Life Anonymous: Hands up, now get your hands up! (Fat Man Scoop voice)

Step 3 – Surrender

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.

I love music. I have loved music since I first heard my daddy play (CD drops July 2014). Music is the religion that transcends like no other. My music palette unlike my food palette is plenty diverse. With the exception of some forms of bluegrass, I pretty much love music and it’s not so much the music itself as much as it the lyrics. I try to find the joy and God in all things, that includes music, even if it’s what they term “secular” music. All music, to me, is God’s music because it came from Him through us, so God must be secular too huh?

Any way, one of my favorites is Adele – One and only. Every time I hear this song, I imagine God and I having a conversation. I’m hesitant but I start by saying…

You’ve been on my mind, I grow fonder every day
Lose myself in time just thinking of your face
God only knows why it’s taken me so long to let my doubts go
You’re the only one that I want
I don’t know why I’m scared, I’ve been here before
Every feeling, every word, I’ve imagined it all,
But I’ll never know, if I never try to forget my past and let you be mine

What a humbling way to admit how much you need and want God. What courage it takes to exercise the will to give your will over to something else, someone else greater than you. Think about it. If all the decisions were made for you and always in your favor, wouldn’t you turn that over to someone? I miss not having to decide what I’m going to eat or wear or where I’m going to go for vacation or things like that. Man, kids have it made.

Being the loving Father that he is, he replies (and there is paraphrasing);

If I’ve been on your mind, you hang on every word I say
Lose yourself in time at the mention of my name
Will I ever know how it feels to hold you close
And have you tell me whichever road I choose you’ll go
I know why you’re scared ’cause I’ve been here before
Every feeling, every word, I’ve imagined it all
You’ll never know if you never try
To forget your past and simply be mine
I dare you to let me be your, your one and only
Promise I’m worthy to hold in your arms
So come on and give me a chance
To prove I am the one who can walk that mile
Until the end starts
Nobody’s perfect
(I know it ain’t easy giving up your heart)
Trust me, I’ve learned it

So I dare you to let me be your, your one and only
I promise I’m worthy to hold in your arms
So come on and give me a chance
To prove I am the one who can walk that mile
Until the end starts

He truly does know what its like to give up your heart. He’s been there. He’s walked a mile in our shoes and despite all the baggage and blisters, He is still willing to walk miles with us, right up until the very end. We have framily that won’t carry us a mile more less walk a mile with us or for us.

I may not read my bible everyday. I may not get in all my devotions but every day that I listen to this song and let the tears flow because He knows my struggle, my frustrations, my confusion and just in case He doesn’t I’m sure to let him know, and He knows it’s rocky on my journey to perfection and still He walks with me and stands waiting to hold me in his arms, all the while daring me to let Him be my One and only.

Do you hold on to things you should surrender and surrender things you should hold on to? It happens, were human but if He’s not your One and Only, why not give it a try? What’ve you got to lose? If He is your One and Only, keep your hands up!

Life Anonymous: Country. Maple. Honey-Glazed. Spiral.

Step 1: We admitted that we were powerless over our dependencies – that life had become unmanageable.

“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” (Ghandi)
“I think, therefore I am.” (Descartes)

We’ve all heard that line in some form or fashion. The bible says “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” I’m guessing they all got it from Jesus but regardless, it is a really powerful statement when you think about it.

Let’s break Step 1 down, shall we.

-Dependencies
Now wait a minute, your dependencies ain’t like mine. Sorry to break it to you but everyone has dependencies. Anything that you need for support, rely on for aid and/or that you can/are influenced or conditioned by, is a dependency. If you have a job, you are dependent on that job to help provide for your family or self (dependents). The benefits from that job influence your decisions to make purchases. Your dependency on the job conditions you to perform at the expected level in an effort to ensure continued dependency. Dependency isn’t limited to alcohol and/or drugs. Being “set in your ways”, narrow-minded, or uncompromising are the result of ideals we’ve conditioned ourselves to. From the air we breathe, the food we eat, the cars we drive to the houses we live in and everything in them, we are dependent on something or someone else other than ourselves. Dependency is a cycle, whether or not it is vicious, depends on the dependee.

-Unmanageable
Defined as: not submitting to discipline; unruly; difficult to keep under control or within limits. In other words, a mess: A HotAssMess.

Put everything together and we have admitted that we were powerless over our dependencies (whatever we rely on for support, aid, and/or whatever we have become conditioned or influenced by) that our life had become unmanageable (undisciplined, unruly, out of control). Recognized and acknowledged that the HAM we are, be it sweet, spiraled, country or sliced, is the direct result of the thoughts that baked inside out hot little heads.

I’m no philosopher. I’m just a writer who likes to think. Have you or someone you know ever said “you think too much”? Thoughts are the precursors to action, so you can and should think much, long and hard. Everything that exists today does so because someone had a thought. I’m sure people probably told Steve Jobs… you think too much. Millions of Apple followers might disagree. Ever notice, especially with film and TV, how much credit producers get? EVERYbody wants to be a producer, why? Because the money isn’t in the idea, necessarily, but in the end result – the actual product: the hit song that goes multiplatinum, the TV show that scores the highest ratings. A thought without action is what? A thought with action is what?

