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BLACK HEART – by G. D. Grace

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BLACK HEART

Your prayers are for monetary gain and wealth, and your dreams are of grandeur, prestige and position. Your perception about the haves and haves nots is as skewed as hot dripping cheese off burnt bread no longer edible.  You pride yourself in ill gotten gain, and represent the darkest side of humanity. Your mannerisms reflect snobbery and disdain for others struggling to make ends meet. You look down your long nose at oppositions to racism, sexism, homophobia, and any other oppressive stance.

I’m unsure of what drives such a spirit. I’m uncertain as to what has given you the attitude of superiority when it comes to others and their struggles. Whatever the missing humane component that is missing from your spirit has got to be as rotten as a foul stench that is most offensive to smell and taste. Your loathsome lack of compassion is a reflection of a sour soul that should be removed from the shelf, as the expiration date has long been expired.

Clearly your spiritual flame flickers and is a spark away from flickering out. Your very presence goes against the beauty of the four seasons.  You represent much of what is wrong in society. Your air of approval with things the opposite side of right dictates a void so deep and vague, until it is a challenge to find anything human about you.

What gives? Were you born into this brokenness, or was it something you adopted along the way as you grew into someone to be despised.  Do you even care about the child that has suffered sexual and violent abuse at the hands of a parental figure? Are the cries of the forgotten falling on deaf ears? Does anything about their plight trigger the most remote empathy or sympathy within you?

I cannot imagine what it feels like to walk around as someone like you — someone with little regard for the suffering.  When you sit at your long table wearing your expensive designer rags what goes through your mind? Is there an inkling of humanity in you — any redeeming quality that would help make sense of your reclusive position about wealth and prestige?

I wish I could say that I got it, that I understood, that I could hear where you are coming from, but the only thing I see is a poor excuse for a human being, and rather than dismissing you, t can only pity you, and pray for your empty soul. God help you and may you be relieved from your dark ugly ways.

G||D 8|26|2015  © 2015

8 BALL – by G. D. Grace

thDiscounted. Me of all people. Discarded like the wrinkled weekend newspaper that bargain shoppers throw out after all the sales have ended. (sigh) You know I was relevant once.  I held a high profile position at a Fortune 500 Company, owned stocks, and had a very healthy 401K.

I was envied by others who felt that their skin color was supreme over mine. With all I had, even then,  they still looked down their noses anytime I passed them in the hall or shared an elevator ride with them up to my plush corner office with the amazing view.

I even drove a car that I purchased for six-figures — one I had detailed every Saturday morning without fail.  I had four walk in closets filled with designer clothes from only the best stores on the planet.  My shoe collection would make even old money blush, because not only did I have the cash, I had the sharp eye of a fashion industry mogul, so anything I chose had a class that not even money could buy.

Yeah, I was really something back then.  I miss the luxurious hotels I stayed at on the company’s dollar.  Those exotic vacations seemed only befitting for one with so much talented, so much wealth, so much influence and education. What happened?  Where did I go wrong? Why did I start making so many irrational decisions? Why did I bite the hand that fed me?  Why didn’t I pull back instead of pushing forward.  Why didn’t I heed the first warning signs of trouble? Why didn’t I accept help when it was offered?

Pride.  Yeah, pride.  I didn’t have a problem I was only indulging in and enjoying the finer things in life.  Everyone was doing it, and I couldn’t be a square.  If I had the money to buy it, then where did the problems come in?  Oh, sure, I was late a few times; hell I might’ve even taken a day or two more of unscheduled sick time than I should’ve, but damn, Bob was doing it?

Bob.  I miss him. They said it was a heart attack that took him out, but there were whispers that it was the life he lived and the the things he indulged in that killed him. Liars!  All of them! Bob was healthier than a field ox.  I miss my Bob.

I’ll get my life back though.  I’ll make Bob proud of me. Yeah, after this weekend.  One more round of partying with the old crew and I’ll be back to where I was in rank.  Yeah, I’ll be right back there.

“Yeah, brother, give me an eight ball.  Yeah, you heard what I said, an eight ball!”

G||D 8|17|2015  © 2015

FLIGHT OF THE FOOL – by G. D. Grace

A Sky View - Author G D Grace -
A Sky View – Author G D Grace –

I remember how it used to be — how it used to be before I learned to fly. I was grounded.  My world was so small.  My twenty-four hour existence was centralized around a cheap, generic, white porcelain dinner plate. These desolate  decades of excess, once decadent and fun, eventually became dark and consuming.  During these times I often gazed up towards the heavens.  At night I would marvel at the brilliant stars glimmering in the darkness, and throughout the day I would lose myself in the allure of crisp blue skies and an intoxicating gentle breeze, and I’d pray desperately for salvation.

