All To Thee I Surrender All

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Hi Everyone, 

I am catching up again, because of physical issues it’s been hard to stay up to date. 

Life is often a mixed bag. One is never without struggles and they are also never without many things to be grateful for, at least in my life this is true. 

I am learning to be more of service as a chairman or facilitator of meetings and answering the call when someone asks for help. Maybe it’s just listening to others and getting out of my own head for a while. 

I am having to ask for help from others today and that’s very humbling. 

Things that have always been true but refreshers are always needed are: 

I realize tonight for me, that alcohol and anger really are one in the same for me. Neither serve me very well. I am tired, the anger has worn me down. 

  • We can’t lie and recover. 
  • We can’t hold onto anger and recover. 
  • It doesn’t matter what was done to you. What matters is what you are doing to others and if you are taking responsibility today. 
  • I am willing to be alone today rather than have someone take my joy and peace. 
  • I don’t have the right to judge you today. 
  • We all have choices choose them wisely. 
  • Our greatest message is how we live and not what we say. 
  • Just because we disagree doesn’t mean we can’t come to an understanding. 
  • Tomorrow is not promised to any of us. 
  • What we sow is what we will reap. 
  •  People will fail me at some point and I will them too. That’s a promise. No one’s perfect. 
  •  It’s okay to let go I don’t have to try to control everything. It’s not my job. 

I think back to the church hymns while growing up and I was very young, about 10 years old.  “All to Thee My Blessed Savior, I surrender all. I surrender all, I surrender all!” The minister would ask in the middle of that hymn do you really, people? Do you surrender all? 

Each of us have that same question to answer for ourselves and how we choose, will determine the rest. 

Not only do my decisions affect me today. They affect others as well. Especially, those around me. I am not my own person today. I am a part of a we thing. 

  • I am grateful for help today. 
  • I am grateful for the truth. 
  • I am grateful to be able to surrender. 
  • I am grateful for the opportunity to listen to others today. 
  • I am grateful I can choose today. 
  • I am grateful for the care and the transparency of others. It teaches me to do the same, to the best of my ability. 
  • I am grateful I picked 4pm, it will keep me accountable. 
  • I am grateful I don’t have to make excuses today. 
  • I am grateful I get to stay in contact today and stay connected. 

This has been another blog post entry of Boxcar Mike and I thank you for reading! Over and Out! 

God Bless Y’all Everybody! 

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Step Three Relieve Me of The Bondage of Self

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Hi Everybody! 

This is the second part to step three. My will power is useless because I want to try and control situations and people with it. Therefore, it is improperly used and foolishly burned up. 

My dependence has to be up on God. I have not always been able to do this perfectly and I still don’t. It is a lot of zig zags, ups, and downs.  

I don’t have it all together. Maybe I need to realize I have tried to say that I have had it all together; and Iam telling you now that is in error.  

I just have some days that are better than others. I am hoping to be more steady and grow more along this journey.  

To figure out Gods intention for me seems a deep mystery. I do know there is a plan and a solution even when I don’t think so. 

Taken from the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions Book of AA on pages 40 and 41 :  

“In all times of emotional disturbance or indecision, we can pause, ask for quiet, and in the stillness simply say: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Thy Will, not mine, be done.” 

I have often said it without the thought of thy will not mine be done. This at first may have been because it was it was shorter. Now I know a lot of times instead I was forcing my own will and not allowing God to be God. 

Today I know I really do want to rightly relate myself to God. I did at first in recovery is the group as God. That worked for a while but then I let go to dependence on one or two people and I became unhealthy. 

When those failed, I realized I had a deeper need and sometimes today it is still hard but I am trying to let God be God to the best of my ability. 

If you are anything like me you get in your own way a lot.  

Heck, sometimes I have even blocked help that was readily available but my heart and attitude was not always right, to receive that help. 

The biggest reveal to me in this journey is that I have often put myself in sticky situations. It has been hard to accept responsibility for the mess I have created; at times I still want to blame others or situations. 

I really want to mean this today each time I read or say this other simple prayer known as Third Step Prayer:  

God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of Life.” 

  • I am grateful that I have prayers to rely upon 
  • I am grateful for strength, when I feel weak. 
  • I am grateful for rides to the gatherings around the tables. 
  • I am grateful to be included today. 
  • I am grateful I don’t have to stay bitter. 
  • I am grateful for prayers of others. 
  • I am grateful I have people who love and care about me. 
  • I am grateful life doesn’t have to be as hard as I make it out to be sometimes. 
  • I am grateful someone can point the way for me to get out of my own way. 
  • I am grateful for the stillness I can ask for when I remember to and the peace that affords. 

