Friday, June 18, 2004

the wisdom to know the difference

requesting wisdom is the mother of all prayer requests. solomon was given carte blanch from god and he picked wisdom and was honored for it. (maybe there should be another line in the prayer that says 'help me to use the wisdom you give me' because solomon didn't and got himself into a houseful of trouble).

knowing the difference between bad and good is usually easy to spot. even children have the ability to decipher that. choosing between good and best is where things get murky and grey. figuring out the difference between the things i have to accept as they are, and things that i need courage to change. this is where the rubber meets the road.

differences are very often arbitrary. what seems like something you would choose to change might be something that i can live with. so this wisdom needs to be asked for in daily doses, like manna from heaven. yesterday's wisdom doesn't fit today's circumstances. just because i made that choice yesterday today might mean that today it may need to be different.

serenity comes when that balance is struck.

my father lives with us. what he chooses to live with, the difficulties of his life sometimes overflow into mine. it is a very fine line that i must tread in establishing those boundaries that keep his chaos from inflicting itself on me.

he's a 'white knuckle' dry alcoholic. has been for 31 years. he's the most determined man i know. but the evidence of addiction is still winding it's way throughout every choice he makes like vines and tendrils binding themselves to him. he has no serenity. each choice is governed by his replacement addictions, codependency, spending and food. it's a daily reminder to me to make the choice to pray this prayer.

today god, i need wisdom. wisdom to know when to speak, and when to be silent. when to challenge and when to fall back. what can i do today that will move me forward instead of backwards? because really, in recovery - if you aren't going forward, you're really falling back.

so just for today, what needs to happen?

during my first run through of the steps i thought i had a recovery buddy. i've never had a sponsor, it's been one of my greatest discouragements in my recovery. but this person was someone i thought i could trust, i thought 'got it'. she agreed to hear my step 5 (my searching and fearless moral inventory). so i diligently worked on my step 4 inventory and prepared myself to be able to give it away to her. about a month before we scheduled 'the time' she flaked on me. no explanation, just said she didn't feel comfortable and i'd have to find someone else. i was crushed.

wounded and broken i became frozen in my recovery. it halted at that place for about 2 years. who could i trust? who would love me enough to hear my most horrible parts and not flake, or even greater still, love me? at least she flaked before i told her my secrets, but i was so hurt.

i learned some very good lessons from that difficult time. being wise as serpents and gentle as doves (i think that's the quote?) is necessary. learning lessons the hard way does teach us wisdom, as long as we take the time to pull those events apart and learn from them.

finding safe people, people who respect your journey and your boundaries, friends who will walk along side you and challenge without judging is what we all truly long for. surround yourself with people who build you up and limit your interaction with people who don't.

the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. where am i doing this in my life? where am i spinning my wheels, stuck and mired down? facing the places that this is happening takes courage and determination. once we realize that the only place real change can take place is 'within' then the journey becomes much different than it looked before.

i adore the band superchick, i am thrilled my daughter has such empowering music to grow up to. i wish i had them when i was a young girl. their lyrics go straight to my soul. girl power was so far from where i was raised. they have a wonderful song called 'let it be'.

Some people bring you gifts,
some bring you bricks to weigh you down
So they can swim a little higher while you drown
Some people mean so well,
their way was the best way that they’ve found
But any other way you choose
is a brick that weighs you down

Some people give themselves a brick,
I know most people do
When we compare, we fall short somewhere,
it’s always true
If all we see is where we fall,
we’ve bricked the prison wall
Instead of trying to learn to fly
we’ve taught ourselves to crawl

So tell me what do I do with
this backpack full of bricks
Of sticks and stones and word’s<b>r>that stuck to me like ticks

We could believe in ourselves more
We could try for unique instead of trying to conform
We could defy what they tell us
And don’t buy the lies they sell us
And we’re brave we can believe in what we are

Let it go, let it be
brick by brick we can be free
Of all the words we saved til
we were our own enemies
Let it go, let it be brick by brick
we can believe
in the person God intended us to be
Let it be.

wisdom about people is one of the gifts serenity brings to me.

so, just for today god, grant me the wisdom i need to differentiate between those things i cannot change and those things i must change, between good and best, between safe and unsafe. i need your serenity father and the courage to carry that out. amen

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