Getting real; staying clear

Don’t Touch Her She Will Touch You

The other night I became clear on my need to return to a daily meditation practice. I asked an earnest prayer of support, and set an intention to be up before 6:00 a.m. to meditate. I don’t use an alarm because it freaks me out to wake up to loud noises. The next morning, I was awakened by screaming fire engines responding to a three alarm fire, less than a block from my home. It was just before 6:00 a.m. I stepped outside to water streaming down the street, while smoke and flames billowed from a building. The fire lasted for hours, as did the chaos surrounding the scene. Thank God for firefighters, and I did, because the abandoned building could have set the whole neighborhood on fire.

Needless to say, I forgot to meditate. Later that evening while talking with a friend and describing the fire, we both had to laugh. I had described my state of being as “parched”, and that I knew mediation was the answer. I was feeling dangerously close to burn out, because I had been living too much in the world of my mind, and trying to manage my life. I knew better, because I had experienced better. I had experienced God, and that was my real source of guidance. My mind needed stilling, of that I was certain.

I’ve never really marked my sobriety by time, and that is pretty tough to talk about because most people do in recovery circles. It was just so beautiful to sleep through the night again, to be really healthy and happy, and to be peaceful in the midst of ridiculous uncertainty, that it never occurred to me to track the days. I was after a quality of being, and that had everything to do with my relationship with God.

I didn’t grow up with the notion that one could be intimate with God. There was nothing in my religious training to suggest it either. I’m sure it was my soul breaking through the dross of mental concepts and feelings of unworthiness. Once I established a connection though, it became axiomatic that I would sustain it because in truth, it sustained me.

Several mystical experiences prepared me to experience God within my being, by becoming receptive to the reality. Until I stopped looking for rescue and relief in God, I never really entered a relationship. That relationship began in earnest because I surrendered to God, and remembered the imprint of Grace.

Several years before I recovered, I was in the midst of some really painful life events. My friend had invited me to Mass to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe. Not being Catholic, I was not sure how to behave. I sat on the far left side of the sanctuary, quite a distance from her statue and the multitude of roses that people had laid at her feet. I didn’t smell them then. The people moved through a line to see her, and I was led to the far right portion of the nave, where I waited in line to approach. I bowed my head in silent prayer, and was overwhelmed with a beautiful fragrance. It infused me, and I was now even farther away from the statue. She had my attention. Moving closer, a peace came over me and I had to stop to take in the experience. Looking down, I saw a sign at the base of the statue that said,

Don’t Touch Her She Will Touch You.

Tears streamed down my face and I returned to my pew knowing I had been enveloped by Mary, and I felt that love melt every fiber of resistance in my being. To this day, that is how I would define peace; the melting of resistance in my being.

Even though the obsession to drink has been removed, by the Grace of God, my mind can get me into trouble when I forget to honor that connection with the discipline and daily devotion of meditation. In fact, it is more than a discipline and a devotion. It is a profound gift that clears me and keeps reminding me that I am a part of a much larger reality of being, and that being is more intelligent and more loving than me. Image

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