“If you’re looking for a miracle now Buddy, you better be one All alone, on your own.” Kris Kirstofferson.
How often have we heard that phrase “If you want to see a miracle, be one.” I had no idea what it meant when I first heard it. When I listened, really listened to the words of Kirstofferson’s song “Let the walls come down” and then it made sense. “Let the walls come down, Let the love come through, when it all comes down, It’s up to me and you.”
I remember complaining about an AA member who visited our group regularly and told his story. I made the comment that I was tired of listening to him talk about his feelings. The person to whom I complained got to the point: “Seamus, he is more free in jail than you are walking the streets.” I was the one locked up within myself.
Despite all the therapy I’d been through, there was still that wall, that distance that protected me from others. Then, bit by bit the walls came tumbling down. They had to. I was dying of loneliness and aloneness even in a crowd.
I could talk a good talk about being powerless over alcohol, over people, places and things. I admitted I needed a H.P. and I found one. I worked the steps but something was missing. The message had not been transmitted from my head to my heart. There was a wall there that was porous and feelings were beginning to eek through and I was uncomfortable.
The issues of being an Adult Child of an Alcoholic -- Don’t think, Don’t talk, Don’t feel, Don’t trust -- were deeply imbedded in me. Don’t think about what’s going on inside the house; don’t talk about what you see or hear (family secrets); don’t feel (and you won’t hurt); don’t trust (anyone but yourself).
I was about three in the program when I first read a book on ACOA issues. I read the signs and identified with nineteen of the twenty signs. Yes, I was not only an alcoholic, I was an ACOA. In my situation, a parent who did not drink – a hardworking, church going, alcohol hating person who had a great sense of humor.
“Let the walls come down. Let the Love come through.” To be the miracle I had to do the work I told and taught others to do. I feigned emotion and got away with it but I was the one who got hurt by the pretending.
When dawn broke this morning, I felt grateful for another good night of peaceful sleep. I felt grateful for another day of wonderment and awe. I pulled back the curtains and looked out into what I now call “God’s art gallery” and watched God’s handiwork in motion. I took a handful of nuts and spread them along the fence for my sentient brother- a squirrel - who has taken to visit in the early morning and late afternoon.
“Let the love come through.” This was not always easy. Love was, I thought at one time, a rather fickle emotion. Then I came to understand it as a decision, a commitment to love myself – warts and all; love other people, places, and things. Love opened my heart to forgiving self and others as I revisited the steps and discovered what I missed the first couple of times. Love was the spiritual awakening that assisted my seeing the world through a kaleidoscope, an awe inspiring view of colors; a world that was no longer black and white.
“Don’t leave till the miracle happens” an old guy once said. Then I heard another say “Don’t leave after the miracle happens.” Today, the miracle happens each morning, afternoon, evening and night as I keep the walls level with the ground, keep my heart and mind open to new insights, increase my hope and trust in self, others and my Higher Power. The miracle is that I did not do this on my own. The miracle for me is that I responded to my Higher Power prodding me into the light and love I had always sought but could not find on my own. My H.P. gave me the wisdom to respond and I am grateful to have done so.
“And you can’t free nobody else if you can’t be true to yourself. If you’re looking for a miracle now buddy, you better be one, all alone, on your own.” Kristofferson wrote a wonderful song. It could have been great if he had realized we are not alone when we respond to the call,“Let the walls come down, Let the Love come through.”
Whatever we hold on to, that’s what we’ve got - only that much. Maezumi Roshi