Thought For The Day

Today’s Thought For The Day follows the guise of “Judge not, lest thee be judged” mentality, one I wrote about in yesterday’s Daily Reflection where a barista was unfairly and wrongly judged and deemed in the process to be in the need of being saved…

“If you always judge people by their appearance, you’ll miss out on meeting and knowing some pretty amazing people.” (Unknown)

“When you judge someone on their appearance or first words, you miss the opportunity to understand another human being.” (Leon Brown)

“God doesn’t see thing the way you seem them. People judge outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.” (Ann Voskamp)

“If you judge after appearances, you will continue to be enslaved by the evidence of your senses.” (Neville Goddard)

“We judge people by their appearance so quickly, and we form opinions about people, compartmentalize people, and think we know who they are. But if you sit down and talk with someone for more than 10 minutes, you’ll find something in common, no doubt whatsoever.” (Paul Blackthorne)

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

Daily Reflection

“Judge not according to appearance…” (John 7:24)

I was in one of my favorite coffee shop hangouts recently, one where I know most of the baristas there, when I saw a proselytizing action that bothered me immensely, one solely based upon appearance. There, at the coffee shop, what unfolded before me was a young female customer handing over to a barista a few dollars stuffed into a small pamphlet. What was the pamphlet? One of those Christian conversion pamphlets I often see in bathrooms of public places that focus in on being saved.

Why this bothered me so immensely was the action was based solely upon this barista’s appearance. How did the barista look? She had bright green hair, black mascara that spread out from the sides of her eyes in triangles, and a nose ring. What I found even more frustrating was that this barista wasn’t even the person who waited upon this customer. It was simply an action that was based upon a judgment from what the customer saw with their eyes. And when that customer left, I watched her smile and glow as if she had done the most amazing action to someone she judged really needed it.

Here’s what she didn’t know. The girl with the green hair is a pretty awesome person. She loves to dance in the store to 80’s music. She greets every customer with an amazing smile and a friendly hello. And always, and I mean always, makes sure that every drink she crafts is done to perfection. She truly exudes a joy in what she does that I would go so far as to say already represents the joy of Christ. So why did she need a Christian pamphlet? She didn’t. Yet this is what I struggle often with people who proselytize their religion. They often try to save others they judge need it, who don’t need saving. They claim themselves as knowing more than the person they feel they need to save.

What I’ve come to learn in my walk with Christ, one that isn’t a religious walk and more a spiritual one, is that people will ask me when they are interested in my faith, not the other way around. I don’t believe it’s my purpose to ever judge someone else needs Jesus, or Buddha, or Mohammad, or anyone. It’s my job to not judge another on what they need at all, especially in their faith walk. It’s my job to simply be unconditionally loving and treat everyone as my equal.

Nevertheless, after that customer left that day, I talked to this barista and learned this regularly occurred in her life, which I find sad because in my book, she already represents the Jesus I know, someone who stands apart from the masses and does their best to love everyone, unconditionally. Did she need Jesus? No, but ultimately, maybe it was the customer who needed to get in touch with a little more of that…

Dear God, help me never to judge others by appearance or deem who needs you and who doesn’t. Help me instead to just love others unconditionally, just as you do of me…

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

Silly Joke Friday

Silly Joke #1

When the printouts from John’s laser printer began to grow faint, he called a local repair shop where a friendly man informed me that the printer probably just needed to be cleaned and the cartridge changed. Because the store charged $50 for the task, he told John he’d be better off reading the printer’s manual and doing the job himself. Pleasantly surprised by his candor, John asked, “Does your boss know that you are discouraging business?” “Actually it’s my boss’s idea,” the employee replied sheepishly. “We usually make more money on repairs if we let people try to fix things themselves first…”

Silly Joke #2

An interim school superintendent, speaking at a city-wide PTA luncheon, assured members that he was always happy to hear from them about problems. He told them, “You can call me anytime, day or night, at this number…” He then read the number aloud for everyone to write down. Suddenly there was a cry from his assistant superintendent. “Hey,” the assistance superintendent exclaimed, “that’s MY number!!!”

Silly Joke #3

Customer: (to bartender): “My wife and I just got into a knock down, drag out fight!”
Bartender: “What happened?”
Customer: “We weren’t seeing eye to eye about her weight gain, but when it was all over, she came crawling back to me on her hands and knees!”
Bartender: “Wow! Really?”
Customer: “Yeah, she told me to come out from under the bed!”

Bonus Silly Joke

Little Johnny is all grown up and still continues to say the most inappropriate of things at the most inappropriate of times. “I hope you like your birthday gift!”, Little Johnny says handing a gift box to his girlfriend on her birthday. She gleefully opens it up and then says sounding disappointed, “It’s a sexy pair of lingerie, thanks, but, I think this is more of a gift for you than it is for me Johnny.” Little Johnny then says, “Well, if you want to get technical about it, it was originally a gift for my last girlfriend.”

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

Question For The Day

Today’s question is…

You’re dining out at a nice restaurant for your birthday, the waiter/waitress offers you ONE free alcohol or non-alcohol beverage of your choice, what do you tell her?

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


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Have You Ever Experienced An Alcohol Blackout?

Have you ever experienced a temporary loss of memory during a period of alcohol intoxication? Most hardened drinkers, like I once was, have at some point, and to us it’s well known as having experienced a blackout, something that can be a sure sign of addiction when it happens more than once.