Thanks for reading! 

This has been another blog post entry by Boxcar Mike Over and Out! 

God Bless Y’all Everybody! 

Step Three Part One Acceptance And Willingness

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Hi Everyone! 

Today I am sharing on the first part of step three.  

I will preface this with the fact I do not pretend to have all the answers. I can only share my experience, which may seem limited in the scheme of things.  

Let’s bring the steps up to speed in my journey. 

Step One, I had to admit there was a problem at the crux of that the problem is me. Everything else was a symptom. It showed my life as unmanageable. 

Step Two, showed a way out as I came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity. It’s a process. 

Step Three, “made a decision to turn Our will and lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” I personally always add, also as I don’t understand Him. It’s a personal thing in my journey. 

Just as a side note: there is a saying in 12 Step Meetings that meeting makers make it. That is only half true. I hid out in meetings for years not doing the footwork.

I have to really accept a program of action today, and be willing to do whatever is necessary to continue.  

Otherwise, I am dead. 

Step Three begins with acceptance and willingness. I have to accept God and realize I am not Him. It actually began in step two. Step three, just shows a decision being made by following through.  

I have to really be on guard though, as my self-will can slam that door shut and has many times. But willingness once again can reopen the door. 

My self- sufficiency and self-reliance don’t fill the bill. Furst of all self-sufficiency is almost nonexistent for me and self-reliance just means I am trying to act alone as God. 

It doesn’t work because all of that hatred, bitterness, and anger come flooding back in. I don’t even have to drink for this to be true. However, the warning is it will all lead me back to a drink, unless I quit playing God. 

I am my own worst enemy and I get in the way of my own recovery a lot. I am not willing to stay stuck today or pay the price for playing God.

It must mean I am willing to finally, turn my will and my life over to the care of God as we understood Him.  This the only solution that seems palatable to me. 

  • I am grateful for the willingness and acceptance. 
  • I am grateful to not have to do this thing alone. 
  • I am grateful for moments of peace. 
  • I am grateful for gatherings and meetings. 
  • I am grateful I can be of service. 
  • I am grateful for finding strength. 
  • I am grateful for others who care. 
  • I am grateful for the trust of others and that I am learning to trust more than myself. 
  • I am grateful I don’t have to be hospitalized today. 
  • I am grateful for rides from others. 
  • I am grateful I can care for others be there today. 

Thanks for reading! 

This has been another blog post entry by Boxcar Mike Over and Out! 

God Bless Y’all Everybody!  

Step Two Sanity Can Be Restored

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Hi Everybody! 

Part Two of Step Two, is being restored to sanity. It takes starting the root of Step Two to work through all of the rest of the steps in order to rightly relate ourselves to God.

It means clearing out all the junk so the Grace of God can fully enter us.  

I had many times both drunk and dry where the living room furniture was flapped over or someone was seriously hurt due to the anger and rage, I was showing. 

It’s been an insane way to live. What’s even crazier is while one may stay dry this is what is happening in the mind as a person white knuckle it. You’re miserable and the damage is still being done until true recovery begins. 

Recovery can’t begin or at least it couldn’t until I decided who or what I was coming to believe in and being restored couldn’t happen until I rightly relate myself to God. 

As I am picking up these steps and setting right the foundation, this is where I can learn to rightly relate myself to God. I can’t do it alone; however, it does take my own decision alone.  

With the decision in place, I can begin action with direction.  

Sometimes I think it’s easier to call ourselves crazy, but hard to accept we are in fact mentally ill. We have deemed crazy as fun and more of a daredevil inside us as harmless. 

Let’s not be mistaken, our illness has taken us beyond harmless and in put us in some precarious and harmful positions. It’s not just us this has affected. 

Unfortunately, our actions and decisions affected everyone around us. 

Today I know I must change. In order to change means being willing to believe in a power greater than myself (God) can and will restore me to sanity. 

For me personally, I have been signed into many hospitals, a few times willingly and few times not so willingly I have tried many of the medications out there. 

Perhaps now is the time, taking the steps and taking direction means I have a fighting chance to stay sober and grow.  

