I’m still overcome by my emotions over the past three days, but the one thing that I noticed that isn’t there anymore is the sense of anxiousness and uncertainty that has plagued me for the past several months. As my oldest daughter Kate asked me the day after the Election, “Does this mean I’m getting my Daddy back?” I’m finally at peace with myself and now I really can hope again…hope for a much better future for my children than I had ever since either of them were born, but most especially for my youngest who was born August 12, 2001. In many ways, she’s been deprived of a lot of the love I should have been giving her over these past eight years due to my Mental Illnesses and Alcoholism. I’ve been sober for two and a half years, but being without booze in your system isn’t necessarily being sober. Sobriety is a state of mind as well as being, and in many ways I still have a lot of issues that need to be addressed in order to be a complete peace with myself. I thought I was tackling these, but I realize now that perhaps I wasn’t doing all I could to REALLY do that.
I was a regular attendee of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings up until about six months ago, when my back finally gave out on me and I now have yet another ailment to add to the ever growing list that comes with age. A lot of the medication I was taking (both narcotic and non-narcotic) prevented me from driving because of the effects that were sometime worse than being drunk. (When these guys say don’t operate heavy machinery, they are NOT kidding!) I was starting to veer away from AA’s philosophy though anyway. The main focus of AA is using God as a means of staying sober, and while there is a claim to being non-denominational, I find it to be rather contradictory when you close every meeting with The Lord’s Prayer. I realized that the same reasons why I had issues with the Catholic Church were becoming the same issues that I was having with AA…so I made the decision that it was no longer the path I needed to go down to aid in my sobriety. What I did find out was that WRITING was, and that’s why I post here almost daily and continue to write my book. Plus, the coffee is MUCH better!
Don’t get me wrong. AA is absolutely fine for some folks, but for me…at least for right now…I’m finding that this approach is working much better for me. I can take out my anger or frustration on the page rather than someone else. My beliefs about The Universe (which is what I choose to call that which is most certainly greater than myself) and religion can remain uncompromised and I can at least live with myself by not dealing with the whole only God can save my sorry ass concept. I believe that whatever that which is God, or The Universe or whatever is within each of us anyway, so if I help myself in a manner in which I see fit, I guess it is like God helping my sorry ass anyway, isn’t it?
In some ways that was kind of confirmed when I started this blog on September 10th of this year. I had been actively involved in posting on other blogs and websites about the election, most especially The Mudflats Blog and Mudflats Forum, particularly after Sarah Palin’s announcement as McCain’s VP choice. (He’s probably screaming, “DO OVER! DO OVER!” from Arizona as I type). There was a veritable army of folks who found a previously obscure Blog about Alaskan Politics by sheer happenstance (as I did on the day of Palin’s announcement) and found that the inside information that was being posted not only scooped the Mainstream Media by at least a week, it was ACCURATE is hell. Moreover, many of us came from all over the political map (Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Liberals, Conservatives, Libertarians, Socialists…name it) came together in common purpose because we loved our country and we knew that it was going down the toilet…and God help us all if McCain and Palin won. The sites gave me impetus to finally start up a blog AGAIN (I had two previous attempts without success as I was still drinking), and this time I hoped it would work out.
Well, it sure as hell did…much better than I ever dreamed. I get a lot out of posting, and from the comments here and off the record e-mails I receive, so do you. None of this would have happened though if I didn’t by chance come across a quote from the Greek writer Aeschylus. I found it while searching for a quote from Bobby Kennedy to end one of the first posts I had written; ironically on September 11th. RFK read it at Martin’s funeral service in 1968; it was a poignant quote meant to state that although people may not have understood why Martin was taken from us, that the reason would be clear in time. It said:
“And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.”
I sat there stunned and absolutely FLOORED at what I had read. On that day of all days, suddenly and quite unexpectedly, the scales were lifted from my eyes, and much like Saul on the road to Damascus, I was struck blind with one perfect moment of absolute enlightenment. I broke down, tears flowing freely and the weight and burden of my guilt of surviving September 11th was lifted from me. I understood WHY I was spared, why I had to go through all the pain of the past seven years, why certain parts of my life that were previously enigmas to me suddenly made perfect sense. I had suddenly been granted the blessings of forgiveness by being able to forgive myself for surviving, for putting my family through pure hell because of my drinking, for being much less of a human being than I am capable of being. In some sort of cosmic coincidence, my youngest is named Grace…but there are NEVER coincidences when it comes to The Universe, are there? The Universe had suddenly given me the Grace, Redemption, PURPOSE and a DIRECTION that I always knew in my heart is what I was meant to do, but now I am suddenly CALLED to do…and that is write and document about what is coming.
This election was only the beginning. There are more changes coming, and I have absolutely no idea what they are and how they will affect us…but I do know one thing: that we are on the threshold of greatness, a change greater than anything any body politic could offer through legislation. A change greater than any Church or Temple or Ashram could offer. A change that is only available through individual consciousness being raised collectively to form a greater good that will make Mankind achieve greatness. It has eluded us over the centuries, but we stand here like children looking up at the stars and raising our arms to touch the heavens. All of this is possible, but only if we change the way we perceive our world and ourselves. We often seek Grace and Redemption from a Higher Power, and although we may ask, often that does not come. We need to ask for Grace, Redemption, and Forgiveness from something else before we ask for it from The Universe…
“Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.” – Anonymous