Thought For The Day

Today’s bunch of quotes came from the latest issue I received of Guideposts magazine, a number of which I found inspiring that I wanted to share with all of you…

“Your finest moments aren’t necessarily those you finish first, but when you know you gave it your best, when you did it heart and soul, and held nothing back.” (Michelle Kwan)

“We want God to be like FedEx and deliver overnight. But some miracles take time. Things don’t happen on our time. They happen in GPT – God’s Perfect Timing. Keep trusting, praying, hoping, and believing.” (Jon Gordon)

“Life may not give us do-overs, but it always gives us opportunities for do-betters.” (Jan Weeks)

“There’s a beautiful Buddhist proverb I love so much: ‘We should tend to the area of the garden we can reach…” Of course, one person can’t solve all the world’s problems. But what all of us can do is whittle it down to the areas where we can enact change.” (Shelly Tygielski)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude remains the sole focus on my writing for the start of each week, which for today is for one simple fact of my life, that I haven’t given up on God or myself.

For those of you who have continued to follow my spiritual journey and musings of life via this blog, it’s definitely not a secret that I’ve struggled immensely with the health issues I’ve faced for years now. How many times at this point have I written about the pain and sorrow I’ve endured is probably countless? But also countless is the number of times I’ve written about me not being a quitter and continuing to fight on.

While I do have regular urges to give up and check out early, I haven’t. Honestly, it’s easy to think about doing so when both of my parents did by their own hands. In my worst of days and in my worst of pain- filled moments of life, I often find myself in my ego feeling that death would be better than life and that at least in death I might see my parents again. But deep down in my heart and soul, that’s truly not what I desire, as my deepest desire is to fulfill whatever God’s purpose is for me.

I tend to believe each of us on this planet have a purpose that’s not just to exist and find pleasure in life. I have come to a level of understanding on my own spiritual journey that we all have a Higher Calling. But far too often we never achieve it because we get lost in finding temporary happiness on this planet. In my case, all those things I found temporary happiness in were never enough to keep me going. What has kept me going though has been in continuing to believe that I have some Higher Calling, some greater purpose.

So, on those days when my pain is great, when my emotions run low, and my mental state gets frayed, I tell myself there is a great purpose to all of it and I fight on. I fight on to live rather than to die and remind myself I’m not a quitter like my parents were. And I do my best to not listen to my ego’s urgings that tell me I was just dealt a bad hand in life and that it’s never going to get better. Because somewhere within me, there still is a voice fighting on and telling me it will get better.

This is why on this Grateful Heart Monday, I am sharing my gratitude for still having a fighting spirit that not only continues to help me believe in myself, but also believe in God, and in having a greater purpose beyond all this. These may not be spiritual values I was shown, but they are ones I have learned over the years in all my pain and suffering, of which I’m sincerely thankful to have, especially on those days when my mind does it’s best to convince me to give up, yet my Spirit says to fight on, and so I do…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Thought For The Day

Today’s quotes may be of use to those who have been struggling with faith, something I’ve been going through for a long time, yet one I trudge on and and still find, even if it’s a mustard seed, maybe because of quotes just like these…

“Strength is born in the deep silence of long-suffering hearts, not amid joy.” (Arthur Helps)

“Faith that it’s not always in your hands or things don’t always go the way you planned, but you have to have faith that you there is a plan for you, and you must follow your heart and believe in yourself no matter what.” (Martina McBride)

“Faith is unseen but felt, faith is strength when we feel we have none, faith is hope when all seems lost.” (Catherine Pulsifer)

“We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.” (Marcel Proust)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Finding Inspiration In The Ocean And Maybe A Little Faith Too…

I’ve started and restarted today’s article countless times, writing and erasing, and then writing and erasing some more, trying to find some wisdom to share, or any words really. Unfortunately, I’m coming up drastically short as I sit here on this 3rd floor balcony, gazing upon the ocean, one that sits sprawled out directly in front of me in a 270-degree view late at night in York, Maine.

Usually, being near the ocean inspires me, especially when it’s this late at night. More often than not actually, I tend to find and feel the presence of God in moments like this. But tonight, neither is true and truth be told, I don’t feel God anymore, not for a long while now, and that’s something I don’t know what to do about. While I still believe in a Higher Power, something that my 12 Step recovery requires and something that I can attest is the only thing that’s kept me going forward instead of backwards into a life of addiction, I remain feeling utterly defeated. Defeated from an arduous spiritual journey that feels on most days likes it’s going nowhere except in circles.

What I want the most in life seems to incessantly evade me. Call it God, or call it peace and joy, or call it both, it doesn’t matter. I just want to feel God’s peace and joy within me, regardless of whether my health issues ever go away or don’t. I’ve prayed, meditated, read scripture and other inspirational words, said affirmations, gotten exercise, eaten healthy, practiced gratitude, helped others, and written and spoke about it all on a regular basis, and yet I continue to wake every day, feeling empty, weeping, and full of sorrow. Sorrow over the despair from it all.

I know what it feels like to have the Light of God shining brightly within me, but my light feels pretty dim right now. I fight the physical depression from it all, every, single, day and do pretty well with that. Heck, today alone, I played a marathon of miniature golf with six courses in seven hours, winning every single one of them, yet here I am, still feeling deeply miserable inside. And that’s not because I have some serotine imbalance, or some chemical imbalance, or because I went out and engaged in some addiction, or distanced myself from God somehow, or did anything really to separate myself from the Light of God. But why I continue to feel this way though is beyond explanation and beyond me.

The fact is science and medicine can’t fix this and holistic healing only took me so far. I feel the rest is in God’s hands. Why God has been silent with me I don’t know. Maybe God hasn’t been silent and I’m just speaking a different language? Maybe my level of pain is blocking our communication? Maybe I pissed God off and this is my punishment? Maybe this is penance for the many hedonist ways I’ve lived? Or maybe it has nothing to do with me at all? Regardless, I feel as if I’m sitting in a jail and have been for a long time, one without knowledge of why or even when I’ll be released.

If I could step foot in a courtroom and have God let me know what the charges of my life are that are keeping me in this place, it would be far better than to be left in all this unknowingness, this unease, one that consumes me every day, especially as I witness the joy and peace in others.

God, I believe you are still there. And I’m still here Lord too. Waiting. On You. All that matters in my world anymore is to feel your peace and joy again, two things that continue to elude me, no matter what I seem to do. Without those two things God, I don’t know how to remain here anymore. Yet somehow, I trudge on, limping at best, choosing to believe somehow, in some way, that You are still there, even when I don’t see You or feel You anymore.

