I have a newsletter written but it’s not time to send that one out yet.  There are a couple of big (ger) topics I’ve been crafting stories on but neither of those are done.  One is the Peer Support Training Council which, alongside a number of men and women I now count as my friends, I have served on.  We have completed a training curriculum but the real story is Peer Support in North Carolina and its central importance to a fully actualized Recovery Oriented System of Care.  Second is the budding Collegiate Recovery Communities of NC who deserve support and trumpeting. We’re talking about UNC-CH, UNC-W, UNC-G, UNC-C, ECU, NCAT plus NCSU, UNC-A, UNC-P, WCU, ASU and Meredith College and maybe more I’ve missed.   But it’s not time for those yet.

I’m feeling a bit stuck in life at this minute and have been thinking about -The Artist’s Way. Do you know this book? It’s a set of educational/spiritual exercises that have helped millions of people around the world discover-and recover- their creativity.  It works to get us unstuck.  I worked through it one time.  It was great, it’s not tedious or “hard” but the opposite, fairly straight-forward/direct, well written and very popular.  She knows creativity, having written a number of books plus movies and plays and was married to (my favorite living) American director Martin Scorsese.  I just want to give it a shout out because I was reading an old interview with Mel Brooks, who I call a comic genius and he said, “Some critics are emotionally desiccated, personally about as attractive as a year-old peach in a single girl’s refrigerator. It’s easy to say crap is crap, and it should be said.  But the real function of a critic is to see what is truly good and go bananas when he sees it.”

I wholly agree and Julia delves into that in depth in her book.  She writes about the Shadow Artist who cannot actually “do” so must tear down and I think it’s particularly pertinent in this violent time.  I’m no expert on war but I am a student and I see no way out of these strifes without true forgiveness on all sides. So I work to heal the “war” within myself as I read my spiritual reminder for the day, which states:

“Ask for mercy, not justice”

Our lives are progressing nicely. Things are going good, and each year in recovery brings more material and spiritual gifts. We may have a little money in the bank, a new car, or a committed relationship. We have a little self-confidence, and our faith in a Higher Power is growing. Then, something happens. Someone breaks into our new car and steals the stereo, or the person we’re in the relationship with becomes unfaithful. Right away, we feel victimized. “Where’s the justice?” we wail. But if we take a look back on our own behavior, we may find that we’ve been guilty of what’s just been done to us. We realize we wouldn’t really want justice – not for ourselves, and not for others. What we want is mercy.

We thank a loving Higher Power for the compassion we’ve been shown, and we take the time to appreciate all the precious gifts that recovery brings. Just for today: I will pray for mercy, not justice. I am grateful for the compassion I’ve been shown, and will offer mercy to others.