on introspection if I can find ways of outlasting it.  Which I think I have done. 

I go to an AA meeting at lunchtime today to pick up my AA 9 month chip.  My sponsee is struggling, riding sobriety like a rodeo horse, getting thrown a couple of times here, but not giving up.  I have come to the conclusion that success or failure is something that is out of our control.  The only question that I am hit with, the only one important to me as a mortal is, “Are you giving up yet?”  That one question and my answer to it seems to decide the strength of my living.  I give the gift of persistence into the web of the universe.  When I take on a particular focus, life asks me a second question, very similar to the first.  “Are you really sure that you want to do that?”  This allows me to throw a determined focus into the web.  My activities are filtered to those things that I really, really desire.  The cute cuddly little dreams that dance in my mind, that threaten to trouble me like tribbles (Star Trek fans will understand my reference) are ground up into hamburger meat to feed my more robust goals.  And ultimately my impact is felt throughout the universe.  I am no victim.  I have a choice.

As for success and failure, they are really the same thing, flip sides of the same card.  Success gives me some breathing space, a chance to stretch out to the warmth of the sun and become a useful part of my environment.  I am meant to be here at this time and place.  Failure forces my roots to grow deeper, to see and accept change.  It is like the death card in the tarot, it is not intrinsictly a bad one to flip up.  Unless you fear change.  Such inflexibility to life’s terms creates a living rigor mortis.

Also, realizing that success is a gift, an anointing from the energy or spirit of the universe keeps me from arrogance.  The resulting humility allows me to say, we are all in this together.  I remember a military officer who seemed to have it all.  He achieved many of the things I desire to.  He owned a black jeep, a motorcycle, and his basement is filled with an armory.  He also has a son and daughter like I do, and has been able to train them in martial arts, marksmanship, scuba diving, and hang gliding.  He ruthlessly disciplines them and pushes them to excel in academics.  As a Colonel, he has plenty of money.  He is also a lawyer.  Something to fall back on.  He is careful about what he eats, and his body is very muscular, he is very strong.  He is a black belt in many forms of martial arts, including one that deals with sword play and weapons usage.  He is unstoppable.  And so is his arrogance.  He judges others harshly, quickly.  He is secretly despised by his peers, by the great masses that struggle through life around him.  He is a social obstacle.  Only those who entertain that their association with him will somehow rub off on them accept his friendship.  I was one of those.  What I thought was camaraderie and mutual respect from him was actually a kind of pity for me.  He saw my service and devotion to this country as a method of keeping me fed.  I was a stray cat in his collection of human pets.  He took that which was sacred to me, and pissed on it.  He is so very sick, and has almost no hope of finding a cure.  His pride is both a fortress wall and a self-made prison.  He would laugh at any message of warning.  He once told me, “Always be able to walk away.”  I think this is a line from the movie Heat.  In my mind, I modified his advice:  “Always be able to walk away, but remember you can never walk away from yourself.”  He is what I would gladly have become if life continually dealt me the success I craved.  I never would have found this way of life that I am so very grateful for.   I was not his victim, I had a choice.

From the Big Book, page 417:  “And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.  When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at his moment…unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy.  I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes.”

So here I am.  Answering life.  No I am not ready to tuck my tail and run.  I want to live until I die, to truly live.  I am not giving up today.   I am not life’s victim.  I have a choice.

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