One Day At A Time
~ Being Joyful ~
As I stumble through this life, help me to create more laughter than tears.
Never let me become so indifferent that I will fail to see the wonder in the eyes of a child.
Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people, make them forget,
at least momentarily, the unpleasantness in their lives.
And in my final moment, may I hear You whisper:
“When you made My people smile, you made Me smile.”
A Clown’s Prayer (Author Unknown)
I have made so many people angry with me, so many people cry, so many people worry and despair of me. So many people have been resentful of me. My disease dictated how I lived my life, if you could call it living.
Then I came to this program and I found a new way to live, and I found joy such as I have never found before, anywhere. The program taught me not to take life so seriously. The Big Book of AA tells me on page 132, “But we are not a glum lot. If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn’t want it. We absolutely insist on enjoying life.” I need to remember that. I need to work my steps, stay in conscious contact with my Higher Power, but boy oh boy, do I ever need to remember that I need to learn that I am not a bad person getting good, just a sick person getting well. Even sick people have fun. I’m a sick person recovering on a daily basis from a terminal disease that was killing me, but recovery snatched me from the brink of death. Now I can’t help but see the beauty of this crazy, wonderful world we live in.
One day at a time …
I am warmed and my heart sings at the thought that today I have made someone smile. Please, dear God, let me continue to do so.
~ Marlene ~
If I could choose to do no harm, to increase the joy and decrease worldsuck (as the Vlogbrother’s policy is) then that is my choice. Why oh why then, do I find myself, despite my best intentions, doing exactly the opposite?
Like the one in the readings above, life was a contest, a combat, an arena in which to complete and suffer. It had always been so, since before I could remember. I thought I had grown past and out of that state of mind, I truly believed I had dealt with these issues.
This last week has seen me walking some dark paths, stress, pressure and deadlines, not to mention the penalties, real or implied or imagined that all weighed on me, bowing me under the pressure. Tempers short, social niceties get forgotten, and generally if I’m not paying attention to my own behavior, I become something of an asshat (again to use the Vlogbrother’s jargon).
What does this have to do with being joyful in the moment, spreading positive energy?
There is only one type of human that can spread joy and cheer without truly understanding it’s polar opposite. A child (or those with a child’s mind). A child knows naught of hate, of prejudice, of intentional causing suffering to another.
Most of us, if you’re reading this and come from anything even remotely like my background you qualify as of of the most, learned of the dark side of humanity before ever knowing that it didn’t always have to be that way. That it could be changed, that good was out there and we could choose it as easily as we choose our favorite ice-cream or outfit.
So, an actionable plan, since I’ve failed so miserably in the last few weeks at being a good human (trust me on this, I’m not open to arguments on this topic). I ran across a practice a while back, so far back in my recovery path that I can’t now find the reference points or even who it came from, but the premise was simply that daily awareness and tracking could help one form and change habits and behaviors, even underlying base patters so much so that a better life could be had just for the wanting of it if you put in the time and the work.
My proposition, three steps.
1-start the day with a list of intentions (my to do list and goals)
2-mid-day check-in on this list and an honest assessment of what’s going on, status update if you will.
3-End of day review, honest assessment of my effectiveness, and a preliminary statement of intent for the following day.
Now, I’ll work up a quick template so I’m not rewriting the same stuff over and over again, leaving me to just fill in the blanks. I guess I’ll leave this here and tomorrow’s update will let you know how I’m doing with it.
Cheers and DFTBA.
Duke of Chaos
Standard Disclaimer: the text-reminder-and quote- herein comes from the book or website as noted at this link HERE. If you want to verify, look up your local AA or Al-Anon group.
But seriously, the work works if you work it. I’m doing this for me, for my wife, for our family and for our future.
By posting this material each day, I hope to hold the ideals in my awareness, and start with the small steps that make a big journey. ODAT is the slogan, and with God as my wing-man there’s a fair chance of surviving this adventure, for a while anyhow.
I am merely a tool in God’s toolbox.