It’s all about getting honest and cleaning up the junk so that we may find the freedom we crave. This hardly even the beginning its just scratching the surface and part of an outline.  

This decision finally starts with a prayer as we begin Step Three. This will be in the next couple of entries I write. I may write more on something else before I write on Step Three. 

I don’t want to promise the very next entry yet. I usually become a liar by making a promise. But Maybe I will I have no idea. Each time I write it really feels like I am directed outside my wants. 

  • I am grateful for Step Two  
  • Iam grateful for a loving God as He may express Himself in and through my life if and when I allow Him to. 
  • I am grateful for the chance to get better each day. 
  • I am grateful for sharing with others and getting to listen to others. 
  • I am grateful for people who tell me the truth today. 
  • I am grateful to get to be of service especially when I have no clue. It keeps my head at the right size. 
  • I am grateful I can ask others for help. 
  • I am grateful I am not a doormat today. I can be assertive. 

This has been another blog post entry by Boxcar Mike Thanks for reading! Over and Out! 

God Bless Y’all Everybody! 

Staying in My Hula Hoop Keeping it Simple

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Good Morning Everybody! 

I am taking time before I move on to the second part of Step Two to talk about keeping it simple. 

Half of our time can be dedicated to stomping out fires or adding fuel to a fire, if we are not careful. I have had enough practice at this to know.  

Man, sometimes that gossip is too juicy to lay down and not repeat. But I am telling you, when I have participated it has only caused me misery. It’s not worth my peace of mind or sanity to participate. 

Several years ago, I was at a gathering in North County of St Louis. I sat around a table with these big truck driving-biker guys. While Iam big myself I felt small compared to them. 

One of them mentioned how someone shared with him all he was responsible for was inside his hula hoop. Oh yes, you can imagine the comments and stares.(doing the hila hoop is a lot harder than you might think.) 

The point being whatever is inside that hula hoop was all he had to worry about. Everything outside the hula hoop was not of his concern. 

Today it works the same for me as it did the man who shared this. I know whatever is inside my hula hoop I am responsible for. Whatever is outside my hula hoops is none of my concern.  

I have to recognize the boundaries I have today. As it is impractical to walk around every day with a physical hula hoop. 

People will try to drag you into arguments and debates that are none of your concern. It’s always a choice to participate or not.

Today, I do know what you think of me or my actions is none of my concern. The only thing that matters is I am keeping my side of the street clean. 

Keeping it simple is best for me today. The other stuff that makes life drag out and a drag just complicates and inflates my ego. I can’t afford that life today.  

It’s not worth it to make my life complicated and it will only block the son light of the spirit to continue on a prideful life. I want so much more for me and something that sustains me.

If I do all the suggestions and work for it, I deserve the simple life as opposed to all the chaos. 

Again, all of it is a choice. I know I will be happier, if I just stay in my hula hoop. What’s your choice going to be? Only you can decide.  It doesn’t have to be complicated today. 

  • I am grateful for a new morning. 
  • I am grateful for a hula hoop. 
  • I am grateful for simplicity. 
  • I am grateful for the big guts that showed me a different way one day. 
  • I am grateful to pass on what was shared with me. 
  • I am grateful I am still teachable in some areas of my life.  
  • I am grateful for help today. 
  • I am grateful calmness 
  • I am grateful I can be of service to others today. 
  • I am grateful for choices today. 

This is Boxcar Mike thanking you for reading! Over and  Out! 

God Bless Y’all Everybody! 

Came To Believe A Power Greater Than

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Hi Everybody! It’s great to be back to share about Step 2 of the 12 Steps. 

Step Two: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.  

A lot of us joke that we should have had sanity first before we could be restored to us. Others of us it hits very close to home. I like to think that it’s a God or a power greater than, that is restoring my whole self and that it would include sanity even if I didn’t have sanity before. 

When I first came to the rooms, I was willing I thought to do anything it meant to stay sober. Sure, I repeated prayers and gave all the answers I thought they wanted to hear.  

I was not really ready for God. I didn’t want to hear about God or the belief thing. The fruit of my soul even proved that. I kept on not being able to stay sober because of it. I didn’t even realize that until now as Iam writing this but that’s the truth. I couldn’t believe that you believed because it was not enough.  

Though I would mouth the words I believed. I was definitely a belligerent one on the inside. As a child I believed God for anything and believed Him on His word.  

