Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hope and Faith

If you want to build a ship, don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof. Kahlil Gibran

I received this award from cw2smom. I appreciate receiving this award about keeping the Faith and having Hope.

I appreciate being given not only the award but the hope and faith that I received in this program. Before Al-Anon, I was always directing my hope towards the alcoholic. I was hoping that she would stop drinking; I hoped that she loved me; I hoped that someday I would be happy.

I heard in Al-Anon that there was hope for me. And in working the steps, I found that Step Two opened the door to the possibility that I might be able to get restored to sanity. My insanity meant that my emotions were dictated by the alcoholic who was a barometer of what was a right or wrong response. I always felt that I gave the wrong response.

At first, I only shared the pain that was within me because that was all that I knew what to do. I somehow felt that it was okay to let down my defenses and finally admit what a mess I was. If you looked in my eyes at those early meetings, I think that you would have seen emptiness.

At the meetings, I heard that there was HOPE which also means that when we can Help Ourselves Purge the Emptiness, then this program is working. I didn't need to give up hope, in fact I found much more hope than I had ever imagined.

Faith was something that took a little more time. I've come to learn that faith is a feeling that doesn't rest on logical proof or evidence. I have faith in a Higher Power, but I can't prove that Higher Power exists. I believe it though.

I found that in the Third and Eleventh Steps I could look back at my life and see the many ways that my Higher Power has acted on my behalf and walked beside me through many difficult times. I may not have seen or understood the guidance that I received at that time but eventually I developed faith in a Power greater than myself.

I have learned that my Higher Power can—and will—do for me what I cannot do for myself. I know with certainty that my Higher Power is working in my life. All I have to do is to accept things and people as they are. I do not have to stop questioning and trying to understand. Instead, I have come to realize that by doing those things, I am developing a stronger faith.

I have come to know myself better, and it is my ever deepening faith that allows me to be comfortable in my own skin, to show honest compassion, and to be of service.


  1. You are so deserving of this, for your understanding of the people that are hurting and the people they hurt. There is a way out for both kinds of people.

  2. "I have faith in a Higher Power, but I can't prove that Higher Power exists" Nice line and I agree with you wholeheartedly. Like you, being in the field of science has always thrown a loop in that "proof" thing regarding faith. Accepting that it is not something provable, but simply realizing it is there helped me.

  3. Congrats on the award...

    "I have learned that my Higher Power can—and will—do for me what I cannot do for myself" - now THAT is the foundation of my hope. I'm way clear that I can screw up anything good...

    Thanx again for being a part of this community for me...

  4. Thank you for words of Hope. I was blessed with a happy day yesterday and purging emptiness helps me understand the nature of the gift.

  5. Life is hard. Life is especially hard sometimes. I found these quotes from Mary Ann Radmacher to be very inspiring.

    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.

    Live with Intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    For yesterday I hold no apologies, For tomorrow I hold no answers, Today is a gift and I will honor it by fully living in it.

    Even from a dark night songs of beauty can be born.

    Begin each day as if it were on purpose.

    At the end of a matter ask, "what will I learn from this to make me better.

    Consider calling it a challenge rather than calling it a crisis.

    The jump is so frightening between where I am and where I want to be...because of all I may become I will close my eyes and leap.

    Discover the tools to build your own vision.

    I will not be governed by the tyranny of immediacy.

  6. I agree that you are very deserving of this recognition. Recently I have begun the process of letting go of the need for something tangible to support my idea of God. There's a saying that I've read in a lot of books - Let go and Let God. I struggle with this. But I like what you wrote about looking back on your life and seeing that your HP was there supporting you in ways you didn't even realize. I'm glad I've run into you on this journey. Thanks.

  7. Syd,
    I am always struggling (irony) to accept people, circumstances, and things as they are, myself.

    My mother is forever giving me stuff, like bookmarks, with the Serenity Prayer on it. For some reason, probably because I need it so badly, that prayer gets under my skin and makes me angry.

    I am working on it though.

    Blessings to you.

  8. Nice message today Syd. You said: "I've come to learn that faith is a feeling that doesn't rest on logical proof or evidence. I have faith in a Higher Power, but I can't prove that Higher Power exists. I believe it though." That is exactly the way I feel. I've finally quit trying to explain or prove it because I can't. I can only feel it and choose to believe it.

  9. Your love of boating took me back to some really good memories. When my own heart starts to ache, I know all to well that I need to let go..of someone or something. My kid was that hardest but it does get easier. I am not as willing today to remain in pain. thanks to alanon i have somewhere to go and share.


  10. you are definately a keeper of hope and a keeper of faith! this is most befitting! congratulations.

  11. I've recently started following your blog. I've been in Al-Anon a little over a year, and have found such hope and strength. Your words frequently seem to hit the nail on the head on things I'm thinking about, and put some things in perspective.

  12. You really have an inspirational website. The award is well-earned!

  13. Congratulations on the award, well deserved! The faith and hope you received in Al-Anon comes through in the articles you write here. Thanks.

  14. Excellent entry as always Syd! That's why you are such a blessing to me and others in this community! You are so worthy of this award and I am thrilled you enjoyed it! Hugs and love, Lisa

  15. You are some one heck-of-a-good Alanon, Syd. It is a pleasure to 'know' you, and gives great pleasure to read you.

  16. I love "Help Ourselves Purge the Emptiness"......HOPE.
    I'd never heard that before.

  17. Congrats to you Syd You definately deserve the props!

  18. I always enjoy your post. I always relate. Thanks.

  19. I am so glad you got this award, I love your post, you know it is so easy to not believe in a Higher Power and the trick is learning to see the miracles everyday. I don't know why some of us are blessed to get it, and others doomed to not, but I am so glad you get it, i am so grateful to be a part of this world of recovery and to be in the same boat as you are is very humbling

  20. Hope is a wonderful thing. Alas for me it is also a little tricky. I didn't want hope when I finally put the booze down, I wanted to know how to do it. My trouble with hope stems from me making it a fact before the event. It's where I learnt that the outcome, is in Gods hands. I have to do the work.

  21. i’m an associate of mary anne radmacher’s and saw someone has shared her quotes with you. i know mary anne is so happy when people find inspiration from her words in the context of their daily lives. for more work from mary anne’s hand visit her website mary anne has written several books and shares her work in many forms including conferences and classes. If you’d like more information feel free to e-mail me at thanks to your friend for sharing her words. keep up the good work!

  22. whenever the topic of 'hope' comes up, I really don't have a sense of what to hope for, what shape a different reality can take. That, I guess, is the emptiness you refer to. I'm living on empty. Your line: "I heard that there was HOPE . . . we can Help Ourselves Purge the Emptiness' helps define my goal. I do want to feel complete, and my life to be full of all the right things. Thank you.


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