This weekend, I went on my first-ever camping trip. I went with my boyfriend and several friends from his clean & sober motorcycle club. It's very fun to ride with a group of people -- especially people who are also sober and in the program.
The ride was terrific. When you turn your back on today's worries, say a prayer with the group, mount the motorcycle, enter the wind, watch the countryside pass by, see the sights, smell the smells, feel the heat and cold, bear the stinging rain -- you have an experience unrivaled by anything else.
We wear earplugs to drown out the loud engines. And when you can't hear anything or talk to anybody for long stretches of time -- you're forced to navigate your own thoughts. I used to be afraid of that, but now I look forward to these opportunities of quiet introspection, as they are also opportunities to pray and let go.
When I let go, problems and difficulties don't seem so powerful anymore. Yesterday doesn't matter, and tomorrow doesn't matter. It's all about living in the moment and enjoying the moment. And on a motorcycle in a beautiful country on a beautiful day, there's alot to enjoy in the present moment.
Well, not only was the ride beautiful, but so was the campground. There was a rocky stream at the bottom of the hill. I enjoyed the watching the water flow through the rocks. The constant whisper of the water could be heard through the whole camp. It was absolutely beautiful.
Before bedtime, we built a fire and had an AA meeting. The topic was resentment.
The Big Book says on p. 66:
"It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feeling we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.
If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison."
In our meeting, we wrote down our resentments on paper, shared them with the group, then symbolically turned them over to God by tossing the paper into the fire. We ended our "share" by expressing gratitude.
And I have alot to be grateful for.
Overall, this whole trip was a very meaningful experience. For me, it really meant alot to be included in something like this. After all, I'm not a member of this motorcycle club. I'm just somebody's girlfriend. But they didn't just tolerate me, they welcomed me ... and it means alot to be accepted like that.
Today, I'm especially grateful ...
- for being 535 days sober
- having a safe trip
- going camping for the first time (it was fun!)
- having some quality time at the stream to watch, listen, and pray
- being welcome
- for the wonderful guy in my life who invited me in
- for my family and my job
- God, because I don't need to understand Him, since He understands me
And now, I will leave you with the stream I loved to watch at the campground. I could sit there for hours: