Given that summer is upon us, many people turn to gardening. There is actually an amazing phenomenon that occurs when we plant flowers and vegetables. We plant a seed in the ground and give it a little water. If you were to dig up that seed after a few days, you would see that it was actually beginning to deteriorate and rot. Then right before there was total deterioration, a new sprout suddenly appears. Life emerges from something which appeared to be rotting away.
Our lives are sometimes like that little seed. We get covered over with the problems of life to the point that we actually feel like we’ve been buried. While we were active and without the tools of the program, we often did become buried by life. We remained so for years and sometimes decades. When we finally got sober that seed began to sprout. Of course we continued to face many problems. However, now, we came up with solutions to these challenges. In fact it was only because of these trials and tribulations that we were able to create solutions. So many seeds sprouted as a result that our life became a veritable garden.
Personal Reflection: How does your garden grow?
Recently, at a beginner’s meeting a member with 58 days of sobriety was sharing about his day. He was coming home from work on the NYC subway system. When the train pulled into the station, the doors opened, but did not close. He then heard the conductor announcing that the train would be stuck in the station for the next 5 to 10 minutes. After a long day at work, he felt pretty frustrated.
Then he remembered that something like this had happened to him once before. On that occasion, he also had about 58 days. He felt so frustrated and angry back then that he got off the train and immediately went to his drug of choice. He said it was the worst five hours he had ever encountered in his life. With great effort, he came back into the program.
Now, he was sitting on a train with 58 days and the doors of the subway car were wide open. Once again he felt tired and frustrated. This time he stayed put until the doors of the train closed. His day was winding down as he related this story at the meeting.
All of us will face daily challenges. We will feel angry, frustrated and fearful. As long as we don’t get off the train and just wait for the doors to close, we can complete our sober journey.
Personal Reflection: What tools do I use to stay on the train?