For those who might not understand the science behind an alcohol blackout, the gaps that occur in a person’s memory during intoxication happen when a person drinks enough alcohol to temporarily block the transfer of memories from short-term to long-term storage, something known as memory consolidation, in the hippocampus area of the brain.

To understand the difference between a non-addict experiencing an alcohol blackout versus an addict, I think it’s best to share with all of you my partner Chris’s experience with when it first happened to him and my first experience.

Chris experienced his first blackout back in 2003 on a night where he was out drinking with a few friends. Once he left the bar he was enjoying himself at, he lost all recollection of anything that took place after. He eventually “came to” once he found himself walking in his front door. The experience left him with a permanent fear that scared him so much he’s never consumed more than a single drink or two ever since and never experienced a blackout again either.

Me, on the other hand, experienced my first blackout on the very first night I ever consumed alcohol, which was in late February of 1990 at a high school party. From the moment I quickly finished my second beer, the rest of the recollection of my evening was wiped out of existence for me. I didn’t “come to” until the party was over when I was about to head home. While that should have scared me, it didn’t, as I rather enjoyed the experience. Why? Because for a moment, it allowed me to forget about all the pain of my life and helped me to feel free for once of many painful memories. I’d go on to have repeated blackouts for six more years after that night until I finally accepted I was an alcoholic and earned my first full day of sobriety on June 11th, 1995.

So, as you can see, there is a big difference in how a non-addict and an addict handles alcohol blackouts. The reality though for anyone experiencing even a single one is that it’s most definitely something to pay attention to and be concerned over. Many in 12 Step recovery over the years have told me countless stories of terrible things they’ve done during their own blackouts that ranged from DUI’s, physically hurting others or themselves, getting sexually abused, stealing, vandalizing, and worse. I have a number of my own sad stories I could share when it comes to all those years I blacked out from excessive drinking. Most had me waking up in very strange places, including other residences of people I didn’t even know. Nevertheless, the damage alcohol blackouts due on the mind and body is highly detrimental in of itself even with it happening just once, so it’s most assuredly something to pay attention to.

The bottom line is that experiencing repeated alcohol blackouts can most definitely be a sign of an active alcohol addiction or a brewing one. So, if you should ever find yourself having more than one of these, please know this isn’t a good thing, and most certainly is a warning sign that you aren’t on a healthy path with your consumption of alcohol. I highly encourage you to seek help, as you may find that it’s far better to address any potential reasons for wanting to drink to the point of blacking out, than continuing to take the risk of drinking so excessively that you might just come out of a blackout after doing something so bad that you’ll never be able to take it back…

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

Thought For The Day

Today’s quotes surround how all of God’s creatures matter…even a tiny baby robin that falls from its nest, something I wrote about in yesterday’s entry…

“If you have men that will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who deal likewise with their fellow men.” (St. Francis of Assisi)

“Love all God’s creation, the whole and every grain of sand of it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the driving mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.” (Fyodor Dostoevsky)

“In God’s eyes, all creatures have value whether we find them cuddly, affectionate, beautiful, or otherwise. Our own perspective in a way is neither here nor there. Theology, at its best, can help to liberate us from our own anthropocentric limitations.” (Andrew Linzey)

“A hundred years from now, it will not matter the sort of house I lived in, what my bank account was, or the car I drove…but what will matter is that the world may be different because I was important in the life of the animals and the creatures on this earth.” (Unknown)

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

Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another chapter of Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude remains the sole expression in my writing for the day, which for today is for having compassion for even the smallest of God’s creatures, even a tiny baby robin that fell from its nest the other day.

About a week ago, I was outside doing my typical morning chores when I noticed on the street across from me were three tiny objects that looked rather strange. I opted to stop what I was doing to go take a closer look and it’s then I discovered that a robin’s nest overhead in the tree there had shifted during the previous night’s windstorm causing all three babies to fall from it to the ground. Sadly, two of them had already died, but one was still flailing around and way too young to take care of itself. My heart wrenched as I looked down at the creature, mother nowhere in sight. Years ago, in my addiction days, I would have said “oh well” to something like this, just chalked it up as another one of those misfortunes of life and gone back to whatever I was doing prior. It’s sad to say but there was a time when I didn’t care about things like this and even did things like throw eggs from bird’s nests out of anger and rage in my life. Thankfully, I don’t carry that energy anymore. Now, I carry far more compassionate energy, especially with God’s creatures.

In light of that, watching that tiny bird flail around, so helpless in its first few weeks of life, my heart stirred greatly, so much so that I went and got my ladder, put on some gloves, and scooped that bird up. I then climbed all the way up to the very top rung where I realized I was glad I didn’t have any fear of heights, as looking down from that top step would probably have made one who does, feel some sense of vertigo. Anyway, I was just high enough to reach the nest and gently moved it back into a safe resting spot, making sure the hole the baby robins fell through was now protected. I placed the sole remaining survivor back into it and lastly said a blessing as I took the two babies that had passed on already and placed them in branches within the tree high up off the ground. After I was done with the task and the ladder put away, I wondered if that one survivor would make it. I wondered as well if it’s mother would be thankful or abandon it. Either way, I was filled with gratitude, gratitude for what 12 Step recovery has given me, which was a deeper connection to God and to my heart to care about things like this, something I never had before I ever did 12 Step recovery and lived in addictions instead.

