Archive for April, 2015

30
Apr
15

WHO GETS THE CREDIT?

My main problem wasn’t alcohol and narcotics, my main problem was that I truly believed everything was about me. What I have learned while in recovery is that none of it’s about me. It’s all about being of maximum service to God and to others. My biggest reward is that I can be of service to someone who is hurting with no strings attached. The ONLY reason I am at any level of achievement is because of the power of God in my life. It’s all about Him. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. Those who think so highly of themselves that they don’t recognize their own need for God crash hard and many times don’t make it. At the very least they live a very fruitless life. That used to be me. Having said all of that, I must say that today I am better than I was, I do live life more fully than many people. Not by riches you can touch or feel but by a deep serenity and knowing that my God sees me and loves me because of His great love, not my abilities. I have come a very long way and have an even longer way to go in my growing up process but because of what the Lord has done in my life I can stand tall and claim victory over self-centered motives. I truly live a free man today. Free from the bondage of self, and all the credit and glory goes to God. If anyone is to be exalted it’s Him.

Serenity for You,

~The Monty’man

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29
Apr
15

IS JESUS ENOUGH TO RECOVER FROM ADDICTION?

One of the most frustrating schools of thought I have come across when it comes to fellow Christians who appear to be seeking recovery from active addictive illness is this mentality that going to church and praying is all they need to do in order to recover.  They are closed minded and the truth is, they simply do not recover.  They are trying to mold God around their own agenda instead of fitting themselves to Him.  They invariably end up at the alter Sunday after Sunday weeping and asking for forgiveness for yet another relapse.  They beat themselves up in the name of humility and then if that’s not enough, they blame those around them for passing judgement when all the while people are simply concerned.

To these folks may I just say:

Just because there isn’t a Christian fish on the door doesn’t mean Jesus isn’t in it.  I have worked with people who don’t want to do anything except pray and go to church.  I find it interesting that they claim that Jesus is everywhere and that we need to take Jesus outside the four walls of our church building.  But then they turn right around and say that because the Gospel isn’t being preached in a 12 Step meeting or their treatment provider isn’t a Christian that Jesus isn’t in it.  Every one I have ever worked with that takes this point of view doesn’t stay sober.  They relapse time and time again because they don’t want to follow a few simple directions.  They say “Jesus is all I need” but ignore that Jesus is working through many people in order to help them.  They fail to see that Jesus can use anyone, even people that don’t claim him as their Lord and Savior.  I mean come on, if we as Christians are going to limit our all powerful creator by stating that he can’t work through certain people, then we don’t understand the power of God at all.  In fact we understand powerless even less and therefore will probably never recover from our addictive illness.  It’s so sad.  So I continue to pray that the Lord will remove the blinders from their eyes.

Until we have the desperation of a drowning man or women we will never see that God can and does use more than Sunday mornings and our own personal prayers.

Serenity for You!

~The Monty’man

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28
Apr
15

HOW MANY CHANCES?

How-Many-Chances-poster

As I sat and listened to a young women blame everthing in her life on her active addict/alcoholic husband, his sponsor and those in Al-Anon, my heart broke for her.

She spent so much time deflecting and assigning blame that she hasn’t the ability to walk through a healing process so necessary to relieve her of the agony she so desperately rages about.

Listening to her rant on about how people treat her like a leper, avoid her and her husband and don’t give her the time of day, I thought about when I was in that much pain years ago at the beginning of my recovery process.

I was self-seeking and belligerent and had little to no willingness to make an honest self-assessment.  I could not and would not take direction from anyone unless they made me feel good about my own dysfunction. I was unable to see anything but my own emotions. Everything and everyone was filtered through the deception of self-reliance. I believed in God, but I did not know Him. I claimed redemption but I did not walk by faith. I shook my boney finger at people that disagreed with me but had no sensible argument in my defense.

Yes, it wasn’t that long ago that I was at the same place this women is at today. While speaking with this young women I can clearly see a reflection of my former self and a caution of what I could return to if I do not keep an active vigil on my recovery boundaries, practices and support system.

Today, when I come across such a person as this, I do my best to reach out to them with compassion, but I do not try and comfort them with feel good platitudes that only serve to aid in their self-destructive behavior. I offer the fee gift of the Twelve Step process and pray they will participate.

If they choose to decline I continue to pray for God to guide, convict and convert them in any way He sees fit and I detach. I ask God to keep me forever ready to be of service if they should ever be willing to engage the process of recovery that has worked for thousands.

When people come back into the light of the First Step of recovery they will either find that we have given up on them or they will find us ready and willing to be of service. My prayer is that I will always be the latter.

How many chances do we give people? As many as it takes.

Serenity for You!

~The Monty’man

23
Apr
15

DO ADDICTS/ALCOHOLICS NEED TO LOSE EVERYTHING IN ORDER TO RECOVER?

This is of course true if a person does not have the desperation of a drowning man or women, but when they do they don’t always have to lose everything.  After 28 years of working in this field it has been proven to me time and time again that not everyone has to lose everything in order to recover.  I have worked with many people where this is true.  Because of their willingness to follow directions they avoided the bottom that was still there waiting for them and because of their desperation to move forward they were able to understand and apply the principle of powerlessness mentioned in Step One with true conviction and resolve.  These people are still sober today and more importantly they have become of maximum service to God and their fellows.  They have a deep understanding that addiction is about powerlessness and recovery is about power, God’s power to do for them what they could never do left to their own devices.  Though it is true that many will lose everything before they follow a simple program of action, others will recover if they have the capacity to be honest long before they crash and burn.  To teach that everyone must lose everything in order to be restored to sanity is irresponsible and very presumptive.  When we blanket people with this kind of misinformation we only assist in killing those who otherwise may have been saved.

