Tag: faith

Through Everything and More

rageandgrief slayer on justruminating men's blog

(part II of Through Everything)

Deep do not in a sadness stay
I will take back a dark day
If you ever feel misunderstood
I will listen until you are good
Oh feel not lonely at all with me
But I will always keep you company
Sure some nightmares might appear
With my magic they would disappear
You’ll have some time with depression
Though I’ll stop it short of oppression
At times life will be disenchanting
We will find new dreams for planting
Life exhausting surely can be
But you can borrow energy from me
If within you feel so fragile
Sit with me and we will love awhile
No doubt grouchy you will become
I can smile and not be glum
Maybe stress will get you
Then I’d do those things I do
If with life you’re surely bored
I’d entertain you so you’re floored
Should you lose your way in life
I’d map it out for you my wife
Doubt can come and cloud your view
But I will warmly reassure you
Normal to be of some things afraid
But I’ll shed light on them instead
If you need solitude awhile
I will part with a warm smile
And as I turn A kiss I’d send
And tell you I’ll be back my friend
Through all of this and more and more
This is what all of my love is for!

(for  my girl)

Thank You For You!

friend on justruminating men's blog Because of you I am learning for the first time in my 53 years what a friendship between a man and woman can be!

Surviving Alcoholism, Surviving Life

wp-1484928101125.jpgI am 53 and for the first time in my life I am in extended recovery from alcoholism.  Although I was sober for 3 months once, I have never actually been in recovery.

I just passed my 10th month sobriety/recovery!  And, although I have had many challenges during this time, I have learned 4 major concepts that have instrumental in keeping me a clean and sober man today.  Dare I say, these 4 things may also be a helpful roadmap to any of you who might be suffering in one way or another.

faith on justruminating men's blogFaith–“complete trust or confidence in someone or something.”  I’m not going to sit here and tell you me and my Higher Powers are having lunch everyday.  Yes, I said Powers.  It’s plural because I have complete trust and confidence in several entities.  My Higher Powers take many forms.  The important thing is that when life is punching me in the face, because I believe in something greater than myself, I am able to take the hits and keep moving forward.

gratitude on justruminating men's blogGratitude–“the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”  I have learned that being grateful for the little things can add up to great things.

Appreciating what I have, instead of whining about what I don’t have.  Reaching out to others in acts of service or kindness is deeply fulfilling and gives me a sense of gratitude.  Seeing the good in people and in life is a major shift in my way of thinking.  Practicing this has had a great impact on my daily attitude as well.

mindfulness on justruminating men's blogMindfulness–“the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.”  There was another, more fancy definition, but this will suffice.  Mindfulness has completely changed my life.  I can’t emphasize this enough.

I have learned to be in the moment, to live in what Eckhart Tolle has written in his powerful book “The Power of Now.”  When I am able to practice this successfully, I can simply observe myself being myself, and make adjustments accordingly.  I used to let my emotions and feelings rule the day.  Each day I am getting better at just being in the now and operating my life from a position of strength.

acceptance on justruminating men's blogAcceptance–“assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it, protest.”  A cornerstone to the famous “Serenity Prayer.”

I have learned to simply live life on life’s terms, come what may.  I can also accept people, places, and things that may not be desirable or agreeable to me, and I can be ok with that.  I used to whine and complain about everything, because it wasn’t for or about me.  I am learning how to sit with Acceptance and simply be ok.  I can also let you simply be.  And that’s ok too.

So there you have it.  To me, these are 4 powerful concepts that, when practiced with diligence and determination, can keep me in full recovery for the rest of my life.  Of course, they are not the only things that are effective for keeping someone sober.  You may very well have your own.  However, I will say this:  If I had to choose only 4 concepts to guide me, I’m going with these.

I would add that living in the NOW would be a 5th concept. living in the now on justruminating mens blog It has also brought me to a way of thinking and being that has dramatically improved the quality of my life as well.  So 5 then.  Lol. Not only that, but I honestly believe they will continue to be life changing for me for the rest of my life as well.

I had a guy on Etsy create a wooden token for me.  I wanted to give myself–and the guys (and gal) here in the program something they could put in their pockets.

Something that might remind them of their daily struggle and the coping skills that they might be able to rely upon to get them through life’s situations.  I carry my AA medallions with me and am always playing with them to remind me of what my purpose is.  Here is what he came up with, showing both sides of the coin.  I love it!

If you, or a loved one, is suffering from addiction or living a life of misery and unhappiness, I urge you to look into these concepts for yourself.  Oh, and buy Tolle’s “The Power of Now.”  It will completely change the way you view and live your life!

