FollowCraig: ?Peace?

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I’m a child of the 60’s, a baby boomer! The word peace had such a different meaning back then. The war in Vietnam was raging, the Beatles were riding in a yellow submarine and Tim Leary said just drop some acid and drop out! John Lennon’s song “Imagine” perhaps is the rare remnant of that turbulent time that transcends our generations?  We now think of peace as being comfortable in our own skin. I would love to see us all fight for peace in the world like we did back then. I for one have reached so deep for such inner peace that I have often forgotten about the real struggles in our world. Perhaps the real inner peace we are searching for comes from helping others find theirs? Suppose everyday, we just reached out to one new person who could use some help, a hand up or a kind word? Would that not really give us “Inner Peace”? I guess I still have some work to do, how about you?

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FollowCraig: Re-calculating Route

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Her clear discerning voice, reassuring confidence, always certain of her direction! If I make a left, right or wrong turn she is always there “re-calculating route.” Oh the wonderful GPS! Just the other day as I was driving and our in car GPS system once again directed me to exactly the right destination. Calmly and politely re-calculating my route each time I deviated from course. Always forgiving and re-calculating after each wrong turn I might make along my journey. So I began thinking that perhaps all those other wrong turns, you know the ones we make in life? The times we didn’t say no or yes when we could have. The times we told a white lie, when candor and honesty would have been the right thing. All those wrongs, all our little sins? Then for some reason, something happens in our life, we find ourselves asking a higher power for help or perhaps repent for a wrong? Then our direction changes and life is good again. Is it possible that this higher power, could just be our own GPS? Always there to keep us on course, to re-calculate our route after every wrong turn? I have learned that each time my life direction seems off course, when I can’t sleep, when I am worried or when I have just screwed up! I can just stop, go to God, ask forgiveness and follow his direction; my destination once again is clear. Call it prayer, surrendering, repentance or call it crazy but it always works!

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FollowCraig: Bad Date

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All the fabulous lights below as the plane was landing in Las Vegas about 7:00 pm on a Friday night. Normal for me as I was living there and traveling for business. It had been a long week and I was tired. So out to dinner, (party of one) then a little Jazz music at one of my favorite haunts, nice! Then it happened, she was sitting at the end of the bar, big smile, great eyes, a flashy Las Vegas beauty! I was so shy and she so wasn’t! I think that’s how it happens? You see, I was just finalizing my divorce. So, I was sure ready..Right! It had to written all over me? “Available!” That night was the beginning of what I warmly call “My Long Bad Date” You see, my personal self esteem, my own insecurities and all those years without faith and standards led me to what were to become the greatest life changing events I would ever experience. I married that Las Vegas beauty after a couple of very turbulent years. Oh we fought about everything, she gambled, spent and drank every dollar we had. Everything that was wrong between us became my fault. All I could see was that one beautiful beginning, and I did everything possible to hold it together. In time I grew to fear her, her outbursts of violence and her incredible cruelty to my family, friends, employers and me. My understanding and compassion for abused partners in relationships became crystal clear. It sneaks up on you and attacks the most vulnerable part of your soul. A dear friend later told me; “Craig” She’s not a bad person, but a sick person. Then one day, I just could not take it anymore and I gathered all the courage in me, my faith in God and left. All I had was a suitcase, an old Buick and a few hundred borrowed dollars. You see, I had stopped drinking a couple of years before that day, developed a faith in God and began setting standards for myself. How often have you heard “No Pain No Gain?”, so true! So, that faith and fear pushed me to go forward, just go! That was several years ago. Today I am very free from that abuse and fear. I live a wonderful life and face everyday with joy of the unknown. All I can say to those who suffer in silence the pain, fear and guilt of abuse is; You can change it! It will be, OK! .….more of my journey ahead..

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FollowCraig: Oh! “****” STOP!!!!

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So one day I am driving along in my car, listening to the radio, just happy as a bird! Suddenly some fool in front of me slammed on his brakes. So after some very fast reaction on my part I was able to STOP! Everything in the car went flying and I of course yelled some very colorful metaphor that would surely make my mother curl. This happens to all of us from time to time, then you pick things up, slow down and go on. That’s what happened to my life at about 51 yrs old or so. It sounded so easy, people around me, support groups I was part of told me “Craig” you can change everything, every problem right now. Just STOP! No one told me the junk in my life would just keep flying like it did in that car? However, just as in the car, the junk did stop flying and I picked it up, tossed some bad stuff out and started again a little bit slower. This is how life works. If we really, truly want to change, to have a better life, perhaps follow a dream forgotten; Then we must stop, pick things up, slowdown and move forward! It took me so long to get that. If you have some experiences with this in your life, please share!

