Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Head Is Not My Friend

The garden was horrible. The whole area wrapping around the back of the house was a big ugly mess. Just the sight of it was overwhelming.

The head said, “Run back in the house!”
The program of recovery said, “Just because your head is attached to your body doesn’t make it your friend.”
This is what I saw when I stood out there wanting to flee this problem.
Dead stuff as tall as my head.


Weeds up to my knees.


To top it off, a gopher had found my garden and had begun to kill my prize hollyhocks.


I feared the problem was larger than I am. FEAR= F Everything And Run. Or Face Everything And Recover.
The Alcoholic Anonymous Big Book says the main problem for the alcoholic centers in the mind (page 23). A vital spiritual experience changes things, and “Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them” (page 27).
I know I’ve had spiritual awakening as the result of taking the 12 Steps.


So I had a spiritual experience in the big ugly garden. I stood there with gardening gloves and pruning shears, wanting to run but didn’t.
In Appendix II of the Big Book, William James is quoted as saying there’s an “educational variety” of spiritual experience that develops slowly over time. But still it results in a “profound alteration in [my] reaction to life” that wasn’t brought about by myself alone.


My life has been like a garden run amok, and I wound up in a big ugly mess that landed in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. Slowly, one small section at a time, the Master Gardener worked on me.
I had a profound alteration in my reaction to life in that garden. It became important to just make a beginning, take the first step, worry about the next one later. Once I was committed, I started seeing things differently.


I saw this.


And I saw this.


And the work gradually got done. Not all of it. Not even most of it. But a beginning was made, and I’m free of the bondage of despair. Maybe I’ll even get that gopher.


Update, Sunday afternoon: Gopher, 1 --- Chris, 0

30 comments:

the walking man said...

Where there is one gopher
there could be two.
Where there are two gophers
there is plenty o potential
for some good gopher stew.

RNSANE said...

You're a brave soul...there is hope!!s

Brian Miller said...

great post. in many ways life is about just making that next step. we can look so far forward and get discouraged, but its just taking the next one...

Marla said...

What a wonderfully uplifting post. Thank you for writing this. I have never been addicted to drugs or alcohol but I do understand addictions and fear. This inspires me to keep going.

Happy Valentines Day!!

Secretia said...

We have the key within us always. The key to unlock that kind of bondage.
I'm glad you used your key!

Secretia

Madison said...

Your 'about you' describes you as "I'm a gardener". Your post indicates there's so much to learn in that garden. Can't wait to see pictures of the end result.

Kim A. said...

Poor gopher..his days are numbered... :-D

It is encouraging to me that you persevered. We are going to attempt another garden this year. I'm planting herbs and flowers too. Hope is a wonderful thing.

Happy Valentine's Day.
namaste

Crafty Green Poet said...

It can seem overwhelming at first, well done on makign a good start and good luck with the rest...

Tall Kay said...

The first step is the hardest to take...

I'm hoping that clever gopher has moved on to greener pastures. It gets me excited to see the first signs of spring! I think I might tackle my garden today too :o)

Happy Valentines Day to you!

Tracy said...

Ah, your posts reminds me of one of my favorites lines in a Jack Johnson song called "Hope".

"You don't always have to hold your head higher than your heart".

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Nessa said...

This was an excellent post about working through our unwanted thoughts. And it looks like you were well rewarded.

Rosemary and Reflections

Magpie said...

The weather here yesterday was so lovely, I too was out in the garden making amends for my neglect of the past several weeks. Gardens are my way of shutting out all the noise and being close to God and all His wonderous works. Spring is a time of renewal - in our gardens and ourselves. I'm glad you're feeling renewed.

PS If you figure out how to get that gopher, please let me know. If you go to my personal blog, http://inovermyhead-magpie.blogspot.com/, and find my past post named Gopher Wars you'll understand.

Collette said...

Sometimes we have to get out of our heads & into our hearts. I'm glad you are able to see the beginnings of something beautiful! (((HUGS)))

e said...

I'm glad the rooms and principles were there as needed...Your garden/gardener analogy is apt...

You have the promise of something beautiful ahead...

Happy Sunday!

~ Tabitha ~ said...

Sending you the love today and always..keep trudging .. xo

ps.Was it the movie Caddyshack about the gophers/with Bill Murray?

Not The Rockefellers said...

I am so glad you chose to stay and fight!

Always a bigger reward :)

btw my flight response would have been off of the chain facing that garden!

Peace ~ Rene

Matty said...

A beginning, and one step at a time is how we reach the other side. I've never been addicted to anything, but I am close to others who are or have. I'm glad to hear that you are cleaning up your garden.

And I love the two meanings of F-E-A-R. I have to remember them.

Birdie said...

oh you write so beautifully Chris and you always bring up the questions or the things that I believe we all go through, and indeed it is about the hope and the courage to take one tiny small step at the time ... and as with the garden we need to take care of ourselves to get rid of what does not do us good anymore and to 'plant' inside of us what is good for us :-), xoxo

Birdie said...

oh you write so beautifully Chris and you always bring up the questions or the things that I believe we all go through, and indeed it is about the hope and the courage to take one tiny small step at the time ... and as with the garden we need to take care of ourselves to get rid of what does not do us good anymore and to 'plant' inside of us what is good for us :-), xoxo

TechnoBabe said...

Taking it in steps you can handle, you are "free from the bondage of despair". Huge. I like the analogy of the garden in disrepair. Are these your photographs? Great close up showing new growth.

Lou said...

I absolutely loved how you explained the "makeover" of AA.
I read so many recovery blogs, yet you still managed to present it in new way!

Susan said...

Get that gopher! Glad you are conquering the garden. Happy Valentine's Day and Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Syd said...

I am reminded to take one baby step at a time. The entire job may seem way too hard but if I do what I can one day at a time, a lot can be accomplished.

Magpie said...

Here's the link for Gopher Wars
http://inovermyhead-magpie.blogspot.com/2009/10/gopher-wars.html

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Your garden, my basement...I know there is good things hidden underneath the mess, but I keep avoiding it, like I want to feel bad when I go down there??

Karen said...

Chris, there's a lot of wisdom in that big book, and I am so grateful that you have found the book and the courage to free yourself.

xoxoxo
Happy Valentine's Day, my friend!

sarah said...

this was an awesome post pictures and all.

Judy Sheldon-Walker said...

Awesome, awesome post. Everyone has something to work through and you are bravely conquering yours. God bless.

lakeviewer said...

Ah gophers, reminding us of life's challenges. Great post, Chris.

Dianne said...

one step,
fear noted,
tiny images up close,
life in the moment,

-back without broken bones.
Dianne

Albert Einstein Quotes