Simple enough. All I have is this 24 hour period staring me in the face. What to do with it? Well, for one thing I am about ready to go to my work. A few people are there waiting for me to help them with various activities. Each day is a little different. Each day I encounter various persons with various needs. All of my encounters starts with a greeting and a smile. You see, I spend most of my day interacting with persons who live in a nursing facility. I know most of them by name and so I spend a little bit of time sharing with them about the day ahead as well as how their day is going. Because of their own response to their dementia of one kind or another, and living in the moment, they assure me with their smile that they are doing OK.
The amazing characteristic of dementia is that you live in the moment. The present, as the word can denote, is truly a present from God. This is the only place I can live–in the now. Yesterday is really gone forever–can’t bring it back (only by memory as faulty as it may become) and tomorrow isn’t here yet. Obviously, the only place to live is here, now, today, these next 24 hours.
Am I living in the present or is my mind onto to something I have to do tonight? Or after lunch? I think you get the message. My thought is that when I meet a friend (resident) in the nursing home I am going to be really present to them and have all my attention focused on the person. It is going to be an I-Thou relationship. It is as only the person that I encounter is the only person with whom my entire attention is given. And at that moment something special takes place–two people become as one–joined together in the communicating of a true and present relationship. Both of us are now in each others presence — in the now –fully being the loving person that God desires all creation to be —aware that we are all together in this. Today is all I have to make this relationship grow, in this manner, in this time, with this person.
“I am going to handle what has taken a lifetime to develop one day at a time.
“When we saw others solve their problems by a simple reliance upon the Spirit of the Universe, we had to stop doubting the power of God. Our ideas did not work. But the God idea did.” (1)
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
I always doubted the power of God until I started to see and read about other people working their Twelve Step program and getting on to meetings. I also believe that there is surely hope for me as I hear about other depressed persons who are in the fellowship with each other and have a genuine desire to stop sadding themselves. This is all that is needed, a desire to stop sadding oneself. I can feel a change inside of me as I begin to rely more on this God who loves me and cares how I feel. This program of hope works if you work the program.
This is the word that gives hope. It is a simple reliance, day by day, hour by hour, that I will find the serenity, the simplicity of a life lived without the anxiety, hollowness, jitteriness of my depression. It is in my admission of such that begins me on the road to recovery and hope.
We trust in our God. We rely on you as we turn as often as we can to be present in your Presence. We want to pray unceasingly and learn from you how to love ourselves.
SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of Twelve Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 150. July 27.
HIGHER THOUGHT FOR TODAY
I want to watch the way my thoughts reflect on other people and their actions. I will try today to detach from envying or hating other people today. I want to accept myself today.
We had to abandon the idea (Who is the Greatest Sufferer in the world?) since we could not work out a way of giving a prize to the Greatest Sufferer since one of the necessary attributes of the Committed Sufferer is that you never win.” (3)
My great aunt loved to tell us what a Great Sufferer she was and how her whole life was spent in being rejected by family and friends alike. She did get our sympathy and she did indeed seem to be a Great Sufferer. She appeared at our door infrequently, and as children we used to marvel at the stories of her pain and past operations –all very much like the old Ace telling of sorties over enemy territory.
Just as at our Twelve Step meetings I do want to hear how life was before the Twelve Steps and how life is now that one is trying to get healthy and live with hope. The only prize that I get from being in recovery is living in the unpredictability of my life and finding hope that I can and will feel differently. I am now committed to finding a way out of depression.
God, grant us an avenue in which we can begin to see the light of day and the end of our darkened living where we could only live in despair. We know you are always available to our asking for your help and the peace of your presence. In your peace there will be found a community.
SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for Twelve Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Kentucky. Pages 40-41.
It was 80 years yesterday (12/11), an alcoholic named Bill Wilson was admitted to a New York hospital.
He had just celebrated his 39th birthday.
Alone in his room he cried out, “I’ll do anything, anything at all!” He described what happened next:
Suddenly, my room blazed with an indescribably white light …Then, seen in my minds eye, there was a mountain. I stood upon its summit, where a great wind blew. A wind, not of air, but of spirit. In great clean strength, it blew right through . Then came the blazing thought, “You are a free man.”
I became acutely conscious of a presence which seemed like a sea of living spirit. I lay on the shore of a new world.
Wilson said that after this experience, he never again doubted the existence of God. And he never took another drink.
Bill Wilson is the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. (C) Diocese of Saginaw Advent Book for 2014