Footprints

I’ve never been a god person, but recovery has a way of prying up one corner of the brain and wiggling its way in via cliches. First it was coffee and cigarettes. Then it was sugar and running. Now I’m trying on god like a pair of new shoes I’m not at all sure I need.

Except they don’t feel new, really. The god I know feels inviting and comfortable and not vengeful or prissy. If he were a person, he’d eat hot dogs.

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Last night I dreamt I was jogging along a beach, but found I’d gone further than I’d intended. I saw footprints of others who’d kept going and saw paradise in the distance, but worried it was too dangerous. Because this was my dream, afterall, I thought “and anyway, I forgot my camera…I’ll come back another time”.

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In real life, this rock tumbled in like cool rocks occasionally do. The first time I held it in my hand, I saw two footprints. One is shorter and rounder while the other is longer and stronger. Together they make a solid pair.

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The rock is a smooth talisman I can stroke in my palm, the size of a small egg. I worry the roughness of my fingers will scratch it, but every time I hold it up to the light, I see it’s stronger than I realized.

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22 thoughts on “Footprints

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  1. yes, yes….
    omg i laughed at the hotdogs.
    what i love about recover is the ability to create our own god, higher power, whatever. I never believed that for a second when i first started, i knew that eventually I was gonna get the “call to jesus” and it kept me a tight little bundle of anger and fear, even after working the steps (without god, atheist steps). But in working the steps i found some help in “A Buddhist’s Way through the 12 steps” by Kevin Griffin. And then I found yoga and meditation. And then podcasts and meditation and more books and suddenly I am open to the possibility of it all, the possibility that the universe has my best interests at heart (see the personalization?) and that if I stay in the flow (being carried?) that everything will be ok.
    IT’s a sea change, a deep shift that has made my life more content, less angry, more service directed and fuller, less lonely.
    I never wanted it, never thought I needed it, but staying open was the only thing I had to do, and the unfolding has been a delight. No church can hold my “god’…i just look around and look inside and am caught up with it, the sacred flow, the love.

    my favorite recognition of that presence is in namaste…the light in me sees the light in you.

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    1. I’m attempting my way back into meditation, and one of the sentiments I’m most interested in is that idea that the good in you brings out the good in me (and vice versa). Thanks for this comment…great wisdom in here.

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  2. I’ll bet you find those shoes are EXACTLY what you need! Even though I pray every day, several times a day, and I credit Him with my sobriety, I still get a little freaked when there is “God Talk,” even when I’m the one talking. Ridiculous, isn’t it? But what I love about my relationship with Him is that He will meet me where I am at, and like any quality relationship, there is room for growth.

    Next time I see you, will you bring the rock so I can hold it?

    One last thing… LOVE the picture! Did you draw it after your dream?

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    1. I will bring the rock next time I see you! Yes, I drew that picture, though prefer the scribbled first-draft I did shortly after I woke up. (perfectionism! over nonsense!) Glad to know I’m not the only one uncomfortable with god talk, even when I’m doing the talking. Thanks J!

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  3. Um…I’m kind of glad you forgot your camera…I don’t think it’s your time to go to “paradise”.

    Your God likes hotdogs, mine cusses like a sailor. But He’s all mine and we have a great relationship. We talk all the time (okay…I do most of the talking). And just when I think He’s stopped listening, something happens that reminds me I’m not the one in charge and He’s got my back.

    When I became disillusioned with organized religion, I thought I’d never really be close to God. What I found was exactly the opposite. By letting go of dogma and doctrine, I found spirituality. I’m so glad I did.

    Sherry

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    1. haha, I think I was allowed to leave this paradise. Though that’s a bit risky to assume, hmm.

      I like that your God curses. Your writings on the subject helped me redefine sprituality and how I see god. So, you know, thanks.

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  4. I read that first sentence as – I’ve never been a good person — and even though I don’t know you very well, I was pretty sure that wasn’t true. Ha! So I read it again.

    I’ve never been a god person, either. Well, maybe until about the age of eight. Then I started asking hard questions about the Catholic dogma I was being taught. You’d be surprised at how little tolerance Catholic nuns have when an 8 year-old asks them why, if god is so forgiving, would he send babies who died before being baptized to Limbo instead of heaven all because Adam and Eve sinned?

