Wednesday, April 03, 2019


On Homelessness

Today I was walking the dog behind Trader Joe’s and I passed a shady alcove bordering the alley, in the center of which was a large tree. I peeked into the bushes and saw a grocery bag. This seemed like a private place for a homeless person to rest, but just as I was thinking this, I glimpsed a pair of shoes attached to legs in camouflage pants, standing behind the tree, hiding inside the tree — as if they were hoping not to be seen, trying to blend in with the shrubs. I could hear the owner of this pair of legs trying desperately not to breathe. Was it a homeless person, or just someone who was trying to go to the bathroom in the bushes?

As I passed by, I said to the bush: “God Bless you.” I kept walking. Then I realized that I was holding in my hand two sticks of Mozarella string cheese, so I circled back to the bush and offered it to the person hiding. “Would you like a piece of cheese? It’s wrapped in plastic, it has its own wrapper," I said. A woman’s voice, shaking, rang out, “No, no thank you.” Then, the voice said: “You're very sweet.” I could see a pair of glasses and dark hair through the leaves.

I walked away and said, “You are sweet too.”

Then I started crying; I couldn't stop. It has been dawning on me more and more how truly tragic it is to be homeless — and especially to be a homeless child. Can you imagine what it’s like to have no place to rest, no privacy in going to the “bathroom”... no clean, safe, or soft place to lay one’s head. No place without bugs or flies, mosquitos or rats… no place to get dressed, to bathe, or to bring friends home for ice cream. No place to do homework. No place to have dinner or play Monopoly or take piano lessons. No dinner. Imagine being a woman going through the change of life, depression or cancer. God bless these poor lost souls.


A great wind blew, enveloping and penetrating me. To me, it was not of air but of Spirit. Blazing, there came the tremendous thought, "you are a free man." ~ Bill W.

My energy dropped when I forgot to be grateful today. Then of course, like clockwork, I saw a person with no legs in a wheelchair.

You wouldn't put "Dishonesty" on your resume would you? Then don't walk around discouraged, disheartened, disinterested, diseased, dissatisfied. Don't 'diss' yourself. Believe it or not, the thoughts you think are taking you to places you would never let your kids go. Everything starts wtih a thought. Uplift.. You can train your brain like a dog: to behave. You can line up your thoughts with the truth: Keep your thoughts on the good in yourself.

I really think that being a compassionate listener is the key to healing. Most people manifest disease according to the thoughts they hold, subconsciously. For example, if you have back pain, consider what you are holding onto in your past: regret, shame, guilt? If you have foot pain, are you walking on eggshells? If you have heart pain, or a heart attack, are you giving enough love to others? Or do you feel unloved? Most stress comes from fear. Fear is "False Evidence Appearing Real" It's not real. there is never anything to fear. Acceptance is the key to serenity.

The most valuable gift is to be a good listener. To give someone the time to really hear them and understand them. 

Love and service. If everyone was less self-centered, wouldn't this be a great world? Humility is my favorite virtue. I have never liked show-offs. But it's hard her on Facebook! You can't really help others until you love yourself first -- but often this comes from being selfless - which doesn't mean being a doormat. Just stop looking in the mirror and asking others to validate you, me, us.. we are all one and I am the walrus..


 It's an Inside Job: Bill W. talks about his spiritual experience.

In December 1934, I appeared at Towns Hospital, New York. My old friend, Dr. William Silkworth shook his head. Soon free of my sedation and alcohol I felt horribly depressed. My friend Ebby turned up and although glad to see him, I shrank a little as I feared evangelism, but nothing of the sort happened. After some small talk, I again asked him for his neat little formula for recovery. Quietly and sanely and without the slightest pressure he told me and then he left.

Lying there in conflict, I dropped into the blackest depression I had ever known. Momentarily my prideful depression was crushed. I cried out, "Now I am ready to do anything - anything to receive what my friend Ebby has."

Though I certainly didn't expect anything, I did make this frantic appeal, "If there be a God, will He show Himself!" The result was instant, electric beyond description. The place seemed to light up, blinding white. I knew only ecstasy and seemed on a mountain. A great wind blew, enveloping and penetrating me. To me, it was not of air but of Spirit. Blazing, there came the tremendous thought, "you are a free man." Then the ecstasy subsided. Still on the bed, I now found myself in a new world of consciousness which was suffused by a Presence. One with the Universe, a great peace came over me. I thought, "So this is the God of the preachers, this is the great Reality." But soon my so-called reason returned, my modern education took over and I thought I must be crazy and I became terribly frightened.

Dr. Silkworth, a medical saint if ever there was one, came in to hear my trembling account of this phenomenon. After questioning me carefully, he assured me that I was not mad and that perhaps I had undergone a psychic experience which might solve my problem. Skeptical man of science though he then was, this was most kind and astute. If he had of said, "hallucination,"  I might now be dead. To him I shall ever be eternally grateful.

Good fortune pursued me. Ebby brought me a book entitled "Varieties of Religious Experience" and I devoured it. Written by William James, the psychologist, it suggests that the conversion experience can have objective reality. Conversion does alter motivation and it does semi-automatically enable a person to be and to do the formerly impossible. Significant it was, that marked conversion experience came mostly to individuals who knew complete defeat in a controlling area of life. The book certainly showed variety but whether these experiences were bright or dim, cataclysmic or gradual, theological or intellectual in bearing, such conversions did have a common denominator - they did change utterly defeated people. So declared William James, the father of modern psychology. The shoe fitted and I have tried to wear it ever since.

For drunks, the obvious answer was deflation at depth, and more of it. That seemed plain as a pikestaff. I had been trained as an engineer, so the news of this authoritative psychologist meant everything to me. This eminent scientist of the mind had confirmed everything that Dr. Jung had said, and had extensively documented  all he claimed. Thus William James firmed up the foundation on which I and many others had stood all these years. I haven't had a drink of alcohol since 1934. 

—Serenity Found. Your online recovery resource—
Copyright © Serenity Found 2002-2004All Rights Reserved 

(N.Y. Med. Soc©. Alcsm., April 28,1958)

Carefiver and Compassion Fatigue with Dr. Jamie Huysman
 This is an amazing session:
It's by 'self-forgetting' that we find..