Sometimes, it seems like if it can go wrong -- it will!

Experiences along the way that bring us closer to our Higher Power in 12 Step Sobriety and Moments of Clarity.
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Sometimes, it seems like if it can go wrong -- it will!

Postby Dallas » Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:30 am

Sometimes, it seems like "if it can go wrong" -- it will go wrong!

When I'm having one of those days -- or weeks -- or months -- it's easy for me to start speculations about deeper levels of reality and higher levels of purpose and all that kind of stuff that I'll never seem to know the real answers to the questions.

It can make great fodder for thought -- but, I still have to get up, suit up, show up, tie my shoe laces -- and walk up-right for most of the day -- while I take care of most of my every day daily tasks of living.

Sometimes, it seems that all I can really do, is to acknowledge that "I seem to be having one of those crappy days -- that we all seem to have from time to time. I just hope this one doesn't last the entire week!" :wink:

I have a really nice pick-up truck that I want to sell. I've wanted to sell it for a couple of years. Don't you know -- that every time I go to put a sign on the truck -- or, to seriously look for a buyer -- something happens to the truck -- and I end up putting a few more hundred in here or there!

It's gets all fixed up real nice -- working perfectly -- and stays that way -- until I get off my rump and start to sell it.... then, like clock-work, it will need an alternator or something even more expensive.

Sometimes, some things in life -- just seem to suck. And, I guess I still have to get used to the one's that will seem to always suck.


garden variety
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Postby garden variety » Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:39 pm

Hi Brother.

Boy you've really got this board on fire today. There is so much I can identify with in your posts.

I thought it was kinda funny about the truck, Dallas. It's funny to me because I have the exact opposite problem. I'm a wheeler-dealer type of fellow, so I buy and sell many things. Sometimes they come in spells. My most recent selling item has been cars. I probably had 8-9 come and go within the last few months.

My problem is I'll get a car at a dirt cheap price, then I'll fix it. I have a neighbor fellow who is unemployed and he does excellent work for cheap. So I been keeping him going with my cars and my house. Well what happens is this. I'll get a car real close to 100% restored. I mean really nice and running like a scalded dog. Then I'll get a call. Somebody needs a car. Usually an AA fellow or a friend or whoever.

You know what I found out about this? They aren't my cars. That ain't your truck Dallas, either. They're God's cars and trucks. He's the one who makes it my business to make a little side money on buying, fixing, using, and then reselling His Fleet of cars which has no limits. He even brings me the customers.

The lesson I needed to learn was just that. Those wheels are God's wheels, and as soon as I want to "make them mine", then I'm heading for trouble. I'm learning that my role in this life is just to be a good manager of the assets God lets me use for a while. He'll let me use the biggest, the fastest, the fanciest with one condition. That is when one of His kids NEEDS the ride more than me, then I turn it back to Him to bless another one of His kids with. See where I'm going? The Power of the Universe is also the ONLY OWNER of the Universe. I'm not supposed to be attached to any of these assets.

So I learn how to become a good manager. I fix up the car just the way I like it - where it satisfies me with being dependable in "fair or foul" weather. And sure enough every time, God will send one of His needy kids my way. I mean every time!

Here's what I do. I sell them the car for exactly what money I've put into it if it's older - sometimes I get a tiny profit on newer ones. Then they have a very reliable car and all I've done is exchanged one of God's assets (the car) for another (cash or payments). That gives me food on my table and money to pay bills - and also to keep on buying and selling assets. I'll sell them on payment over time. I don't make a lot of money at this, but I don't need to. I have a lot of fun fixing and selling

But what I'm doing also is helping my fellow alcoholic when it's tough. I'm helping my unemployed neighbor. I'm taking care of this world by preventing an old junker from going to an early grave and using up a landfill. It's all about purpose with this little line of business. Really, I don't want any of it to be about me. A lot of folks share in the blessings which suits me fine.

