I am certain if you have more than 2 minutes of sobriety and have gone to at least five meetings you have heard the wise sages state the secret
to sanity is staying in the moment? Sure .. if all of the bills are paid, the kids are ok your marriage is perfect and your boss treats you like a human it is easy right?
If one is hanging on to sobriety a second at a time the phrase "One day at a time" can be a bit overwhelming to say the least. I would like to offer a complication of the time continuum thing though, at least from the experience of a 24 year old.
I am one of the lucky ones that was relieved of my compulsion at the very beginning.B F D you say or possibly good for you? But.. well...the truth is I wasn't. I just thought I was. Looking back on it I swapped the compulsion to drink for crisis or if you will simple denial. The crisis thing is discussed in our text for living in the first chapter (The 12 X 12). It was one crisis after another in the first year. I read prayed, spoke with my sponsor, went to meetings, did the steps, you name it, I did it. The good thing is I did not drink. And, I did not know I wanted to drink.
My head was always in the past or the future and I was a nut case. (Still can be) My Sponsor had a simple and direct way of pulling me into this time continuum though. In the middle of my meltdowns about how awful life was she would say something like...
"STOP!! BE QUIET! Look around you... right at this very moment what is wrong?
What are you doing right now? " startled by her shouting I would look around answering
"Nothing" and "sitting talking with you"
She would sit back and everytime I tryed to speak she would shush me and tell me to just look around at the objects in the room, and sometimes she would ask me to find the guy with the gun in the room that was scaring me so much...
"There isn't a guy with a gun .
"What the hell are you talking about?" I would ask questioning her sanity
"Then what is there to be so afraid of at this very second?" she would reply with that smug little grin of hers.
fast forward 23 years....
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Nine months ago our family adopted 2 feral kittens that for all intense purposes were almost dead when we rescued them. The first, Sabie, a little tom cat came to us with pneumonia,starving, dehydrated and not weaned. I brought him home as a favor to a coworker/friend who found him, (much to her surprise) as I am a bonified cat hater. REALLY! My 17 year old daughter and I took turns in that fatefull 4 days feeding him with an eyedropper and holding him close to our hearts to keep him warm. At the end of 4 days I gave in and said yes we could keep him.Warning!(If you want to continue hatred, DON'T hold something close to your heart.)
Something very odd happened on that day I surrendered to sabie. MY Husband grabbed him and proclaimed the cat was his and promptly took over feeding. Up until this time all Harlan did was gripe about another animal in the house.
To make a long story short three weeks later I came home with his sister LIZ. Although she was not quite as ill as Sabie was she too was on deaths door. She was to be for a friend that expressed interest, then chickened out. I must say I am not sad and have since thanked him for "Passing" on the kitten.
On DEC 30th 2008 (I remember this as clear as if it were 10 minutes ago) Rachel, Harlan, Phoebe our golder retriever, Sabie, my self and Liz were all seated on the kitchen floor. The three pets were playing ball with us and the room sparkled with laughter. I thought my heart would explode with the joy and love within the moment. I fell in love all over again with my big gruff husband who was in love with a tiny kitten. My teenage daughter and I had common ground once again and the old retriever had new purpose in life and she danced like a puppy forgetting her painful hips. I literally was looking down upon the scene as if watching TV and the moment was brilliant with love.
Warning!(If you want to continue hatred, DON'T hold something close to your heart.)
That is all it was.... 30 seconds maybe a moment.... and the emotion of it all has carried me through a few sad moments in the last 9 months. 30 seconds maybe a moment.... but so powerful I can change a bad day into a good one just by reflecting upon the emotion of the moment. The memory was saturated with love in which time is endless.
It has occurred to me that a memory is more like a snapshot, a photo that then might move into a video like scenario in my head. If I am sad all I need is the snapshot of that second of joy. It is only this moment that is important as it creates the future. My actions / choices in this moment and or today create my tomorrow. If I am focusing upon something other than the now, than I will miss tomorrow as well or worse something will hit me from left field.
A Car crash=10-20 seconds but my memory of the experience felt like an hour as I watched the bumper of the car come down on the windshield like a torpedo, after bouncing I watched it in slow motion sail down the highway half a block thanking GOD it did not hurt my daughter who was seated next to me.
When I am in the moment time becomes multidimensional and the weird thing is my memories are similar to dreams I always see myself from above or the I; becomes the observer. So in a sense there are two of me when I am in the moment there is she who is having the experience and the observer.
In this complicated world that insists upon multi-tasking human doings; the fine art of "Being in the moment" is becoming more and more difficult. Life was becoming a blur before I was laid off in 2009. I truly have months that I can not remember as I was a HUMAN-DOING not being. In my need for property and prestige I forgot how to meditate and my prayers more often than not became a wish list. Being in the here and now
is a discipline and if I do not work the steps every day which includes the 11th then little by little I slip out of the spiritual realm. (In heaven as it is on Earth). HEAVEN is right here! right now!
The 11th step doesn't have to be difficult. By stopping at intervals during my day and turning off or down all electronics and looking around me, giving thanks for all that is in my perifial vision and blessing that which might offend or hurt me, I am acknowledging the NOW and creating a memory. The big book doesn't give exact amounts of time or how many time's one is to practice the 11th step, It does say that "WE PAUSE".
While in the fog of grief after my mothers suicide I was gifted with a morning that was to change my life forever. I live in a wetland area that is saturated with a multitude of birds. From bald Eagles to humming birds and one dawn, with a chickadee as the conductor, they all came out to sing just for me. One by one they took their turns in a solo performance and just when I thought it was over they burst into song together in exquisite rhythm
and harmony, then one by one ending until the chickadee who began the concert was the only one standing.Then all went off to bird things. I was in the moment without expectation of what a beautiful morning was to look or sound like. When I give Pause today I look for birds.
Unless we are in the moment we can not have memories, nor can we dream as that is a gift of
a safe environment . At my age I know for a fact that we are truly a product of our past and our dreams but we can have neither or a quality of the the former without being in the moment. because our memories are snapshots of moments or memory bubbles if you will. and isn't that what life is a moment after a moment after a memory after moment?
In my search to find GOD? well, If you believe as I do that GOD is love then it is inperitive for me to be in the here and now because that is precicly where GOD / H.P. reside. In the place where there is no time and that place is NOW.
Peace be with you,