About Me

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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Consequences. 'Luck'. 'The little things. There's nothing bigger, is there?' Protection.

Karma. Cause and effect. Consequences.
'The little things. There's nothing bigger, is there?'
Motive to be of Maximum Helpfulness.
Sliding Doors. Vanilla sky. It's a Wonderful Life.

Karma is just another word to describe the law of cause and effect. Or CONSEQUENCES.

Sliding Doors is a 1998 film with Gwyneth Paltrow in it.
The story roughly goes that: Young Helen is fired from her job at a PR company, and when the sliding doors of the tube car close on her, we start to see what would have happened if she'd made the train, and if she hadn't.

This film is about how your life can go in TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS based on ONE very SEEMINGLY TRIVIAL event.

Some people would say the thing that determines which 'fork in the road' we are drawn down is due to 'LUCK' Luck is the word I use when I talk about these things, but really I don't know what word to use for it. Some would call it DESTINY. All I know is that I always feel that my life and everything I value in it is ALWAYS COMPLETELY IN THE LAP OF THE GODS. And that EVERY LITTLE THING I do, or don't do, no matter how small, creates my future life. Good or bad.
I also believe that the gods and devas ?? Whatever they are, really DO exist and CAN intervene and try to help us steer our lives to better things. But I also believe that we 'earn' this 'protection' MAINLY through the action of

'CONSTANT thought of others and how we may help meet their needs' (p20)

And I think this is why the big book tells us that:
'OUR VERY LIVES, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our CONSTANT thought of others and how we may help meet their needs' (p20)

'For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could NOT survive the CERTAIN trials and low spots ahead' (p15)

'Keep on the firing line of life with these MOTIVES and God WILL, (not might) keep you unharmed' (p102)

Another film which dramatizes THE SAME THING is the film Vanilla Sky with Tom cruise.
Only in this film the 'trivial event' is not a sliding door on a tube, but a momentary whim to get a short lift from Cameron Diaz.

Heres a segment of the script of the Vanilla Sky film.

Tech support:
(referring to Sofia) 'This was a kind woman...
an individual...
more than your equal.
You barely knew her in real life, but in your Lucid Dream...
she was your savior.

(and later..)

Your friend Brian Shelby threw a three-day memorial in your old home.
He was a true friend.
You were missed, David.
It was Sofia who never fully recovered.
It was she who somehow knew you best...
and like you, she never forgot that one night...
where true love seemed possible.
Consequences, David.
It's the little things.

Tom Cruise:
The little things.
There's nothing bigger, is there?

Because (as these films so eloquently dramatize) DESPERATLEY IMPORTANT OUTCOMES can hinge on SEEMINGLY INSIGNIFICANT ACTIONS, I know for a fact that I CANNOT foresee the terrible or brilliant CONSEQUENCES of ANY of my actions. So I RELY COMPLETELY on the 'gods' and devas ?? to GUIDE ME 'in all my affairs' so that UNLIKE Gwyneth in sliding doors and UNLIKE Tom in Vanilla Sky, I AM LOOKED AFTER AND PROTECTED FROM THE POTENTIALLY TERRIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF EVEN THE TINIEST DECISIONS.
So basically that's what I mean by 'luck'

So that's why I try (very imperfectly) to look at what I can contribute to any situation. Purely as a form of SELF PROTECTION or 'LIFE INSURANCE'.
I am NOT asked to SUCCEED in my attempts to try to be helpful. I am just asked to TRY to be of MAXIMUM HELPFULNESS.

So basically that's what motivates me to practice
'CONSTANT thought of others and how we may help meet their needs' (p20)
'in all my affairs' and to maintain a HELPFUL MOTIVE fairly constantly.

It doesn't mean that people always like me or agree with me. But that's not the point. That's not what the big book promises us. We are promised that we will 'remain unharmed'. I frequently meet people who try to make my life difficult and have a hostile attitude toward me, but I am able to remain unharmed, and that is what is important.

The film 'What a wonderful life' also dramatizes the HUGE long term consequences of what seem like VERY SMALL THINGS at the time.

This is the nature of life I'm afraid. EVERYTHING is important. All the time! In ways we just can't even imagine. Our only hope is divine help! But thankfully the big book PROMISES us exactly that in exchange for 'CONSTANT thought of others and how we may help meet their needs' (p20)
So we can rest easy!

Some quotes that spring to mind are..
"We cannot do great things in this world, we can only do little things with great love" ~ Mother Teresa
'You cannot change the world, but you CAN change the world for one man'

Phew! Hope that explains it!
I encourage you to watch these films more than once, so that the message of them really sinks in.
Just try to earn as many 'good karma points' as you can! It all helps!

By the way that does NOT mean give up your day job to become a missionary in Africa! It's god's will for us to be HAPPY JOYOUS AND FREE, (p133) so if being a nun DOESN'T make you happy, joyous and free, then its obviously NOT god's will for you! Thank god!


Pam Jarnagin said...

I'm not familiar with the film "What a Wonderful Life," and didn't find it when I tried googling it. Could you give the director and year it was produced?

I'm wondering if you're perhaps referring to "It's a Wonderful Life" (Frank Capra, 1946), starring James Stewart and Donna Reed?

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

oops. yes it is the Frank capra one. they always put it on tv every christmas usually.

Pam Jarnagin said...

Oh, yes! That's one of my all-time favorites! I haven't seen the Vanilla Sky or Sliding Doors. I'll have to check them out (although, not a huge fan of TC).

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

yeh. normally i'm not a fan either. but i think the storyline has a lot to offer. i dont think the film really does the story justice, but tc does a good job of it in this one. i find his deterioration pretty convincing

JJ said...

Thanks once again for your kind words. Honestly I haven't read your whole post but I loved the movie Sliding Doors.