Having an open heart today that feels compassion for things like tiny baby robins and other of God’s creatures means the world to me, because deep in addiction, the heart is often sealed shut, and life filled with nothing but anger and resentment. So, on this Grateful Heart Monday, I’m thankful to have compassion today for things like baby robins that fall from their nest, as I think that’s also symbolic of how God is with all of us, when we too fall from our nests in life like I once did with my former life of non-stop addiction…

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

Question For The Day

Today’s question is…

Was there ever a nickname given to you as a kid that you NEVER liked, that it held more negative energy for you than positive?

(Note: As an aside, you can help remove any negative energy remaining from this by saying aloud the following three times, “I am not (insert nickname), I am (your full birth name)!”)

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


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The Terrible Nickname I Was Given As A Kid That Began PTSD From Being Bullied…

“Andy Dawgskin! Andy Dawgskin! Andy Dawgskin!” I can still hear those awful chants, even at 50 years old, of those kids from my youth who constantly made fun of me in our neighborhood, on the bus, at school, and pretty much everywhere. This nickname, one placed upon me by a local kid around the corner who simply manipulated my last name in a negative-sounding way, would go on to haunt me and become an initial PTSD marker for being bullied incessantly for years to come.

When I see kids today getting bullied, whether it’s in the movies or television shows I watch, or whether it’s when I’m actually out and about in some public place where it’s occurring, it always does a number on my heart. While I’ve experienced a lot of healing from all the PTSD of getting bullied as a kid, I’ve worked with plenty in 12 Step recovery who are adults now that continue to carry massive wounds from it and where addiction is still a strong resource to handling the pain from it. I can relate to that because alcohol and drug addiction were the very things that initially helped me in life to numb myself from the many years I was bullied and rejected by peers. Ironically though, consuming alcohol and doing drugs also helped me to find acceptance in this world with the many who did either with me.

While I may not be angry or resentful anymore at all those who once bullied, there’s still a great sadness that remains within me surrounding it, one that always has me feeling like I’m on the outside looking in at everyone else having fun together. You see, ever since shedding my old chameleon-like personality that began at 17 just to avoid getting bullied, and since shedding so many addictions as well, I often feel that no one wants to be around me because I no longer fit in with what the masses do. What’s even harder to deal with is how I frequently become clingy and needy, and sometimes even overly pushy, when I actually end up making a new friendship, because that kid in me becomes so desperate for acceptance and approval, two things I never got growing up. I’m thankful for the courage God has given me to continue working on this and speaking so openly about it. While I may always care on some level about what others think of me due to the amount of bullying and rejection I endured as a kid, I at least can say I’m living out my more authentic self now than ever before, which is why I want to say this.

To all those people out there who have blocked me, mocked me, talked behind my back, and spread what you believe to be true about me in countless gossipy ways, I’m a good person with a good heart, who’s choosing to face his own insecurities now, instead of numbing myself from them. Maybe instead of judging me and doing what is no different than the bullying I endured as a kid, you should take a look in the mirror at yourself. Rather than continuing to do hurtful actions that inflict pain upon others including me, actions that really are no different than those who once chanted, “Andy Dawgskin” repeatedly, maybe it’s time for you to look within on why you are so bothered by who I am as much as you are.

Regardless of what any may choose to think of me today or in the past, I am not “Andy Dawgskin” anymore, and I release everything still within me tied to a name and negative energy I never wanted or deserved. And I also release all the pain I received from all the bullies in this world as well who have ever hurt me, once and for all. I am Andrew Arthur Dawson, and I love my authentic self…even if you don’t…or ever will…

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

Silly Joke Friday

Silly Joke #1

A guy walks into a bar and says to the bartender, “A glass of your finest Less, please.” “Less? Never heard of it my friend…”, the bartender responds. “C’mon, I’m sure you have!”, the guy insists. “No, really, I don’t think we stock it. What is it? Some kind of foreign beer?”, the bartender says baffled. “I’m not sure. But, my doctor told me today that I really needed to start drinking Less and I told him I would get right on that!!!”

Silly Joke #2

An out-of-work actor gets a call from his agent one day. “I’ve got you a job,” says his agent. “That’s great,” says the actor, what is it?” “Well,” says his agent, “it’s a one-liner in a play.” “That’s okay,” replies the actor, “I’ve been out of work for so long I’ll take anything. What’s the line?” “Hark, I hear the cannons roar” says the agent. “I love it” says the actor. “When’s the audition?” “Wednesday” says the agent. Wednesday comes and the actor arrives at the audition, which isn’t too far from his house. He marches on stage and shouts bravely: “Hark, I hear the cannons roar!”. “Brilliant!”, says the director, “you’ve got the job. Be here 9 o’clock Saturday evening.” The actor is so happy he finally got an acting gig that he goes on a major bender for a few days that he ends around 8:00pm Saturday night. He runs to the theatre still somewhat under the influence, continually repeating his line, “Hark, I hear the cannons roar, Hark, I hear the cannons roar, Hark, I hear the cannons roar.” When he arrives at the stage entrance, out of breath, he is stopped by the guard. “Who the hell are you?” asks the guard. “I’m “Hark, I hear the cannons roar!” “Well, if you are “Hark I hear the cannons roar”, you’re freaking late. Get to makeup right now!” So he runs to makeup. “Who the hell are you” asks the makeup girl. “I’m “Hark I hear the cannons roar!”” “Well, if you’re hark I hear the cannons roar”, you’re freaking late. Sit down!” She quickly applies the makeup. “Now hurry, get down to the stage, you’re about to go on.” He dashes down to the stage where’s he met by the stage manager. “Who the hell are you?” asks the stage manager. “I’m “Hark, I hear the cannons roar!”” “Well, if you’re “Hark, I hear the cannons roar, you were almost replaced! Be ready! You’re about to go on!” A few minutes later the stage manager says it’s his time to go out there. So he tears onto the stage, sees the house is full, when suddenly a huge cannon goes off behind him, startling him totally out of his bender, where he shouts, “WHAT THE F$$K WAS THAT?”