“Save me,” I’d utter obsessively.

“If you love me,” I’d plead.

“The one thing I want, you won’t give to me,” I’d cry.

“Please take me home;” Broken, I would request.

I was enamored with a high life that never allowed me to leave the ground, and I accepted what I thought was freedom, for in my distorted thoughts I was airborne every time I indulged and felt that drain hitting the back of my hungry throat.  My nose would burn, and my eyes would water. There was an instant numbing effect. These were the psychotic times of insanity and delusion. You see, I was no longer a Private; no, I was an addict First Class, and I always had the white lines to prove it.

I speak often about these tumultuous times, because I never want to forget where I was and the delirious state of mind I was in on the flight of the fool. I also share my sorted tale, so that someone reading this will see that they too can find serenity and peace, if they are willing to go to any lengths to maintain and sustain a successful recovery.

Looking back, I realize that I often sat by the emergency door, just in case I decided to pull the release and leap towards true freedom, or dive towards a liberating death.  I can honestly say that I never used that emergency door either way; instead, I responded to a kind voice at the other end of a phone to escape the incomprehensible demoralization that had become my life.

I had taken the flight of the fool many times before surrendering to A Power Greater than myself.  I came to believe that this Power could restore me from insanity.  I followed 12 Steps and !2 Principles towards a freedom I longed for, and these days I fly with the wisdom of others like me; examples set by others who followed the 12 & 12.

I fly with the winners.

#rip #rmb

G||D 8|15|2015  © 2015

Genetic Deformity – by G. D. Grace

I’ve noticed that you like studying me — studying my movement, mimicking how I pronounce words, and you’ve even taken to offering unsolicited suggestions, aimed at helping me be better.  Better.  I ponder your motives, wondering if ulterior or genuine.  It seems to amuse you, criticizing what I wear, how I dress, and how I walk.  I’ve even caught you snickering more than a few times, so I ask myself what place does someone like you have in my life now — my new life.  My life graced with the reprieve of recovery.

Allow me to step back in time a little — back to one of those chilly nights when I sat in my car tweaking off of what I had indulged in earlier that evening. I was parked side-ways in the driveway at 2252, a few feet from the backdoor of a man grew to despise — someone who I allowed to nearly destroy me with that wicked blow he was peddling.  Over the years I saw his many faces — they were seducing, enticing, and always inviting.  As long as I had what he wanted in the form of that mean green, I was always welcome.  The red carpet was always rolled out for me and my fat wallet.

Now, back to you.  You share similar oppressive qualities with this individual. You enter from a side angle, sizing me up like a tight parking space, trying to get in where you fit in, but you may as well put your car back in drive and speed away. I find you insulting and repulsive. I want no parts of the olive branch you present to me, because it is merely a ploy to consume my spirit, and resume a dangerous kind of relationship that nearly destroyed me.

Who needs someone like you in their life? Who needs to be picked apart like the skid red meat of some road kill beneath a vultures beak? There was a time when I had no love of self in my life — a time when I had no dignity and no aspiration of being anything more than a reclusive drug addict.

sigh.

Yeah, there’s nothing alluring about being friends with someone like you, so you take your deceptive charm and your rat like wit, and scatter away from me like rain water down a steep slope, because there’s no place for you here — not in my life, not in my world, not in my serenity.

People like you are genetic deformities to peace. You’re always searching for some lonely soul to attach yourself to, but I see you just as vivid as I see that sparkling and brilliant dawn of a beautiful new day, so return to the murky pit you call home, and never darken my path again. There is no place for you in this peaceful space called “Recovery.”

God, grant me the serenity….

G||D 8|12|2015  © 2015

MAKING WAVES – by G. D. Grace

This remarkable life.  This life that dictates without asking for forgiveness, nor permission. It tears us down and builds us up repeatedly. It can rip our emotions to shreds, then abandon us as if we are foreigners in our own lives.  It destroys then rebuilds souls with the fervor of a psychopathic journeyman, spewing screws and nails missing the target of entry. It is often driven to eat away at our bearings, and can be vicious in its attack at our spiritual foundation.

Many of us fail to resurrect our lives once we have lost everything — everything that is, except our lives. Some of us allow ourselves to get complacent, never facing the adversities, too afraid to rise from the ashes of obscurity to become the accomplished beings were were intended to be. Quite often this failure to break the vicious cycle of mediocrity becomes the norm that lingers around from generation to generation.

