Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, the day I write about one piece of gratitude from my life to start my week off with, which for today is for a beautiful spiritual teacher who I know likes to remain anonymous, so I will refer to her as “M”.

Well over a decade ago now, I was initially brought into the life of “M”, a gifted Native American Shaman, when I became aware that I had some dark energy attached to me that I couldn’t seem to shake on my own. “M” helped to fully remove that energy from me and also provided some great spiritual guidance to assist me in moving forward on my spiritual journey. Unfortunately, I wasn’t totally ready for her help and instead, I chose to move backwards and descended deeper into low vibrational behaviors, i.e. addictions.

Over the next seven years that were to follow, “M” never gave up on me and told me she was always just a phone call away if I was to ever need any help. And she was, as anytime I was in what I like to call a crisis mode, I’d contact her for some sort of support. And anytime we connected, I received just that. On some level, she became the mother I never had, an incredible nurturer who knew exactly what to say to help me out of my doldrums.

Thankfully, in the spring of 2012, I finally became 100% willing to move out of all the low vibrational energies and addictions I had been keeping myself imprisoned in for so long and asked her if she’d be open to becoming my full-time spiritual teacher. I was more than grateful when she said she would and it was from that point forward that the biggest spiritual shift in my life would begin. From then on, “M” never charged me a single dime for any of her help, EVER! And the gratitude I have for the many ways she provided all that free help is countless.

Here are just some of those ways that I have a deep level of gratitude every time I think of “M”:

  1. During the first two years, “M” made herself available three times a week for check-in phone calls that lasted anywhere from 1 to 2 hours of time. And during the second two years, as I spiritually grew, we still spoke at least two times a week for similar lengths.
  2. “M” did routine energy work on me to help clear the many energy imbalances I had within during our time together.
  3. “M” sent me a number of holistic remedies to provide healing for various ailments that arose during our time together.
  4. On one occasion, “M” travelled several hundred miles just to see me and spend an evening where we had dinner and where she did some hands-on healing work to clear some of the blockages I had at the time.
  5. During another trip where her only purpose was to help an ailing member of her family, “M” still took time out of her busy schedule to meet with me and do some hands-on healing work.
  6. Whenever I needed a shoulder to cry on and was facing any of my terrible days of pain and anguish, “M” was always there to provide me reassurance and comfort.
  7. “M” taught me to see the good in me when I couldn’t see it for myself and also helped me to learn how to nurture myself.
  8. “M” always seemed to know just where I needed to place the bulk of my spiritual work in and had the insight to guide me in the right direction time and time again.
  9. “M” even provided help to my sister and my partner when they were in need of some specific guidance.
  10. And most importantly, “M” never gave up on me, even when so many others did and even when I wanted to as well.

These are just some of the many reasons why I have to be grateful for “M”. Two years ago, though, my work with “M” moved in a new direction and was one that my ego wasn’t ready to face. She asked me to become my own spiritual teacher and to learn how to balance my own medicine wheel. In other words, it was time for mother bird to push her fledging out of the nest. And while initially, I begged and pleaded with her to reconsider this change, I realized as the months would pass without our direct contact, that it was exactly what was needed because I had become codependent on her to heal me.

Two years later, I am presently standing on my two feet now, being supported as best as can be with the guidance of my Higher Power. It’s difficult, believe me, more than I would like to admit on far too many of days. There are plenty of moments where I truly miss “M” and her friendship, her guidance, her love, her comfort, and her reassurance. But, I know that I must finish this on my own, with the aid of my Higher Guidance and my Inner Guidance and when this chapter is complete, I’m confident the Universe will bring us back together in some way.

For now, though, I am more than grateful, exceptionally grateful at that, for all the lessons, unconditional love, and acts of kindness that “M” brought into my life, as each have helped me to become who I am rapidly becoming, more and more with each passing day. I know the Universe brought “M” into my life for four solid years to be an exceptional spiritual teacher and guide, solely to propel me to become one day the teacher I believe I’m meant to become.

So, thank you “M” for all that you’ve done and for all that you continue to do, I’m truly grateful.

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

Grateful Heart Monday

Thank you for choosing to read today’s Grateful Heart Monday entry, which is a relatively new series where I begin my week writing about an important piece of gratitude from my life, as I feel it truly helps to start it off on a positive note. And after considerable thought, I decided that what I’m most grateful for this week is each the sponsees I work with in the 12 Step recovery world from addiction.

Sponsorship has blessed my life incredibly for plenty of reasons. The biggest being that having sponsees has helped me to remain clean and sober from all of my past addictions. Whenever I find myself tempted or triggered to return to any of the former addictions that once robbed my life, I think about each of those I regularly work with in the Steps who are desperately doing everything they can to remain clean and sober themselves. Sponsees look to their sponsor as the first line of defense from their own disease of addiction, especially early on in sobriety. Thus, that’s something I constantly am reminded of anytime I think about picking one of my former addictions back up. In other words, a sponsee helps to keep me in check too.