Silly Joke #3

There was a farmer who grew some pretty amazing watermelons. He was doing pretty well in the watermelon business because of it, but he was disturbed by some local kids who kept sneaking into his watermelon patch at night and eat some of them. After some careful thought, he came up with a clever idea that he thought would scare them away for sure. So, he made up a sign and posted it in the field. The next night, the kids showed up and they saw the sign which read, “Warning! One of these watermelons in this field has been injected with cyanide.” The kids left without disturbing any and came back the next night with a sign of their own. When the farmer came out the next morning, he surveyed the field and noticed that while no watermelons were missing, a sign had been placed next to his that read, “Now there are two!”

Bonus Silly Joke

A man walked into a bar on a slow night and sat down. After a few minutes, the bartender asked him if he wanted a drink. He replied, “No thanks. I don’t drink. I tried it once, but I didn’t like it.” So the bartender said, “Well, would you like a cigarette?” But the man said, “No thanks. I don’t smoke. I tried it once, but I didn’t like it.” The bartender asked him if he’d like to play a game of pool, and again the man said, “No thanks. I don’t like pool. I tried it once, but I didn’t like it. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be here at all, but it’s where my only son asked to meet me.” The bartender said, “Well, I guess that means you tried sex once too, but didn’t like it either?

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

Question For The Day

Today’s question is…

If God were to send you a sign of God’s presence in your life via a living, but non-human form, what form (be very specific) would you choose to have it come in?  (Ex. Golden Retriever, Sphinx Cat, Robin, Praying Mantis, etc.)

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


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God’s Mysterious Ways

Thank you for joining in to another entry of my series, God’s Mysterious Ways, where I write about things that may be more than just coincidences, where God may very well indeed have a hand behind it, which for today is for a friendly robin, who’s presence recently, during one of my weekly chores, may have also been a messenger hand-delivered by the Big Guy himself.

Just over a week ago, I was midway through my weekly mowing of both my yard and my neighbor’s when I noticed a robin was flittering around a few feet from where I was pushing the lawnmower. I didn’t pay much attention to it because honestly, I was deep in my head, feeling overly sorry for myself, like I have been more that not lately, mostly surrounding this pit of emptiness I continue to feel within. If there’s ever been a thorn in my side that’s been plaguing me, it’s this emptiness, an emptiness that stems from feeling like joy is a million miles away no matter how hard I try to find or create it.

Regardless, as that emptiness spilled over into me cutting my neighbor’s yard, I didn’t even notice that this robin had followed me over there. That was until I began to mow one line after another there, when this robin seemed like it was making a far concerted effort to get my attention. I’d push the mower in one direction where it stood almost in my path, when it was abruptly bound out of the way at the last minute and stand still a mere few feet from me. Frankly, it surprised me, as I’ve never seen any bird enjoy all that noise that emits from any lawnmower. After I mowed a few more lines, I decided to give the robin a friendly wave, after which I totally silly, telling myself I was imagining things. Even so, it remained with me for the duration of me mowing the neighbor’s front yard, at which no point was I even thinking that this was some messenger of God or one of God’s mysterious ways to communicate with me. I simply thought it was one brave robin.

Regardless, I then headed into my neighbor’s backyard, which was what I had left to finish out my weekly mowing task, when I suddenly had a random thought. What if this robin really was somehow a messenger from Source? I know that sounds funny, but at that moment, I was really desperate for a message of hope. As I began to mow that backyard, I had already cut a few strips when I said in my head, “Ok, God, if that robin really was from You, then have it come back into this backyard as I mow, and I’ll know it’s You.”  And wouldn’t you know, as I turned the mower around and headed back towards the house, there it was, staring at me while it fluttered about.

That robin would remain with me a few minutes longer, but when I finally acknowledged that maybe indeed God really did send this robin to me that day to remind me that He really is there, wouldn’t you know, it then flew away, leaving me with yet another interesting story to share with all of you, one that may just be another case of God’s Mysterious Ways…

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

Thought For The Day

Hope is something that I keep alive, even on those days when I find myself saying, “Why bother?” Today’s quotes talk more about why I keep hope alive…there is a reason…and it’s kept me going thus far…

“If it were not for hope, the heart would break.” (Thomas Fuller)

“You should never give up, no matter how hard the situation is. Always believe that something beautiful is going to happen.” (Evan Carmichael)

“Good things come to those who believe, better things come to those who are patient, and the best things come to those who don’t give up.” (Unknown)

“Never give up hope. Situations can change over night and problems can dissolve in the light of a new day’s sun.” (Leon Brown)

“How long should you try? Until.” (Jim Rohn) 

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

Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude remains the sole expression at the start of every week on TheTwelfthStep, which for today is for my sister Laura’s recent summer birthday trip to Toledo!

