There once was a portrait of a man. Painted by an Artist with an uncommon hand. For the Artist had dreams, he had hopes and love. Pouring into his painting all the above. Crafting a face with a heart full of Grace. Eyes full of purpose and a soul for the chase. He stood back from his work with admiration and pride. “This is it!” He exclaimed starting to cry. For he knew it was time for his painting to go, to make a name for himself his painting must grow. It was the Artist hope to be known by all, to be loved and adored for his work on the wall. But for this to happen the portrait must shine, it must be as it is, in all of its time. Standing up straight, not looking around, the portrait must place its feet on the ground. The world would learn who the Artist was when looking at the man in the portrait he loved.
But the portrait forgot the care that was gave to crafting itself and all of its ways. Looking around as it hung on the wall, seeing the colors of others made the portrait feel small. Forgetting the Artist the portrait felt shame, it felt guilt and despair and even his name. No longer even sure of who he was, the portrait began to catch on the buzz. Changing his shape and dusting his coat, the portrait no longer resembled what the Artist wanted most. No longer original, the man blended in, with all of the paintings for this was his sin.
Created to shine with purpose and grace the portrait was lost, now in a dark place. The portrait felt sick alone in the dark, just trying to fit in but he had lost his spark. The Artist had seen what his painting had become, reaching to it with a hand from above. The portrait of the man asked with a groan, why did you make me feel so alone. The Artist replied, “I made you with love, losing your way was not from above. Stop looking around and pick yourself up, you were created for a purpose not out of luck. Your purpose is to shine with all of your flaws, and show the world just how amazing you are. I don’t make junk not starting with you I created all of these paintings and not but a few. Truly see they are amazing, that they are special an unique an original for sure if only they would seek. Look deep into yourself in the place that I made, remember your name and from whence you came.
I need you to shine, just as you are. So straighten yourself up and focus on me, I created a portrait for all to see. Not to hide in the dark, scared and alone, when you focus on me you will remember your name. Becoming the portrait I know you can be, I made you that way, now shine for me.” The painting felt strange he felt hopeful and alive the darkness had burst open now seeing the sky. The light was pouring in all of this time his eyes had been closed not wanting to find. The thing that made him special, unique and a gift, the painting understood his place in all of it. The portrait remembered just who he was, created for a purpose by the Artist above.
Yesterday was an incredible day for me. I made a personal dream come true. Having written and published my first novel, I felt on top of the world. I remember a month ago; I was in Barnes and Noble in the Sci/Fi fantasy section looking at all the incredible books written by some of my favorite Authors. When I thought to myself, “Matt one day you will have your books on the shelves next to all the greats.” I didn’t know how I was going to do it necessarily or when it would come to fruition I just believed in it and stood there staring at the spot my book would be. Not really even sure of the title or what it would look like, but that it would be mine. Yesterday, I made that a reality. Trent Foster and The Council of 10 sat on the shelves right in the place I had seen it only a month ago.
Here is the thing though. As great as that felt and as wonderful as it was to share it with other people. Something felt off, and I know what it was. Through a conversation last night and some prayer and meditation this morning, I realize that I did not make this happen. Sure I wrote the words but the success of yesterday was simply and emphatically the result of working a program of recovery.
If not for AA, my sponsor, working the 12 steps, being of service, praying, meditating, surrendering, and working on a relationship with my higher power, the book never makes it out of my drunken dreams. I need to remember this when I hit any milestone or success in my life. Not that I don’t enjoy the success, but I must be able to see the root of my progress. And it is not an overabundance of talent or willpower. My skill and willpower brought me to the brink of death, at the hands of Alcohol, more times than I would like to remember, but remember I must, because that experience may save another’s life.
The point is I felt myself getting lost yesterday. I was beginning to lift myself up on my accomplishments forgetting precisely who I am and forgetting that working the basics of the program of AA is the only and I mean the only reason I was able to produce anything. I need to be grounded and humbled daily so that I don’t float off again to that big bottle of Vodka in the sky telling me it has a better way for me. And the best way I have been shown to stay grounded and to live a fantastic life is through working a program of recovery through AA.
Sharing is Caring. If you enjoyed this feel free to share it with others, we can only keep what we have by giving it away. Have a Great day.