What Do I Need to Explain?
It’s a needlepoint cushion with a seasonal but timeless message: Dear Santa, I can explain. It makes me laugh ruefully because explaining myself – excusing myself – is an old, worn-out habit.
The truth is, for most messes in my life, I don’t have an excuse; I can’t explain! Living with those memories isn’t as much fun as it sounds.
Either I knew what I was doing, and thought I’d get away with it, or, I didn’t care, especially if I were drinking. I can count on less than two fingers the times when what I did was a worthy but misunderstood good deed.
For years, booze consoled me; but, never to the extent of forgetting the memories. No, there they’d be in the morning, haunting me through the day, and I couldn’t explain them away. (There is a Solution, Chapter 2 AA Big Book )
When I came into the program, AA’s suggested how I could live with memories of mess-ups: K.I.S.S. and work the steps!
They taught me I can’t change the past any more than I can control the future. But, I can quit explaining (excusing) myself. I can accept all I did, and did not do was because I was determined to live my life as I saw fit. (See How It Works, AA Big Book) About that time, I read,
Before I was afflicted, I went astray. (Psalm 119:65-72)
The Psalmist understood my willfulness, and my illness, alcoholism, too.
The lessons stuck. So, I choose to believe, today, God did not die and leave me in charge. And I came to believe the God of my understanding, Jesus Christ, has a place for those memories and their excuses. (Psalm 103:12-13)
When memories haunt, (and they do), I can look for the lesson in remembering something painful, or pleasant. Is there
- An amend I can make –
- A change in attitude I should consider –
- An about-face in the direction I’m headed –
- A better way of expressing my fears, or frustration I can choose
- A transgression I can forgive, and forget?
No more explanations, A.K.A. excuses! Santa can’t hear our silly explanations, anyway.
Today, we can harness the power of painful memories, and do something useful. Share and listen.
Thank you God for reminding me nothing is wasted in Your economy.
Thank you, Lord forgiving, redeeming and renewing my life. With You, the burden is light as the adventure recovery is continues. Matthew 11:28-30
Today I pass this hope on, dear reader.
Only God is willing and able to forgive, cleanse, and restore . . . once and for all, but every day too! (Step 10)
Praying dear reader, and friend in recovery, for thee and me, for our willingness to believe and act, especially if you or I think our sins are too big to forgive, or too inconsequential to confess! (See Matthew 8)
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful
PS: If the Season overwhelming you, here’s some help: Practical Principles