So, I guess maybe the ocean did inspire me tonight, Lord and I thank You for at least that, in finding these words, to continue being the transparent Soul You’ve had me become…one that still claims my faith in You, even when I don’t know why I still do…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Silly Joke Friday

Today’s Silly Joke Friday is TOTALLY dedicated to that mischievous Little Johnny who always seems to say the most inappropriate of things…

Silly Joke #1

The math teacher saw that little Johnny wasn’t paying attention in class. She called on him and said, “Johnny!!! What are 4, 2, 28 and 44?” Little Johnny quickly replied, “Oh, that’s easy! It’s NBC, CBS, HBO, and the Cartoon Network on my cable at home!”

Silly Joke #2

Little Johnny was loudly shouting his prayers. “Please God send me the new Playstation for my birthday!” His mother, overhearing him from downstairs heads upstairs and into his room, “Don’t shout dear, God isn’t deaf.” “No, but Grandad is, and he was downstairs with you!”, Little Johnny said with a grin.

Silly Joke #3

Teacher, “Ok class, today you will each share a recent event from your life.” Little Johnny shouts out first. “My father called Animal Welfare this past weekend because we found a suitcase while hiking in the woods and inside it were four kittens.” “That’s terrible!” the teacher replied, “Were they moving?” “Well, I’m not sure, to be honest,” I said, “but if they were that would explain the suitcase wouldn’t it?”

Bonus Silly Joke (2 for good measure!)

Little Johnny was now all grown up and working for a company in Florida. His boss has just walked into his office. “Congratulations Johnny! I’m promoting you to manage our new Montreal office!” Johnny responded disappointedly, “But sir! There’s nothing up there but cold weather and hockey players!” The boss responded quite irritated, “I’ll have you know Johnny that my mother is originally from Montreal!” “Really? No kidding? So, what hockey team did she play on?” Johnny said sarcastically.

Little Johnny had become an adult and been married for some time. He was sitting glumly on a barstool at the local bar near his home and calls his friend to come join him. “So, what’s up Johnny? Why are you at a bar by yourself on a Saturday night? Where’s your wife?” asked his friend. “Well, she suggested earlier this evening that we should play some sex games tonight to spice up our love lives.” “Yeah, so what was wrong with that man?” “Well, unfortunately my answer of ‘Guess who I shagged on the night of my bachelor party?’ wasn’t the game she was thinking of playing…”

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Question For The Day

Today’s question is…

If you were tasked with being a mentor to a kid (i.e. big brother/big sister), what would you want them to learn the most from your mentorship?

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson


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How The Rising Cost Of Gas And Ongoing Health Issues Led To A Change In My 12 Step Sponsorship Of Others…

While I am a firm believer in the absolute importance of sponsoring others through the 12 Steps in either of the 12 Step recovery programs I attend, I decided recently to change how I plan to keep doing this invaluable recovery tool, mostly due to the stress it’s now placing upon my overall health, especially due to the rapidly rising cost of gas.

First off, I am unemployed and don’t have an income. When gas was a mere few dollars a gallon, I could easily go meet a newcomer where it cost me next to nothing to do so. But with gas now rising over $5 a gallon, it’s taking a toll upon my mental and emotional health, specifically when I drive some 20 to 30 miles away to meet a newcomer who doesn’t show up, or who does, but creates a lot more stress upon my life than leaving a healthy impact, like someone recently I had just begun to help, who got in my car and immediately started vaping and drinking an energy drink as soon as they sat down!

Look, sponsorship is meant to be a positive recovery tool for both the sponsor and the sponsee. But lately, I’m finding it far more draining because many of the newcomers I’ve tried to help don’t seem to want to do the hard work that comes in doing the 12 Step process, which has left me feeling more drained than not after meeting with them, where I’ve wished I had remained home doing what I was doing, saving myself the hassle of several hours of my time and $15 in expenses. Add in the number of relapses I’m seeing now, especially since the pandemic came upon us, where many sponsees have remained non-committal with the work, never making it past the 1st or 2nd step, continuing to sponsor others in the way I have has been weighing heavily upon me.

On the contrary, sponsorship continues to remain a positive experience for me with sponsees who have been attending meetings and remaining sober for a long period of time. I’ve had the opportunity in recent years to sponsor several who had been clean and sober for many years, who just hadn’t done the steps yet. Sponsoring each of them was rewarding, as they remained fully committed throughout the entire 12 Step process, which is why I’ve decided to only sponsor those now who have been clean and sober and attending recovery meetings for a good length of time. The fact is, sponsoring others should never cause a greater imbalance to one’s own sobriety and recovery, nor hurt one’s overall health, like it has been for me recently.

I am worn out from trying to work with one newcomer after another who regularly are manipulative, selfish, lacking accountability and integrity, and frequently laying guilt-trips upon my doorstep. It’s sad to say that the rising cost of gas and my ongoing health issues have led to me not being able to handle this. But I need to take care of myself just as much as I know it’s important to help others in my 12 Step recovery. There is a fine balance with it. I simply choose now to work with those who have remained committed to being clean and sober, who have been practicing the 1st step without relapsing for some time. Because helping them continues to rejuvenate my love for sponsorship and 12 Step recovery work and improve my overall health…something that unfortunately hasn’t been true for the many newcomers I’ve tried to help, who simply just don’t want sobriety and recovery bad enough yet…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Thought For The Day

Today’s quotes deal with the 6th Commandment of the 10 Commandments, something I wrote about yesterday, where I expressed my gratitude for never having taken a life thus far in this existence…

‘“Thou shalt not kill” does not apply to murder of one’s own kind only, but to all living beings and this commandment was inscribed in the human breast long before it was proclaimed from Sinai.’ (Leo Tolstoy)

“The very emphasis of the commandment: Thou shalt not kill, makes it certain that we are descended from an endlessly long chain of generations of murderers, whose love of murder was in their blood as it is perhaps also in ours.” (Sigmund Freud)

“I don’t remember Moses writing, ‘Thou shalt not kill…unless you think you have a good reason.” (Willie Nelson)

“Does the commandment ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill” mean nothing to us? Are we to interpret it as meaning ‘Thou shalt not kill except on the grand scale,’ or “Thou shalt not kill except when the national leaders say to do so?” (Linus Pauling)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, where expressing a slice of gratitude remains the sole focus of my writing at the start of each week, which for today is for something many probably wouldn’t ever discuss openly or be something to ever express gratitude for in a public blog. But in light of all the massive losses of life happening lately by the hands of another, I want to express my gratefulness today for having kept to the 6th Commandment of the 10 Commandments my entire life, that being I’ve never killed anyone, including myself.

“Thou shalt not kill.” I’ve never thought much about the 6th Commandment for two reasons. One, I’m not a religious type of guy who has ever placed much thought on living out the 10 Commandments. And two, I’ve never been a violent person, as I’ve always been more of a pacifist. But recently, I found myself thinking about this specific commandment due to all the rising gun violence and mass shootings in our country, the Russian/Ukraine War and 26 other active wars/conflicts in the world, and a constantly rising suicide rate on our planet with one happening every 40 seconds now. Add in the fact that both of my parents died by their own hands and the many wrongful deaths I’ve come to learn in my 12 Step recovery from those who were under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and I suddenly am finding myself thankful I’ve never took the life of another, including my own.