The vile stench of an uneducated mind breeds inequality and hampers growth.  Without an education the opportunities available are narrow, and the outlook is grim.  In order to push beyond a meager existence there has to be an inner-flame of ambition and a profound desire to want a better life — a better life filled with adventure, success, and love.

In order to make waves, we must be willing to take the dive

In order to make waves, we must be willing to swim towards the light

In order to make waves, we must be willing to let go, and let God

There is existing, then there’s living….

Make the choice….

G||D 8|11|2015  © 2015

angels – by G. D. Grace

New Heavenly Citizens , the Most High sends his love and welcomes you home.  This was a non-stop flight into the gates of heaven. Many of you might be wondering about the material things you left behind; such as your car, your clothes, your home. Well, you won’t need them here, as you now have wings to fly, a fluorescent wrinkle, soil-free white robe, and an eternal kingdom with endless halls of peace and serenity.

You may also notice that there are no more tears, nor heavy burdens for you to carry.  You have been relieved of stress, worry, pain, and illness. Your new body is transparent, as you are now pure spirit. Any brokenness within your heart has been replaced with an overwhelming love — unconditional without boundaries, nor limitations.

I’d like to direct your attention now to the Angel’s Launch Pad in the distance.  This is where you’ll spend your first few moments here in heaven, getting acquainted with your new wings.  I might also add that time is not measured here in heaven; which means that you will never again grow older.

I know you are probably wondering about your loved ones — the ones that arrived here before you.  Well, there is a special gala planned where you will reunite with them.  They have eagerly awaited your arrival.  Another blessing here in heaven is you will see your future generations before they are born into the world you left behind.  You will be allowed one whisper to each of them — and that whisper will follow them throughout their lives until they grow old and return home.

New Citizens of Heaven,

Welcome home.

G||D 8|10|2015  © 2015

RARE BREED – by G. D. Grace

I want to talk about the trying days that scrape that last tender nerve — the precarious dangling nerve that has been beaten up, chewed up, crunched up, F’d up, messed up, and racked up by people, places, & things excessively.  I’m talking about an uninvited chaos that reeks havoc on the spiritual, the mental, and the physical state of being.  There’s currently a distress and unrest that are nagging me life fat mosquito’s; relentless and greedy for that last drop of blood. I wish I could tell you I’ve got it all under control, but my emotions are all over the place right now.

I am far from perfect.  I know this.  I damn sure don’t know the answers to everything, nor do I make the best decisions all of the times — hell, some of the decisions I make are downright foolish, but I embrace the fact that I am a grateful and capable work in progress. It took me a minute to get here, but damn, I’m here — here in this serene existence that I discovered after letting go of that rotten wretched life that nearly destroyed me.

With very little spiritual hope left in my soul, I let all ten fingers go and allowed myself to fall and hit rock bottom.  There weren’t any distractions rock bottom.  Nearly every material thing that I once valued was gone, and I welcomed the new emptiness with slummed shoulders and weepy eyes. I found hope in surrender. My life, my car, my job, my health insurance, and about three bag loads of old clothing are all I had to my name. They turned out to be the only bricks I needed to start rebuilding my life.

It took two years to regain and surpass where I was spiritually at my best back then.  Each day I stay true to the formula that helped me attain a new found peace. Even on the days I am lazy, I still stick to that formula.  I fellowship and read The Big Book.  I have even started to work with others seeking to live a better life free from active addiction….

But what about the lingering remnants of stressors from the past — the ones that remained unchanged — the worries and troubles attached to the remaining people who are still part of my life? The good people I love and want in my life? The ones creating their own private miseries; who are unmotivated to change, unwilling to do the deep soul searching required to shift lanes from the mundane unfulfilled life?

I struggle making sense of how I am supposed to stay engaged with these people I love so much, when they shun logical suggestions and dismiss any ideas of participating in  support groups or getting individual counseling to get to the root of what troubles them.  It is not much of a battle anymore; keeping my distance from them, but I still feel somewhat guilty about choosing to live a better life and continuing to grow.

My very first real sponsor passed away this past week, and I am gearing up to attend the services which are truly a celebration of his life.  I miss him already.  He had many years of sobriety, and was like the pied piper of recovery.  He helped hundreds of people obtain and maintain sobriety. He told me from the very beginning “your best days are still ahead of you,” and I believe him.  I just wish he was still going to be here with me to help celebrate sobriety.

Men like him are a rare breed.  If I can be even a 1/4 of the man he was in life, then I know my living will not be in vain.

