Jan. 28, 2016

Hopeless or Hopeful

“I was wise, if you like, because I was prepared for death at any moment, but not because I had taken care of everything that was given to me to do, rather because I had done none of it and could not even hope to do any of it.”  Franz Kafka, Diaries, March 18, 1912

Kafka's quote describes hopelessness to me.  I was at this point in my life, and I was hopeless.  I squandered so much of my time away living in my hurts and trying to change the way I felt.  Sometimes I think I remember what the defining moment which set me on this course of drinking and holding onto resentments, but I realize that one day I looked inward, and they were just there.  My hurts became a magnet for new hurts and so I allowed them to take over my thoughts and my spirit.  I believed I was doomed to live the life I was living.  I am not talking about my external life, but my life within my spirit.    Now as I take the gift of sobriety and do what is suggested to me I look at myself with a much clearer perspective.  For me, it is as simple as this.  In my youth I had so much promise and, yes, I did many good things, but along the way I allowed the world to dampen my light.  I believe that whether we are alcoholic or not the world has a way of doing this to us if we allow it.  What is the secret?  I do not claim to have the answer to what happy; successful people are doing because I think life affects them too, and sometimes they get stuck in the morass of life.  I thought I was so smart and had life figured out because I had found the solution in a bottle.  If I could just come home, chill and drink or go out and have fun and drink life would be grand!  I suppose those who are not alcoholic find other ways of coping with life.  Today, just today, I feel a rebirth.  I still have many situations being hurled at me, but today and I can stop, pause and take the path I have seen others take to a happy sober life. I used to think this was silly; I really did.  I have learned if I really want something I need to listen to how someone else who is sober, happy and content is doing it.  It does not mean that I can just sit and hope it comes to me, nor should I rush to the next situation.  Even on my toughest day, I should start by speaking grateful words even when I don’t feel grateful.  I usually find that when I do this, the gratitude comes.  Then, I pray for guidance on what the next right thing I should do.  If I run into a roadblock, I pause, and I pray again.  Today, I don’t have everything I want.  Today, I don’t have any exciting plans.  Today, I have many things to do, and I don’t necessarily want to do them.   Today, I have all that I need, and I have a grateful heart and a sober mind.  This is a gift today, and I plan to make something happen.  Today I am hopeful.