When I got sober, I learned about doing the “next right thing,” in the rooms of AA where my friends showed me how to let go of me, me, me and serve others. One of my first sponsors told me that sometimes the next right thing was just going to the bathroom. Get up and make your bed, Ruth. Get on your knees and be thankful you never hurt anyone by driving drunk: dumbass.
Don’t overanalyze any of it. Give it over to God. She can handle it like most African-American women can.
Recently, however, I found myself in a severe slump and although I didn’t pee on myself, it was hard to surface from the crags of events that send us all over the edge sometimes — without a rope, not even a filament. My business had done well most of the year, but I am at a point where I re-thinking getting that part-time job in order to pay for my exorbitant healthcare. I have had an assortment of clients but nothing steady to keep my heart free from the shackles of worrying about financial security. The bills, the vet, the gas, food, the need for a new roof. The first mortgage — that lovely equity line, too…yahoo!
I’m sure I am talking to you. You out there in the same place I am.
Then I found a book, a line really, that saved me from thinking I was giving up the battle and ready to stand on the corner with the vets holding a sign (well-written, of course) about my plight. Prostitution is the one job I have not had. It crossed my mind but I don’t think I can stomach the dregs of working a truck stop. At least not yet.
Do the next right thing.
I went to the book store and picked up a book called the Law of Divine Compensation by Marianne Williamson. I’d seen her on Oprah and had liked her and wanted to read one of her works.
On Sunday night, I was on page 21 of her book. It states this, “If you cannot see this now — if despair and anxiety hang like a veil before your eyes, preventing you from mustering any faith in God at all — then in this moment lean on mine. One mind joined with another, regardless of their position in time or space, can remove whatever chains would find us and deliver us to that sweet, sweet realm where things come full circle and there is always a chance to begin again.”
I wept at the part where she said, “then in this moment lean on mine.” The words went straight to my heart and for the first time in many weeks, a writer from California (I think) saved me.
It takes a lot to save a big girl from Virginia. But, I put the book down and closed my eyes and imagined myself on a gurney in a dark room where Marianne was by my side. IV’s full of fluid called things like “Faith,” “Hope,” “Don’t take yourself so seriously,” were inserted into my veins and she just watched over my…held my hand…and helped me sleep.
We need each other.
The world needs more thinkers like Marianne Williamson. Today, I will pray for her and her family, her mission — through the airways of space and time, my words go to her.
Thank you, thank you, thank you — in an IV labeled so.