I just got off the phone with a good friend who is going through a tough time with a missing pet. We were chatting about our respective lives & the usual “how’s things etc.?” but we also check in with each other on deeper spiritual levels from time to time. That’s one of the main reasons she’s a dear friend to me.
Last week I had to return to something I learned while in AA that was called “Back to Basics”. At its core it’s merely returning to a more simplistic way of viewing things when all else fails or prevents you from readily seeing an answer. In short, Accept the things I cannot change, have the courage to change the things I can, & to have the grace & wisdom to know the difference. (Yes, it’s a variation on the serenity prayer but it more accurately sums up my life today & is more appropriate for me today.)
Years ago when I made my a decision to embark on a whole new life, spirituality had not yet been integrated in to my day to day life. I fought it at every encounter during my early times within AA & refused to admit that AA was & is a Spiritual program. Once I got past the “God” word in all the literature my life changed & my mind began to open up to other ideologies. I began to re-read the big book & words & phrases my minds eye hid from me magically began to appear. Phrases like “God As I Understand Him” finally started leaping off the page. That was not until shortly before my third year in the program & I’ve been searching for what works for me ever since.
At my core I’m a basic Humanist, I believe in Humanity & The Universe before I believe in all the “Window Dressing”, as I like to call it, that falls in to place around things such as an organized religion. That’s not to say I can’t identify or appreciate organized religions, I just haven’t found the one that best fits me I suppose. I don’t suspect I ever will entirely.
My recent fall that injured my back made it crystal clear that I am a single man living alone with no immediate family to fall back on. However, I do have some extended friends via Facebook who’ve reached out & for them I am extremely grateful. In time I hope to have closer friends but for now it’s a work in progress.
The other constant I have in my life is my faith in something bigger than myself that would look out for me as best it could or was meant to be. When I finally turned my will over to that power larger than myself, my life completely changed. It was as if I was on auto pilot. Nothing could harm me, nothing could make me feel like the ‘world’ was out to get me, my faith would step in long before that could ever happen, and it had. I had the same beliefs when all this back & forth with HR, my benefits department, payroll & the list goes on & on started happening. My faith wouldn’t let these people act maliciously, treat me like a number, cause me financial harm. Or would it?
I’ve been struggling with my HR department & some really incredibly rude & downright mean & nasty people during this whole process. People I work with in the same company who clearly have no intent on doing what is morally right rather than what is “procedure”. Because of that they have had a negative financial impact on things & have caused some serious havoc that really didn’t need to happen. But. If I’m going to maintain my sanity & move on in a more positive direction, I had to let go & let god as they say. I’m angry & frustrated with my higher power at the moment & even guilty for the first time ever. I’m not used to those feelings & I’ve been trying to reconcile if they’re right, wrong or just ‘are’.
My friend sort of surprised me when she asked if I had figured out what it is I was supposed to learn from this whole injured back, out of work, fight with HR, fight for my rightful benefits thing. (Not all those words but you get the gist.) And it was a very good question. One I have still yet to answer to be perfectly honest. I know what I am grateful for & that is tonight when I said. “I’m still feeling guilty for being angry…for doubting. Ya know?” and she said. “That’s normal.”
What have I learned so far from this incident? Comfort. Comfort in knowing we’re all in this life together & providing solace to one another in uncomfortable times is act of love & compassion we all need from time to time.
For now, that’s a take away I can apply to all aspects of my life…