I truly am grateful that I’ve never killed another in all my years, especially during those when I was addicted to alcohol and drugs, because I most certainly drove under the influence and was out of my mind far too many times. I also am truly grateful that I haven’t successfully taken my own life, as I most assuredly have attempted it in my past. I’ve even thought about it in recent years due to all the chronic health issues that constantly plague me. But my deepest truth is that I want to live, and I want to protect all the lives of others too, which is why I know I absolutely would be a Conscientious Objector if I was ever put in a war time situation. In light of that, I’ve often had people ask me if I would take a life if someone was coming at me or a loved one with a weapon in hand. My answer was still no because I just couldn’t live with myself and the guilt of it all.

So, on this Grateful Heart Monday, I wanted to express my gratitude for knowing with 100% assurance that I’ve never taken a life (including any animals!) and kept to the 6th commandment my entire existence thus far. While I’ve broken several of the other commandments in my life, especially during my active addiction years, I felt the need today to express my thankfulness for having kept to at least this one. I truly do value all lives and am doing my best to value my own as well, because ultimately, I believe all lives matter…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Question For The Day

Today’s question is…

Which of the following best describes what you might want from someone who wishes to be there for you when you’ve been going through an extended bout of pain and suffering:

  1. For them to listen to you without judgment
  2. For them to hold your hand
  3. For them to give you a hug
  4. For them to offer you some inspirational words or reading material
  5. For them to just spend time with you doing something to take your mind off of it
  6. For them to leave you the hell alone

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Paul’s “Thorn In His Flesh” Isn’t The Answer For All Of One’s Pain And Suffering…

The story in the Bible about a “thorn” that Apostle Paul had in his flesh, some aspect of his life he was never freed of, that plagued him his entire life, is a story that continues to bother me immensely because of how often it’s used in this world as the answer for all the pain and suffering of another.

While I’m not a Biblical scholar, nor am I a religious person, two things I always feel the need to say whenever I write on subjects like this, solely because of the labels people keep placing on me whenever I talk about God or anything Biblically in my blog, I do have a spiritual view when it comes to Paul, specifically surrounding a “thorn in his flesh”.

For those who may not know what this story is about, it’s said that Paul was plagued throughout his ministry with some condition that’s never revealed precisely what it was, other than it bothered him so deeply he called it “a thorn in his flesh”. Paul prayed to God several times to remove it, but it never was removed, leaving Paul to believe it was a tool to keep him humble. This story has been used throughout millennia ever since to justify much of the pain and suffering countless others have gone through, which frankly, I haven’t found comforting whatsoever for two reasons.

The first deals with the reality that no one knows what Paul’s thorn was. Heck, he could have simply had chronic constipation or diarrhea for that matter, which annoyed the crap out of him (pun intended!). Or maybe Paul’s thorn was a person or group of individuals who followed him around everywhere he spoke and heckled him constantly? Or maybe his thorn dealt with a financial issue, or a skin condition, or a deformity, or loneliness in life, or an irrational fear, or something else altogether. The fact is, no one has ever discovered what Paul’s thorn was, yet it’s been compared to countless illnesses, diseases, and painful situations in one life after another. That has not and never has been comforting to me to think that the many health conditions I continue to face are simply a “thorn in my flesh” meant to keep me humble, when even one of them would do that job in of itself. At this point, I have so many “thorns in my flesh” that not only am I far beyond feeling humble in life, I feel defeated and am struggling to keep going. Even more so, seeing God as a Being that inflicts “thorns in a person’s flesh” to keep them humble only makes it seem that God is nothing more than a disciplining and punishing Being, and not one of unconditional love. Obviously I don’t find that thought comforting either, especially given I grew up with a mother just like that who inflicted many thorns in my side through her words and actions.

The second reason why I haven’t ever found Paul’s “thorn in his flesh” story comforting relates to what Paul was freely given once those “scales dropped from his eyes”, because it was then Paul felt a Presence fall upon him and within him that he clearly described as one of joy, that never left him throughout any of his ministry, which clearly helped him endure whatever that “thorn in his flesh” was, as well as all those beatings, jailing’s, and shipwrecks he endured as well. While I too have felt that Presence before, it’s one I haven’t in years, no matter how hard I’ve tried. The last time I did feel it, it came upon me not of my own doing and lasted for five days, during which it didn’t matter what “thorns” or pains I had going on at the time, because I felt loved and embraced so deeply by Something far greater than I ever will be.

So, while Paul’s story of having some “thorn in his flesh” with a Presence by his side to endure whatever it was, may be an interesting one like many religious stories often are to me, it’s never been a comforting one, especially having lived for a long time with chronic pain and health issues where the Presence of God has felt more absent than not. What has been comforting though through it all is whenever someone listens to my sorrow without judgment, held my hand without fear, or embraced me in their arms without hesitation, because it’s been in each of those moments where I’ve felt that Presence, albeit briefly, yet enough to know that God is still there, something that a story from the Bible, or any religious book, has never done for me, yet any act of unconditional love from another has…and always will…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Silly Joke Friday

Silly Joke #1

A newly hired nurse listened while the doctor yelled out “Tetanus!” with his patient. Then later he yelled “Measles!” with another. Soon after it was “Mumps!” with another patient. When he yelled out “Shingles!” with the last patient of the day, she asked the nurse who had been there a long while, “Why does he keep going on like that with each patient who needs a vaccine? ”Oh, that? He just likes to call the shots around here…”

Silly Joke #2

Before celebrating a baptism, the deacon approached the young father and said solemnly, “Baptism is a serious step. Are you sure you’re prepared for it?”“I think so,” the man replied. “My wife has made appetizers and we have a caterer coming to provide plenty of cookies and cakes for our guests.”“I don’t mean that,” the deacon replied. “I mean, are you prepared spiritually?”“ Oh sure,” came the reply. “I’ve got a keg of beer and a case of whiskey.”

Silly Joke #3

A man named John is feeling unwell, so he goes to see the doctor about it. The doctor tells him, “Well, it must be your diet. What sort of greens do you eat?” John replies, “Well, I only eat peas. I hate all other green foods.” The doctor looks at him and says, “Well, there’s your problem. All those peas are clogging up your system. You’ll have to give them up.” John asks the doctor, “How long should I give them up for? I mean, I really like eating peas.” The doctor replies, shaking his head, “Well, forever I’m afraid. If you don’t, you’ll get sick again.” John is shocked by the doctor’s suggestion, but he decides to give it a go. Sure enough, he starts feeling loads better after a couple of weeks and realizes that he’ll never eat peas again. Anyway, one night, years later, he’s sitting in a bar having a conversation with friends. One of them says, “I’d love a cigarette, because I haven’t had a smoke in four years. My wife persuaded me to give them up.” Another guy says, “I haven’t played a game of golf in three years, because it cost me my first marriage. So I gave it up.” Then John says, “That’s nothing. I haven’t had a pea in six years!” When a pretty blonde sitting at the bar nearby overheard this, she jumped up and yelled , “Oh my, that sounds dangerous! Where are you storing all that urine anyway?”  

