Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sometimes A Book And a Gift or Searching for An Answer

I have learned that a gift is gift to the giver as well as to the receiver. In fact, the giver may get more out of the giving than the person actually receiving the gift. How often have I heard, "Don't you just love it?" or "Isn't it the nicest (cutest) thing?" coming out of the giver's mouths? More times than I can count.

But a book . . .

Giving a book can be a big thing for some people - in fact I think it can be a big thing for most - not just some. In my "controlling" days - I would read a book, get very excited about it, tell a lot of people about what I learned.

Then later in life, when I could afford it, I would buy books for people. I look back now to see that I was trying to "fix" these other people. "I read this book you see, and this has you written all over it," was the subtext of my message in giving the book.

The other subtext, although subtext may be the wrong word, "shouting silently" may be more accurate, was, "You need help. Read this. This will fix you." What was not stated was, "According to my reality." I no longer give books as "gifts."

But a book . . .

But a book may be a gift from your Higher Power. You may do a, "Say 'What'?" here. Stay with me. Sometimes gifts come from strangers and people who don't really know us. We are taken aback perhaps or maybe we are genuinely grateful. But a book, instead of looking at you are trying to fix me, may be instead, "Hey read this you lune, you may catch an idea that could turn your life around. Or this day around. Or this upcoming meeting. Or keep you from saying something stupid this morning, that may in fact have reverberations across the rest of your life."

This is the approach I have been taking - especially lately. When someone suggests a book, I scramble to read it - just in case. I am in a desperate search of the "answer" to get my life back in order. I am in a desperate search for my HP's will and any sign that he may be out there trying to speak to me.

Last Night
I received a gift last night right before the Family Night Rehab program. It was in the form of a book. Funny how the world works. I wanted to buy this book. But I have too many to read right now so I haven't bought it. So now I have this very same book - I have been really thinking about buying - but haven't - from this great lady who has a son who completed rehab and is on the road to recovery. Interesting isn't it? How I have been thinking about the book. Didn't buy it. And now she hands me this book, called "Transforming Our Losses" - that I have been thinking of? (By the way, it is an Al-Anon book and I believe the latest of the books from Al-Anon)

So I got up and ran downstairs a 4:45AM this morning. And out of the book these words struck me this morning;
"After admitting our powerlessness in Step One, we are becoming ready to let a Higher Power intervene on our behalf. In taking Step Two, we come to believe a Power greater than ourselves can restore our sanity. These Steps offer hope even in the midst of despair.

Whatever our definition of a Higher Power may be, the one thing most of us have in common is our desire for a more serene life."

Yes. This is what I want. I have been searching for it - forever. Serenity. It's not something I would tell a lot of people. It's not something I would say in a job interview, that's for sure. But it is true. I also call it - "Peace of Mind."

Here is a quote from the next paragraph;
"When faced with the next crisis, we may feel uncertain about our decision to respond differently. If we focus on taking care of ourselves, who will take care of everything else? We can remind ourselves that in practicing the new behavior, we may feel tentative at first; but the more we practice, the easier it becomes. Eventually we realize that weren't really in control of anyone else to begin with."

I would add "or anything else" to the last sentence. Maybe by giving up control, we gain serenity.

I am in crisis. I feel I have no one who can help me.

I have lots of people who are offering me an ear, but not a single soul coming to help me. I counted my new friends and old friends, who are now in a position to listen to me and give me their ear. The number of people, family, in-laws, old friends, sponsor, therapist/mentor/coach/Sherpa/sapient, therapist at Family Night, etc. brings the count well over 12 people.

May be too many people. I wonder.

But not one can give me the answer to my dilemma. I know they can't. Intellectually I know, "how can they?

Some tell me to pray. So, I continue to pray. I think my prayers sound like I am begging.

Some say - "You know what to do. In your heart, you already know." I have seen and heard this quote in some strange places in the last couple of weeks.

Family Night - Am I a "Downer" to the Group?
One last thought. I wonder if I am a "downer" for Family Night. I spoke of my dilemma and about my wife's behavior and how my daughter and wife are engaging in arguments when I am not a home. I think this is because I stopped engaging. This is the dilemma. I can deal with anything, but this is what I have to end. It's gone too far.

So I spoke of this to the group. The therapist, a good person - he cannot help me I sense. There are newbies in the meeting now. Another rotation of patients. My wife is out. No longer there. The therapist also looks annoyed. Is it my imagination? Speak therapist.

My wife is out of town. My daughter yesterday - serene. Am I imagining this?


Syd said...

Transforming our Losses is a good book. I think that the idea of giving a book to someone or a bookmark is a good idea. I was given the AA Big Book by my Al-Anon sponsor and a lot of the Hazelden book marks.

And you are right Joe that no one but you and your HP can really "solve" the situation. By working the steps the answers will come. You will know the right thing to do. Trust in your HP. It works.

Anonymous said...

Ah books. I have noticed a similar phenomenon. Sometimes I have a book, either I buy it or it comes as a gift, and I open it to read and just cannot get "into" it. It doesn't speak to me. So it will sit on the shelf for weeks or months. Then one day I'm compelled to pick it up. Suddenly it is as if the book had been saved to speak to me in that moment. I wonder, Why wasn't this book appealing the first time I picked it up?

It's weird when it happens. I understand what you mean, though, about books coming into your life at the right time.

And I do completely understand the desire for someone, something to tell you when it's time to get out. Every night I ask myself that. Is it time to go? If I'll "know in my heart", will I be able to hear my heart? Will it make itself heard over the whirring and worrying of my brain?


Anonymous said...

Good Morning All,

Came across this the other day, seems it might make some sense in regards to this mornings topic.

"The heart has reasons that reason does not understand".

Peace this Thursday.


FrannyGlass said...

Hi Joe. On books -- I ordered the Dr. Robert Anthony book you mentioned yesterday, and again a few weeks ago. Thanks for mentioning it. It's rocking my world.

Laurie said...

Many times I read a book and think of someone (usually my husband) who could learn from that book. Maybe if I leave it sitting by the bed...

I read something today that seems appropriate: "in a seemingly inescapable predicament? Don't be afraid, stand still, watch God come through, quit talking. He knows the predicament. He is simply waiting for us to calm down and keep silent. The Lord is tapping His foot, waiting for us to wait."

I agree with Syd; trust, it does work.