Thank you, readers of Meditations on Meth!
And thank you GUS
(God/Universe/Spirit…the name I learned from Michael Disend, my first meditation teacher
Michael, along with Pat Maguire, saved my life…by convincing me that my own suicide would affect me negatively in the afterlife…from there, I went on to understand my remaining alive could benefit others, too)
I’m getting closer to GUS via a journey of faith…said journey made possible in large part by you, my readers
(I like to think GUS’s full name is “Augustina”…if you can come up with an acronym, let’s have it!)
Which leads me to again thank you: This issue of Meditations on Meth marks our two-year anniversary!
We haven’t missed a single week
(although due to technical glitches…operator errors…we’ve had some issues come out early, or late)
So…I’m taking this week off!
Seriously…from my childhood home here in the woods of Massachusetts—where I’ve spent the past three months, riding out the pandemic
I did some rough calculations
Estimated and added up the total number of people whom my message has reached
(those who have engaged with my social media posts, read my published articles, attended events at which I spoke, bought my book, etc.)
We’ve hit some good numbers! Since quitting meth, I’ve been blessed to have reached an audience numbering around ten thousand
Delivering powerful messages that were passed along to me…by GUS, through others
That second chances benefit the givers, as much as the receivers
That there is hope…we can overcoming even the most troubling addictions, and what many would label mental health challenges
That society works better when we build bridges of trust between law enforcement and marginalized communities (those affected by incarceration and addiction)
Getting to ten thousand took traveling a tough road
It meant putting my faith in GUS
Sharing some of the deepest truths about my experiences, thoughts, and beliefs
Overcoming my fear and mistrust of law enforcement, stemming from four+ years of methamphetamine psychosis, and the ensuing schizophrenia-like condition which remains with me to this day
(Thanks so much to the FBI, San Francisco Police Department, and so many other Protectors—cops, military, firefighters, 1st responders—for helping me past my fear, to a place of service)
Seemingly just as much: My challenges have come from my determination to inspire others, lift them up, bring them together
Following the paths of my heroes—Jesus, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Gandhi
Putting aside self-pity, anger&rage, and temptations to judge others
(as best I could, anyway!…I didn’t always accomplish what I set out)
For example: I’m temped to use this very issue of our newsletter to take thinly veiled swipes at those I resent, whom I believe to be readers
Yet by putting forth negativity in such fashion, wouldn’t I defeat my very purpose?
Why would you, my readers, extend second chances to someone who used them to strike back at others?
Why would you consider the idea of bringing together such often polarized groups as law enforcement, and marginalized communities…
If the idea-presenter (me) wouldn’t even strive to unite with his own readers?
Most of the ten thousand whom you, my readers, and GUS have helped me reach have, I like to think…
Considered or re-considered their beliefs…
Found their beliefs reinforced…in ways small or great
That a person given a second chance can rise from street-level meth addict, to serving one’s communities (as I did)
That when we look past uniforms—either of a person in prison or a police officer—to seek the humanity there, we make ourselves better
(When we consider that person isn’t defined by the uniform she or he wears)
Thoughts have power! Words have power
Of course, the fact my message has reached an audience of 10K (assuming my calculations are even correct) isn’t because I’m some great message-deliverer
It’s because I persevered…and mainly against my own shortcomings
It’s thanks to people like you…your faith in me, leading to my faith in GUS
A person like me can climb stairways from extreme darkness
You can follow a similar path…if you choose faith in GUS, you may choose also to believe that GUS resides within your own Heart
It’s said, Home is Where Your Heart is
Wherever you are, you may feel far from home
Someday I’ll be back in my beloved home of San Francisco
She seems so far away…further even than ten thousand miles
(I mean, three thousand miles 🙂 )
Yet a life free from meth felt so far away, too
As did a life free from fear and mistrust of law enforcement
As did the idea that my ideas had value…
In worlds beyond the imaginary
Or those in which material possessions were prized most highly
Thank you, readers of Meditations on Meth!
Today, take a minute to appreciate the efforts made by people in law enforcement…
And by people who are/were incarcerated
Where they are striving to turn lives around…theirs, and others
Take your first or further steps on your path to GUS
If you can inspire me to do it? You can inspire yourself, too!
Ten thousand people is a very good start
We have many more to reach
Resources For You
If you know or are a person who is struggling, check out my free PDF: Ten Helpful Questions to Ask When Someone You Love is Recovering From Addiction
Simply go to my website, and hit the “Download PDF Now” button in the lower right. When you enter your email, you’ll be signed up for my weekly newsletter, Meditations on Meth. Feel free to unsubscribe if you don’t want it.