Monday, March 2, 2009
How I Remember to Let Go...
Years ago, I started a dialog with a friend of mine, TG. TG was many years older than me. He knew what crazy thoughts I had,stayed patient with me, and he knew a little about my history drinking. He shared with me many times for a hours. In reality, things seemed to change so fast, small periods of time actually seemed longer than they were. I decided I wanted change in my life. Perhaps I was not a hard core drunk, but by the 1990's I was feeling crazy enough to need some guidance, and quitting drinking was a good choice. That idea came to me in 1992 at the age of twenty-two.
But, many of my friends, some of them in Al-anon, were talking about wacky psychological stuff. Popular ideas around that time were talks about inner child therapy and codependency. I would be afraid to start my rant about all the other stuff that filtered into my world. But, as time passed, I decided that entertaining multiple models of healing tended to make me feel crazier than saner. I do not think recovery meetings are extensions of “group”. I now am able to look back and realize what I was writing about months ago.
I was discussing people in crisis. People in crisis can fall prey to anyone with enthusiasm, and they do develop quickly the desire to share these ideas with the world. These ideas incubate quickly in the warm, fertile bodies of people in crisis, because it is these people that always describe their experience as “Having an emptiness inside them that needs filling.” So when you pack hundreds of these people into rooms to discuss their problems, their own acquired ideas on healing start to grow and infect others that try to proselyte and infect even more.
It was during such a time that I developed my enthusiasm for multilevel marketing, for inner child work, past-life regression, healing herbs, mystical rocks, Carlos Castaneda books, and the pursuit of time with anyone who seemed more stable and happier than me. I also loved learning about Rational Emotive Therapy, the John Birch Society, and anything else that showed any promise of positive returns. So, I was a man in need of guidance.
But, today, life is much, much simpler. I do not spend countless hours finding new books on improving my life and world. Also, today, I remember my friend TG who talked to me that day back in 1995, and told me to find a book. The book is called The Language of Letting Go, by Melody Beattie. I bought that book, and read it page by page for months. I bought it, because my friend was so insistent.
His voice was paced, deep, and resonant as he enunciated every syllable : The Lang-uage of Let-ting Go... By Mel-o-dy Bea-ttie... TG died one day after disappearing for a while. Despite his youthful demeanor, he had a number of strokes, and one day, years later, I noticed his name on a clubhouse wall with a time to visit a church. He is remembered, and I am glad I met him.
One man once said, “if you open your mind too much, your brain will fall out.” I am grateful for my selectively open mind. I am grateful that what works for me, may only work for me, and I am pleased I can share this story with you without having to convince anyone of anything.
As for the book, I saw a copy on discount at a major corporate bookstore, and have started reading it again.
I thank you for reading.