There’s a lot of debate over who gets credit for the current American Thanksgiving: The Puritans? Washington, Lincoln or Roosevelt? even John Kennedy is mentioned.
Ironically, the Puritans did not gorge, but rather fasted, on Thanksgiving.
AA has a very simple tool they use to practice giving thanks…The Gratitude List, and since I learned everything I know from AA…Here’s mine…
I am grateful that I don’t drink anymore or have those terrible hangovers all the next day until 5 PM…when I promptly forgot that morning’s suffering.
I am grateful I don’t take pills anymore. I hated having that chemical collar on. It would dampen my sex drive.
I am grateful that I don’t smoke two packs of Dunhill Red every day.
I am grateful that I don’t drink coffee anymore. I would start out with one 16 ounce double shot, and end up with five at the end of the day, two of them being triple shots.
I am especially grateful to not be masturbating or cheating on my wife. That was the real IOS that was operating inside of me, and it drove me crazy and everyone around me.
I’m grateful not to be fat. You might look sexy smoking a cigarette, or chic, drinking a double latte…But, there’s no way to look cool when you’re fat.
I am grateful that I am clear about money: both about debting and under-earning. I haven’t debted in over 30 years and I love that simplicity.
I am grateful for the “soft tissue“ things like ACA, Coda and Al-anon because I was such a cloying, people-pleasing, yet raging, doormat before.
I am grateful for my spiritually gifted wife and my Shiva (The Great Destroyer) son who is the light of our lives.
I am grateful for every single one of you at PrayerCall who is willing to show up day after day and courageously share your feelings and strive to do God’s will. You are breathtaking.
Happy Thanksgiving 2021!
Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton recorded many songs together in 30 years.
It was rumored that they were having an affair. It wasn’t true.
He admitted being attracted to her, but never acted on it. He said “But, it keeps the tension."
That’s the way good, healthy chastity is in a marriage.
It’s razor sharp clarity…”But it keeps the tension."
When I first got into ACA recovery I sent out Christmas cards each year.
This year I sent out 11 jokes…
My favorite musical lines into fatuity:
How are Jazz and Socialism similar?They both sound better than they really are.
“Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.”
“Please write like Wagner, only louder.”
A musician is someone who pays $5000 for an instrument, to drive 500 miles, in a $100 car, to play a $50 gig.
Two jazz guitarists meet in a bar, and one says, “Yeah man, I bought your last album, it was awesome!” to which the other replies, “Oh so that was you!”.
What did the Deadhead say when they ran out of pot at the show…”Man, this band sucks!”
What do coffee and Clapton have in common?…they both suck without Cream.
How are singers like someone new at your door?
They can’t find the key and they don’t know when to come in.
What do clarinetists use for birth control? Their personalities…(I hate clarinets)
What is the height of optimism?…a guitar player with a mortgage.
If the guitar is a narcissistic phallic symbol…then what does that say about a bad guitar player?
In my heart of hearts, if I am honest with myself, I have always wanted PrayerCall to be as big as it could get.
In fairness, after 40 years of being in recovery, I find PrayerCall to be the most effective use of 12 step I have come across, for me, and I have wanted to share that with anyone who is willing.
But there is a smaller, yet very real part of me, that is narcissistic, stemming from the character defect of grandiosity.
Two years ago we were 1750 people strong in 89 countries, and then suddenly, due to Facebooks policies and procedures, we lost everyone of those people.
That baffled me…But, I am slowly beginning to understand.
I have been using an AA model, because that’s where I learned everything I know. They are two million strong.
But, we also use a model that I learned from my most gifted two sponsors, both of whom lived in a monastery.
Folks in monasteries don’t do things like folks in churches. They have no hopes that their approach will be pervasive. If it did, the human race would come to a screeching halt within 70 years, from simply having no children.
I can see clearly, and for good reason, now, that we need to stay small.
Saint Augustine is my favorite saint. Anyone who says “give me chastity…just not today”, is my kind of guy.
He also said “I couldn’t find You…because I was looking outside of me”. So…God is within.
But where exactly?
Plato and Socrates believed that your soul was housed in your solar plexus and vaguely and mysteriously connected to your gut and mind. But those guys didn’t have electron microscopes…
I know absolutely nothing about anatomy, but suppose God is dwelling in your heart, or behind your eyes as Jesus said, or even in the tips of your fingers?
Or maybe God Within is a “moving target” and can be anywhere in my body when He feels the need?
I see God in the beauty of my wife’s long fingers…Gummy’s got ‘em, too.
I hear God in Hendrix, Coltrane and Glenn Gould’s fingers.
I hear God expressed in my son’s laughter…so maybe God is lodged somewhere down Gummy’s incredibly outraged throat?
I do know that addiction stops the ability to perceive God and the more addictions I stop, the more likely I am to be able to sense God.
As Gandhi would say, at least for today…”I know no more of the matter”.
But…I’ll be listening to Gummy’s screaming more carefully today.
As I was leaving the endodontist office after a root canal I was feeling lonely. That’s really unusual for me and I didn’t understand.
Then I realized I was feeling “split off“.
I had somehow separated my feelings from my body and I didn’t understand why.
Then I remembered…I’ve been sexually abused by four different people in my life. One of them was my orthodontist, when I was 10 years old.
Back then, they used to use full body anesthesia, so that you were out cold. This guy didn’t do it properly and I woke up in the middle.
What I saw, when I awoke, was him being orally sexual with me. He stopped immediately and pretended like nothing had happened. I felt dazed and confused, frightened and unsure.
I talked to my mother about it afterwards. She went into a rage, shouting “How did I dare accuse that man of such a terrible thing?”
Do you think Mom was in her own unresolved stuff?
That’s where the real problem of not working through your own issues shows up…because you can’t be there for your children.
When I was in ninth grade I looked out my high school window into the student parking lot and saw 11th grader, Jerry R., walking towards his perfectly orange, souped up, 1957 Chevrolet.
Jerry had a brand new blonde-neck Fender Telecaster and the most sexually appealing girl in the school as his girlfriend.
He was my rival. I was his. We were both way to cool to acknowledge this.
Jerry had the most ferally, feline walk I would ever see in my life, until, I saw one of the extremely rare film footages of Gandhi walking.
It just oozed sexuality, in the most proud, yet restrained and nearly dignified way.
I made a conscious decision, that day, looking out the window…not to do that.
50 years later, I am paying for that decision.
When you don’t throw your upper thighs forward as you walk the tendency is to lean your head forward…And that’s not good for your spine.
Jerry ended up an alcoholic suicide. So I’m glad I did not live my life the way he did. But, I was foolish not to emulate his walk…
As an amends, my old friend, I will try to walk the way you did.