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