A few months ago, just prior to me turning 50, Laura asked me what I wanted as a gift for the big milestone that was coming up. My answer was the only one I truly wanted, which was for her to come visit me. Seeing any of my remaining family at any point is an absolute blessing in my life, and her recent trip to Toledo was no exception.

From the moment I picked her up, our weekend was filled with many things to be grateful for. Our first day together we went to downtown Detroit and saw the Van Gogh Immersion exhibit, something we both have wanted to see for some time, and it was such an amazing experience, especially for the visual and hearing senses. Dinner that night was at Mark Wahlberg’s restaurant, Wahlburgers, in Greektown, and dessert afterwards from Astoria Bakery, quite possibly one of the best bakeries I’ve ever been to.

Our second day began with breakfast at The Speedtrap Diner in Woodville, Ohio. This diner is one of my favorite out-of-the-way unique joints to go to locally for a meal where the walls and ceiling have so much to look at and where it honestly feels like I’ve travelled back in time to the 1950’s. Not too far from there is The Schedel Gardens, a beautiful botanical garden and arboretum situated alongside the bank of a small river in Elmore, Ohio. There, we spent the afternoon and it might just have been the most peaceful and unique gardens I’ve ever visited, where there are multiple places to relax, each with a different theme that makes it ultimately feel like you’ve travelled to several different parks in the world. Dinner that night was a homecooked meal that included a sausage and cheddar lasagna, tossed salad, and garlic bread, all prepared from scratch by my partner Chris. The evening ended with watching a moving romantic film titled “Finding You”, a movie I first discovered on Prime and later bought for re-watching at home because I liked it so much.

Our final day included a trip to one of my top ten restaurants, The Melting Pot, which is an amazing experience if you like fondue. There, we had three courses of it beginning with a cheddar-based one, then a meat, fish, and vegetables one in a Coq Au Vin broth, and finally one with a cookies and cream milk and dark chocolate concoction that had an incredible assortment of things to dip into including cream puffs, salted caramel cheesecake, brownies, macaroons, and much more. It was most definitely a huge caloric experience that’s for sure, which is probably good that we went and played a totally fun game of putt-putt in Garden City, Michigan at Garden City Mini Golf.

While all of the experiences I shared with my sister were things to be grateful for, what I have the greatest gratitude for from her trip here was simply all the time we shared together talking, reconnecting, and bonding further together, given all the years we once were more apart as brother and sister. I will most certainly treasure the memories from her visit for some time to come, and it’s most definitely something to dedicate today’s Grateful Heart Monday to!

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

Thought For The Day

In light of the slightly remixed serenity prayer I shared in yesterday’s posting, I wanted to share other versions of it that I came across on the Internet, as I found them quite inspiring as well…

“God, grant me the serenity to stop beating myself for not doing things perfectly, the courage to forgive myself because I’m working on doing better, and the wisdom to know that you already love me just the way I am.” 

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.”

“God, grant me the honesty to say what will prove to be helpful, the tact to not say what will prove to be unhelpful and maybe even hurtful, and the strength to know when to hold my tongue.”

“God, grant me the yearning to keep my hopes and dreams alive that are meant to come true, the realism to let them go when they aren’t, and the knowledge of other hopes and dreams I may not have discovered on my journey yet.”

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

The Serenity Prayer Slightly Remixed…

I’ve often struggled with the serenity prayer as it’s written and recently have had to slightly remix it in a way that makes far more sense to me on my spiritual journey. For those who don’t know this prayer, it’s written as follows:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

While this prayer is said throughout the vast majority of 12 Step addiction recovery meetings around the globe and one frequently utilized in many individual prayers as well, it’s a prayer I’ve struggled with, mostly due to the way my mind keeps interpreting the middle statement within it.

You see, I’ve not had an issue throughout the majority of my adult life, which now encompasses over 27 years of continuous sobriety from alcohol and drugs, finding the courage to change something. In fact, I walk through numerous avenues of fear every single day looking to change anything my ego doesn’t like, especially in recent years when it comes to all my health issues. I’m the type of guy who’s very willing to take up any challenge that will help to overcome any obstacle on my spiritual journey. Take for example the fear of spiders I have at times in life. I often utilize my courage when I see one, to actually touch it, just to prove to my ego that the fear of it won’t control me. How this relates to my struggle with the serenity prayer as it’s written is this.

While the intention of the serenity prayer is truly at its core seeking wisdom as to whether to accept something or change it, my ego interprets it differently. It sees it more so as a decision between accepting things I don’t have the courage to face and changing the things I do have the courage to face. Because of this, I often find myself trying to change one thing after another, even when God may not want me to, because I typically don’t struggle with finding courage for anything, it’s just always there.

This is why I’ve recently begun working on saying the serenity prayer in a slightly different way, one that makes far more sense to me and one my ego can’t misinterpret for it’s own benefit. Because the biggest battle I face in life presently isn’t in finding the courage to change something, it’s in knowing whether God actually wants me to change it in the first place. Said in a slightly different way, my struggle on plenty of days is whether God wants me to work on changing some aspect of my life or whether God wants me to be still and accept it.