A second reason to be thankful for all of the sponsees I’ve worked with is the joy I receive in watching them spiritually grow in their recovery. I have several sponsees who went for a number of decades living deeply in their addictions and couldn’t ever seem to make any bit of sober time last. But through the work that God has guided me in helping them, I’ve seen them gain multiple years of clean and sober time, I’ve seen their families come back together, I’ve seen their jobs become more stable for them, and I’ve seen all of their relationships deepen, which are definitely all things to be joyful for.

A third reason to be grateful for all of the sponsees I’ve worked with is seeing them move on to sponsor others just like I once sponsored them. I always find it to be an honor when I see a former sponsee using the tools I taught with another suffering soul, which is truly what the 12thStep says is meant to happen by the time a person reaches that stage in their recovery work.

A fourth and final reason to be grateful for all of the sponsees I’ve worked with is the friendships and unconditional love that tend to develop through the 12 Step process of recovery. There is a bond that usually forms during the bulk of that work and a level of spiritual connection that’s hard to break, especially with having two people spend a year or two of their lives together going through all of the 12 Step work.

So, yes, I’m absolutely, positively, 100% grateful for all of the sponsees I’ve ever worked with in the 12 Step world of recovery from addiction, as each have blessed my life beyond measure. In all honesty, words really can’t even describe how much my life has benefitted from sponsoring others and thus, I thank each of you who’ve ever chosen me to guide you through the 12 Steps, as it’s been an honor and a privilege in doing so…

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

Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday where I begin each week writing about a slice of gratitude in my life, which for today I’m dedicating to my sister Laura, who for all purposes has been an incredible gift to this world, and especially to my life.

By all means, my sister should have totally disowned me long ago due to all the addictions I threw upon her life day in and day out, from the age of 17 to the age of 39. Yet, she never did. Even through all my guilt trips, failed promises, backstabbing, lying, and self-centered ways, she always remained there for me, just like she did for my mother and father as well, right up until their untimely deaths.

My sister, on some level, at least in my book, is a superhero of sorts, because she thus far has dedicated the majority of her life for everyone else more so than herself. She’s probably the most selfless person I’ve ever met in my life, willing to give the very shirt off her back to help another suffering soul.

When my father became severely mentally imbalanced and was weeks away from his suicide, my sister did everything she could to show him how much she loved him, while I remained focused solely on my own selfish desires and disappeared from his life. The same was true during the last few months of my mother’s life before her tragic drunken fall down the stairs, where my sister did her best to offer unconditional love to an extremely depressed woman while I mostly just avoided communicating to my mother at all.

When I lost my seven-year relationship to a partner I thought I’d spend my life with and a business I thought I’d retire into, my sister took me in to her home when I had nowhere else to go.

When her best friend struggled to come up with money to pay for medical expenses from a disease she contracted, my sister not only contributed a significant amount of her own already stretched income, but also helped to support a fundraising effort to bring in further aid.

When those she cares about have birthdays coming up, my sister doesn’t just do a thoughtless Hallmark greeting and enclose a gift card. Instead, she takes the time to look for something truly special and unique that she hopes will somehow brighten up the recipient’s life a little.

When there is a stray animal that somehow makes its way into my sister’s life, she never abandons it and instead will consistently find a way to nurture it until it finds a home or is healthy enough to make it on its own.

When someone is struggling with their health, like I have been as of late more than not, she’ll send holistic healing products on her own dime, just to try, hoping they may help ease some of the pain.

When her children are struggling with anything in their own lives, she does her best to constantly offer unconditional love and acceptance, making sure to praise more than criticize and uplift more than discourage, which honestly, are things she nor I ever got much of in our own upbringing.

And if you’re ever able to spend even a moment of any given day in her life, I can promise you that you’ll be greeted with a smile and a hug, no matter who you are, because my sister is one of those who knows how to make everyone feel welcomed and like family, just like I believe Christ would.

You see, my sister is a great person, and worthy of today’s Grateful Heart Monday entry, for all these reasons and so much more. She has blessed this world time and time again with the gifts God bestowed her with, from cooking and baking, to doing spiritual readings and offering prayers, from gardening at schools and churches, to creating pressed glass and jewelry, and well, I could probably go on for countless pages writing about the many things my sister has selflessly done for this world, especially me.

So, I hope you have a sister, or a brother for that matter, that you can be as grateful for today, as I am for my sister, because Laura is someone who’s definitely worth being grateful for. I’m not sure if I’d still be alive today given all the pain and hardship I’ve had to endure, if it wasn’t for her ongoing acts of unconditional love, kindness, and generosity, three things of which I know God is definitely grateful for with my sister too…

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