pointing it in

2745655_0Last year in college I still had no clue what I’m going to do with my life. Following an advice of the school counselor, I figured the smartest thing was to volunteer in a couple of places around the city and then see. I wanted to go change the world, you know. Ha.

I started working at a shelter for people who had no place to call their own. My experience was many people needed sobriety just as much as home. But to get better they needed to act accordingly to what the program of recovery was telling them. I worked with some of these people and the more it went, the more it seemed to me they were not ready, for any recovery or sobriety. It appeared they didn’t care to hear.

It took me years to realize they did hear. But besides the recovery message of care and support they also heard other stuff. They were homeless and thirsty. Every day was a day of coping and surviving. Not just surviving the street, looking over your shoulder, sleeping with one eye open, knowing your friends, knowing surroundings and places where to eat, shower, score whatever you need.

No. Surviving the day of projected blaming. Finger pointing. Many of them lived a lifetime of lecturing. I never pointed finger at them. Not on the outside. But I did it in my head. I guess they felt it. They listened to me and my coworkers, but they were not hearing because the life outside of them was not hearing them. Them and their inside story.

I worked with the people for eight years and those I could reach, some of their lives got better, because me and my colleagues heard them and showed it. We couldn’t change them against their will, but we showed them we heard. Being an addict makes you relate to another addict. We’ve brought empathy and relating to the table, instead of salvation. And we’ve brought some food too. Carrot cake, you know.

I think I’m still a judgmental asshole, like many others out there (see? right there!) but I keep reminding myself of that, so I try to keep my inside finger pointing to a minimum. Even if  I don’t think it is, or I don’t mean it, it is still there, just like in this image I found for this post. Pointing fingers doesn’t do anyone any good, unless you show somebody which road to take when they asked about. Now, that’s a helpful thing to do.

image was copied from https://www.teepublic.com/fr/art-mural/2745655-uncle-sam-hand-pointing-funny-patriotic-government and put on it’s head by me. thanks.

“Yeah, but…”

business woman in front of two roads thinking decidingYou say “what if…”

And I think about that

And then I think some more

And I want to take a step forward

To meet you in the middle

But what I end up doing

Is taking at least one step back

As I utter “Yeah, but…”

I recognize that I do that a lot –

Instead of embracing an opportunity

I settle for less.

Sometimes it feels like

I’m settling for less than nothing,

Because as time goes by

I see how I could have benefited

From the change proposed.

I keep on stalling before moving.

I wonder, “what if I fall?”

And then, the more confident voice in my head goes,

“OK, but what if you fly?

And what if you manage your life and environment

Much better from here on?”

How well that brave comment sounds.

I want to follow it

And then –

Anxiety and fear to make a choice

Kick me in the ribs.

Each time a decision is to be made

It feels like I’m facing a road sign saying

“Road works in progress. Expect closure, delays, genocide, Armageddon…”

Sure, I’m terrified!

Yet how realistic are those?

And how high is the possibility

That my undertaking a small new something

Is going to burn me with napalm instead of opening a door?

Yeah, but what are the guarantees that it would?

Well, sometimes there are none –

Life isn’t fair and violets are blue,

Yet some common sense, believing, hoping, and a realistic guess

Should count for something.

Taking no chances relates to jumping off a skyscraper.

But this one I’m dealing with is not it.

So, instead of “yeah, but…”

I push myself forward

To say, “Yeah, OK!”

And keep on doing so.

the image was copied from https://ramblingsofapilgrim.com/could-you-too-be-suffering-from-spiritual-inertia/ and twist-faded into a napalm burn by me. thank you.