PEACE BE STILL – by G. D. Grace

I consider my ascent from hell into the supreme light to be a divine intervention. Freedom from years of incompressible demoralization continues to be quite the liberating experience. Today my life reflects the peace I have found — the peace I nurture, embellish, and cherish without cease.  God answered my prayers and did for me what I couldn’t seem to do for myself. God saved me. When I stepped from the shadows of spiritual bankruptcy, I emerged as an obedient student — a student ready to listen instead of speaking — a blank slate prepared to be molded, reshaped, and reborn.

After years of trying to do it my own way, I decided to surrender and not only change my behaviors, but also change my thinking.  A self-centered egotistical spirit had taken up shop inside of my brain, and it had gotten real comfortable and stubborn over time.  Even when I saw my physical and mental state deteriorating, I had no power over the darkness that  had overtaken my life.  It was an insane existence filled with risky activities that could have resulted in a stroke, a heart attack, or an HIV Positive status. I could have even been murdered by the random stranger I picked up in the wee hours of the morning when I should have been sleep. But none of those possibilities were enough to deter me from absolute spiritual annihilation. As my friend Michael Charles Givens wrote, I was a “Dopeless Hopefiend.”

By the Grace of God, I saw redemption from the reckless way of living that had consumed the beautiful being I have always been.  I had had enough!  When you’ve had enough you do whatever it takes to remove yourself from slippery slopes and shady people.  Without blinking an eye I severed ties and cut off all contact with the crowd I ran with.  You see, there was no longer a place for them in my life.  They weren’t invited to accompany me where I was going. They were part of my past, not my future. I harbor no bitterness, nor hatred towards any of them, because I’m too busy embracing the new life and the new friends I have been given.

I am living proof that inner peace can be restored. The blessing each day is in following a simple program that others before me have followed — others like me who have gone through what I have gone through, and perhaps even worse. It isn’t rocket science this new plan I follow now; it requires surrender though — surrender and brutal honesty.  None of us are the horrors or adversities we have gone through. Our trials and tribulations can be catalysts used to grow us in new directions — towards being productive and inspiring spirits for others.  You see, that’s how we keep what we have, by sharing it and giving it away — giving it away to others who are ready for change.

This beautiful life I live today is a gift, a blessing, and incredible.

PEACE BE STILL

G||D

8/5/2015

“Come Home” The Final Flight of Milton

It’s hard to accept the fact that you’re gone. There’s a selfish part of me that wishes I had just one last moment to talk to you. Our brief meeting at that San Jose, Ca. coffee shop on the afternoon of Friday 7/24/2015 wouldn’t be the final time, because that occurred the following morning when I met with you to receive the 2 year gift you had for me. I wasted no time in grabbing that opportunity to take a selfie of us — something I wanted to do the day before, but had forgotten.  Fate was kind in that sense, for I did get a chance to snap a picture of the two of us smiling.

I “cleaned up good” is what you said as you scanned my freshly washed car with your powerful two eyes.  You were encouraging even then as you braced yourself for the surgery that was aimed at saving your life.  You asked for prayer when prayer was automatic.  Everyone near and far whose lives you touched were praying, hoping for the best outcome, but alas, it was not meant to be.

Only you heard God’s call for you to come home.  It was a divine command just for you — only intended for your ears to hear, and you responded by letting go.  “I’m at peace,” were among those final words you uttered to me during that Friday afternoon, and if you were at peace, then how could any of us not be at peace?

We will miss you though, and will forever love you.

G||D

8/4/2015

FREE – by G. D. Grace

I don’t think too much about the old life anymore.  In two short years the faces of the once familiar circle I hung with are fading, and even memory of their voices are now faint echos.  I won’t even pretend to be dumbfounded about the choices I made and the crowd I chose to hang with for many years too long, because all of the decisions I made were my own.  I own it as not to be deemed victim — I was never a victim, I was a willing participant.

A lack of self-confidence led me on a reckless quest to be a part of something with anyone anywhere, and it cost me precious years that I will never get back.  If I could go back in time and sit 7 year old me on my knee, I would have a deep heart to heart discussion with him about being okay with being himself.  I’d give him insight about where the emptiness and a lack of self worth will lead him — tell him to avoid slippery slopes and shady places — tell him to avoid experimenting with anything that takes him out of his head.

Yeah, If I could go back in time I would do it quicker than the bat of an eye.  When we’re young we are so impressionable.  Let’s face it, there is no book of foresight given to us that allows us to see into our own futures. Perhaps if there was we wouldn’t make as many foolish mistakes as we do along the road towards adulthood.  In all honesty, that old overused cliche’ us growing wiser as we grow older — ummmm….  not true in every case, but in my case I can honestly say, blessed be.

I AM FREE

G|D 2015

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