Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Red Red Rose

This Don Juan rose might be my favorite. But every rose is my favorite when it is in full bloom. I don't know how I came to love roses so much. I hated them when I was younger.

My mother died when I was 19 years old. For years after her death, the sight and smell of roses reminded me of her funeral. To me, they looked like death - especially red roses. I thought that the thorns were proof positive that God did not want us to pick these things. Some time after I got sober, when I was well into my 30s, I came to love the fragrance of roses. Then I came to love the beauty of them. Then I came to love to grow them.

I am so grateful for the willingness to change. I believe that it is a requirement if I want to stay sober.

I cannot hang onto resentment and hatred and live peacefully. I don't believe I can stay sober for long in a non-peaceful way. I have had periods of time when my life was utter chaos. I had a terrible marriage in sobriety. The man stole my money. He beat me up. He broke some of my bones. I was angry. I was hurt. It was terrible.

If I wanted to hang onto that "justifiable" anger, I probably would have lost my life by now. I certainly would have lost my sobriety. I don't believe I have the power to let go of these things myself, but with the help of God, a sponsor, and the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, everything changes. My heart changed.

What a wonderful thing it is to have my life be full of love today instead. If my heart was full of hatred, there would be no room for love. Today I spoke with a sponsee who is hurting. What a blessing it is to be able to be an ear for her. What a super blessing it is to be able to offer some specific suggestions - for how to get rid of some of the pain.

I really never forget where I came from. Never.

It makes those roses smell that much sweeter.


dAAve said...

Just this evening, I had to point out to a sponsee the consequences of holding onto a resentment. Something that happened many years ago.
We talked and talked and I hope I showed that person the importance of just letting go.
It makes life soooooooooo much easier.

Rose is the only Golden Girl remaining.

Syd said...

It is good to not forget the past or where we came from. But I also can put it to rest with God. I am struggling to do that right now because I am angry that a long time friend in sobriety who helped so many quit believing in God and in herself. I wish that I could have absorbed her pain but couldn't.

Guinevere said...

What a coincidence. I never loved roses as a kid, but I enjoy growing them now. My favorites are my Queen Elizabeth climber (which bloomed heavily this year); and my Fragrant Cloud and Mr. Lincoln tea roses. ... Your blossom is beautiful...

Last night I talked with my husband about a resentment he is holding. I realized how simple things have gotten for me recently: I do not do resentment. One of my favorite lines from the big book is "We must, or it kills us." Meaning, we must get rid of resentment... I've been instructed to "give it to God." I have lots of different ways of saying this to God... All of them basically involve me saying, "I don't do resentment anymore. It's your job. So, please, do I can do your work, take the resentment away." Sometimes I add a choice word or two in there but I try to keep it humble...

But I'm in early sobriety. I have a lot to learn. --G

Zanejabbers said...

Hi MC, just doing one of my rare blog surfings. The rose is my favorite flower. I can never see too many of them just as I can never see too many sober alcoholics.