Archive for the ‘The Journey Continues’ Category


I have now finished college and am working as counselor for people with chemical dependency issues. My many years of personal recovery, my education, and now my new professional experiences have highlighted one important thing: people need a sense of belonging more than anything. Abraham Maslow listed this need as basic; only to be exceeded by basic physiological needs. However, I am a person and have known others who need love more than food, clothing, or shelter. I personally believe that the lack of a sense of belonging is what differentiates those who can access personal power and those who are literally powerless.

My education helped me to understand that 12-step programs are as important as I had believed; but not for the reasons I had believed. In 12-step programs, a legalistic movement has put great emphasis on following directions and working the steps. Teaching others to change their thinking and to practice new behaviors is very important, but not as important as loving the newcomer until they can love themselves. It is love that motivates and inspires the powerless to believe that they can change. In “Notes to Myself,” Hugh Prather said, “It’s not that we fear the place of darkness, but that we don’t think we are worth the effort to find the place of light.” I know in my heart of hearts that this is the truth. Our primary responsibility to others is to affirm to them that they are worth the effort.

It has now been 27 years since I began this journey. I am a person who was paralyzed with fear, self-loathing, and an utter sense of hopelessness. It took a miraculous intervention by God Himself to lead me to the place where I would find my sense of belonging: A.A. I did not keep going back because a taskmaster sponsor told me so or because I was following the rules. I went back because the people there loved me and tolerated me, even though I was unlovable and intolerable: and I hope to always be motivated to return the favor.  

I still believe that Jesus is the reason that grace is available to us on this earth, but I do not believe that anyone needs to believe a certain doctrine to receive His help. My experience has convinced me that when anyone, anywhere, cries out to the very notion of a Higher Power, the Spirit of the Risen Christ comes to save; not to condemn. I have not forgotten my first Love or the very first words that He said to me, “You are loved. It is not too late to change the path you are on, but you must turn and go the other way. But do not be afraid for I am with you always; even until the end of time.” His promise has been true; and this promise is true for all who need to belong before they can believe.

September, 2012

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“Your children are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.” – Kahlil Gibran

I am coming to acceptance that my role of parent is at its end. I will always be a mother, but it is not my job to guide and instruct my children; unless they ask.

I have had difficulty letting go because the parenting of my youngest child was interrupted by addiction and tragedy. I have felt incomplete because I was not able to finish what I started with the many lessons I had hoped to share. However, today God showed me that the lessons indeed continue, but they are not the lessons that I am to teach my daughter. They are the lessons that God is teaching me.

Today I was in tears because of fears for my daughter’s well-being. Then God reminded me that He is ever-present with all of us; continually working on behalf of our highest good. He also reminded me of my own mother’s tears when I was struggling through the early pains of growing up. Every situation I have experienced has contributed to the person that I am today; and all of the experiences of my children are seeds to their future authenticity.

God reminded me, as He has done so many times before, that my pain is the response to my limited perspective; to my clinging to the appearances of this world as if they are reality. He reminded me that all love is eternal and that nothing can separate me from His love for me; or my love for my children. Where I see shadows and light, God sees a colorful mosaic of eternal life and love.

So, yet again, I lay my children at Your feet and surrender my illusions of control. I trust You, Lord, to continue to remove the scales from my eyes; that all I may see is You.

The Journey Continues

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Today God showed me that a large part of my separation anxiety with my daughter stems from not experiencing the normal rites of passage that prepare us for the departure of our children into adulthood: getting a driver’s license, learning how to keep a small job, finishing High School, etc. These are the things that I stressed to her that were important, but maybe they were really just important to me; for me to feel safe about her being out in the world without me.

One more time I catch myself playing God; without even knowing it.

God has definitely showed me that I must find my security in Him because my children have had frightening and painful experiences that I could not protect them from; from losing their new Kate Spade wallet, to having their hearts broken, to having a friend commit suicide, to getting shot in the head and dumped on a dead-end road in the dark of night.

God showed me that their experiences are not my experiences: that to assume that I am the guardian of their lives is a discourtesy to them as they find their way in this world with God’s help; just as I found my way.

So, I guess for the first time really, I offer my adult children to You, Lord. I release them that my hands may become empty; that I may hold Your hand.  I am reminded by Your unfailing love that for me to continue to be made whole and real, I will be tattered and torn by the most precious love I have for these girls who have become women; made possible only because You first loved me.

Into Your hands I commit our spirits. Fly away, little birds…..

Namaste and Amen


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