If I always keep that in mind, then no matter what happens, acceptance is the answer (once again!). Let me tell you, I got some stories to tell you. I have a professional mechanic that does the things my neighbor can't do and he gives me a discount because I give him so many cars to fix. I have a local muffler shop that fixes the tailpipes and charges me what his best prices are to dealerships. I tell you what - I get so many breaks - but why I keep gettiing the breaks is that I keep giving them back.

I don't even know how it turned out this way. There was a time as you know where I couldn't afford insurance to drive a car. And my hoopties would be just like yours - breaking down at the worst time. Now I got 5-6 cars with money enough to live pretty good one day at a time.

But boy do I get the calls. I lent a buddy in the fellowship my personal car just last weekend - I swore I wasn't gonna lend that car out or sell it because I just got it fixed and it was expensive - the whole exhaust including the cat. That boy called me the same day! He got in an accident and his car was getting fixed and him and his girl needed a car to keep them until she got hers fixed. I just threw up my arms and said OK God these are your cars not mine. When I have 2-3 working cars, who am I to say no to an AA in need of one.

Tonight I pick up this old Ford Taurus I just rebuilt from the professional mechanic. A guy, a security guard in my building, blew his motor. He don't make much money. The Taurus is for him. He's giving me $500 down and will be making payments. He knows what he's getting and is content. It's an old car, 1993, but it's clean on the outside and it's in perfect running condition. He won't need to spend a dime on anything but gas and maintenance.

This is the way I look at it. This job is a blessing! I don't have to buy junkers and restore them to reliability. I GET TO buy junkers and restore them. This is the program in action. It warms my heart to know that someone is going to be satisfied with their car and it will hold up. Usually that person is someone who can least afford wheels, and the kind they can afford will need major repairs quickly. Funny that mechanic just called me as I'm typing with the bill on the Taurus. A ball joint and two tie-rods for $225. The car is ready for prime time today - so now I go to that security guard, get back the loaner car I let him borrow, and work out the deal and payments.

Now I really liked that Taurus. It was fancy as heck. MP3 player, full power, a nice blue color with a body that looks more like 2003 instead of 1993. What a cool ride - I could have driven that thing for a good long time, and it was fun and comfortable to drive. But one of God's kids needed wheels, so I'll say goodbye.

Don't get attached.

For those days when your life sucks, bro, just remember there is someone else whose life sucks more - like that security guard who blew his motor. The beauty of it is that sometimes you and me have a chance to make someone else whose life sucks just a teensy bit better with this "multi-purpose tookit" that has been so freely given. Now that is a real job worth having, isn't it?

Oh yeah, did I also mention that "acceptance is the answer"?

God bless bro, and thanks for helping me today!

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Postby tj » Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:45 pm

Thanks, Dallas & GV. You guys just pulled me right out of a funk. GV's share reminded me of the theme of the sermon this Sunday. The sin that Adam & Eve committed in the Garden of Eden was getting ownership and stewardship mixed up. Don't get attached--it isn't yours it is Gods.

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Reminder & Perspective

Postby Bensober » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:11 am

Thanks for the reminder & perspevtive GV, TJ, & Dalllas. This is my second post on my new connection of fellowship and it is also Gods!!! I love this concept of being reminded that we are stewards of all the "stuff" God has given us. It appeares that a lot of us has "had it all" and "lost it all" then maybe get it back again (cars, homes, trains, planes, motorcycles, etc.) but this concept to me can be applied to all the external...even people, who really need handleing with care. My sponsor help me with this too. The concept he gave me for example Dallas your example with the truck. It was simple..."Ben inside these meetings/forums "the dance stops" when you leave the meeting/forums "the dance begins". What this means to me is that in our wonderful connection together in the fellowship, I can get back to whats real and add all of the value that recovery can do for me(dance stops). When I go outside into the world that because of my recovery in AA provides me now with what I call "cadillac problems" anything, anyone, anytime can breakdown(dance starts). As we "stick with the winners & win with the stickers". I know we can all go out there and as you shared Dallas "dress up & show up" and just do the dance! Thanks for the extra insight you guys on my role to what God provides and sends our way.

