The trees outside my window are awash with the early morning sunlight. It gives them an appearance of being bathed in gold, the morning sunshine is so fresh, so glorious on the foliage across from my window outside this glorious morning. It is one more perfectly good morning God has given to me, personally, for my own personal pleasure, given to me by the Holy One, the Great Spirit, personally, because I continue to remain faithful to His request that I avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and avoid smoking tobacco cigarettes. I’m acutely aware of the interactive nature of this glorious reality between the Holy One and myself. It is His prerequisite to my continuous blessing.
I know how my alcoholic intake had become so obsessive-compulsive that the only way for the Holy One to give me anymore days to live in this world, He had to take those addictions away from me, for the Glory of His Own Holiness. It is a perfectly reasonable request, for Him to ask of me. It contains a righteousness within it, which few things contain so naturally. I don’t even crave tobacco cigarettes any longer, for the same reason I don’t crave alcohol. I had become excessively obsessive-compulsive about them, too. Those substances had come between me and the Lord my God.
The liberating effects of avoiding such substances has been as glorious as the golden sunshine on the early morning woods has, on this wonderful morning, where I find the glory of the Lord, right before my very eyes. The Lord my God has given me a clarity of thought and expression which is seldom available to me until the end of my day, in the late evening. Now, it’s available to me first thing in the morning. The avoidance of such substances is incredibly liberating for me. Of this liberating effect, I am acutely aware. As long as I worshiped alcohol and cigarettes, I was not free to worship the Holy One. With my writing being so liberated by the Holy One, I can write easily and fluently.
Now that I’m writing His praises, and marveling at the fact that He keeps giving me things to write about, on a daily basis, I feel an ongoing reverence to His Glory, which I could never understand when I was practicing the addictions I once called my own. To be free of addictions has been one of the most glorious privileges of my lifetime. I have not been able to comprehend the Glory of the Lord, throughout so much of my lifetime, as the result of feverishly practicing obsessive-compulsive addictions to substances that were killing my body, which is my Temple of God, and destroying my Spirit. Being able to avoid such substances has become a liberating experience for me.
I’ve just now practiced a privilege, which I almost think has almost become like a duty, the way the staff of this place has elevated the practice of this one thing in their enforcement of it’s attendance. I’ve reported to the dining room, and have taken my daily breakfast, which I was never able to enjoy, prior to my success against the various substances with which I battled for so long in my lifetime. The privilege of living in a retirement community is a wonderful privilege for me to be free to enjoy. Living here is as wonderful as visiting mother and auntie was, at the retirement community where they lived, while they were still alive. Having this privilege has been one of the joys of my lifetime.
I have been able, while mother lay on her deathbed, to set her free, to go on her own way to the next world, by reassuring her that I had not achieved a full 25 years of uninterrupted sobriety, only to have to forfeit my unrelenting abstinence under any sort of extreme adversities. In fact, the Lord took me at my word, and gave me a series of adversities to try me at my word, and I have, in fact, remained true to my commitment of total, uninterrupted sobriety and complete, unrelenting abstinence from an entire litany of substances. I’ve even added abstinence from cigarettes to the list of things I now avoid, along with caffeine, and have remained unrelentingly faithful to the promises I made to my mother and the Lord, and His wishes, throughout the entire set of trials and tribulations, not the least of which has been a long list of losses I’ve been required to endure in my life, ever since mother has passed on.
It’s all been a joy to me, ever since making such a bold promise to my mother, on her deathbed, to demonstrate my faithfulness, to her watchful spirit, since she’s been gone from this world. I lovingly reasoned with her debilitated, dying presence, that her faithfulness has been such a wonderful standard for my conduct, for my entire lifetime, that her faithfulness to be steadfast in the performance of her various commitments, has become a standard for me to aspire to, in my daily walk with the Great One.
I know no greater privilege, than to practice my faithfulness to my sacred commitments of abstinence, on an ongoing basis, ever since long before the passing of my wonderful mother, or my wonderful aunt. Mother passed in 2008, and auntie passed in 2010. These have been significant losses to me. This commitment I’ve made to my dying mother has never been a burden to me, in the entire thirty years of time I’ve managed to practice it all, and since well before her passing. In fact, my abstinence from an increasing number of substances has become the joy of my life to take on.
I believe that spending the better part of a couple of brief hours, pledging my unflagging commitment of being faithful to her standard of faithful conduct, as my mother lay dying, has been the one thing, besides verbalizing every thought that has come to my mind since then, that has been the major factor in receiving the return of my mental health. These practices were begun a long time ago, when I began walking an hour each way, to get to meetings of the program and back home again. I have not relented in my abstinence, ever since I first put that beer down, in those sweltering woods, in August of 1983. Mother and auntie have looked on with gratitude, as I’ve done, ever since.
The idea that I could conquer cigarettes and caffeine as well, has been a revelation to me, ever since I’ve added those substances to my lengthening list of mechanisms to contribute to my health and well being. My doctor has recommended that I give up caffeine, because of my liver dysfunction, and I’ve gotten so I don’t even miss any of these many substances, which I now avoid in my intake of beverages, since I’ve been practicing this great number of novel behaviors. All of this has become a labor of love to me, ever since the couple of hours I labored at saying goodbye to my dying mother.
Of course, my sobriety and abstinence from all mind-altering chemicals has been going on ever since 1983, and my mother has been mostly alive and well, until she finally fell and broke her hip in January of 2008, from which she never recovered. But my mother was a great power of example to me, to be the standard of steadfast faith and courage for me to aspire to in life, since October of 2008, when she finally passed on, at the dear elderly age of 90, I’ve been unwaveringly inspired to emulate her ways of being faithful, to the extent that I’ve survived and thrived through significant challenges ever since she passed on.