Archive for May, 2010


Garbage in, Garbage out!

It’s too bad that we don’t grasp the “Garbage In, Garbage Out” philosophy more than we do. It appears that many of us have worked very hard to get where we are. Staying clean, service work, helping others, getting out of ourselves, becoming productive members of society again, etc. But allot of us wonder why we still struggle with some issues like depression, anger, loneliness, stress, and frustration.

When we entered recovery, when we turned our will and life over to the care of God, we realized that we had to change everything about ourselves in order to become healthy. We had no reservations about that. It was not negotiable. Not only had we been guilty of using drugs and alcohol, sex, food, etc., we also had been living in such a way as to contribute to those abuses. We didn’t get here by talking and hanging around healthy people, by spending quality and quantity time deep in spiritual thought or walking daily with our Higher Power—- On the contrary. Not only were we sticking alcohol in our liver, needles in our arms and THC in our lungs, but we were sticking garbage in our heads as well.

The music we listen to, the shows we watch, the books we read, and the people we hang out with, will dictate what kind of quality of life goes into your brain and also into your heart. It will also determine what comes out.
If demonic music is not to be taken seriously, if much of television isn’t about sex, if pornography isn’t about the abuse of women, then what are they about? Are they about healthy fun, or spiritual awareness? How about developing a deeper relationship with God? Do they contribute to your sobriety? Do they make you feel fulfilled and refreshed every day? Or are they full of negative, shaming, and degrading words, pictures, actions, and life styles. Do we look up to these people and organizations, networks and musicians with respect and admiration? Do they really have something healthy that we want? Come on folks, give yourself a break. Don’t sell yourself short by sticking garbage in your head; it really does nothing for your maturity and growth.

I suppose if you think that listening to songs, watching movies, reading books about Satan, rape, abuse, disobedience, hating your parents, free will without boundaries, sexual promiscuity, killing, death, and destruction is funny or encouraging, then go ahead, but your selling yourself short, and aren’t you worth more than that.

I was at a 12 Step meeting the other day when I saw some folks in the parking lot who also attended the meeting. They had their music turned up and what do you suppose the music was glorifying? The use and abuse of drugs. PLEASE, give me a break. They might as well have been standing up against the door of a dope house listening to the conversations of the folks inside who were consuming narcotics.

So ask yourself this. Are you having problems with your anger, yourself pity, your desire to use, your self esteem, etc.? Consider what you’re putting into your head. It might just be what is coming out of your mouth and back into your head again. Consider it.
Oh, if you don’t believe what you listen to affects your quality of life, then why do you attend meetings?
Serenity for You!


Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

Here I stand. The meeting was supposed to start twenty-five minutes ago.
I am tempted to leave. I mean really, what is to be gained by me sitting around waiting for folks who are not coming anyway.
What a waste of coffee

I have a deep conviction about this issue. Some would say to stay 15 to 30 minutes and if no one comes go ahead and lock up.
I believe we should stay put! After all, we had planned to be there for the full meeting anyway. We are in service and committed 110%.

This would be a good time to work on a Step, to meditate and spend time alone with God. A time away from the kids and the noise of the world. This may be what God wants for you at that moment.

Most of us have seen newcomers as well as old-timers come into the last 15 minutes of the meeting. Are we there for them? I would hope so.
I believe with only a rare exception that if a meeting is in the schedule with the times clearly listed; that these times should be honored. Anything else would be a lie.

If we are to be honest, if we are to set a standard of integrity for the newcomers then it is imperative that we do what we say we will do. That we leave the doors open as the schedule is listed. Stores don’t close 30 minutes after they open if no customers come in. The county alcohol and drug treatment offices don’t close their doors early if no one comes when they open. Integrity demands we stick to the schedule and keep the rooms open until which time the meeting is scheduled to close.

I cannot express enough how important this is. I would never want my boredom to be the very thing that keeps someone from getting the help and support they need.

Help stamp out the lie that “This is a selfish program”
In addition, stick to the truth that “This is a selfless program.”

Besides, you will get to stay clean/sober for another hour and a half.

Blessings and Progress to All


P. S. drink the coffee.


Beauty, the promise of happiness.

I believe it was Stendhal who said “Beauty is the promise of happiness.”