Ben H.

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Postby ccs » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:09 pm

hey Ben I love that analogy of the dance :)
I`m not one to go out dancing on a sat.night :lol:

(although in my drinking days I`m sure I thought I was the best sexiest one in the place :roll: :lol: )

but for some reason it makes perfect sense to me reading your post
dance starts dance stops !!! I was like WOW never thought of it like that before it got me thinking :shock: that I better stop/start the dance more often!!

I guess its like wax on wax off thanks Mr Miaggi :lol: :lol:

LUV-2-ALL Cessie

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Postby Bensober » Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:46 am

It's funny & powerful at the same time Cessie,
In meetings the endless stories of being "out there" getting drunk on the dance floor being the "legends in our own mind" and coming too the next morning with ourselves and what and who ever! My mind can still today tell me things today about who I am...that I really ain't!. I love and have adopted this one from a friend in the program Cessie...."I was listienin to mind tell me something the other day...and when it was done...I said thank you mind for shut the @*&%**%^ UP!!!!! What an impact this has had on me and what at any given time contingent on my spiritual state of being or not my mind is still capable of. I so look forward to staying in this "stop/start-dance" as much as possible too Cessie.

Ben H.

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Postby ccs » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:45 pm

Oh Ben you are right on time again thank you for being here!!

I`m having more mind problems today :cry: My Daughters Dad passed away the other day ( we have been divorced over 25yrs)
but I found this out from my sister and right away it was alll about me I was hurt and very upset that she would call my sister before me I`m her mom she should need ME! It Is still bothering me and I`m sooo ashamed of myself :oops:

I mean she is the one in pain right now and I`m taking things personally I just hope when we do get a chance to actually have a conversation that I can hold my tongue and keep my thoughts to myself :cry:

we have spoken briefly a few times but she is so busy right now with the family all flying in and then my thoughts again take control :twisted: that she had time to have two or three long conversations with my sister but she doesnt have time to talk to her mom

oh and yes my daughter and I do have a good relationship so its not like we are estranged

Although I am feeling pretty stange right now
so thanks BEN for sharing what I needed to read today :wink:


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Postby butch » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:44 pm


My thoughts and prayers are with you and your daughter also. May i suggest that you pray for her at this her time of loss. She may have called your sister trying not to hurt you. If you have a good relationship, you may want to mediate and then if you feel it would help you could call her to offer you condolences. Your feelings of being left out are real and i think if you can remember that this program is one of acceptance, maybe you can give those feelings to HIM and just let them go.
May He guide in right paths.

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Postby Bensober » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:19 pm

Good stuff Butch,
Sounds like Cessie your mind does what my mind does at times. We are only human..not "perfectsuperhumansaints"! What I find in these types of situations especially when it comes to expectaions and "absolutes" with family is to get back to what is simple...that is focus on the true feelings I have. E.g. even though you divorced Cessie & now he is on to the next dimension, there will only be one good thing... the love you feel now & or felt for him. This goes for your daughter & sister. In the end the only thing I believe we have left is the love. I have to only, only, only focus on that. Another question Cessie have you ever read "Emotional Sobriety" written by Bill W? If you don't have it, I will make it my next post upon your response. It really set me back to squares regarding family situations. Glad to be here sister so we can share and suffer effectivly together.

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Postby Bensober » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:41 am

Here is Emotional Soberiety Cassie just in case you havent seen it. It's kinda long but is good. God bless as we keep coming back!

This is the substance of a revealing letter, which Bill Wilson wrote several years ago to a close friend who also had troubles with depression. The letter appeared in the "Grapevine" January 1953.

"I think that many oldsters who have put our AA "booze cure" to severe but successful tests still find they often lack emotional sobriety. Perhaps they will be the spearhead for the next major development in AA, the development of much more real maturity and balance (which is to say, humility) in our relations with ourselves, with our fellows, and with God.

