12-21-12. What Did It Really Mean?

The world didn’t end on 12-21-2012 but that didn’t stop many from putting a lot of fear around that date before it actually arrived. Some began prophesying an inevitable doomsday. Movies and TV shows started appearing about it. Churches preached to people to get their acts straight. And suddenly much of the world was focused on something that originated from a Mayan calendar over five thousand years ago. As the date came and went, once people noticed that the world hadn’t been destroyed and souls hadn’t raptured out of people’s bodies, life seemed to resume back to a state of normalcy. But did it really?

Through some research and working with a Shaman, I have come to realize that 12-21-12 was never supposed to be about the destruction or death of our planet. And it wasn’t meant to be about what the Bible said was going to happen in Revelations. It was actually about a rebirth and an awakening happening within and around it. For awhile I was skeptical as I tried to learn more about this. But as time has gone by and I have healed more from my past with God at the center of my life now, I am seeing there is definitely something going on around me that’s different, much different, as compared to how things were before that date.

There seems to be massive forces of nature wreaking great havoc daily now somewhere in the world and resulting in many deaths. It feels as if there is some type of gun violence and large death toll occurring all too often. The threat of war is looming over many different areas of the world. There are more and more suicides happening every day. Many of my own friends and acquaintances are dropping like flies around me from diseases or substance overdoses. Even closest to home, I have seem a drastic rise in my roommate’s addictive and compulsive behaviors as compared to them being more subdued last year.

While there is much out on the Internet written by others who too have been observing this, I have formulated my own thoughts on to what is actually happening.

I do believe that there is an energy shift occurring now everywhere on the Earth. So many movies over the years have portrayed this as a fight between Light and Dark. It’s my belief that as 12-21-12 drew nearer and then passed on by, that fight rose to a much greater level in all of us. If the words Light and Dark don’t work for you to understand this, then how about Love and Hate? Good and Evil? And so on and so forth.

Several years ago I began to feel this shift happening within me to move away from the dark behaviors that I was living in daily. It took me just about two years to get away from them all. By the end of April, 2012, I had freed from myself from all of those things that had kept me filled for years with hate, anger, rage, jealously, judgments, spite, malice, and more. Now I’m working on cleansing myself from all that damage I did during most of this life to myself.

Was this all part of some huge shift that the Mayan Calendar had predicted? I can’t say for sure. The only thing I can say with absolute truth is that I have felt a huge push to clean my own act up and get rid of all the poisons I placed within myself year after year.

What I see happening now as I continue to work on growing more towards Light and Love is many others either heading in the same direction, or going in the exact opposite. For the longest time, I was somewhere in the middle. I sometimes lived in behaviors that one might have deemed as good and loving. And other times I lived in behaviors that one might deem as bad and hateful. Since 12-21-12 has passed, I have felt such a momentum to move more quickly to a life filled with love and light. Many others have already been there for awhile and I’m hoping to join them soon. I still have some more healing to do from my past transgressions before that happens. Unfortunately, there are those too who have migrated a different way to living more in hate, selfishness, self-centeredness, greed, lust, and envy to name just a few of the things on the other side of the spectrum.

Regardless of what the Mayan Calendar was really saying, my main desire today is to continue to heal myself and become much lighter, brighter, and more loving. By becoming much lighter, brighter, and more loving, I am hoping to be able to help others make their own choices to head in the same direction as me. The more I can help others make their own choices to head in the same direction as me, the greater I believe our planet can be filled with a lot more unconditional love. The greater our planet can be filled with a lot more unconditional love, the more all of us will begin to see things much brighter. And the more all of us begin to see things much brighter, the less our world will see any death and destruction that is continuing to happen around it right now.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Is There A Cure For Alcoholism Or Any Other Addiction?

Lately I’ve seen a few advertisements in print and on television about people claiming cures for alcoholism and other addictions. While I can’t speak for those claims because I don’t know what is being offered, I can speak to the amount of “cures” I have tried before I found only one that worked.

My alcoholism and drug use began in February of 1990 and ended in June of 1995. During those years I never thought I had a problem. When my life began to get out of control and was becoming more and more unmanageable everyday, I began to suspect maybe I did. Although a tremendous amount of pain and a spiritual experience brought me into sobriety from alcohol and drugs, the desire remained for years to stay “drunk” or “high” on something else.

Throughout the years that followed, I discovered one addiction after another that were substitutes or replacements for the alcohol and drugs that I was no longer consuming. I regularly became stimulated just like I did when I was drinking or using by going on countless sexual escapades, gambling binges, shopping sprees, or geographical migrations. Today I look back at these substitutes as the progression of my addictive based personality. Even though I hadn’t touched a drink or a drug since that June of 1995, I was still that same alcoholic and drug addict who sought to maintain a life of highs and avoidances of lows.

One moment I would be extremely happy when I acquired that buzz from something I was doing, and the next moment I was becoming severely depressed because that feeling was wearing off. For awhile, I even tried other things such as chasing religion and going to church. I became a Deacon and studied the Bible.  I discovered meditation and delved deep into it by going on silent retreats and spending countless hours at home engaging in it. But in all of those attempts to do something healthier, I continued to act out on the side with other addictions.

A year ago, after 17 years of being sober and clean from all alcohol and drugs, I found a solution that I can say today, is a cure for all addictions. This cure was always there and I had even sampled it at times. But what I had never realized was that this cure wasn’t as simple as taking a one time shot at the doctor’s office and then becoming completely free of a disease. This cure was a shot I had to take daily for the rest of my life.