So, this is the serenity prayer I’ve slightly remixed to aid my spiritual journey in a way I understand far better and one I hope will help others who have had similar struggles with it as well…

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the knowledge to change the things I’m meant to, and the wisdom to know the difference.” 

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

Silly Joke Friday

Silly Joke #1

Little Johnny: Mom, you know that show Dora The Explorer?
Mom: Yes, Johnny, what about it dear?
Little Jonny: Well, if she’s always getting lost, and people are always out looking for her, why don’t they just call it Dora The Amber Alerter?

Silly Joke #2

Tao: Stuff happens.
Catholicism: You need to confess your stuff to be saved.
Judaism: Stuff happens because you didn’t follow the rules.
Islam: Stuff happens according to the will of Allah.
Buddhism: All stuff is an illusion.
Zen: What is the sound of stuff happening?
Hinduism: This stuff has happened before many times.
Mormonism: Stuff can be prevented by going door-to-door.
Evangelical: The stuff is your thorn to bear that’s meant to humble you!
Agnosticism: I need proof that something is behind all this stuff!
Atheism: All that stuff about the stuff is just a bunch of made up stuff!
Jonestown: Forget about the stuff and just drink this Kool-Aid.

Silly Joke #3

An elderly couple was attending church services. About halfway through the aging wife leans over and whispers to her aging husband, “I just silently passed a bunch of gas but thankfully it didn’t smell. I’m not sure though if I should head to the bathroom and see if I have to go? What do you think I should do dear?” Her husband replied, “I think we need to put some new batteries in your hearing aids dear and we may also need to get you a COVID test…”

Bonus Silly Joke

Little Johnny was now a teenager working in a supermarket when suddenly he’s approached by a guy holding some carrots. “My wife asked me to buy organic carrots from the market, but I looked around and couldn’t find any. All I found were these…”, he said holding them up. “Do you know if these have been sprayed with any poisonous chemicals?” Little Johnny looked at him and said, “No. If you want that on them, you’ll have to do that yourself…”

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

Thought For The Day

Today’s quotes surround the subject of blame, especially that of which was discussed in yesterday’s Daily Reflection entry…

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame the on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” (Albert Ellis)

“Everything you do is based on the choices you make. It’s not your parents, your past relationships, your job, the economy, the weather, an argument, or your age that is to blame. You and only you are responsible for every decision and choice you make. Period.” (Wayne Dyer)

“If you are looking to inspire people, then blaming is the last thing you want to do.” (Kate Summers)

“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” (John F. Kennedy)

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

Daily Reflection

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

Many eons ago, I had received tickets to a special early screening of a very politically charged movie about 9/11 at an artsy theater in downtown Washington, D.C. After the movie ended, I left the theater deep in thought about it, when suddenly, a major television news anchor directly outside accosted me, demanding to know if many of the problems of our country at the time were because of the current POTUS. The answer I gave her then wasn’t one she expected nor wanted to hear, as she quickly moved on to another patron who emerged behind me. What I told her was simply that the problems in our country weren’t the President’s fault, they’re ours.

During much of Biden’s Presidency thus far, as well as during Trump’s, and Obama’s, and before that Bush Jr., Clinton, Bush Sr., and all the way to as far back as I can remember with Reagan, the number of judgments I’ve heard that blame the state of our country on who’s in the POTUS position is countless at this point. How many of those judgments also came from strong devout followers from faith-based religions where judgment isn’t even supposed to be a part of their walk is also countless.

All this finger pointing at the President has always baffled me because those constantly doing it, are also the ones saying and doing things regularly in their lives that is just as judgmental and unloving and has nothing to do with who’s President. It has to do with no one else except themselves. But it’s far easier to focus on things like the high cost of housing, massive inflation, steep gas prices, tanking 401k’s, constant gun violence, and more, and place blame upon it all on the current President, rather than taking a hard look in the mirror at oneself and beginning to focus on changing our own attitudes in life. It’s by changing oneself and how others are treated is how we will ever see any positive change happen in this country.

For all those who regularly complain about any President, or Vice President, or anyone in political power for that matter, simply resorting to shouting obscenities, throwing judgments, shaming, bashing, or doing any of the sort, will accomplish nothing but spread more hatred. For five decades, I’ve watched one individual after another blame the POTUS for the misery in their lives, rather than look at how they themselves act towards the rest of the world. Change begins by looking at that, by practicing more restraint of tongue and pen, and by living out greater unconditional love and tolerance for all. Maybe if we all started doing that, we might finally see the changes we seek at the POTUS level coming to fruition because it’s already manifested within us all…

May the change I want to see always begin with me God… 

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

Thought For The Day

Today’s quotes don’t fall under any specific type of category, but given the struggles I often find myself having up in my head, I looked for motivational quotes to help keep myself going when that happens…

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” (Dolly Parton)

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” (Winston Churchill)

“Everything that you are going through is preparing you for what you’ve asked for.” (Unknown)

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” (Joshua J. Marine)

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

Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude always gets expressed to kick the week off, which for today is for something I’ve already written about ever so slightly in my last few articles but wanted to take the time to express more deeply, and that’s the recent summer trip I took to see my closest friend, Cedric.

It’s amazing to think that Cedric and I started our journey in this life together when I was only 25 years old, and he was 34. The amazing memories we now have over two and a half decades are endless and if there’s one thing we always seem to enjoy doing together it’s taking trips somewhere. This summer it was to York, Maine, where we spent four days enjoying a section of the country neither of us had ever spent any time there.