This is an important part of the journey. This is where we are making a formation of our journey ahead. It’s important to know what we believe in and what we are coming to believe to restore us to sanity.  

As an adult I was not so ready to believe. I had to stop the lies and lying. Steps One through twelve are all about surrendering to a program of action. This comes by believing in a power greater than myself, I do call God today.  

I first started by mouthing the words and just trying to follow along with the rest of the requirements. It was not enough. I had to come to believe. I was still reeking of alcohol and alcoholism. You see it was a thinking problem too. This is why I needed sanity. I need sanity still today. 

This means stopping the fear too. I still have alcoholic thinking even after 15 years of not drinking. So, when I first got here it was about not being willing to believe. Lip service just leads to another drunk. 

Today it is about doing it piece-meal with my belief. It allows me to grow in a relationship with God. I didn’t have to swallow all of the God concept at once.  

I have more to write on this as well as more reading to do. I will add a part two to the second step. 

This is a good resting place for now. 

  • I am grateful for God the power greater than myself. 
  • I am grateful for the second step and that I can be restored to sanity. 
  • I am grateful I can pause today and think about everything that it took for me to believe and have faith. 
  • I am grateful for prayer and meditation. 
  • I am grateful for friends. 
  • I am grateful to my readers. 
  • I am grateful that I can take the time to trace my anger back to what fear it is Iam having today. 
  • I am grateful for lunch with a friend. 
  • I am grateful for that cup of coffee first thing in ther morning. 
  • I am grateful for laughter. 

Thanks for reading! This is Boxcar Mike with another day of gratitude and sharing on the steps of recovery. Over and Out! 

God Bless Y’all Everybody! 

I am Responsible When Anyone, Anywhere, Reaches Out!

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Hi Everybody, Welcome back! 

Now I last started on step one and what that meant.  

Today in light of a few things you learn really quick how important thew message is to everyone suffering in and out of recovery  

No one knows what each other goes through, though we may have a general idea our walk is as different as are people.

There’s a saying in something similar that whenever anyone, anywhere, reaches out for another hand, I always want that available as well for me and for that Iam responsible 

We all need the message of hope and it is my responsibility to carry that to others. Today I know I I need to hear others to get out of my own head. That is part of doing the deal. However, it’s just part of the deal. 

As I mentioned the steps before you see we have to do the steps and practice them in our lives so that we might live out our recovery.

Then we truly have the whole message; if we have cleaned our side of the street and saw to it, that our own house is in order. 

Nothing is as effective as working with another person, to keep away from the first drink. It also means we can let go of our selfish thoughts and humble ourselves to listen to another person. It gets us out of our own heads. 

The time we take to listen may mean the difference between life and death. There’s nothing wrong with inconveniencing ourselves and putting on several pot of coffee, to listen to someone else until the wee hours of the morning. 

Countless others have done it for me. There is no reason why I cannot do it for others. 

It is like we are on The Titanic, if we don’t take the time to help our brothers and sisters along this journey. We will all drown if we don’t take the hand of one reaching out for help.

For if we stop accepting another’s hand, what’s to stop another from stopping. Soon we will have no one listening to anyone and then recovery stops. 

We all at some point or other need to be heard and we all need to be listening to another. It’s one of the gifts and miracles of the program. We cannot afford to rest. 

It’s part of our daily insurance and helps us with our daily reprieve. That is only contingent on our spiritual condition. 

I know what it is to be left alone and I know what it is to leave someone alone. I never want either to be repeated in my life time. Therefore, I am responsible today when anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help. 

Please come back tomorrow as I explain what I have learned in Step 2 of the 12 Steps. In conclusion is my Daily Gratitude List: 

  • I am grateful that others listen to me.  
  • I am grateful I can listen to others and get out of my own head. 
  • I am grateful that just for today I have another reprieve and that Iam not alone. 
  • I am grateful for the ability to learn along this journey and that I don’t have to have all of the answers. 
  • I am grateful that in letting go I can find joy today. 
  • I am grateful that I can take responsibility just for today. 
  • I am grateful I don’t have to fake it until I make it today.  
  • I am grateful I made the choice to continue changing my story and I don’t have to be ashamed of that. 
  • I am grateful for the unconditional love of God as I understand Him and don’t understand Him today. 

This has been another blog post entry of BoxCar Mike! Thanks for reading! Over and Out! 

God Bless Y’all Everybody