I am feeling a little more blessed than usual today. Maybe it's just that time of year.
I had only one wish back in 2007. If you want something bad enough, I think anything is possible. In 2007, I wanted the life I once had back. I wanted to live my life and enjoy it- just as I did as a child.
This week will mark the end of one more year with my inner family intact. Through a series of miracles, my mother and father are still here. We have been blessed.
Ya know, other bloggers and I write about all of the insanity in the world. I often wonder as I write, how do the other writers handle the world's insanity? Are they angry, bitter, outraged? I wish I knew more about them. I am in awe at how the world shapes us- we don't shape it. It hands us what it will and says, "What are you going to do about that?"
Sometimes we become bitter and angry, sometimes clearly frustrated. Sometimes we are confused and sometimes we wonder, who is in charge of this nuthouse? Sometimes we cry.
When everything is going well, we think, now that is the way life is supposed to be. That of course, is the great lie. That is the lie we tell ourselves. We only want what is good and we reject the bad. Unfortunately, you cannot have one without the other. It is a package deal. That was the gift I was given, it was Christmas 2007.
I had been sober a little over two months. I flew into Boise from New Orleans that Christmas and while everyone was drinking and laughing-I felt kind of miserable. Not self pity exactly, but just left out. It's part of sobriety actually. The ability to allow everyone to be just as drunk and disorderly as they want to be. That was a role that I had previously played. The day after Christmas Eve that year, Christmas morning, I received a phone call from my sponsor. He wanted to know what it had been like- Christmas Eve- and so I told him. He laughed at me. I would no longer be the orchestra leader, the loudest drunk in the family. You have been reassigned so get used to it.
Des was simply the hardest man I have ever known. There was an anger, an unrelenting anger that burned in Father Des which simply refused to allow anyone- one molecule of self pity and because he was a Priest I suppose- I just couldn't bring myself to lie to him. I always spilled my guts.
Des died five weeks later on Feb 6 in the middle of Wednesday Mass while in full view of the congregation. His death was exactly as it should have been. I see that now. Officially, they kept him on life support for one day. http://lakelawn.tributes.com/obituary/print/84757882
Steve Jobs once said, you can't connect the dots going forward. All you can do is look back at your life and connect the dots that way. I can see all those dots now that I am 7 years removed.
Des taught me that I am not running the world and that nobody particularly cares what my opinion of that is. The world according to Des was full of opinions. I was just one more bum on the opinion bus.
The gift I was given Christmas '07, was complete and utter acceptance of everything in the world. I was no longer required to try and control the outcome of anything. I was no longer required to preach to people, to tell them that what they were doing- was right or wrong according to some strange and undisclosed set of expectations in my head. Just let everything in the world be. Let someone else run the place because you haven't been doing such a bang up job.
Today I am good with all things. In fact, I would come to embrace all of the bad things- because it is the bad things that shape us. The bankruptcy, divorce, illness, and death- all of it is quite necessary. These "bad" things are far more necessary than the good things- they challenge us emotionally. They challenge us physically. They challenge us spiritually. We don't learn anything from the good things because we think, that is the way life should always be. So the "good" is often taken for granted. We are quite accepting of all of the good things in our lives- yet we cry like babies and blame others anytime adversity strikes us. For some of us, like myself in 2007, the war drums inside my head were loud. Knocking myself out with a bottle of whisky was my only means of coping with all of that noise.
Today I practice acceptance although, I like to write about all of the tragedy and stupidity in the world. I don't get carried away. I like to think I practice my observations- in moderation. I also like to think that I am part of the fabric of the world. If good and bad are encouraged, embraced even- then I think it's ok to be the play by play guy. There must be a spot for us. I think we can discuss those things without going nuts.
I am grateful for everything that I have and I know I probably deserve far less. My gifts exceed my exertions here. I am grateful that I have a God of my understanding, a universal intelligence, that transcends some crazy punishing God that the world told me I had to buy into or spend eternity in hell. I realize now that all of that is nonsense. That any God must be a loving God or- he is not a God worth having. If I can manage to love a few people despite all of their flaws, I have great confidence that an all knowing God can do far better than that. I am no longer consumed with ridiculous fears.
You know God has a sense of humor. He created Republicans and Democrats. He saw that as necessary, like ticks and mosquitoes.
I have solutions today that I didn't have in '07. I don't run and hide anymore when things don't go according to the script in my head. I deal with them calmly, rationally, and I continue to live life and enjoy it. I even embrace all of those bad things because I understand now- how necessary all of that is. Figuring that out, accepting it, and applying the proper, healthy solution- worked out in advance- keeps the war drums from beating once again.
I want to thank all of my family and friends for stopping by. Des would never have read a single word on this blog. He would have been angry at me. He hated opinions. Sometimes, I giggle when I think of what he might have said to me had he still been alive and stumbled in here. Thank God for Des- the best Christmas gift I have ever received.
I sincerely hope that you all have a great Christmas and a happy New Year.