garden variety wrote:Hiya Schooner,
I'm really glad you're reaching out to find a new sponsor in your new home town. It helps me when I see men like you with time in sobriety reaching out and doing the right thing. That tells me that no one is never so smart, or "recovered" enough, or "cured" that we can live without the fellowship or program. It reassures me of things I already know to be true: my "intuition" is growing in step with my Higher Power and that I can actually "think" and make good decisions based on those thoughts that are tied to God through my prayers. What a blessing this program is for us alcoholics. It really is a "design for living that really works".
Now I know certain times when a sponsor can be taken for granted, or sometimes he can get left on the shelf. I called my sponsor yesterday - I didn't want to (what else is new?). Like you were saying, certain events that happen "in the present" that I need to talk to my sponsor about. I found out yesterday, several days after his funeral, that a very dear friend of mine passed away. He was in nursing and his health was very bad. But I tell you what - I loved that man dearly and now he is gone and I didn't have the chance to pay my last respects. I felt pretty sad and a bit angry at the fellow's daughter who knows how much I treasure his friendship - she didn't phone me. His granddaughter, bless her heart told me.
Well that sponsor fellow of mine has almost as much time sober as you, he has 30 years. We talked , and he is sort of a "rough-edged" former Marine that isn't all "lovey-dovey". He's all about business and working a spiritual program of ACTION. And I mean he is all about ACTION when it comes to AA.
We talked for a while, he blessed me out for being angry with the guy's daughter and maybe we shouldn't be so stubborn and mad at each other - this was the stuff I didn't want to hear that I knew I was gonna have to listen to. But he was sorry for me being in the position I was in, and he could and did identify with me. He said he'd be upset too. He told me to call him back today. Later yesterday, I checked my email, and there is a note from my sponsor.
He says here is something I forgot to mention. Then he pointed me to an excercise in this spiritual book on meditation he gave me. It was written by a Catholic Priest who studied meditation under a Zen Buddhist Master. It was a simple excercise that just involved praising God in good times and in bad times. Setting my heart straight to be in tune with my Higher Power regardless of the circumstances.
But through that whole exchange and what happened before and what will happen afterward has taken on new meaning to me. While meditatiing using this Catholic Priest's "Catholic Zen" method, I was able to go back to the last day I spent with my friend before he got real sick. He lived in assisted living because of his disability. We spent a whole afternoon together just talking and picking each other's mind's apart. He was a brilliant fellow, but because of MS, you couldn't tell by his looks or the way he talked. I got to "behold" and truly REALIZE within my heart what a blessing that one Monday afternoon had become. It was a treasure in my heart.
Without my sponsor, that was a blessing I might not have been able to find at the exact time I needed it. I reread my sponsors email. Through the crusty "I'm your sponsor so do this", I saw the God of my sponsor's understanding. And I saw His God the way he presented Him to me. Let me tell you what Schooner, that was a priceless experience. I know today how much my sponsor loves his God and I also know that he loves me too. I could clearly see the spiritual path my sponsor follows, which is a devout Roman Catholic path. And though I don't consider myself to be a Catholic or have my sponsor's understanding of God, I sure could see Who his God is and how He is at work in my sponsor's life.
That is a priceless blessing for me. To see how the God of someone else's understanding can and does reach out of the limits of one human's understanding and into the realm of another human's understanding. And I could see that it was God, not another human, not just a sponsor, but a Great Mystery at work in the life of an ordinary man attending to the Divine and Extraordinary things that a God will do. And here is the clincher: this was a "spiritual experience" that I had with my sponsor's God. I know today that the God of my sponsor's understanding loves me just as much as my own God.
My sponsor's God took time out of His busy day just to comfort me, a graden variety drunk, when I was sad and needed consolation.Maybe that sounds pretty simple to you, but let me tell you what - that moves mountains for me. No fooling! What a profound experience!
Now where else can we find something so perfectly matched to alcoholic personalities? Simple but profound: ONE ALCOHOLIC REACHING OUT AND HELPING A FELLOW ALCOHOLIC.
It doesn't get any simpler, or more beautiful than this.
Schooner, I hope and pray you find your man. Each day, God gives each of us breathtaking miracles to become a part of - to FIND and join into. I wouldn't want you or anyone else to miss out on the full joy that can come from having a sponsor.
God bless and thanks for helping me today.
Thank you so much for your posting. I really appreciated it.
I heard you speak of resentments.
I heard you speak of GOD.
I heard you speak of a tough sponsor.
You sure help me out alright.
I had a BIG resentment for my step-father. Was going to shot him at one time, but thats another story. May he (step-father) be in heaven Lord.
My sponsor (he [passed a couple of yrs.ago) was a very kind man. Made a living in Hollywood. Won an Emmy. Its true I seen it in his study. His name was Paul. Paul it seemed sponsor what look like a thousand people.
Man, Paul helped so many people. I kinda resented that. " Hey, he should be paying ALL of his ATTENTION ON MEEEEEEEE ! . . . lol
Well, I can't remember when if ever Paul said a CUSE WORD. But I use to get him going. I kinda had that ~ let me see if I can screw him up a bit.
Back to resentment and my step-father. I told Paul in my 4th step how the ol' man use to scare the hell out of me, beat me and my mother too.
I decided not to ever speak to him or my mother. I loved my mother but she came with him. I HATE HIM.
Paul grab a hold of me one day and said, " Ray, I want you to call you step-father up and apolized to him. I told Paul are you NUTS! after what he did to me and my mother. Why should I call him up and apologize ?
And Paul YELLED. " CAUSE ITS THE RIGHT F--KING THIND TO DO " ! ! !
Well, he kinds SHOCKED ME. A bell went off in my head with a voice.
' you what to keep sober don't you Ray. You want it more than anything in the world right Ray. You will go to any length for your sobriety RIGHT."
Well to make a long story just a bit longer. I called the ol' man and to be more dramatic it was his birthday. The conversations when very well. He told me he loved me and I could hear my mother crying in the background.
So the point being I'm so glad that Paul kick me in the ass. THANK YOIU GOD for working thru Paul. The ol' man died last year 4mos. after my mother died.
What does it all mean 4 me. GOD works thru other people, mostly thru ALCOHOLICS 4 me that is.
GOD BLESS YOU