I'll pick up where I left off last week. One morning I awoke to find I was passing blood through my urine. I knew this was not good. I had been on the blood thinner Coumadin since my second open heart surgery 4 years earlier. But because of my heavy drinking (alcohol is also a blood thinner), I would often forget to take the Coumadin, and then take multiple doses when I would remember days later.
I didn’t do anything when I noticed the blood, which is typical of an alcoholic, but after a week the blood was coming out of every orifice in my body except for my ears. I was so depressed I wanted to die, and I knew this would eventually do the job. But once again, someone else interfered with my plans. The woman I was living with accidentally walked in while I was urinating and saw all the blood in the toilet and screamed. We rushed to the hospital right then. On the way to the hospital, I asked God to either take me or to help me with my drinking. It was the first honest prayer I had offered to God in a very long time. As I was to learn later in A.A., all my previous prayers, made while drinking, were “foxhole” prayers, made only to get out of a jam.
After 12 days in the hospital and a 28-day stint in Rehab I jumped into A.A. with both feet and never looked back. A.A. brought it all back for me; the spirituality and clarity I had some 14 years earlier. It took some time and I was in a fog for a while, but the spiritual part of the program came easily.
I had to lose everything – my family, my home, my job and, eventually, myself – to appreciate what I had earlier in life. The 12 Steps helped me get my life back in order and gave me guidelines for living while helping me to find a God of my own understanding. But as time passed, I began craving a deeper understanding of things, e.g., who I was, why I am here, where I am going and how do I get there, as well as a more intimate relationship with God.
I didn’t want to go back to the monastery/ashram. Although I saw many folks in A.A. return to the religion of their childhood, I knew I didn’t want what religion offered. Not that there was anything wrong with it. I just needed to go beyond the dogma, the rituals and the dos and don’ts.
So I began to search, using what I had learned years ago, meditating, chanting, reading spiritual books and going to workshops, taking a little from this and a little from that. Something would satisfy me for a period of time, and then I needed to go deeper, or move onto something else. And I ended up in the same place of discovery that I found when I 17 years old; that I was much more than a recovering alcoholic, a father, a salesperson, etc. I knew none of those roles were going to fill the emptiness within.
What did fill the emptiness was my meditation, my prayers, reading spiritual works, talking with others and helping others. I knew I was much more than this “Michael” unit… this body mind unit. I was part of a greater whole, and what was fulfilling me was the constant desire for a deeper relationship with the God of my understanding. I wanted to meditate more and more. The contentment and fulfillment that came with meditation and prayer was Divine. I experienced many things while meditating. Complete warmth surrounded me…bright light engulfed me from the inside out…a sense of being loved had tears rolling down my cheeks…I felt that I was being held in Her arms. And I wanted to remain in that place of utter contentment more and more.
To learn more about Michael Hoare and Ah-Man, visit here.