    My dad turned to god big time when he got sober. The whole hell fire and damnation kind of god. My brother recently went through a rehab program on the reservation my mother if from. They have done a lovely job there of melding the 12-step program with native spiritual beliefs. Instead of the tradition serenity prayer they say this:

    Oh, Great Spirit,
    whose voice I hear in the winds
    and whose breath gives life
    to all the world, hear me.
    I am small and weak.
    I need your strength and wisdom.

    Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes
    ever behold the red and purple sunset.
    Make my hands respect the things you have made
    and my ears sharp to hear your voice.

    Make me wise so that I may understand
    the things you have taught my people.
    Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.

    I seek strength, not to be superior to my brother,
    but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.

    Make me always ready to come to you
    with clean hands and straight eyes,
    so when life fades, as the fading sunset,
    my spirit will come to you without shame.

    I really like that. I also really like your rock. It is beautiful, a perfect talisman.

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    1. That’s beautiful, Mary, I love that.

      I obviously talk to my god in song lyrics and rhetoric, K, so I love your hot dog eating god. Makes me think of that song, “what if god was one of us, just a slob like one of us, just a stranger on the bus, trying to make his way home…”

      Beautiful post, C

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      1. So I’m making lunches this morning after reading your comment and thinking “hmm, what is that song I can’t seem to get unstuck from my head??” I have a real affection for that song due to how old I am now and how young I was then. God as a slob. Funny then, funny now.

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    2. Love that prayer mary…beautiful.
      your comment dragged me back to being in 2nd grade, preparing for 1st holy communion and my parents being called in because i was arguing with the nun about how it was possible for a child to commit a sin. that started me on the road to dis-belief, lying in confession, making up stuff wasn’t helpful.
      so much better now…but that turned me off as a child.
      OH, and big irony…at 13 and preparing for confirmation (another lie but i had to do it) we were all asked to make a vow to not drink alcohol (among other things). I sat that one out too. who knew?

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  5. Short and absolutely lovely beautiful post, K. All of that ain’t coincidence, yes? Well, perhaps there is a SCIENTIFIC and VALID reason for everythig….or not. I like the taste of hotdogs on all of this, so I enjoy seeing the Useen in all of this. Some force outside my understanding, perhaps. No need to paint it with three letters. Whatever works. I like The Creator. Infinite Wisdom. Jughead. Whatever works.

    Or nothing…but just enjoying what has always been there for you πŸ™‚

    Loved this.

    Paul

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    1. Even if coincidences are just that, they can still feel really cool to witness. I can savor them and hold them closer if it brings comfort and peace. Why wouldn’t I, you know? I like your comment. Thanks Paul.

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  6. I like your post BB and I appreciate your wanting to develop your spiritual awareness. As you do this might I be so bold as to recommend a book to you? Benjamin Hoff in his book THE TAO OF POOH comments on all things Pooh. It is a gentle book and will make you laugh and feel things you may not have had the need to so far. Pooh bear is really for the grown-ups. I love reading your work because you are genuine and write some things that must be really hard sometimes.can I say thank you. B

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    1. I recall reading Te of Piglet years ago and really enjoying it. I identified more with timid Piglet in those days. I will pick up the Tao of Pooh. Thanks for the recommendation and for your kind words, as always B.

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      1. Over the years I would have given “THE TAO OF POOH” to a number of people. Some get it and others find it amusing. I found it was how I like to think and I now subsequently have a Pooh Bear drawing hanging in easy view to remind me of how to think. THE TEOF PIGLET is also great fun. Enjoy. B

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  7. whew – thanks for the fun laugh – the cartoon really cracked me up! πŸ™‚ and I would just like to chime in here to be very careful of religion – because religious stuff is man-made and it is NOT the same thing as relationship with God – but it sounds like you have it down. But seriously, the traditions and the religious church crowd can lead to much damage (and trauma) and well, it is something you will know in your heart – and you will feel the presence of God.

    When I was 11 years old – something really big happened and I not only saw God do something- but I felt his presence. The religious crowd – which were close family friends and always around – actually KEPT me from God in certain ways, but I knew they were in error – I just did not know “how” until I was older. Anyhow, I also partied hardy – for many years – yet still kept my relationship with God very tight – which would seem wrong to religious people – but God met me where I was at – and well, I could share more but this is getting long as it is.

    so thanks again for the fun comic – :

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