Bonus Silly Joke

Little Johnny, always known for saying inappropriate things went out for a drive with his father one day. Upon returning home, Johnny’s mom asked, “What did you see, today honey?” Little Johnny replied, “3 idiots, 1 dumb fool, 4 morons, and 1 damn sexy fox that Daddy said I can never tell you about…”

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Thought For The Day

Today’s quotes surround the subject of temptation, something that came knocking on my door through social media on the day of my 50th birthday that my 12 Step recovery and my connection to God helped me to fully resist and move forward without any issues…

“Temptation usually comes in through a door that has deliberately been left open.” (Arnold H. Glasgow)

“No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down. He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit. He’ll always be there to help you come through it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 MSG)

“Every moment of resistance to temptation is a victory.” (Frederick William Faber)

“Most of the time temptation begins with something good: food, rest, God-approved sex, the need to be loved and accepted.” (Todd Hunter)

“If we don’t want temptation to follow us, we shouldn’t act as if we are interested. No one ever fell over a precipice who never went near one.” (Richard L. Evans)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

A 50th Birthday Addiction Temptation From The Past…

Over the last several weeks, I’ve mostly wrote about things related to turning 50, something I celebrated on June 11th. Today, I wanted to continue in that line of discussion in reference to my 12 Step recovery work, as on my 50th birthday, something happened connecting me to an addiction temptation from the past, triggering me into some old addictive thinking.

First, and foremost, there always seems to be a discussion going on in the 12 Step recovery community of whether a person is fully recovered from their former addiction or someone who’s consistently recovering. I’ve made the mistake of getting into this debate with others and it tends to go nowhere. I think what matters is how each sober individual sees themselves, which in my case is a person still recovering from their disease and always will be. Why I say this is because every time I’ve assumed I was fully recovered from my life of addiction, I’ve relapsed into yet another one. And with what I’m about to say happened on my 50th birthday, assuming I was a fully recovered individual could have led to a very bad result.

That being said, whenever my birthday rolls around, I typically thank every person who wishes me a happy birthday in the way they reached out, whether that’s by phone, text, or on social media. My feeling is that if someone can take the time to send me a birthday wish, it’s important to thank them back, to show my gratitude. So, on my 50th, as I was in the midst of doing that very thing on my social media, I was appalled when I saw I had received a birthday wish from the very person I had a deeply adulterous relationship with over ten years ago that eventually drove me into 12 Step recovery for sex and love addicts. It was this relationship that led to my health falling apart and much of my financial ruin.

Frankly, I was shocked after I saw this person had reached out because we weren’t connected on Facebook. But, for them to reach out on a special day where I was also going through tremendous physical pain and mental anguish, I thought it was rather apropos because I’ve found addiction tempts me the most when I’m at my lowest. In this case, after seeing their birthday wish, my former disease immediately said, “Oh, it’s just a thank you I’m sending back, it’s not that big of a deal.” Thankfully though, I have a lot more of God guiding me than me guiding me because of my 12 Step recovery, as I quickly came to my senses and deleted the message and blocked them from communicating again. Ironically, thirty minutes later, temptation struck again, as this same individual had used a second Facebook account and sent me a second birthday wish, to which I just as quickly deleted and blocked as well.

Here’s the reality, while the birthday wish itself may have been sincere in nature, would it have been healthy to respond to? Here’s a good way to answer that. Would it be a good thing for a recovering alcoholic to connect one afternoon with former drinking buddies still doing the same heavy drinking, or a drug addict choosing to hang with a former dealer for a night, or a gambling addict opting to go grab breakfast one Sunday morning at a local casino? The answer to all three is no, it wouldn’t be a good thing. Because, as the old saying goes, you hang in a barbershop long enough, you’ll eventually get a haircut. Even opening the door ever so slightly to this former individual I had once toxically loved, by responding with a brief thank you, gives my old addiction a chance to come back. Essentially, it’s breathing life back into it in that action itself.

In the end, seeing this individual briefly return to my life via two Facebook birthday wishes made me clearly remember why I went into the SLAA program in the first place. Thankfully, my 12 Step recovery and my relationship with God helped me to resist a 50th birthday addiction temptation from the past to someone that at best, once loved me at best as a sexual outlet for their frustration in life, and at worst, with abuse I never want to experience again in this life…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Thought For The Day

After extensively writing and talking about turning the big 5-0 recently, I decided I wanted to find some uplifting quotes about hitting the half-century mark in life. I think today’s Thought For The Day is a great group of motivational quotes I am doing my best to meet…

“By the time we hit fifty, we have learned our hardest lessons. We have found out that only a few things are really important. We have learned to take life seriously, but never ourselves.” (Marie Dressler)

“Turning 50 can be difficult, sometimes dangerous. The danger is in that blip that can come from the fact that you become invisible, and if you’re not careful and don’t embrace that, it can trip you up and you lose confidence.” (Dawn French)

“Some people have a terrible time turning 50. I like to think of it in terms of condition. There’s new, used, vintage, antique, and ancient. I’ve reached the point of vintage and I’m ok with that. Vintage is endearing. It’s charming and usually has a lovely patina. It’s worn but soft and still quite useful. And in my opinion extremely attractive. One nice thing about vintage, is that it’s reached a point of being loved for what it is. It doesn’t have to “prove” itself anymore. It is what it is. It’s respected for it’s age and withstood the test of time. And so have I.” (Pam Kellogg)

“50 years: here’s a time when you have to separate yourself from what other people expect of you, and do what you love. Because if you find yourself 50 years old and you aren’t doing what you love, then what’s the point?” (Jim Carrey)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude is the only thing that gets expressed, which for today is for the recent birthday trip my partner Chris and I took to the Smokey Mountains for our 60th and 50th birthdays.

I’ve never been to or through the Smokey Mountains, unless of course you include flying over them a few times towards other destinations. But, after numerous times where friends came back from the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area raving about their vacations there, we opted to do a trip there for his big 6-0 and my big 5-0. So, I wanted to honor that trip on this Grateful Heart Monday, for even as much as I was in heightened pain during much of it, like I have been on most vacations in recent years, there was much to still be thankful for.

