quotations, recovery, reflections

“the quality of faith”

I used to do daily readings of recovery literature, but I’ve slacked off over the years. Today I decided to pick up one of my books to see what today’s reflection is. In recovery or not, it’s something we can all use. Even if you don’t believe in god-with-a-capital-G, the general message holds true:

God does not grant me material possessions, take away my suffering, or spare me from disasters, but He does give me a good life, the ability to cope, and peace of mind. My prayers are simple: first, they express my gratitude for the good things in my life, regardless of how hard I have to search for them; and second, I ask only for the strength and the wisdom to do His will. He answers with solutions to my problems, sustaining my ability to live through daily frustrations with a serenity I did not believe existed, and with strength to practice the principles of [recovery] in all of my everyday affairs.–Daily Reflections

Things have become scary and tough again. The job leads I had pre-Sandy have largely gone up in smoke because of the extent of the damage and businesses shut down for lack of power. Once again I’m back not knowing how I’ll make it on a daily basis. Thanks to the generosity of my family I’m able to get to my brother’s wedding in Dallas this weekend, first stopping off in Chicago to pick up one of my sons. It will be a nice little vacation of sorts, but on my mind will be how I’ll pay my rent — which is so laughably low it’s demoralizing I even have to worry about it — and my cell phone bill (essential when job searching) and an MTA card (ditto). I do not know how any of these things will be resolved.

I look back on five months in NYC knowing that I’ve felt this fear multiple times and somehow I’ve still survived. Each time I think it’s going to be the end and it isn’t. I don’t know how many more last-minute miracles will come my way — many of which have come from writing here — but I fear that I’ve had my fair share and now it’s someone else’s turn.

As a result I’ve been turning to prayer. Not consistently — if that were the case I’d have opened the reflections book sooner than today — but enough that I experience a little bit of relief. That being said, it’s difficult to get out of bed, to eat, to smile, to open up my heart to possibility. Every day I eventually get there, but many days it’s not until the afternoon and I end up feeling sad and guilty.

The point being: life continues to be tough and sometimes demoralizing and often baffling. I’ve gotten this far, somehow, and I’m praying for the serenity and faith that will keep me going until the next miracle, no matter how small. This is my life. I need to learn how to exist in it.