If you (your life) have turned into a HAM, you did not do so overnight. Creating a HAM takes time. Our thinking (precursor) and subsequent doing (action) are the essential seasonings of life, too much or too little can make for a HAM not of your liking.

If we are what we eat, it most certainly stands to reason that we are what we think.

A regular application of Constant And Never-ending Improvement to our thoughts and actions may help reduce HAM flare-ups. Admitting and being powerless over our dependencies isn’t necessarily a bad or negative thing. It’s when our dependencies are the result of improper, immoral and/or unproductive thinking and the subsequent action that we take, result in us and possibly everything around us becoming a HAM that the power of those dependencies is magnified.

When we (our lives) become HAMs, we can often be heard lamenting, CANI get a break?

Thanks for the inspiration ahines3 🙂 Domo!!

Life Anonymous: 12 Steps from Starving Hungry to Beyond Full

Starving Hungry. I heard that crazy term while working at the post office. That is some serious emptiness I thought and something I would never want to experience. Just what level of hunger is required for one to be both starving and hungry, if that is even possible? Well, today I was Starving Hungry and became quite full, all without having ever put a single morsel of food in my mouth. By now you all should know my stance on judgment; I don’t have any because I won’t have to answer for your actions. But I learned today that if one isn’t careful, judgment can creep in by way of some everyday, superficial un-Godly attitudes and behaviors.

Beyond Full. Today is my grandmother’s birthday and I am full from all the humble pie she and God served up to me today, candle in it and all. I am humble. When it comes to my work, my creativity, things I have, things I’ve done, etc., I don’t brag. I share, sometimes, and often I’m reluctant to do that and when I do it’s only with a select few. I’m private, a born and raised Singleton where sharing was a foreign as well, foreign. I am Wilbur, hear me oink! This is who I am, or who I thought I was until it was revealed to me that being a perfectionist, resistant and impatient (just to name a few) are just as bad if not worse than being judgmental and they are most certainly not of a humble nature. I admit when I’m wrong (humble) but just leave it at that, no need for you to say or add anything to it (not humble). Time was given to me today to examine my body language, voice tone, responses, you name it and let me tell you, on more than one occasion was humble booted out by perfection, resistance and impatience, and I wasn’t even aware of it. Apologize, yeah, I do. When I feel I’m wrong. Sometimes. Apologize if I feel I’m right? Ummmm, no? Nope.

Have you ever read and contemplated the 12 Steps? You know, the 12 Steps associated with AA. I’m no alcoholic but being resistant, impatient and a perfectionist are some pretty addictive behaviors. I always knew those things about myself and thought I worked hard at removing them. Turns out, I wasn’t working as hard as I thought I was. I’m lazy. I’m human. I’m a lazy human because life and everything in it takes work and I don’t feel like working ALL the time. It takes a lot of effort to live let alone live a decent life and not decent by monetary standards either. Oh don’t get me wrong, I work and don’t mind putting forth effort but its human nature for me to want to do it when I want to do it or better yet, have someone else do it for me (can you say Brrrraaaattt!)

Martin Luther King said “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”
Step 4 is Moral Inventory. The constant attitude of taking stock of all traits, good and bad and if and how they have transgressed us. Traits of dysfunction that served us well in childhood that cripple us in adulthood. Traits that need to updated, outsourced, reconfigured or just altogether scrapped and new ones shipped in. Businesses take inventory all the time, if they don’t it is unlikely they will be very successful for very long. We humans, rarely, if ever take inventory because it is too much work. To search through the confusion, contradictions and convictions – that have been fed to us from breast and bottle (milk or otherwise), served up on religious cones and community plates – to find that which is truly decent, AND to do it on a regular basis, takes a great deal of work. Some of us are less lazy than other but lazy is lazy. I guess that is why in AA you have a sponsor. Someone who has been where you’ve been and experienced what you’ve experienced. Someone who put in the work, took inventory and is in recovery. Someone who, by all accounts, has been Mended.

I have a sponsor. I have several actually but my main sponsor had every reason to be a perfectionist, to show resistance and impatience and yet he was and is the definition of humility. In AA they have The Big Book. It serves as a guide during your recovery. In life we have a big book. It is difficult to read, often misinterpreted and frequently misused and it serves as THE guide during our recovery. Everyone, regardless how small it is, everyone is recovering from something. Everyone needs to Get Mended.

Life and living take work. Continuous, effortful and courageous work. Working makes you hungry and Humble pie is quite filling. It is dry, without taste or of the worst taste imaginable depending on who’s serving it up and you definitely do not want seconds. Even now, I must fight the urge to scrutinize each line and word, sentence structure and spacing until it is perfect.

AA is about recovery. Life is about recovery from all that is thrown at us each day. I wonder…If I went to a meeting, stood up and said, “Hello, my name is EJ and I’m a lazy human” would they look at me like in disbelief? Would they be angry, thinking I was making a mockery of their program? Or would they simply say “Hi EJ”. If they’ve completed Step 4, I’d bank on the latter.

Step 9 is Making Amends. I made some amends today. Some may be accepted, some may not, but acceptance is not, cannot and should not be the goal. The goal was, is and should always be to put in the work – continuous, effortful, courageous work.

I’m full. Pie anyone?