At the top of that list was having my eyesight to see all the wonders of the Smokey Mountains. I’ve visited a few other mountain ranges around our country, but the Smokies are unusual in themselves and quite breathtaking, especially when the clouds get stuck in the valleys below them, giving them their very name. Chris and I drove extensively through the Smokies while visiting the area and witnessed some incredible views, including many natural waterfalls and springs, and especially from the tallest peak, Clingmans Dome, which sits 6,643 feet above sea level! The day we visited there it was around 70 degrees when we left on the 1/2-mile paved walk from the parking lot to the top, and in the mid 40’s by the time we reached it. I was very grateful that Chris and I made it there with all the pain we were experiencing in our bodies, as sitting on a cement bench in the clouds was definitely a spectacle to behold. Just as breathtaking, but in another way, was Cades Cove Loop, an 11-mile one lane road that goes through some of the most amazing scenery and wildlife in a valley far below the Smokies. There, we saw plenty of turkey and deer, two black bears, and several two-hundred-year-old homes and churches.

Gratitude on this trip also greatly includes the place we stayed at for the five nights we were away, as it afforded us a beautiful view of Dollywood and Pigeon Forge and the mountains beyond. It was a log cabin home situated high atop a mountainside in a town named Sevierville and was adorned with an outdoor hot tub, rocking chairs on two different balconies, a billiards table, an indoor jacuzzi tub, and plenty of space to spread out and relax. Personally, I was most grateful for the nighttime views I had of Pigeon Forge’s tourist strip as I soaked in the hot tub, especially when several storms rolled in over the mountains.

And speaking of Pigeon’s Forge’s tourist strip, we opted to dabble a little in both its activities and some in Gatlinburg. While there are some rather extreme tourist things to do in this area, we opted for the less extreme side of things, which included playing three different mini-golf courses (Toy Box, Ripley’s Davy Crocket’s, and Hillbilly Golf), rode several mountain coasters (Smokey Mountain Alpine Coaster and Rocky Top Coaster), which if you haven’t ever done one, it’s essentially a self-controlled roller coaster down the side of a mountain, trips to three different Starbucks (yes, I know, my one addiction got satisfied!), and ate in town twice (The Park Grill on Chris’s birthday and Sunliner Diner on mine).

Something that others might not find gratitude in, but I did, was how friendly people in the Smokey Mountain area seemed to me. Compared to what I’ve become accustomed to in the Midwest, which at least for me hasn’t felt all too friendly mainly because people say I’m too transparent and personal for them, I was quite thankful to have struck up so many random conversations with total strangers who shared much of their own personal life stories with me!

And last, but definitely not least, I want to end this Grateful Heart Monday with gratitude for my partner for doing his best to make my 50th’ birthday special and unique, for finding the log cabin we called home for five days, for orchestrating the majority of this trip, and for doing his best to help me through my bouts of pain and suffering, including patiently drive on roads that at times, frankly terrified me, especially high up in those Smokey Mountains!

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Thought For The Day

Today’s quotes surround the subject of offering unsolicited advice, a subject I also wrote about in yesterday’s Daily Reflection. Offering unsolicited advice is often far more about the person offering it, than the person receiving it…

“I never give advice unless someone asks me for it. One thing I’ve learned, and possibly the only advice I have to give, is to not be that person giving out unsolicited advice based on my own personal experience.” (Taylor Swift)

“The people sensible enough to give good advice are usually sensible enough to give none.” (Eden Phillpotts)

“Stop giving advice to people who don’t ask for it.” (Phil Cooke)

“Unsolicited advice is always meddling.” (Jonathan Lockwood Huie)

“When we give advice, we want to be helpful, we want to get someone to do what we want or what we think is right, we think we have the answers, that we know more than others, or we want to reduce our own anxiety, as sometimes we’re really worried about a loved one and feel powerless. We don’t know what else to do, so we give unsolicited advice to calm our anxiety, to feel like we’re doing something.” (Sharon Martin)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Daily Reflection

“Most people need love and acceptance a lot more than they need advice.” (Bob Goff)

On the day of my 50th birthday a week ago, I wasn’t feeling well, mentally or emotionally, both due to the very heightened state of physical pain I was feeling. Some days have been worse than others when it comes to the pain I feel, but on my 50th, it was far beyond what I could handle. Honestly, I was pretty upset with God about it, after all, it was my birthday dammit, couldn’t I have one day of relief on THIS day God?! I know, I know, a birthday is just another day, even so, heightened pain has this way of making it very hard to feel, see, hear, or connect with any of God’s love, however it may manifest. Considering that, as my 50th wound down, where tears and angst had plagued most of my half-century mark in life, I suddenly received a message from a friend. I began to read it, hoping it might be one of those “God’s Mysterious Ways” moments, where God knew exactly what I needed when I most needed it, that my birthday sorrows would all be eradicated in this one message. I’ve had many of those moments, but unfortunately, this wasn’t one of them. Instead, it was an unsolicited piece of advice of something that worked to ease much of my friend’s own bouts of chronic pain. While their intention was genuine, it only caused me greater doubt, stress, and pain, as well as a very restless sleep that night.

People often say that God communicates through others and tend to tell that story about a person who drowns in a flood after praying to God for help and then turns away the help that comes in the form of people at their door, the boat on their second-floor window, and the helicopter on the roof. Here’s the irony in that story. To believe God speaks through others, which includes a lot of advice at this point, it would include, but not limited to, countless diets, drinking my own urine, revoking my sexuality by taking up a life of celibacy, consuming edibles or some other form of medical marijuana, and even seeking out Tony Robbins and plenty of other motivational gurus. So, was God sending me people, boats, and helicopters by telling me to drink my own urine? Of course, I’m being slightly facetious here, but more than not, humans offer advice because it makes them feel better, rather than helping the very person they are wanting to help with their advice.

Nevertheless, when God has chosen to communicate to me through another, it’s always come in a way that’s left me feeling completely loved and accepted, usually with tears flowing, and with no doubt in my mind that what’s being said to me is that person, boat, or helicopter coming to help. But, when advice has been just that, just a person wanting to fix another’s brokenness, I typically feel one predominant feeling, doubt, which in this case with this friend, is all I felt.

The fact is, many of us, me included, have often played God simply by offering unsolicited advice, simply by thinking just because it helped us, it will help another. But, to the brokenhearted, the suffering, and the like, unsolicited advice like this can have the opposite desired effect and do greater harm instead. So, maybe the only thing we should be doing when we see another hurting person is to say three words, “I love you” and leave the rest with God to figure out.

I pray for the wisdom to know when the advice I want to offer is coming from my own ego or from God and when in doubt, to refrain from sharing it, knowing it could be me just trying to play God.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Silly Joke Friday

Silly Joke #1

A religious education class was almost finished making their models of the nativity scene when the teacher noticed Little Johnny had actually done a lovely job. He had made some animals, Mary, Joseph, three wise men, and the shepherds, each were all there. However, the teacher noticed an extra, rather overweight man in the scene as well.“Who is that person Little Johnny?” she asked.“Oh, that’s Round John Virgin!” said Little Johnny.

