Daily Reflection

“Don’t judge a book by its cover ‘til you’ve read the book.” (Jamie Lee Curtis)

I came home late one evening recently to find my freshly manicured yard I had left earlier in the day now strewn with leaves, branches, and a bunch of other debris. It was obvious a quick, but heavy storm had passed on through. Although it was dark outside, I opted to walk around it for about thirty minutes with a bucket and a flashlight to pick up all the remnants that the winds had left behind when suddenly one of my neighbors who was drinking quite heavily on his front porch loudly criticized what I was doing and told me it was pretty ridiculous.

It’s in moments like this where the decision to respond can either come from a Higher Place or a much lower one. Thankfully, my work in recovery from addiction helped me to choose the former. When I told him that it wasn’t too long ago that alcohol and drugs and a number of other addictions had ruled my life, where all of my energy would have been invested at times just like then in nothing but those very things, solely because of all the memories I used to hide from that included my father’s suicide and mother’s tragic drunken fall down the stairs, he immediately apologized, not once, but multiple times, and said he was sorry for judging me. Even though he had been very inebriated, the truth I shared from my Spirit had been enough to cross the threshold of his numbed state and reach his heart.

Most people don’t understand any of my OCD-based actions whatsoever. They don’t comprehend things like keeping my yard and gardens so neat and orderly because they don’t know me and haven’t read my entire book, one that is a hard read, yet one that will make far more sense to my actions they deem as crazy, once they have. As then they truly will be able to grasp how much healthier it is for me to focus late night energy into cleaning up my yard, instead of drinking or drugging or numbing myself into oblivion with anything else I was once addicted to, solely to calm any negative memories from my past.

It’s easy to judge a book by its cover, yet until you’ve read the whole story, you have no idea what someone has been through and aren’t ever going to be able to fully understand…

Dear God, I know I’ve been guilty of judging others by what I’ve seen without really knowing. Help me the next time I find myself doing this, to remember not to judge a book by its cover and maybe instead choose to start reading more into the entire story.

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

Thought For The Day

Quote #1

“The funny thing about my life is when I am being selfless and try to help someone, they think I am mean and selfish. And finally, when I decide to stop putting efforts and try to be selfish, they realize I was selfless.” (Kajal Rai)

Quote #2

“I have found that the people who accuse you of being selfish are only doing so because you are not doing what they want, when they want, in the way they want you to do it and if that makes you selfish then so be it because really they are the ones who are being selfish for expecting you to meet their demands and needs ahead of your own.” (Tony T Robinson)

Quote #3

“If you could leave your selfishness, you could see you’ve been torturing your soul.” (Rumi)

Bonus Quote

“Love is what is left in a relationship when the selfishness is taken out.” (Nick Richardson)

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

Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude becomes the focus to start the week off with, which for today is for a day trip my partner Chris, our friend Denise, and I recently took to Uniontown, Ohio on a Saturday afternoon.

I want to start this gratitude off by first thanking Denise who has been a very wonderful house and cat sitter for Chris and I a number of times. Our cat Smokey has definitely taken a huge liking to her and always seems to get super excited anytime she comes over. That being said, Chris and I invited Denise to go on this day trip to Uniontown as our way of thanking her for her ongoing help to us.

So what’s in Uniontown, Ohio you may be wondering?

It might sound silly to some, but Uniontown has probably the best miniature golf course in the state of Ohio and one Chris and I love playing. Originally built almost 60 years ago now, Rolling Greens Miniature Golf is an extremely unique course with holes that are both whimsical and extremely challenging, yet also combine the elements of regular golf where one must chip the ball a good distance away to actually reach several of the holes. Unfortunately, the weather this year caused half of the course to be shut down on our last visit there when my friend Cedric was in town, so we decided to go back one more time.

It’s about a 2.5-hour drive from our house to get there and along the way, I must say I had a lot of fun in the car laughing and joking with Chris and Denise, two things I haven’t done much of lately in my life. And while it was indeed incredibly hot when we arrived, I was surely grateful to know that both courses were finally open this time. It really was great watching Denise go through each hole and be challenged by it like Chris and I were the first time we played there. I was pretty proud of her because she got a whole lot better by the middle of the second game! I was also quite stoked that I finally got my first hole in one there, and on one of the most challenging holes at that! Although the heat did its best to dampen the spirit, we were all thankful that it wasn’t crowded and no one was constantly waiting on our heels to keep moving along, which is something that often irritates both Chris and I when playing miniature golf.

Nevertheless, after we were done playing mini golf for the day, I helped Denise find a t-shirt at a local store to replace the drenched one she had worn. We all had gotten pretty soaked from our sweat from the heat. For the life of me, I can’t remember exactly what the slogan on the shirt said, but it was perfect for her personality and totally made me smile! Shortly thereafter, we went to a new place for dinner in the same building as the store where Denise got her t-shirt, a restaurant called Hartville Kitchen Restaurant & Bakery. Known for everything being made from scratch and reminding me a lot of what Cracker Barrell was probably like early on when it wasn’t such a huge chain, I must say we all had an incredible meal, especially my sweet potato casserole and the blue cheese dressing I had on my salad! We have yet to try our homemade desserts we got from the bakery there on our way out, but I’m sure they will only add to my gratefulness from that day.

My last bit of gratitude came on our way home when I got to enjoy getting Denise her very first Frappucino from Starbucks, while my partner had an Iced Dragon fruit Tea, and I of course had my favorite, that being a decaf soy mocha, extra hot.

It’s honestly not often I can say I have good days like this, usually because my pain always seems to affect that, so I’m most certainly grateful to God for a day trip Chris, Denise, and I took to Uniontown, Ohio.

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