Today I was reading a book called “Answers in the Heart” a daily meditation for men and women who are recovery from sexual addictions. In one of its chapters it read:

Often we are too busy or self-absorbed to notice what is beautiful in people & in the world around us. We hurry along focused on ourselves, inattentive to what really makes life worth living.

I couldn’t agree more.

The world is filled with beauty – twilight over a lake, a child’s laughter, a scene in a movie, the sun on a stone wall, a weeping willow, a lively song, our beloved’s face. If we are attentive & learn to slow down, we will see all around us signs of beauty that speak directly to us.

We do not have to go to exotic places to find beauty. It is here, in our lives, all around us. Finding it, we carry it with us & our lives are enriched. The language of beauty is the language of joy.

Application and Implementation

As I become more attentive to the beauty that is all around me, I find my life becoming happier & more deeply spiritual.

This week I will stop praying so hard for my character defects & difficulties to be removed. Instead I will rest in the fact that God has my life in His hands, if I will allow Him to carry me I can take the time to see His beauty all around me.

How can this not bring me a spirit of happiness?

Until next time, Serenity for You!
~The Monty’man


Fixing Others

Fixing Others

We all have those moments when we are completely convinced that we can fix someone and turn them into the person we want them to be. This often starts out with good intentions but invariably turns on us and we begin a process of building a resentment towards those who seemingly will not change.

Though we know that God is the only one that can truly change a person’s heart, we insist on coming to His rescue and instead we get in His way.

When will we ever learn? It’s a continual learning process to master the art of not trying to control others. We must, as the Apostle Paul says “Die to ourselves daily”.

It is only when we place ourselves at the feet of our God that we begin to apply the true humility that is required to love another.

It will save us much grief if we will learn to put aside our own expectations of people and wake up to the fact that we are powerless over the choices they make.

When we learn to “apply these principles in all our affairs” it will always helps us see each other through the eyes of a loving God rather than the eyes of our selfish, controlling nature.

However, if one does insist on attempting control of other people, here are the 12 Steps to do so, but beware of the consequences. It just may drive you insane.

Here’s some food for thought.

The 12 Steps to Total and Complete Insanity

1. We admitted we were powerless over nothing. We could manage our lives perfectly and we could manage those of anyone else that would allow it.

2. Came to believe that there was no power greater than ourselves, and the rest of the world was insane.

3. Made a decision to have our loved ones and friends turn their wills and their lives over to our care.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of everyone we knew.

5. Admitted to the whole world at large the exact nature of their wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to make others straighten up and do right.

7. Demanded others to either “shape up or ship out”.
8. Made a list of anyone who had ever harmed us and became willing to go to any lengths to get even with them all.

9. Got direct revenge on such people whenever possible except when to do so would cost us our own lives, or at the very least, a jail sentence.

10. Continued to take inventory of others, and when they were wrong promptly and repeatedly told them about it.

11. Sought through nagging to improve our relations with others as we couldn’t understand them at all, asking only that they knuckle under and do things our way.

12. Having had a complete physical, emotional and spiritual breakdown as a result of these steps, we tried to blame it on others and to get sympathy and pity in all our affairs.

Dear God, as I sit here with my mind and heart focused on you, I receive your love in my life. I receive your forgiveness and grace and let your spirit and all your attributes flow through me so I may learn to become more aware of my own character defects and less critical of others. I now allow your spirit of compassion to reign in my acts of helpfulness. I listen for your direction and yours alone.



The monk and poet Thomas Merton penned these words:

“My God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me, I cannot know for certain where it will end … but I will not fear, for you are ever with me.”

If self-esteem means confidence & confidence means being sure about what’s going to happen, then we’re all out of luck in the self-esteem department. None of us knows the answers to much of the important questions in life. If that fact makes us terribly insecure, we’re going to be in for a whole lot of fear, worry & anxiety.

The truly confident person knows that life is much more of a process & a journey than a matter of answers & destinations. It is one thing not to know where the road leads—but quite another to be paralyzed because we don’t know. If the open road makes us too frightened & insecure, we will probably miss all the lovely scenery along the way. And we won’t learn the lessons of the journey.

Confidence arises from God’s grace, not circumstances. Just because the road is uncertain doesn’t mean that we are. If we will get out of God’s way and allow Him to walk ahead of us, we will have all the security we need.

Confidence in God turns insecurity into trust.

Serenity for You.

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The Monty’man’s Thoughts

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