Big Book Musings: The God Issue

big book musings on justruminating men's blogSo onto the chapter that gives most addicts and alcoholics fits:  We Agnostics, chapter 4 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Maybe I am going to be in for a rude awakening when I finally do enter the “real world,” because this recovery business is fairly straightforward to me.  The following paragraph is CRITICAL in understanding how I remain sober, especially the “came to believe…”

Don’t drink, “came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity,” and “made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as we understood Him.  The rest of the Steps of A.A. are elementary to me.  That’s the Higher Power component for me.  Replace “me” with “our” for the Big Book wording.

higherpower on justruminating men's blogPeople are like “Omg, this A.A. business is so religious.”  “I don’t believe in God.”  “I don’t know what a Higher Power looks like.”  Well, good thing you have me, right?  LOL, I’m going to spell this out very plainly and simply for you–and, of course, these are just my opinionsThis is what works for me:  A Higher Power can be anything that is greater than yourself that will help keep you sober.  Period.

As Chapter 4 points out:

If a mere code of morals or a better philosophy of life were sufficient to overcome alcoholism, many of us would have recovered long ago.”

So, we can’t do it alone!  The cornerstone of any 12 Step Program is this concept of a Higher Power.  Without a spiritual awakening, in whatever form you choose it to be, we will continue to relapse and be lost.  The Big Book goes on to say:

spiritual awakening on justruminating men's blog

Lack of power, that was our dilemma.  We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves.  Obviously.  But where and how were we to find this Power?

Yes, in the Big Book it walks about a “Supreme Being.”  It talks about a “Creative Intelligence.”  It talks about a “Spirit of the Universe.”  I would argue that we are all from the same spirit.  What keeps me alive–exclusive of physical anatomy–is what keeps you alive.

Do you honestly believe that when you die that’s the end of the show?  People who believe in God believe they are going to heaven.  People who believe in Buddhism believe that

buddhism on justruminating men's blog

death is not the end of life, it is merely the end of the body we inhabit in this life, but our spirit will still remain and seek out through the need of attachment, attachment to a new body and new life. Where they will be born is a result of the past and the accumulation of positive and negative action, and the resultant karma (cause and effect) is a result of ones past actions.”  (source).

I believe that spirit does not die.  I believe spirit is remade in some higher form or another.  We cannot possibly have all this commonality, only to end up as worm food.  My point is that this is some of my Higher Power.  This belief that we are all connected.  This belief that there is this awesome force controlling us; therefore, I rely on this wellspring to give me strength when I am weak.  There is an awesome power that connects us folks, “they ain’t no de-ni-in dat.”

Chapter 4 suggests:

Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you.

frog on justruminating men's blogThere is much more to cover from Chapter 4.  We will surely be covering more down the road.  Contemplate your beliefs and contemplate what the Highest possible Power is that you can imagine controlling the universe.  I don’t care if you think that it is a frog that lives in the Rain Forest.  Then, simply tap into that power for your strength.  Voila, Higher Power.

There are those that say anything can be your Higher Power until you can tap into one that is greatest–God, Buddha, Allah, whatever.  Your Higher Power could be your children.  It could be, like me, a combination of things:  The Great Oneness, Writing, Nature Contemplations.  Some have suggested that A.A. (or any 12 Step Program) can be your Higher Power.

It doesn’t have to be this gigantic gorilla you have to wrestle down and kill.  Simplify it to the highest force possible.  Then, hang on for dear life until you have your legs under you.  YOU CAN DO THIS!!

Signs of A Spiritual Awakening
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Big Book Musings: Not So Smart

big book musings on justruminating men's blogChapter 3 of Alcoholics Anonymous, titled “More About Alcoholism,” talks more about the power of booze over the individual.  It is a powerful testament to those who are still convinced that they can either control their drinking, or put it down for a while to return to it just fine at a later date.

There are many intelligent alcoholics.  None of those people ever got up one day and said “Today I think I’ll be an alcoholic.”  Alcoholism is a disease.  Alcoholism has an effect on those predisposed to it that does not otherwise effect the normal drinker.

In the Big Book, Chapter 3 it says:

To be gravely affected, one does not necessarily have to drink a long time nor take the quantities some of us have.  This is particularly true of women.  Potential female alcoholics often turn into the real thing and are gone beyond recall in a few years.

No matter how smart you are, how much you think you can control your drinking, how much you can quit then start back up again, in the end alcohol will possess the alcoholic.

alcoholismAnd the thing is, no matter how intelligent you think you are, no matter how much you think you’ll be able to inflict your will power on it and resume it later, the worse your condition becomes:

This is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it–this utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish

recover on justruminating men's blogUltimately, you must (Step 1) admit you are powerless over alcohol (Step 2) come to believe that a Power greater than yourself can restore you to sanity and (Step 3) make a decision to turn your will and your life over to the care of God as you understand Him.

Then you are really ready to do the work that is suggested in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.