Silly Joke #2

A teacher barks at Little Johnny when she sees him blowing a bubble from a wad of chewing gum in his mouth. “Is that bubble gum I see in your mouth Johnny?!” Little Johnny nods. “In the trash can right now Johnny!” Little Johnny looks at the trash can, then back at the teacher, “With the bubble gum?”

Silly Joke #3

The new assistant priest was Little Johnny now all grown up. He was learning how to listen to confessions and an older priest says he’s going to listen in. Several confessions later, the older priest offers a few suggestions. “Cross your arms over your chest and rub your chin with one hand,” he says. “Try saying things like, ‘I see, yes, go on. I understand. How did you feel about that?” Johnny tries out the words and gestures and the old priest says, “Good, now, don’t you think that’s a lot better than slapping your knee and saying, ‘No way! You did what?!!!”

Silly Joke #4

An old man goes into the local Social Security Office and fills out an application. He doesn’t have a birth certificate to prove his age which is needed for approval. So he opens his shirt and shows them the entire chest of gray hair. The young female clerk laughs and decides to accept that as proof, as it’s obvious to her anyway the man is well over the required age. The man then goes home to his wife, shows her the approval he received and explains to her how it happened. She replies, “Well maybe you can get back down there, pull down your pants, and see if you can also get disability?”

And here’s one more because I had to leave this super corny one for good measure…

The first time Moses actually went up on Mount Sinai, before God had a chance to say anything, Moses said, “God, I have a pounding headache!!! What do I do?” God responded, “Here, take these two tablets and we’ll talk about it in the morning.”

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Thought For The Day

So, what happens when you cut corners in life? Today’s quotes are a follow-up to yesterday’s article on this subject and a great answer to that question…

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait til you hire an amateur.” (Red Adair)

“If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.” (James Goldsmith)

“You buy cheaply, you pay dearly…” (French Proverb)

“If you cut corners you just keep on going in circles.” (Grant Stoelwinder)

“Life will let you get away with something for a while, but sooner or later, you will pay the price. Everything you do in life causes the effects you experience. When you get the bill, be prepared to pay.” (Iyanla Vanzant)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

You Truly Do Get What You Pay For, Or In This Case, What I Didn’t Pay For…

People always say you get what you pay for, especially when you try to cut corners in life, and due to my own ego, I’ve had to learn that lesson far too many times, including one just recently when the air conditioner in my vehicle began having a minor issue again.

About a year ago, my car’s AC was on the fritz. So, I took it into a local car repair shop I frequent often whenever I have any need of a repair. It’s a shop I trust, as I know the manager well and consider him a friend. All they needed to do was recharge it, essentially filing the refrigerant back up and placing dye in it as well for the sake of seeing if there were any pronounced leaks. Thankfully, there weren’t, and it was an inexpensive repair to get my car’s AC running smoothly again.

Zoom forward a year later to a very hot and humid afternoon about a week ago, where I noticed a slight increase in the AC’s temperature coming out of my car’s vents. I wondered if my AC needed another recharge as I was told by the car repair shop the year prior it probably had a very small leak. Rather than taking it back to them though to do another recharge, I opted for a cheaper alternative. So, I took it to a local auto parts store where a friend works. There, his boss was willing to have me buy some refrigerant ($60) that he’d put it my vehicle for me, which would roughly save me between $60 and $80 from what I would have been charged at the car repair shop. After he was done with the free service, I was left with an AC system blowing out nothing but hot air, as compared to the mostly cold air it had blowing prior to the refrigerant being added by him. I had no choice at that point but to take my car back to the local car repair shop.

For the next 16 hours or so, I’d spend most of that time beating myself up, not getting any real sleep, wondering if I had caused more of a problem in trying to save a buck. When I finally got the call late the next morning, I discovered all that had happened was that my AC system had been overcharged. In other words, the man who had done the quick fix for me had put too much refrigerant in my vehicle causing the system to shut completely done. Once the entire AC system had been evacuated and refilled, it was returned to its normal functioning.

While I once again had to learn this invaluable lesson that has repeated many times in my life, I did have some good news come out of it. Not only was I able to get my money back from the refrigerant I had bought at that parts store, but the local repair shop also didn’t charge me their AC diagnostic fee, because they knew exactly the source of the problem given the details I had told them. Yet, while the cost of this entire process didn’t set me back much, it did cause me an undue level of stress and anxiety.

How many times I’ve done things just like this in my life, always trying to save a dollar somewhere, is countless. Trying to cut those corners and make out more ahead than behind, only to cause myself more problems and usually more financial hardship in doing so, it’s never worth it. You truly do get what you pay for, or in this case, what I didn’t pay for, which I pray I’ll clearly remember the next time I’m presented with a potential solution to some problem I’m having, where it seems like it will cut a corner for me and save me a dollar, where I know it won’t…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Question For The Day

Today’s question is…

If you had to pick ONE thing and ONLY one thing that you were the MOST grateful for in your entire life thus far, what would you say it is?

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson


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Grateful Heart Monday

It’s time for another Grateful Heart Monday, where the subject of today’s writing is always on a piece of gratitude from my life, which for today I wanted to follow up my writing from two days ago, the day where I turned the big 5-0, where I talked about the question I kept asking myself of, “Why I am here?”. I thought it’d appropriate to focus today on something connected to turning the big 5-0, and that’s all the major things I’m grateful for from the first five decades of my life. So here goes…and in no particular order of importance…

I’m grateful for all the lessons my parents taught me growing up that helped me to both learn what to do in life and not to do.

I’m grateful for getting my diploma from Arlington High School in Lagrange, NY, with an average of 94%, and a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, NY, with a GPA of 3.76.

I’m grateful to have become both a brother and founding father of Phi Kappa Psi New York Theta at RIT as well.

I’m grateful to have spent ten years in the computer industry doing everything from computer programming and software testing to quality assurance and quality control, all of which helped me to finally realize it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

I’m grateful to have owned an 8-guest room bed and breakfast for seven years (1848 Island Manor House) on a remote island in Chincoteague, Virginia where I learned much about owning my own business and realized it too wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

I’m grateful to have found sobriety and recovery from so many addictions, including alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, sex, love, codependency, and spending money.

I’m grateful to have found healing from the PTSD I endured from family alcoholism and mental health issues, from being bullied, from being molested, and from both my mother and father’s tragic and sudden deaths at their own hands.

I’m grateful to have greatly excelled in a good number of physical activities throughout my life prior to the chronic pain starting up in my life, including swimming, basketball, bowling, tennis, hiking, and biking.

I’m grateful to have travelled as much as I have both outside this country and within it, to Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada, and much of the contiguous United States.

