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.