The Key to The City

Really? It's really been almost one year since I posted?? I am struggling to grasp the time warp.

Time is tricky and of course, if we don't guard it carefully someone or something is waiting to steal it from us.   Thankfully, most of  my time is spent the way I want to spend it; family, granddaughters, activities and friends. I'm a super relational person. I LOVE being with people 85% of the time. Then I need a little respite, but not for long.

Anyway, recently I've been assessing where I've been and where I am. It's all part of this recovery business and a rather important part of my program.  Cliff has been out of prison for nearly 3 years and some things have gone really, really well (no drug usage whatsoever) while other things haven't moved much but the attempts keep coming. For me, this is something I need to remember.  I often want to pull out my magic recovery wand and wave it over my home and find that everything is changed and fixed and lining up with my deep polyanna dreams. The enemy of my soul would love to keep tripping me up into a non-reality plan with unattainable expectations for myself and anyone I love.

Recently, through prayer and meditation I realized that in my frustration with Cliff's slowness and struggles to move forward that I was approaching him with a rotten attitude and an immediate chip on my shoulder right out of the gate.   I mean, first thing in the morning when he couldn't have said anything to me yet to warrant my reactions I was barking at him!  I realized I was carrying my frustration day after day into each new morning and snarling at him at every turn. "What a hypocrite you are!!" I thought to myself as I drove to work.The Spirit in me, the one I call Holy, was nudging me to think hard about the way I was treating Cliff. Would I respond in this unkind, rude manner to any other person in my home, at work or at meetings? Absolutely not. My friend, the Holy Spirit was nudging me even more to apologize to Cliff for this pattern of behavior that was rooting in my heart and soul.

When I got home on that evening of the rude and nasty morning, we sat down to eat. We were having a decent time when I said I had something I wanted to say.  Cliff looked at me very tentatively. As if I could read his thoughts playing out like a movie marquee on his forehead, they ranged from "oh, crap she's kicking me out" to "nag, nag, nag" but he didn't say a word. He waited.  I was amazed at how hard this was as I choked on my own words to acknowledge my unbecoming ways and asking him to accept my apology and forgive me. Cliff settled back in ease as the marquee said "whew" and tried to pass it off saying "oh, that's okay."  I said "No it wasn't okay and I am truly sorry".

You'd think I had given him a key to the city. His sudden and much better demeanor was apparent and has continued through the week revealing itself in ways of doing some projects I've been asking (or demanding) to be done. Not only that, but a few small helpful tasks were performed unasked. In many homes this behavior would be typical and of no consequence. In a home like mine where nothing is typical and expectations are non-existent this is a BIG DEAL to me.

Cliff is moving at a pace I'm not always happy with. In counseling I'm reminded that drugs aren't the only source of trouble in Cliff's life. He's working through tainted thought processes, trying to believe that he is allowed to have good things in life and putting behind the negative messages rammed down his throat as a child.  He could use a daily dose of positive words from Aibileen to little Mae Mobley..."You is kind, you is smart, you is important."

So to Cliff, and all the rest of us I remember that God said we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Only man and the evil one can attempt to take that truth away from us. But through recovery with God's Words and help we can discover that we are His workmanship and we can accomplish all that we dare to dream if we have faith and take that first step.

Speak a word of kindness to someone today.