I’m grateful to have loved and been loved by a number of partners and friends over many years to learn what loving another and being loved by another actually feels like.

I’m grateful to have lived as close as I have to major cities including New York City, Washington D.C., and Boston, where I got to explore city life as deeply as I did.

I’m grateful for the 15 hard years of volunteer work I’ve put into the addiction recovery field and all the people I’ve sponsored in the 12 Step program along the way.

I’m grateful to have had quite a few amazing spiritual experiences in my life that I can’t rationalize or explain that have led me to know there is something “out there”, “up there”, “around me”, and “within me”, that helps me to keep going in all the suffering I continue to go through with my health.

I’m grateful to the many who have prayed with me, over me, and for me throughout my life, especially in recent years with all the struggles I’ve faced.

I’m grateful to still have some family alive, including my sister and my three nephews, who love me dearly and who I love dearly as well.

I’m grateful to have survived many things that should have taken my life but never did, things that still baffle me to this day how I made it through them when so many in this world haven’t.

I’m grateful to still have all my senses present and my limbs still functioning enough to walk and drive.

I’m grateful for never having gone without food, water, or shelter at any point in my life.

I’m grateful to have been given the gift to write and speak motivationally, two things I never even knew I had until this past decade.

I’m grateful for my present partner, someone who has endured so much of my health issues and pain struggles yet remained by my side for over 10 years now, trusting and believing that I will get better, even when I’ve had a hard time believing it myself on many days.

And I’m grateful to God for having made all these things to be grateful for even possible.

So, on this Grateful Heart Monday, I choose to thank God all these things and all the things I didn’t list here yet are still upon my heart. After five decades of living, I truly have much to be thankful for, and know there will be more to be thankful for in the years to come. I pray that when my time finally comes, however many days, weeks, months, or years that is from now, that I leave this plane of existence still having a grateful heart, something I know is crucial to living a healthy spiritual life…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Question For The Day

Today’s question is…

For those who are 50 years old or older, what question, if any, did you find yourself asking the most when you turned 50?

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson


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Now That I’m The Big 5-0 Today, I Keep Asking Myself The Same Question…

Yes, I have officially turned the big 5-0 today. It’s hard to believe I’m a half century old now. Where did all those years go? Frankly, the notion that I’ve lived for 600 months, 2608 weeks, 18,262 days, 438,288 hours, 26,297,280 minutes, and 1,577,836,800 seconds is astounding! While I have plenty of mixed feelings surrounding a birthday that was always “way out there” looming in the distance, now that it’s ultimately here, I find myself asking one specific question I never asked myself at any of those prior big milestone birthdays of my younger adulthood. But, before I get into what that question is, I think it’s important to show the mindset I had on several of those previous major birthdays.

When I turned 21, I drank myself into oblivion with far too many tequila shots at a bar named Red Creek that was near my university, Rochester Institute of Technology. I felt then that I had my whole life ahead of me and didn’t care much about anything but pleasing my ego and raising my dopamine levels in any way I could. When I turned 30, I was long sober from alcohol and drugs and had settled into a relationship with someone I thought I was going to be with for the rest of my life. I was earning an amazing salary in a former computer career, and I celebrated it all with a huge Hawaiian-themed party in the backyard of my home just outside Washington, DC. I wasn’t questioning anything then because I thought I had it all figured out. But when 40 hit, I realized I hadn’t really figured out anything in life. It was then I had just begun facing some hardcore recovery work surrounding addictions I had never addressed, was in the beginning stages of the many health issues I continue to face, and had just gone through a tremendous financial loss in the upper six-figure range from my business that went under, so I wasn’t thinking much about anything except how I was going to survive. My celebration on that day was a few recovery friends and a few loved ones having a barbecue for me, one I was more checked out than in. Ten years later, turning 50 today, while I have survived through a whole heck of a lot in life thus far, I keep asking myself the same question…

Why am I here???

Is this a question that comes up frequently when one turns 50? Is it a question often asked specifically around this major birthday milestone?

At 50, being jobless, income-less, health issue-laden, and dependent upon my partner in more ways than I really wish to be, the best answer I have to that question presently is I’m here to tell my addiction and PTSD recovery story, a story that took me from a hardened and broken heart, to a caring and loving one, one that seems to inspire many each time I share it, whether it be via my writing or speaking. But is that the sole reason why I’m still here or does God have some greater plan for me that just hasn’t come to fruition yet?

While I regularly hope that one of God’s plans for me is to physically heal me from this heavy physical pain I’ve carried every day for years now, and another is to become healthy enough to return to the working class to a meaningful and fulfilling paying job, neither will matter if I don’t feel God’s peace and joy again, something I haven’t felt in almost five years, no matter how hard I’ve tried to find it. As I’ve said in many articles’ prior, living with intense chronic pain daily tends to block one from feeling that.

I often wonder if maybe that’s why both my father and mother checked out early in life, with my father making it just past 50 and my mother just past 60. Neither felt God’s peace and joy for years prior to their deaths, both being blocked by mental and emotional health issues. While I have worked through the majority of that, I have been unsuccessful finding any solution to moving beyond the chronic pain I continue to live with, which has left me feeling devoid of God’s peace and joy, more than not.

So, while I don’t want to follow in my parent’s footsteps as I begin this life beyond 50, I also don’t want to keep asking myself the same question of, “Why am I here?” I believe the only solution to move beyond this dilemma is one that requires God’s peace and joy. Because whenever I’ve felt that in life for the brief moments I have, it’s always shown me that I was exactly where I was meant to be, doing exactly what I was meant to be doing, no matter how small or difficult it may have seemed to my ego at the time. To feel that again, for the rest of my life, I don’t believe it would matter whether I was turning 50, 60, 70, or any age for that matter, as feeling God’s peace and joy will always transcend any of the ego’s need to find answers to the questions it asks itself so futilely, questions that include the very one I keep asking myself as I turn the big 5-0 today of, “Why am I here?”

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Silly Joke Friday

Silly Joke #1

A wife was watching a cooking program on television when her husband walked in.
Husband: “What are you watching that for? You can’t cook.”
Wife: “Well, I would say then that the same principle holds true with you watching all that porn!”

Silly Joke #2

A man’s beloved old white convertible was in deplorable shape, but he refused to get rid of it. So when it got stolen from his office parking lot one day, his family was delighted. Nonetheless, he called the police. Their relief became short-lived, as within an hour an officer was on the phone. “We found the car less than a mile away,” he said, trying to restrain himself. “It had a note on it that read, ‘Thanks anyway, but I realized it was far better to walk!”

