Sow Some Seeds (Part 6)

It was a choice. Spend his last $30 on a handgun in the pawnshop window, or walk into a library to get warm? Og walked away from the pawnshop, and entered a library in Concord, New Hampshire, where he found W. Clement Stone’s classic, ‘Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude’, a book that changed Og for the better.

His Mother held his dream. She told him throughout his childhood, “You will become a famous writer.” It took years of rough travel down his path before writing, “The Greatest Salesman in the World.” Og struggled being a salesman, but believed in success, and shared his story to inspire others. He is proof of what you receive is what you believe, and speak.

Here are today’s seeds:

I will keep a smile on my face and in my heart even when it hurts today. I know that the world is a looking-glass and gives back to me the reflection of my own soul. Now I understand the secret of correcting the attitude of others and that is to correct my own.

It usually begins with the one in the mirror.

I will turn away from any temptation today that might cause me to break my word or lose my self-respect. I am positive that the only thing I possess more valuable than my life is my honor.

Don’t say it, if you cannot do it.

I will work this day with all my strength, content in the knowledge that life does not consist of wallowing in the past or peering anxiously at the future. It is appalling to contemplate the great number of painful steps by which one arrives at a truth so old, so obvious, and so frequently expressed. Whatever it offers, little or much, my life is now.

It took trial and error, but Og began making good choices.

Here is an insightful article about Og Mandino’s early years.

Parts of this Blog are taken from The Seeds of Success, by Og Mandino.

Stopping to Go

Today, I gave my daughter the day off from being my daughter.

She harbors these ‘people pleasing’ abilities that will wear off over time. Her father’s hectic life is adding stress to hers, but he needs her more than I do right now. Not wanting to add to an already stressful situation, I encouraged her not to come home today as planned. She was grateful.

I went to an AA meeting at noon. I was in the midst of cleaning house, and didn’t mind stopping to go, if God saw fit. Walking through the motions of getting ready, I told God, “If you really want me to go, everything will fall into place seamlessly.” At 11:40, I was ready to walk out the door.

Walking into the meeting, I noticed a young lady sitting there that I haven’t seen before. She had made a similar deal with God.

“Okay God, If you want me to go to this meeting, someone will walk in that I need to see.”

Long story short, she asked me to be her temporary sponsor.

This is the second woman in the past 30 days that God has placed in my path to sponsor. I have no clue how to be a sponsor, but I know how to stay sober, and I can coach.

I sat down yesterday, and came across this page in SC Lourie’s new journal. It sums up precisely where I am today.

Here is what it says.

“I had to stop waiting. Waiting to be that person I always hoped I would become. Waiting for that person to rescue me. Waiting until I felt ready. Waiting until I had healed. Waiting until I got things right. Waiting until I was seen, noticed, acknowledged, or remembered. Waiting for that ultimate day somewhere in the future that would change everything. Soon after, I realised something. You are either waiting, or you are living. I choose to live. To end the wait.” SC Lourie

 

Soft and Strong

I woke up early this morning, and was able to think. There is a distinct difference between thinking, and having thoughts. Thank you Chemo for teaching me that difference.

A lot of thoughts came rushing in, once I had my coffee. Most of them were pictures of my past, and mainly my Mother.

Pieces of the path that helped make me who I am today. She was such a strong woman. I don’t recall seeing her sit much, and if she was napping, it meant she had worn herself out. The same with crying. She would hide somewhere and weep, and if my siblings, or myself, heard her weeping, something was big time wrong. My daughter sees me cry quite often, and I’m glad.

strong

My Mother grew up as an only child. Her Mother was of small stature; maybe 5 feet tall. Her Father was a big man, and stood soundly at over 6 feet tall. My Mother was built like her Father, so this ain’t good. She was told, her birth was so traumatic on her Mother’s body, her Mother couldn’t have anymore kids. She grew up believing it was her fault she was an only child.

What a burden to carry. I think because of this, she thought she had to be everything to everybody. I’ve seen a lot of similarities between my Mother, and me over the years. The first time I went through the ‘Letting Go’ process, I looked at what I learned growing up, and if that served me today. I loved my Mother, but I saw areas in me that needed to change.

My Father was an alcoholic, and so am I. My Grandmother, Mother, and Sister all had Breast Cancer, and so do I. Some traits we inherit, or call it genetics. We might not can change that, but we can change what continues. God is a master at breaking chains, and strongholds, so through Him, we can choose what is good to pass on to our generation.

tobymac

I didn’t quit. I stopped it dead in it’s tracks.

My Mother waited until all four of us kids were grown, and then she left my Dad. He bought her a beautiful house, with everything we didn’t have growing up. Air conditioning was one of those things, and this new house had that. Her walking away pissed me off in more ways than one. This new house had everything she could ever want, but it didn’t have that one thing she craved.

It still lacked love, and acceptance of who she wanted to be. She was tired.

I was the same age as her when I walked out of mine. That was my first clue that something needed to change, and it was probably me. Mother stayed strong, and stubborn till her death, but I wanted a different ending to my story. I wanted a story filled with love, and goodness. I refused to allow my daughter to grow up, and not see her Mama truly loved.

Strong will get you through, but soft will get you more.

I walked into the bathroom this morning, and noticed a package of toilet paper sitting on the counter. It was being advertised as ‘Soft and Strong.’ I thought, “Well heck! If a roll of toilet paper can be that, then surely I can too!” I am hoping God sees me as more than something we use to wipe with.

I will fast forward to the end. My Mother’s funeral. I believe she gave of herself her whole life. She was always busy, and helped anyone at the drop of a hat. She gave, but she sucked at receiving. From the simplest compliment, all the way to, “I can do this myself’ mentality. The people that came to her funeral, were the people that felt indebted to her.

We need to receive as much as we give. This is what fuels our flame, and gives us even more to give. Maya Angelou said, ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ I hope a lot of people are at my funeral, and not because of what I did, or who I was, but how I made them feel.

 

No Regrets

Just because we have them, doesn’t mean we have to keep them. The dictionary describes it as: Regret is a negative conscious and emotional reaction to personal past acts and behaviors. Regret is often expressed by the term “sorry.” That is encouraging to me because it reveals itself as consciousness and emotion, which we have control over. It also places it in the past, which we can choose not to live in anymore.

Some of you know, I spent a third of my life drowning in alcoholism. Early in my sobriety, I told a friend that I regretted all the years I lost to drinking, and wish I had them back. She quickly told me, “God was with you that whole time. Watching over you, protecting you, and allowing that experience to form you into the person you are today.” It’s true, and I wouldn’t have met her. One of my most treasured friends.

lesson

The most important thing to know is….We’re not alone. There are people out there who have done the same stupid things we did, if not worse, and are alive to tell about it. If you want to hear some, go sit in an AA meeting with a lot of newcomers. This is called a ‘Beginners’ meeting, and they usually have just a few hours sober. They are full of regret, and share snippets of things they did drunk, and are trying to accept sober. What’s interesting is almost everyone in the room will be nodding their head in agreement as their story unfolds. We can relate to their pain because we did something similar, if not the exact same thing!

I saw a quote this week that grieved me. “I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone.”

Do you know who said it? The late, great Robin Williams. How can a man who brought so much joy to millions of people, live in darkness? I’m guessing he kept it hidden from the world, and it took his life. For me, that would be the ultimate Regret.

Genie…You are now free.