Having said that, there are those times when we have to step aside and allow people to experience the consequences of their active addictions.  If we don’t get out of God’s way they too may die before they experience freedom from active addiction.

Serenity For You!

~The Monty’man

21
Apr
15

THE GIFT OF SAYING GOOD-BYE

“There comes a point in your life when you realize who matters, who never did, who won’t anymore and who always will.
So, don’t worry about people from your past, who didn’t make it to your present. There’s a reason why they won’t make it to your future”.

Though it can be painful to let go of people who you believed with all your heart were your friends, the freedom that comes from letting them go into God’s hands and not holding resentments toward them is absolutely liberating.

I had who I considered was my best friend of over 25 years. The mistake I made was I believed “I had” him. No one has anyone. People are not our property, they are their own independent beings with character defects that sometimes surprise us. If we will learn that people do not belong to us it becomes easier to release them to our Creator and out of our grip.

What I didn’t realize years ago was I had a death grip on my friend with demands and expectations that he simply could not accommodate. The result is I pushed him out of my life.

Several years ago he wrote me informing me that for his own self-preservation and spiritual health he had to say good-bye. I have not heard from him since.

After about five years of no contact I got it into my head that it might be nice to reconnect with my old friend. It has been almost 15 years since we have spoken and as hard as I tried I have not been able to locate him. It’s almost like he fell off the face of the earth.

Last year I stopped trying to make contact. It was a humbling experience but life affirming as well.

How can I say this? Because my self-esteem is not based on my relationship with my friend. My self-worth is not dependent on his acceptance of me or on the reconciling of our relationship.

My life today is focused on my relationship with my Heavenly Father who never leaves me regardless of my shortcomings. God has done for me what I never could do for myself. He restored me to sanity and a life dependent upon His great love and grace not on other people.

Though I will always cherish my past friendship with my old friend, I no longer need to be reunited with him in order to value myself. I have been set free.

So, sometimes when people vanish from our lives they are really giving us a gift.

I will be forever grateful for the gift of saying good-bye.

From Monty’man’s Meditorials Copyright © 2015 Take 12 Recovery Radio

21
Apr
15

Hooking Up in Twelve Step Meetings

As I read an article in the 12 Step Gazette on the topic of hooking up in the 12 Step support meetings I was glad to see the author of the article suggest that this is something we need to discuss with our sponsor before getting romantically involved with anyone.  Unfortunately so many folks who are sponsoring others haven’t even worked all Twelve Steps let alone had a spiritual awakening as a result of those Steps. So what we have is allot of the blind leading the blind. Until the day we get back to the basics in the 12 Step Support Meetings, re-open the Big Book and begin to be God dependent rather than meeting dependent, then we are going to continue to be a part of a train wreck that is nothing more than sitting around drinking coffee and talking about our day. Don’t get me wrong, there are many meetings where the members engage the actual program (The literature, the Steps, the program) but more and more we are seeing a host of fellowship support meetings turn into social gatherings. Hooking up is not romantic in any way shape or form but selfish and self-centered. Romance is based in selflessness and the well-being of the other person at heart. That is romance, which is love and that is healthy, but if we can’t work through the Step process to do a complete house cleaning and learn to be of maximum service to God and our fellows then we have no business hooking up, dating or pursuing anyone for a romantic relationship in or out of the rooms.

14
Apr
15

When Some People Share I Still Cringe

May I just say that I have come a long way from almost 30 years ago when I entered my first 12 Step support meeting?  What I mean by that is, in the first several years of attending meetings almost everything I heard was abrasive.  At least that’s the way I perceived it.  A person’s perception is their reality and may I just say my reality was really messed up.

Today however I hear a different tone in people’s voices.  Today I hear more compassion, more kindness, and more humility.  Is this because others have changed?  Well, perhaps, but I believe that is more about my own personal growth than it is theirs.

This growth has come as a result of God working through my accountability partners, spiritual advisors and sponsors teaching and guiding me into a program of action through the Twelve Steps.

There had been no more power in the Steps than there had been in me.  What the Steps did for me was show me my need for a power and that one was and is God.  Once I turned my will and my life over to God, His Spirit came to reside within me and now I hear and see things in a much brighter light than ever before.  But may I just say I am still very much made of flesh and bone and my ego can sometimes get the best of me.

Tonight while attending a 12 Step support meeting a person shared and it just ripped through me like a chain saw.  He was abrasive, controlling and foul mouthed.  It was extremely uncomfortable and yet I persevered, only by the strength of God living in me.  Believe me it wasn’t me that was able to hold my tongue.

Does this ever happen to you? And when it does how do you cope?

While in the meeting I really couldn’t whip out pen and paper and work a 4th Step around this individual but what I could do was close my eyes and say a prayer.  I prayed for him, that God would give him serenity and calm his spirit.  It was amazing what happened.  My spirit became calm.  It wasn’t a long prayer but a simple and short breath of a prayer.

So yes, I have come a long way, but my journey continues as God reveals to me how to act instead of react, how to pray for others instead of taking up the defense and how to show a kindly heart to each and every one regardless of their behavior.  EGADS, I sure am grateful God has my back.  In short, if it wasn’t for grace, I’d be in their face!

Serenity For You!

~The Monty’man

From Monty’man’s Meditorials Copyright © 2015 KHLT Recovery Broadcasting/Take 12 Recovery Radio




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