Endigar 809

From Courage to Change of March 17;

No problem lasts forever. No matter how permanently fixed in the center of our lives it may seem, whatever we experience in this ever-changing life is sure to pass. Even pain.

Difficult situations often bring out qualities in us that otherwise might not have risen to the surface, such as courage, faith, and our need for one another. All of our experiences can help us to grow.

But we may need patience. Some wounds cannot be healed quickly. They must be given time. In the meantime, we can appreciate the new capabilities we are developing, such as the capacity to mourn and the willingness to accept. Let us share our losses and triumphs with each other, for that is how we gather courage.

Today’s Reminder

Remembering that this too shall pass can make it easier to get through a difficult day. I will be very gentle with myself during this time. Some extra loving care and attention to myself can make everything a little easier.

“. . . I am equal to what life presents.’ when I use the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, the slogans, literature, sponsorship, conventions, and most importantly, meetings.” ~ . . . In All Our Affairs

END OF QUOTE—————————————


Even This Shall Pass Away

Once in Persia reigned a king,
Who upon his signet ring
Graved a maxim true and wise,
Which, if held before his eyes,
Gave him counsel at a glance
Fit for every change and chance.
Solemn words, and these are they;
“Even this shall pass away.”

Trains of camels through the sand
Brought him gems from Samarcand;
Fleets of galleys through the seas
Brought him pearls to match with these;
But he counted not his gain
Treasures of the mine or main;
“What is wealth?” the king would say;
“Even this shall pass away.”

‘Mid the revels of his court,
At the zenith of his sport,
When the palms of all his guests
Burned with clapping at his jests,
He, amid his figs and wine,
Cried, “O loving friends of mine;
Pleasures come, but do not stay;
‘Even this shall pass away.’”

Lady, fairest ever seen,
Was the bride he crowned the queen.
Pillowed on his marriage bed,
Softly to his soul he said:
“Though no bridegroom ever pressed
Fairer bosom to his breast,
Mortal flesh must come to clay –
Even this shall pass away.”

Fighting on a furious field,
Once a javelin pierced his shield;
Soldiers, with a loud lament,
Bore him bleeding to his tent.
Groaning from his tortured side,
“Pain is hard to bear,” he cried;
“But with patience, day by day,
Even this shall pass away.”

Towering in the public square,
Twenty cubits in the air,
Rose his statue, carved in stone.
Then the king, disguised, unknown,
Stood before his sculptured name,
Musing meekly: “What is fame?
Fame is but a slow decay;
Even this shall pass away.”

Struck with palsy, sore and old,
Waiting at the Gates of Gold,
Said he with his dying breath,
“Life is done, but what is Death?”
Then, in answer to the king,
Fell a sunbeam on his ring,
Showing by a heavenly ray,
“Even this shall pass away.”

–Theodore Tilton

The man on the left is a photo of Theodore Tilton and the man on the right is Judah Benjamin. Mr. Tilton was an abolitionist who was betrayed by his wife and the man he was assisting, Henry Ward Beecher. When his suit against Mr. Beecher for adultery failed, he left for Paris. Mr. Benjamin was a slaving-owning Confederate official who was also the first Jew to be elected to the US Senate. He fled to the UK and became a successful lawyer after the Civil War. Tilton and Benjamin played chess until Benjamin died in 1884.

The man in the center is my late Father in his younger days, who would often quote the maxim from Tilton’s poem. “But with patience, day by day, even this shall pass away.” He died on the 8th of August, 2017, after living with me for the last decade of his life. We both outlived our marriages, he through death and me through divorce. He taught me to play chess when I was a child. One thing I remembered from my study of the game was that as you suffer loss, you can gain an advantageous position. It required the patience to look at the entire board before moving. I remember him saying, “are you sure you want to make that move?” The development of my mind and the strength of my heart is an echo of my Father’s perseverance in the face of very difficult times. I miss him.

His love and support helped provide a protective umbrella as I struggled forward with recovery, the completion of my degree, and retirement from the military. The Twelve Steps and Traditions put me back in the game of life on life’s terms and introduced me to a Higher Power that had my Father’s voice asking me to look at the whole board and to accept the changes that come my way.

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