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G. D. Grace of California

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

In Memory Of – by G. D. Grace (2015 Reflection)

2015

Gratitude encompasses so many things these days — these days post active substance abuse.  This year has been a year of continued growth, sobriety, and loss.  Loss is never easy — especially when you have loved the heart, mind, body, and soul of a person.

Three of my good friends passed on this year — passed on and over to the hereafter.  First there was Robert Devell Bassett who was killed in a tragic auto accident on a Northern California Highway earlier this year.  It was a shock because it was nearing the time for both of us to come together and catch up.  The later years of our friendship were spent apart as we both grew on our own individual spiritual paths.  Thank God for the earlier years — the years we spent together as creative friends.  We were inseparable.

Next was Kulaea Tavake.  We were co-workers at IKEA of East Palo Alto.  She was a bright light in the IKEA Family — always helpful, always on it, and always loved. She was funny, caring, and loving. A wife, and the mother of 3 beautiful children.  During my 2 year stay she and our IKEA family achieved a first for that store — we achieved a profit.  It was because we all loved one another, worked hard, and made it happen for the customer.  The work was physical, but what made it fun was people like Kulaea. She organized my goodbye party, and it was a night I’ll never forget.  There were folks lined up wall to wall.  She lost her battle to cancer earlier this year, and it was truly a blow to all of us who loved her. She will forever live in our hearts.

Lastly, Richmond Milton Brock; my friend, my sponsor, the man who took me under his wings during early sobriety and took me through the 12 steps.  Days after my 2 year sobriety anniversary during 2015, he went in to surgery and never came out.  Before he left he gave me a 2 year medallion, and I remember just as plain as day visiting him at his real estate business.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, he was preparing for the worst post surgery.  He had pictures lined up around the table — pictures of family, friends, and of himself on fishing trips, as well as, at a host of other events.  The slide-show at his memorial service is when it hit me — he knew he wasn’t going to make it, and had made peace with it.  To be allowed those last few minutes with him days before he passed on is something that I will never forget.  He was a lion among men, and a life force that continues to inspire me.

I AM grateful for their lives

I AM one who will always miss them

I AM better for having known them

 

CHECK IN – by g. d. grace

6913-beautiful-mountain-viewsCHECK IN

Where I am is where I have striven to be.  I arrive home at a reasonable hour and have adjusted to clean living and the sudden bursts of inner-peace.  I may watch a television show or two, indulging in my love for cinema, entertainment, and art.  Between OWN Network, BET, FOX, Centric, TV ONE, HBO, and STRZ, I have a wealth of inspirational, dramatic, comedic, and musical shows to appease my vivacious hunger for escapism.

As an artist myself, I have nothing but admiration and respect for others in the field of entertainment.  This past summer — the summer of 2015, I conducted 7 interviews on my Blog Talk Radio show A Touch of Grace.  I had planned on doing more, but life kept showing up and showing out.  I had service obligations to others in the powerful fellowship I am a part of.  I also made time for friends and family, so my off days didn’t really belong totally to me like that had in the past, but I’m gearing up to do more  shows.

This blog entry is really just about checking in with the supportive folks that have followed it since its inception back in 2009.  I cannot believe some 30K + people have dropped by to pay my blog a visit — people who have actually helped give my blog a net worth.  It’s not thousands of dollars yet, but I’m working on it.  I am also trying to pull together my next self-publishing release.  It will be my 6th, and I’m pretty stoked about re-entering the literary world. I’ve many novels in the making — some are more than 1/2 way through, however, I believe this 6th release will be more of a spiritual collection from many of my writings.  We shall see.

My girl, Janet Jackson, is on her “Unbreakable,” tour currently, and is about to drop her new CD in fall 2015.  Now she is a fighter if ever there was one.  Even after the powers that be tried discrediting her after that Superbowl incident, the fans — we, showed our love for her.  It was  a damned boob for Christ’s sake.  Nevertheless, they couldn’t stop the powerful force that she has become, she is truly an ICON.  Love you, Janet.

Oh well, time to wind down.  It has been nonstop since I returned from my vacation.  I even had a bit of a bug riding with me inside of my body and didn’t realize it.  I slept until 11am today — not something I do these days — sleeping so late, but that nasty cough is gone.  THANK GOD.

So, my friends, I am signing off until next time, but I want to leave you with this.  It’s one of my favorite quotes by the late, great, Dr. Maya Angelou;  “When someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them.”

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.

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