I walked outside yesterday to jump on my bike today after a 12-step meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. Where my bike had been locked up, was an empty space. That sick-to-your-stomach feeling crawled all over me.
Bike = Stolen
I'm glad that the internet failed last night and my first draft of this was not salvageable... It would have appeared to be an emotional rant. Given the circumstances, why not? But given that I'm venturing into a realm where whining about problems versus finding a solution is primarily my agenda, it's better for me to have slept on the events and processed my way through.
I did, however, share my disgust with a close friend via text...short and sweet but I instantly regretted the venting, or the nature of it for that matter.
So here's how it played out.
My cable had been discarded like a cigarette butt and sat coiled like a dead snake in the street. And I continued to walk down the street as if I had an intended direction, but I'm realizing I was just caught in a period of disheartening disbelief. So I texted my sponsor.
A sponsor works as a mentor in a way that a best friend may not. A sponsor gives black and white advice laced with "Whatever you feel, don't drink today." So carry on I did. He gave me a ride to a local bike shop where I was able to purchase a refurbished bike... AND, all within an hour from the time I found my sliced cable and lock one block from where I'd parked it.
Seems easy? By the clock it was, but mentally it felt quite disturbing. Violated again. 'Poor Me'. 'Why would anyone want to do such a thing?'. But it was done and I could either live and breathe in that moment that was simply created to test me, or I could prove to myself that the old method of coping was subsiding. Don't get me wrong, I was pissed off. I was angry and a little offended, especially to wonder if it had been someone I've talked to and who's seen that bike the handful of times I've parked it there. I wasn't instantly moved to feel compassion...But I wasn't stuck either. I was able to go through the process and move in a direction of positivity. I cleared out the ill will toward the thief and realized that they are also in a period of survival - at any cost.
1Peter 3:8-9 says, 8) Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9) Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
The AA Big Book text reads, (Page 67) We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said to ourselves, "This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done." We avoid retaliation or argument. We wouldn't treat sick people that way. If we do, we destroy our chance of being helpful. We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one.
Why reference Biblical and AA texts? Because I feel they are both relevant. My brain, due to its long-term mapping, wanted to find and insult the human who took my bike from me. But through some miraculous process, that's not what my mind focused on for very long. I didn't stew or create unwarranted resentment. For the most part, I let it go...and it's these texts that explain why. That person, whoever or wherever they are, were driven to steal my bicycle. It was out of necessity, whether it be to support their habit - keeping them from becoming dope sick, a bottle to calm the shakes or even to put diapers on a child...How am I to know? Who am I to judge? Their pain is greater than mine right now. I was sitting in a room with a group of recovering alcoholics hearing some brilliant insight that was making my day grow stronger. That poor soul was finding a way to survive. I sat in a cell begging God to save me from my pain 5 months ago and He's done so in ways I can't describe.
"But for the Grace of God, there go I"
Here's how I'll close this blog. I pray that person finds their way...without the consequence of death or future hardships...Guide them to safety. Your Graces is more than sufficient. Amen.
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