Friday, March 25, 2005

The Difference Between

The difference between night and day, long and short, male and female, jail and treatment, mom and dad, stupid and smart, good and evil, acute stage and chronic stage, Christian and Jew, love and hate, up and down, me and you, Sept. 10th and Sept. 11th, life and death could be so thin, it is not visible to the human eye.
For me just the simple difference between right and wrong explains, and everyone has experiences with these two.
To be truly strong, cross over the line of selfish pride. Be humble before you are humbled. Swallow your pride. Make the first move to reconcile a situation, even though your feelings of you being absolutely right are so strong you do not want to back down. This only blocks looking at a difference. Get past the “who is right” and the “who is wrong”. It becomes unimportant when communications seize to exist. What becomes important is returning to being creating equal and allowing life to flow honestly without snags of bickering, or finger pointing, or the I am right ‘so there’ attitude. Self centered pride brings on total blindness to even knowing when to humble ourselves. The arrogant attitude of being prideful hardens our awareness of the need to be truly humble. Once we think or feel we should only apologize or recognize and if that is all we feel we should do…we will overlook actually seeing the need to feel humility, or the need to be truly humble in certain situations or to a certain person. Instead we pride fully just say “I’m sorry” and go about our business. When what we really need to do is show submissive respect for a difference or for a different point of view, or even respect for the opposite of what you think, even if you feel you are right, but humbly admit your are wrong for not respecting or recognizing that maybe there is no right or wrong, just a difference.
Humility comes before honor. With crack cocaine I cannot see how this happens any other way. When we humble ourselves we admit our mistakes. In a spiritual way we humbly ask the Lord, have confession with humility. Lower oneself so the Lord becomes higher.
The difference between crack cocaine and other drugs: Crack-cocaine had entered kindergarten! A horrible example of this is on Feb. 29th, 2000 in Flint , MI; a beautiful 6 year old girl was shot and killed by her 6 year old classmate. The gun was found by this boy between the mattresses in the crack-house he lived in with his mixed up mother and the crack-punk boyfriend. The media kept zeroing in on the gun factor. Like crack cocaine was not the main reason, the gun was. The lie at work again. To say it was not directly from crack cocaine being around in any capacity is, well, it really frosts my ass, (to say it as my dad would say). Hard to believe it did not go past the crack boyfriend just selling… Not crack cocaine?! Just the gun! It is this stupid mentality that keeps the cycle going. Let us look the other way. What way?
All the stories, news and crime associated with crack cocaine are at times very dark. Other times, so unbelievable it makes me cringe when thinking about all the horrible things I did just to smoke crack cocaine. The seriousness of crack cocaine has whittled down to $5.00. This is all it would take to contaminate me again and keep any contamination alive in anyone else’s soul and spirit. That is an awful thought, but a true fact.
The difference between prayer and no prayer is quite clear to me. I have tried both and without does not work in keeping the devil’s candy away. The serenity prayer is so simple yet powerful. My grandmother gave me a plaque with this prayer inscribed on it. This meant a lot to me. Getting this from her made my heart jump. It did not stop the madness but it did plant another seed of hope. I broke the prayer down into sections for myself to read and remember and apply when I could. For those who do not know the prayer or have lost touch with it, this is it:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…
The courage to change the things I can…
And the wisdom to know the difference.
For me some of the things I cannot change carry a lot of pain, hurt and guilt, mostly caused by my past behavior during crack cocaine use. Without a power greater than myself, I feel there is no way of letting go or having acceptance of these burdens. By asking God to grant me, is surrendering to a power and believing it is there and will work. Trusting that by asking, surrendering and believing, serenity will manifest. Without serenity there is no acceptance. If I can change it, it might take massive courage. Change is unknown territory until you get there. Fear can grip you so hard; it will prevent any form of change needed. It takes courage to overcome serious change.
Is this a change that should be done? How do I know? I might not try if I am not sure it is needed or if I can even do this change at all. Wisdom is not inherited. It is a gift from God. If I humbly ask for serenity and courage and mean it, I trust wisdom will be there, and it is.
The difference is today I know where it is coming from, (like a lion in the night to kill me). By understanding, it empowers me to not give in to the pull to smoke crack. It is still a daily spiritual battle. Each day I am at some point humbly reminded of crack cocaine.
The difference between yesterday and today is, I am crack-free today.