Through this cure, I found a greater purpose to live my life. One that moved way beyond my daily struggles and one that floated higher than I ever had. I had tasted this cure through my religious church going days. I had sampled it when I meditated for long hours. And I had even lived it when I practiced the 12 Steps. During all of them, I had spiritual experiences and spiritual awakenings with a Higher Power who today I choose to call God. The more I placed myself in one of those paths, the closer I got to God. And the closer I got to God, the more I wanted to give back and help others in the world that were still suffering. And the more I gave back and helped others who were still suffering, the less I lived in any addiction. Unfortunately, in each of those cases, I always fell apart because I began pursuing the path I was on with only half-measures. In other words, I always stopped dedicating myself 100% to that path and the result was a domino effect back into some type of an addiction.

So is there really a cure then???!!!

Yes, there is a cure! It takes work though. It can come through going to church for some. It can come through meditation and prayer for others. And it can come for those who follow the 12 Steps too. These are just three ways that I have found that cure. I’m sure there are many more. But the key to this cure is in practicing one or a combination of them daily. Today I do that. Because of this, I am not chasing those highs and lows anymore. I am not desiring to engage in any addictions throughout even the slightest bit of one of my days. And I am free of that poison for now because I am giving 100% of myself to God to keep that cure within me. I know if I stop any percentage of what I’m currently doing, I will eventually self destruct again by falling back into any number of my former addictions. And if I fall back into even one of those addictions, those shots I have been administering myself regularly to keep this cure, will cease to work.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Letting Go Of Control

The following italicized excerpt comes from the How It Works chapter of the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book and contains the words I have found to be the most challenging to face within myself throughout most of my life.

“The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. On that basis we are almost always in collision with some­thing or somebody, even though our motives are good. Most people try to live by self-propulsion. Each person is like an actor who wants to run the whole show; is forever trying to arrange the lights, the ballet, the scenery and the rest of the players in his own way. If his arrangements would only stay put, if only people would do as he wished, the show would be great. Everybody, including himself, would be pleased. Life would be wonderful. In trying to make these arrange­ments our actor may sometimes be quite virtuous. He may be kind, considerate, patient, generous; even modest and self-sacrificing. On the other hand, he may be mean, egotistical, selfish and dishonest. But, with most humans, he is more likely to have varied traits. What usually happens? The show doesn’t come off very well. He begins to think life doesn’t treat him right. He decides to exert himself more. He becomes, on the next occasion, still more demanding or gracious, as the case may be. Still the play does not suit him. Admitting he may be somewhat at fault, he is sure that other people are more to blame. He becomes angry, indignant, self-pitying. What is his basic trouble? Is he not really a self-seeker even when try­ing to be kind? Is he not a victim of the delusion that he can wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if he only manages well? Is it not evident to all the rest of the players that these are the things he wants? And do not his actions make each of them wish to retaliate, snatching all they can get out of the show? Is he not, even in his best moments, a pro­ducer of confusion rather than harmony? Our actor is self-centered—ego-centric, as people like to call it nowadays. He is like the retired businessman who lolls in the Florida sunshine in the winter complaining of the sad state of the nation; the minister who sighs over the sins of the twentieth century; poli­ticians and reformers who are sure all would be Utopia if the rest of the world would only behave; the outlaw safe cracker who thinks society has wronged him; and the alcoholic who has lost all and is locked up. What­ever our protestations are not most of us concerned with ourselves, our resentments, or our self-pity? Selfishness—self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Some­times they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self, which later placed us in a position to be hurt.”

Bill Wilson wrote these words in the Big Book for those suffering from alcohol and drugs, but I believe that they can have great application to everyone’s lives in this world. All of what he wrote here can be summed up in one word…control. Many people love to be in control because deep down inside they know they’re insecure and their lives tend to get out of control because of how they’re living it. Through those controlling behaviors they also love to point the fingers and constantly say what’s wrong with everyone and everything else in the world. All of this essentially just highlights the fact that they are often completely self-absorbed, selfish, or self-centered. And most of my life, this has been me.

Letting go of control and not trying to direct the world around me has been an arduous undertaking. I grew up in a family that taught me to be this way and trying to break that pattern has proven to be quite difficult. With both of my parents having been alcoholics and never truly finding recovery, I watched how they constantly played the director in life trying to put off a good show. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t but nonetheless, everyone was often miserable in my family because of all of this behavior. When I left home and went out on my own, I essentially turned into my parents. In every friendship, relationship, job, or social interaction I was known as a control freak. And when I wasn’t in control, I was sitting back and saying how “this” or “that” was wrong and how things would be better if people would just do “this” or “that”. Most everyone eventually always got mad at me and in return I generally became self-piteous so that people would feel sorry for me instead. In many ways I was that little kid who had never grown up.

Finding recovery and the 12 Steps has changed everything. It has helped me find a Higher Power who loves me unconditionally. That Higher Power over time has also led me to finally beginning to grow up. And as I continue to grow up more each day, I have seen just how selfish I’ve been in every area of my life for most of it. The biggest realization though that has come in my recovery is the the fact that I had rarely ever let go of control with anything in my life.

I don’t want to be controlling or a director anymore in my life. Today I am working very hard to allow God to be in control and the only director. When I try to still do either, just like always, my show comes out terrible and most often will get seriously bad reviews and boos. The more that I have let God be in control and the director instead, the more my show has gotten great praise and standing ovations. And I think I’d rather have those instead…

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson