I was once, and may still be, an arrogant judgmental asshole.
I was once, and may still be, delusional.
I was once, and may still be, an alcoholic.
I was once, and may still be, a self-important blowhard.
I was once, and may still be, an ingrate.
I was once, and may still be, annoying.
I was once, and I hope that I continue being, a very silly little man, because a sense of humor helps one realize that nothing is really that important, helps one to appreciate the absurdity of existence, and helps one to cope with the headwinds of adversity. And laughing is both healthy and enjoyable.
Since I stopped drinking and started listening to others:
My memory has improved significantly; not for events which occurred in the two decades during which I drank the most, but for more recent events, conversations, and physical and intellectual experiences. I still suck at remembering names, but I'm going to hypnotize myself in january and 'suggest' that I 'always remember the name of everyone I meet.'
My life has been immeasurably enriched, and I've been informed and inspired by dozens of contemporaries.
My relationships with others have grown deeper.
I get more out of everything... reading, working, helping people, watching films, listening to music... everything.
Autohypnosis, meditation, new directions in spirituality, a more fulfilling occupation, time and space to read and contemplate, a significantly improved life partnership, and local regional and national acquaintances with knowledge skills and plans that are mind blowing... for all these I am grateful. I doubt that I deserve any of it, but that is the nature of gifts - they are not payment for former good works, nor an obligation to perform some future task, but are freely given in love and with care.
And I've learned how to cook.
In the last year and a half I have overcome my former prejudices against: clergy, organized religion, hippies and camping.
My relationship with my family has improved, even though I still get frustrated with them from time to time (and think and say intemperate and bitter words as a result), but I'm better now than I was and I will continue to work on this.
Before I was merely existing, being as I was, unaware of the potentials. Now I am working upon improving myself that I may better serve my family, friends and community, in order to make a positive difference in the world. What a difference a year makes!
As a result of listening to people and being open to new experiences and associations, I've been informed and inspired in more ways than I could possibly list or express, but I will give one example. I share an interest in mythology with a friend. I recommended two works to him and he recommended a work to me. The works I recommended were Joseph Campbell's four volume Mythology set, and The Myth of the Eternal Return by Mircea Eliade. At first I thought that I had been short-changed in only receiving one work recommended for what amounts to five books, but I thought wrong. He described the work he recommended as "the single greatest work of mythology... ever," which seemed a bit much. It wasn't. The book he recommended was The Mahabharata, and it is, indeed, "the single greatest work of mythology... ever." Imagine a single work that is the ancient Indian equivalent of The Bible plus The Odyssey plus a collection of most of the writings of the philosophers from an entire Greek philosophical school, and you have the Mahabharata. It is a huge tome of approximately 2000 pages (more or less depending upon which translation and which edition of which translation one consults), containing the collected wisdom of nearly a millennia of Indian civilization, and a rip-roaring adventure tale including war, sacrifice, enlightenment, honor, rebirth, the mixing of the sacred and the profane, several techniques for meditation and yogic practice, wisdom, a world view, and a heck of a lot of common sense.
I have a lot for which to be grateful, and I have been and am truly blessed.
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Current Music: of the spheres