Silly Joke #3

An 80+ year old elderly gentleman went to his local drug store and asked his pharmacist for Viagra. The pharmacist said “That’s no problem. How many would you like?” The man answered, “Just a few, maybe 4 or so, because I am going to cut each one into 4 pieces to make them last longer.” The pharmacist responded, “Unfortunately, that won’t work as well if end up doing that to each pill.” The elderly gentleman responded, “That’s ok. I don’t need them to work that well as I don’t have sex anymore.” The pharmacist replied, “Well if you mind me asking, what do you plan to use them for then?” The elderly gentleman replied, “Oh, I just want it to stick out far enough so I don’t pee on my clothes and shoes anymore…”

Bonus Silly Joke (Adult Humor)

A teacher asks all the kids in her 11th grade class one day what they plan to do when they officially become an adult in a few years and dreads when it comes around to Johnny’s turn who’s no longer Little Johnny but teenage Johnny, someone who’s always been known for giving the most inappropriate of responses to questions ever since he was a kid.
Teacher: “So, Johnny, what do you plan to do as an adult?”
Teenage Johnny: “I wanna start out as a Fighter Pilot, then become a billionaire investor who is able to go to the most expensive private clubs where I’ll find the finest bitch and give her whatever she wants including a mansion in Paris, which we will travel to by my private jet, and once there, I’ll be banging her like a loose screen door in a hurricane!”
While the class laughed hysterically, the teacher was completely embarrassed, shocked, and had no idea know what to say. But, rather than send Johnny to the Principal’s office like he was always being sent to, she simply decides not to acknowledge what he said at all and continues on with her lesson without skipping a beat.
Teacher: “And how about you, Sarah. What do you plan to do when you become an adult?’
Sarah: “I plan to be Larry’s bitch…”

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Thought For The Day

Today’s quotes all deal with the subject of reacting, something I’ve and I’m sure many others have done countless times in life without thinking or putting any thought whatsoever to our actions, only to regret it later. So I sought out some great quotes that helped in a motivational way for that…

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” (Charles R. Swindoll)

“Don’t react to toxic people. Not giving them a reaction when they desperately seek it, is far more powerful.” (Unknown)

“I used to spend so much time reacting and responding to everyone else that my life had no direction. Other people’s lives, problems, and wants set the course for my life. Once I realized it was okay for me to think about and identify what I wanted, remarkable things began to take place in my life.” (Melody Beattie)

“When you react to a person’s negative comments or actions in an angry way, then you are giving that person power over you. If a person can easily get a rise from you, then you are no longer in control. If you take a moment and respond in a calm, healthy, honest and real way, then you are in control and not allowing anyone to take your power away or invoke a reaction from you.” (Maria Consiglio)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

“I’m Slowly Learning That I Don’t Have To React To Everything That Bothers Me…”

Sometimes I come across motivational words sent to me by others that I feel truly represents much of what I’ve learned or am learning on my own spiritual journey in life. Today’s entry is one of those that my therapist sent me which I wanted to include in my blog today for others to hopefully draw inspiration from. It’s titled, “I’m Slowly Learning That I Don’t Have To React To Everything That Bothers Me…” and I feel it needs no further words on my part other than to simply include it in its entirety below. I hope you find meaning with it as much as I did…

I’m Slowly Learning That I Don’t Have To React
To Everything That Bothers Me…

I’m slowly learning that I don’t have to hurt those who hurt me. 

I’m slowly learning that maybe the ultimate sign of maturity is walking away instead of getting even. 

I’m slowly learning that the energy it takes to react to every bad thing that happens to me drains me and stops me from seeing the other good things in life. 

I’m slowly learning that I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and I won’t be able to get everyone to treat me the way I want to be treated and that’s okay.

I’m slowly learning that trying so hard to win anyone is just a waste of time and energy, and it fills me with nothing but emptiness.

I’m slowly learning that not reacting doesn’t mean I’m okay with things, it just means I’m choosing to rise above it, to take the lesson it has served and learn from it, to be the bigger person, to keep my peace of mind, because that’s what I truly need.

I’m slowly learning that I don’t need more drama, I don’t need people making me feel like I’m not good enough, and I don’t need fights, arguments, and fake connections.

I’m slowly learning that sometimes not saying anything at all says everything. 

I’m slowly learning that reacting to things that upset me gives someone else power over my emotions.

I’m slowly learning that I can’t control what others do, but I can control how I respond, how I handle it, how I perceive it, and how much of it I want to take personally, and that these situations say nothing about me and a lot about the other person.

I’m slowly learning that if I do react, it won’t change anything, it won’t make people suddenly love and respect me, it won’t magically change their minds.

I’m slowly learning that sometimes it’s better to just let things be, to let people go and not fight for closure or ask for explanations, to not chase down answers or expect people to understand where I’m coming from. 

I’m slowly learning that life is better lived when I don’t center it on what’s happening around me and instead center it on what’s happening inside me.

I’m slowly learning that working on myself and my inner peace that I’ll come to realize that not reacting to every little thing that bothers me is the first ingredient to living a happy and healthy life…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Thought For The Day

It seems far easier to dwell on all the things we perceive as negative in our lives, or on this planet for that matter, yet I continue to see how expressing daily gratitude becomes a far more positive action upon our lives, and our souls, hence the reason for today’s quotes…

“It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things you lack.” (Germany Kent)

“Gratitude will shift you to a higher frequency and you will attract much better things.” (Rhonda Byrne)

“Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals. If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more?” (Roy T. Bennett)

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” (William Arthur Ward)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday! Today’s piece of gratitude is dedicated to another reader of my blog who took the time to write me personally and thank me for the all the personal testimony of my life that I continue to share on this site, TheTwelfthStep. Today’s piece of gratitude is solely dedicated to them because I feel truly blessed to having received yet another confirmation from God that this blog continues to help others.

As I’ve mentioned multiple times in my writing over the past few years, I’ve often wondered if my transparent sharing of my life about recovery from addiction, the PTSD I’ve suffered from, all my health struggles, and many other aspects of my life has even helped anyone besides me. This reader’s personal letter is yet another confirmation that it is, which I am so very thankful for and so, today’s Grateful Heart Monday is dedicated to “D.” (name removed for anonymity purposes) and their sincere words to me, which are included below…

Good morning! My name is D., and I found your site maybe a year ago by accident looking up various things about addiction. I think your journey and ongoing one is amazing. I get overwhelmed (even as an adult) by how much a single person can go through, and joyful when they find God to sustain them. I am currently reading a book called “All the Feels” by Elizabeth Laing Thompson on how to deal with feeling big emotions. She reminds readers of Isaiah 43:13 “From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.” One verse out of many to remind us how He sustains us. I love the jokes too!! They are some of the best I’ve come across in a long time. Keep up your good work touching others. Best wishes, D.

D., thank you so much for reaching out, as it means more to me than you may know. I dedicate today’s Grateful Heart Monday to your sincerity and kindness to me. And best wishes to you as well…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Question For The Day

Today’s question is…

Name a song that transports you immediately back in time to your teenage years every time you hear it?

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson


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