Saturday, January 23, 2016

Long Live…Love

“You belong to God’s universe because everything belongs. Every part of you belongs, and no part need be rejected or denied, but only educated, healed, forgiven, and set free in new form. . .”
Fr. Richard Rohr

Awake on a Saturday morning at a time that is normally for me the middle of the night, I find my fingers lonesome. My head is full of things better left SAID! There is not much to my life. I am I the middle of winter and this, every year, is a difficult time for me. Health issues magnify when the temperatures dip toward the freezing point, and my ability to leave my house diminishes. What I am left with is more television than I can watch, and my keyboard with which to amuse me, or enlighten me, or validate me, or any of a thousand things that take me away from the pain and into that place where my humanity exists.

To my credit, or detriment, I surf the web and drop in on social media to see what others are saying or thinking. Today I encountered a post from a dear sweet lady who posted out of frustration, or possibly anger, some things that made me wonder what exactly I had, and what I lack. It also made me think about what I did not have, and what I did not want to lose.

I am fortunate in that I am acquainted with many people, most of them who I call friends. I am not a particularly social person, preferring my little Sanctum to the big wide world outside the door that leads to my fifteen year old pickup truck. I receive very few telephone calls and I like it that way. Somewhere in my inner deep cultural memory is the feeling that Alexander Graham Bell should have left Mr. Watson to his own devices and worked on inventing a better mousetrap or some such thing more useful than the growling contraption I have that interrupts my solitude and safety.

This dear sweet lady, who I love quite fervently, was setting a condition on the people she knows to perform some feat of daring do in order to remain her friend. Given the parameters she set, it is probably going to be difficult for me to remain her friend. I have not spoken to her on the phone but once or twice in the entire time we have known each other. We text, occasionally, but that is mostly to exchanged emoji’s pronouncing our affection for each other. Based on her requirements, I do not qualify to be her friend. What a sad, heartbreaking day and situation for me indeed.

All I know is what I have learned from the life that I have led the last twenty years in recovery. It is not another’s decision to make on how I see or feel their presence in my life. How somebody acts or does not act is not for me to make a value judgement on. That is left to the God I believe in, and the lessons I have learned from that God. Fear, hurt, and anger do nothing to enrich my life, they detract and lessen me. I am an often angry person and it has always diminished me. When I am following the teachings of my God and loving others I am emboldened and complimented. When I am living in a world of recrimination and resentment I am stealing from myself. When I am acting in affection and adoration I am enriching myself. When I am acting in dissent and disgust I am stealing from the entire world. When I am acting in acceptance and assistance I am cultivating the principle of my God when he commanded me to act in that manner.

I am fortunate to have the ability to read and comprehend the things I peruse and study. Where I get into trouble is when I reach to those things I believe hold value and search to find that which agrees with my mood at the time. When I let the lesser parts of me control the whole of me, I find false justification for the negative feelings I wish to act out on. I find authentication of my wrongness, and depletion of my spirit. I find myself alone in a world of 7,200,000,000 people who are not going anywhere and who I am required to coexist with. Obliged to cohabit with because, as John Donne says “No man is an island…”

I have a few friends who I have known for what is rapidly approaching fifty years. They are the people, outside of my sponsor, who I trust the most in the world. I have not seen any of them since the late 1970’s and have spent many years without the benefit of communication with them. They never lost their affection for me. They never considered erasing me from their lives; they never rebuked me for not being the type of friend they deserve. They just love me and have no stated desire for that to change. I have friends in my life today that do the same to me as I have done to my longtime friends. They do not call, or sometimes even talk to me when I see them in a meeting, or Walmart. That hurts sometimes, but the affection between us is not contingent on their action, it is mine to own and offer.

I am not possessed of a deeper ability to understand people or know what they are thinking. I am not in receipts of any alien technology that makes me cosmically conscious of all I perceive. I have a particular talent which regrettably compels me to, for lack of a better way of saying it, fuck up all the time. I say and do things that hurt others, and often refuse to recognize that which I hath wrought. It is the gift of recovery that allows me to see my mistakes and not do the things that are injurious to others…too often.

It allows me to read not for a directed purpose but for a divine message. It gives me the gift of afterthought and not the agony of first thought. It offers me redemption when I am more deserving of recrimination. It allows me to believe. Believe what the rest of John Donne’s 392 year old poem states:

“No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; 
It tolls for thee.

Perhaps I overstep my bounds. Perhaps I stick my nose in where it is unwelcome from time to time. Perhaps I am just a grouchy old man. Perhaps if that dear sweet lady decides I am not someone she wants as a friend she will know that I will love her whether she wishes me to or not.