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FollowCraig: “Miracles”

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As I wrote Demons are Green! not long ago and how that experience led me to A.A., I was reminded of many miracles in my life, this is a story of one. A few weeks after accepting that I was so powerless over my life, proof was on my doorstep. I was now a commission only car salesman living in Las Vegas, NV. What a place to stop drinking? To paint a picture of Craig at that time would be that of a 350 lb man, very broke, lost most of his friends, family was staying clear, divorced, living with a very difficult girlfriend! Now living a new “Born Again Life” Right! However I did have one friend, a new friend, a fellow friend of “Bill W.” His name is: Bob “D”. So here is what happened, I went to work on a Saturday morning, stood outside all day and worked very hard to sell a car. When the end of the day came and I walked to get in my car to go home, it was gone! My car was gone! It had been repossessed! Oh, my what was I going to do? My boss was kind enough to loan me a car for the weekend so I was not without, but what was I going to do Monday? I was in such panic, such worry. Later at home I was on the phone to my only new friend, Bob “D”. After all my tears and crying on the phone he said these words to me; Craig, when you get off the phone; “Get on your knees, thank GOD for everything you have and everything he has taken away; ask him to take on your troubles for tonight and give you a nights sleep.” I assure you “Bob” said to me; “Craig you won’t be walking”, GOD will be certain your needs are met. Me the ever-living skeptic said sure Bob! But I thought, oh what can I lose by trying this prayer thing? So, my knees went to the floor and I handed my troubles to GOD to watch over as my friend said to do. MONDAY: Now the worry is back and I go to work. By then it seemed everyone around me knew what had happened a I was being asked all day about my troubles. Then the MIRACLE! Our car dealership had taken in trade an older Cadillac earlier that day, a very pretty white one and a very nice car but to old for the dealership to sell. When I asked my boss about it, he was willing to sell it to me, but I had no money! However, he said to me “Craig you can & could pay for it out of your next two paychecks and drive it home today!” As I am writing this, tears are running down my face as I remember just one of so many MIRACLES in my life! My friend Bob was right, I was not going to be walking. That car became my GOD car and that led to a Greater MIRACLE that was to occur some years later..More to come!

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12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous – 12 Step Recovery.



FollowCraig: I am “Housewife”; I am Man!

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I grew up to believe women were to be wives, mothers and housewives. Men were to be the kingpin of the household, the BREADWINNER! The MAN was in charge! So you can only imagine what it was like as I became a husband and father in the late ‘“seventies” My new wife already had a career and a child? She was very capable of taking care of herself and sure didn’t need a MAN to be in charge? Well, perhaps that was not true either, see she was raised that the husband was to be the head of the household as well; and only due to course results in her life, she found herself a divorced mother and having to work and support her little girl. So as it turned out my new wife needed a MAN, a husband! I needed to be a MAN and be that guy! So I took on the role, we worked hard together, raising our family and adding one more (my son) a few years later. Our first years were good, we had children and “I Never Changed Diapers!” You see times were changing, household rules were changing, the definition of family and marriage were changing. Wives worked, mothers felt that the roles, raising children and the chores of home should be shared. Great concept if only I hadn’t been thrown into expectations I was never taught to believe. So I worked and played; she worked and worked at home and raised the kids and took care of me and on and on…So about becoming “I am Housewife; I am Man”? You see relationships are work too. We spend so much time working on our own self-centered interests, all the important things in life often are not attended too. That marriage ended for me after 25 years for just those reasons. Had I paid more attention to being a partner at home, an interactive attentive father, addressed my faith and not been so set on how I believed things should be. Who knows what relationship I would have today with my children and others in my family? Over the last 10 years or so I have learned to be a partner at home, when dinner needs cooking, when trash needs to be taken out, when the house needs cleaning, when the pets need walking or the garden needs attending; I have learned to “Just do It”. The results have been astounding! My life today is peaceful in so many ways, It’s beyond description. In one of my upcoming posts I will talk about the “Three most important persons in every relationship”

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FollowCraig: “SEX” secrets?

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Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about this, Ok?American Baby Boomers” have a very difficult time with the word “SEX” My family never spoke of it, my church told me it was bad and my friends giggled about it! Perhaps that’s why the word draws so much attention? We all know what it is and yet we are afraid or ashamed to speak about “it”. In my personal life journey this very subject was always a silent secret taboo; in my life, my wife’s life, my children’s life, my whole family life! Now as I look back over time, what a stupid thing to be so quiet about. I’m just wondering if any of you were raised to not talk about “it”? I’m a very open-minded, liberal thinking man. My standards are in place and I respect the choices people make about their relationships. This was not ever difficult for me as I have really never been one to judge, that is not by job! It worries me though that we in this America still wish to keep this subject a “secret taboo”. I will share this; had my family been more open, honest and revealing about the topic of “SEX”, my adult life would have been so much easier. When we teach our children about secrets by keeping things secret and our children learn about secrets in a very secret way, the circle is never broken. “Secrets then become habits.” So, what habits do we each keep secret and why? What habits should be broken?

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