In addition to the enjoyment of swimming in the chilly waters there and hanging out on the oceanfront top-floor balcony listening to music, especially at dark, the highlights I’m most grateful for are for the entire day we got to play six games of mini-golf (Schooner Mini Golf, Raptor Falls Mini Golf, Wells Beach Mini Golf, and Wonder Mountain Mini Golf), the drives we took along the scenic Route 1 from Saco, Maine down to Portsmouth, NH, the restaurants we dined at (Three Sisters in Biddeford, Maine, Luigi’s West End Pizzeria in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, So Zap in Ogunquit, Maine, and The Kitchen in Portsmouth, New Hampshire), the daily Starbucks hangouts that were filled with lots of laughter, especially the one in downtown Portsmouth where a total stranger named Tim told us his entire life story in an hour, watching the entire new season of The Umbrella Academy on Netflix together late at night, having the best cookies ever from Crumbl Cookies in Newington, Rhode Island, visiting Nubble Lighthouse in York, Maine, which I think might just be the prettiest lighthouse I’ve ever seen, and taking a long walk into downtown York after the sun set for the evening.

Beyond our four-day visit to Maine, I wanted to also mention a few other things I was grateful for on this weeklong vacation. The first is for reconnecting with my dear friend Sean Slater who picked me up from the Providence airport and took me to dinner in North Kingstown to Wickford on the Water where we had the best fish tacos next to an inlet and then enjoyed some Starbucks afterwards in downtown Providence. The second is for reconnecting with my dear friend Debbie Coon who met us in Quincy, Massachusetts for an early dinner at Port 305 where we sat by the water and enjoyed coffee afterwards in Braintree at another Starbucks (Yes, I know, I have an addiction to Starbucks! LOL!). And lastly, for visiting Nobska Lighthouse on my final day of the trip where they were giving away free homemade ice cream (Yum!), for pizza afterwards at Marc Anthony’s in Onset with my recovery friend Nick L., and for him coordinating for me to do a 12 Step recovery lead at his home group, Buzzards Bay Monday night, to end the evening.

So yes, I have much to be grateful for on this Grateful Heart Monday’s recap of my recent trip back east and want to end by thanking Cedric for making it all possible and leaving me with plenty of lasting memories from another vacation in our decades long friendship.

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

Question For The Day

Today’s question is…

Where do you most feel connected to God/Source/Higher Power:

  1. The ocean
  2. The forest
  3. Your garden
  4. Being with friends
  5. Being with your partner
  6. Being with your pets
  7. When reading
  8. When listening to music
  9. When engaging in creative expression (writing, singing, painting, etc.)
  10. You never feel connected to any God/Source/Higher Power.

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

Daily Reflection

“The waves of the sea help me get back to me.” (Jill Davis)

I hope one day life where I call home is also a place close to the ocean, as no matter what ocean I’ve visited throughout my life thus far, it’s taught me many lessons and help me find some level of peace within me. This held true a few weeks ago when I travelled with my best friend Cedric to York, Maine and stayed in an Atlantic Ocean beachfront hotel for four nights.

While the temperatures were unseasonably cool during our first three days there and weren’t conducive for swimming or sunbathing, I still felt inspiration from it. Most of that came late at night or early each morning from our balcony where I would listen to the lull of its waves and look out at the expansiveness of it all. I seem to relate far more to whatever God is in the expansiveness of the ocean, mostly because it’s so vast and something I also can’t control, the latter being the biggest struggle in my life and something I was reminded of when I finally was able to take a swim in the ocean on our last day of our trip.

I’m a pretty good swimmer, having grown up in a pool and having swum competitively from the ages of 5 to 17. The funny thing about that though, is that even the best of swimmers often struggle against the fury of the sea, which was precisely what happened when I made my way out into it on that final day in York. As frigid waters stung my extremities, I fought through the icy coldness and began to be met with one huge wave after another bashing into my body. Some of the waves coming at me were far over my 6’5” frame and probably the very reason why the lifeguards were on high alert that day. I could hear their whistles constantly going off trying to keep swimmers closer to shore, as there also was a riptide that day. And when’s there’s one of those, you’ll definitely know it. You see, it’s those aspects of the ocean that constantly remind me that God is far bigger than I because I couldn’t control any of those waves that day nor could I control that riptide, as the more I fought against either, the more I simply wore out becoming quickly tired. Eventually, I found far greater peace letting them take me where they did and it’s then I realized how much it was symbolic of my life.

I often fight against the ocean of my life, constantly trying to control the direction of where each of its waves take me. I have fought so hard to grasp control of the waves of my health, my finances, my relationship, my yard, my gardens, my friends, and well, a lot more. And every time I have, it’s gotten me nowhere except exhausted. The ocean reminded me of that, that day in those frigid waters, as I clearly saw that the only thing waiting for me whenever I fought against a wave and made it through, was yet another wave looming beyond it.

So, maybe it’s finally time to just ride out all these waves of my life, letting them take me where they will, trusting that the ocean, that God, is not something to fight against, and rather, something to ride alongside instead, as maybe the place where they’re headed is one filled with far greater peace than the lack of it that’s come from constantly trying to fight against them all…

May the lessons of the sea continue to bring me closer to You God and to myself as well. 