Those adolescent urges that so many of us have for top approval, perfect security, and perfect romance, urges quite appropriate to age seventeen, prove to be an impossible way of life when we are at age forty-seven and fifty-seven.

Since AA began, I've taken immense wallops in all these areas because of my failure to grow up emotionally and spiritually. My God, how painful it is to keep demanding the impossible, and how very painful to discover, finally, that all along we have had the cart before the horse. Then comes the final agony of seeing how awfully wrong we have been, but still finding ourselves unable to get off the emotional merry-go-round.

How to translate a right mental conviction into a right emotional result, and so into easy, happy and good living. Well, that's not only the neurotic's problem, it's the problem of life itself for all of us who have got to the point of real willingness to hew to right principles in all of our affairs.

Even then, as we hew away, peace and joy may still elude us. That's the place so many of us AA oldsters have come to. And it's a hell of a spot, literally. How shall our unconscious, from which so many of our fears, compulsions and phony aspirations still stream, be brought into line with what we actually believe, know and want! How to convince our dumb, raging and hidden ‘Mr. Hyde' becomes our main task.

I've recently come to believe that this can be achieved. I believe so because I begin to see many benighted ones, folks like you and me, commencing to get results. Last autumn, depression, having no really rational cause at all, almost took me to the cleaners. I began to be scared that I was in for another long chronic spell. Considering the grief I've had with depressions, it wasn't a bright prospect.

I kept asking myself "Why can't the twelve steps work to release depression?" By the hour, I stared at the St. Francis Prayer ... "it's better to comfort than to be comforted". Here was the formula, all right, but why didn't it work?

Suddenly, I realized what the matter was. My basic flaw had always been dependence, almost absolute dependence, on people or circumstances to supply me with prestige, security, and the like. Failing to get these things according to my perfectionist dreams and specifications, I had fought for them. And when defeat came, so did my depression.

There wasn't a chance of making the outgoing love of St. Francis a workable and joyous way of life until these fatal and almost absolute dependencies were cut away.

Because I had over the years undergone a little spiritual development, the absolute quality of these frightful dependencies had never before been so starkly revealed. Reinforced by what grace I could secure in prayer, I found I had to exert every ounce of will and action to cut off these faulty emotional dependencies upon people, upon AA, indeed upon any act of circumstance whatsoever.

Then only could I be free to love as Francis did. Emotional and instinctual satisfactions, I saw, were really the extra dividends of having love, offering love, and expressing love appropriate to each relation of life.

Plainly, I could not avail myself to God's love until I was able to offer it back to Him by loving others, as He would have me. And I couldn't possibly do that so long as I was victimized by false dependencies.

For my dependence meant demand, a demand for the possession and control of the people and the conditions surrounding me.

While those words "absolute dependence" may look like a gimmick, they were the ones that helped to trigger my release (because I can see my beast for what it is "absolute dependence" and the conscious conflicting good is to LET GO!!!) into my present degree of stability and quietness of mind, qualities which I am now trying to consolidate by offering love to others regardless of the return to me.

This seems to be the primary healing circuit: an outgoing love of God's creation and His people, by means of which we avail ourselves of His love for us. It is most clear (bright, lucid, unclouded, and parted from the world so I could rejoin the world in this state) that the real current can't flow until our paralyzing dependencies are broken, and broken at depth. Only then can we possibly have a glimmer of what adult love really is.

If we examine every disturbance we have, great or small, we will find at the root of it some unhealthy dependence and its consequent demand. Let us, with God's help, continually surrender these hobbling demands. Then we can be set free to live and love: we may then be able to gain emotional sobriety.

Of course, I haven't offered you a really new idea --- only a gimmick that has started to unhook several of my own hexes' at depth. Nowadays, my brain no longer races compulsively in either elation, grandiosity or depression. I have been given a quiet place in bright sunshine"

Bill Wilson

Attitude is Everything

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