Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I'm discovering just how much my job was a part of my identity. At first, it was acknowledging the hurt and fear that came when I was laid off. Now it's not having to be somewhere during the day, of watching my partner go about her day to day business while I have not much busy-ness.

The first few weeks of being out of work were fun. Getting myself set up to take some courses in September, figuring out all the hoops that needed to be jumped through, having conversations with folk that I could never have imagined. Speaking with career councillors to make sure my new goals were attainable and suitable. Working through the issues with my employer. Time went quickly for the first four weeks. (And through all this, our son throws in some extra spice.)

This week, it's slow and uncomfortable. I'm feeling the bruising my ego took at being one of the folk that was told they are no longer required. The ego took another hit when it was one of my sponsee's that my son went travelling with, a young man I had spent a lot of time with. The ego thumped when someone I respect in AA strongly disapproved of my career plans. There are a lot of opportunities here to fall into that cesspool of self pity.

The upside to all of this is that the best thing I can do for myself is to put myself into my Higher Power's hands. To trust God and to ask for direction. To have the faith to follow the path set before me. To put others first. It has been pointed out to me that this is a real opportunity for character building. In the chapter on Step 7 out of the "12 and 12" are the following couple of paragraphs:

Then, in A.A., we looked and listened. Everywhere we saw failure and misery transformed by humility into priceless assets. We heard story after story of how humility had brought strength out of weakness. In every case, pain had been the price of admission into a new life. But this admission price had purchased more than we expected. It brought a measure of humility, which we soon discovered to be a healer of pain. We began to fear pain less, and desire humility more than ever.

During this process of learning more about humility, the most profound result of all was the change in our attitude toward God. And this was true whether we had been believers or unbelievers. We began to get over the idea that the Higher Power was a sort of bush-league pinch hitter, to be called upon on in an emergency. The notion that we would still live our own lives, God helping a little now and then, began to evaporate. Many of us who had thought ourselves religious awoke to the limitations of this attitude. Refusing to place God first, we had deprived ourselves of His help. But now the words "Off myself I am nothing, the Father doeth the works" began to carry bright promise and meaning. (page 75, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions)

Photograph by Girish


An Irish Friend of Bill said...

The last bit i find very helpful when getting the balance right between trust and action.

Live Each Day to the Fullest

ive each day to the fullest. Get the most from each hour, each day, and each age of your life. Then you can look forward with confidence, and back without regrets.

Be yourself... but be your best self. Dare to be different and follow your own star.

Don't be afraid to be happy ..enjoy what is beautiful. Love with all your heart and soul. Believe that those you love, love you.

When you are faced with decision, make that decision as wisely as possible, then forget it. The moment of absolute certainty never arrives.

And above all, remember that God helps those who help themselves. Act as if everything depended on you And pray as if everything depended on God.

good luck !! :)

Anonymous said...

Hey, when did you come back? Glad to see ya buddy. I have been off work since the end of January. It has taken me a while, but it is exactly what I needed. I am learning how to BE and not constantly DO. Not easy for a runner like me, we can still run in sobriety, I was very clever at it. Anyway, Summer classes have kept me busy, but still have quite a bit of free time on my hands. Today I sat in my backyard and read that chapter on step seven myself, how about that! Enjoy these moments of solitude that God has provided. Everything is exactly the way it is supposed to be. So glad you are writing again!