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

Silly Joke Friday

Silly Joke #1

Bob received a text one day from from his neighbor John. “I am so sorry Bob. I’ve been riddled with guilt and at church I was led to confess. I have been tapping your wife, for a long while now, every time you haven’t been home. I wasn’t getting it at home, but I know now that’s no excuse. I’ve been feeling so bad about it and have ended doing it. I hope you will accept this as my sincerest apology.” Bob, anguished and feeling betrayed, confronted his wife, and began having the worst fight of his marriage. He screamed he was leaving her because of her infidelity and shouted the worst of obscenities towards her. Suddenly, his phone beeped, it was a second text came from John, “Oh my, I’m so sorry Bob, I just realized my text message was autocorrected, it was supposed to say “wifi”, not “wife”!

Silly Joke #2

Two guys were sitting at the bar. One of them said, “I have a date with a beautiful woman tonight who is planning on coming over to my home for dinner but I’m struggling with how to make it really special.” “How so?” asked his friend. “Well, um… for example what do you think will go better with waffles, red or white wine?” His friend responded, “Um, is it too late to cancel your date?”

Silly Joke #3

Aging Wife: Why do you spend so much time with your 1968 Corvette?

Aging Husband: Well you know dear, they say a man’s car is a reflection of himself.

Aging Wife: Well, I guess I have to agree then, as sometimes your car doesn’t want to start, but when it does, it sputters a lot and back fires before it finally gets going…

Bonus Silly Joke (Adult Humor)

A divorced man, after knocking back a few drinks at a party, bumps into his ex-wife’s new husband. He decides to mock him out of anger and walks over to him and sneers: “So, how do you like using second-hand goods huh George?” “Doesn’t bother me one bit Larry,” George replies. “According to my wife, once I’m past those first three inches, it’s all brand new!”

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

Thought For The Day

Today’s quotes surround the subject of asking for help and the humility that often brings for people…

“By asking for help, it’s not that you’re weak, it’s not that you’re anything like that, it’s just allowing somebody else to give their gift.” (Marleau Holden)

“Humble people ask for help.” (Joyce Meyer)

“I’m courageous enough to know I can accomplish great things. I’m humble enough to know when to ask for help.” (Katrina Mayer)

“The strong individual is one who asks for help when he needs it.” (Rona Barrett)

“Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.” (Ziad K. Abdelnour)

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

Asking For Help Isn’t Easy For Me And Has Been Quite Humbling…

Asking for help isn’t easy for me and it’s something I’m not that great at doing…at all really. But, in light of how my life has changed dramatically over the past decade due to my financial and health states, it’s something I’m finding myself having to do more and more, which has left me feeling extremely humbled.

Prior to the loss of my former business and before my health really went downhill, Andrew, and yes, I’m purposely speaking about myself in the third person, was the type of guy who had more ego than humility. Many would describe Andrew then as the type of person whose ego was so big it couldn’t fit through any doorway he walked into. I denied that repeatedly, never wanting to see how much the money I had then ruled my life. Yet, it did, but now I don’t have it anymore and that’s definitely been humbling me.

This came to light recently when I didn’t have the money to attend my 30th reunion for my fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, at my alma mater, Rochester Institute of Technology. I humbled myself and let my brothers know via our Facebook group that I wouldn’t be able to attend as much as I wanted to, because I didn’t have the money. In the process of me humbling myself and expressing that truth to my brothers, God made it possible for me to attend when another brother paid for my attendance, which was also just as humbling.

To my ego, having another pay for me, especially because of where I once was with income, once felt like it was beneath me. That’s because of being raised in a family that always tried to show the world we had something they wanted. It was all fake though. But now that my health has waned incredibly over the past few years, I find myself having to ask for help financially and in other ways as well.

I’ve had to get a wheelchair at the airport at times when I’ve visited my sister Laura or my best friend Cedric. I’ve had to board early as well on those trips due to the pain levels I endure. I’ve had to ask my partner and friends for help with some outdoor chores. I’ve even had to ask those who have wanted me to go on trips to cover greater parts of it like the hotel rooms, as I can’t justify it anymore. All of this has been truly humbling because of how much I based much of self-esteem for most of my life on what others think of me. And by having to ask for help in these ways and others, my ego believes I’ll be judged far more and accepted far less.

Nevertheless, the latest humbling moment I’ve experienced was in me having to ask the Executive Director of my National fraternity for help to get to the upcoming fraternity convention I’m presently attached to attend. My original intention to go was to do a 12 Step recovery presentation during it on alcohol and drug addiction. While the alumni association in my area was willing to pay for the registration, I’m on my own to cover the rental car to get there, and my hotel stay during it, neither of which I can afford at this time. Asking the Executive Director, someone I really don’t know at all, for assistance with this was quite humbling for me. But even more humbling will be me cancelling my attendance if I don’t receive any financial assistance.

While I find all the humility I’ve had to face in recent years with me asking for help with things I never used to challenging, I believe it’s been a necessary step in the evolvement of me becoming the spiritual being I want to become in life. As whom I was before, one that wasn’t ever allowing himself to ask for help or be humbled in any way, shape, or form, the person I am becoming now, the Andrew I am becoming today, is one I most assuredly like a lot better…and I think others who once knew me as that old Andrew would tend to agree as well…

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

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