I grew up in a family that worshipped the great spirit alcohol. And I did my best to devote myself to its essence.
I drank cases of Coors in high school and gallons of margaritas in college. Then I embarked on a promising gin-and-tonic practice, enhanced with cocaine use.
My calling was cut short, when in a brief succession in my mid-20s, I lost three loved ones. My stepfather drank too much scotch, crashed his helicopter on our family ranch and died, one of my best friends downed too many beers, left my house and died in a one-car accident, and my sister, on the way home from a bar, was killed by a drunk driver.
Once my pain subsided, I realized my devotion was misplaced and I needed a new God.
I found one, and the One found me. As Rumi says, “What you seek is seeking you.”
Of course, none of my loved ones really died. They just headed off on their next adventure in what my spiritual teacher, Sri Gary Olsen, calls the great Foreverness. But, at the time, I didn’t know that.
My family’s passion for alcohol was, of course, my passion. I would not have manifested this particular dream of a life if I weren’t invested in its pay-offs. My mind likes to use alcohol to celebrate and to placate, but most of all, to experience its greatest love—freedom.
Recently, after I completed my last travel column in an eight-year stint for New Mexico Magazine, I wanted to celebrate. I felt the age-old pull to party—to call a friend and head out for a night of rich food, red wine and chocolate. But I paused with my hand on the phone and asked the Divine, “How would you have me celebrate?”
Immediately my whole body filled with glowing radiance. All thought, all planning suspended and I was suddenly in a complete state of celebration, better than any wine, any party, and any love that I could find in the material plane.
It is a sparkly sense of complete freedom, as though the whole world glows with love, and I am that love. More and more I am blessed to live from this place, and you know what? It is the wildest, most Divinely raucous party in all existence.
Best of all, it causes no harm.
I didn’t have wine that day. I could have, and I may again. But I never need to rely on it for my freedom. When I am in soul, I am in constant celebration.
This is such a complex subject that I will present it in two parts. Stay tuned to my next post for the 3 Steps to Finding Your Inner Wine.
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Leslie thank you for this beautiful sharing. Although drugs or alcohol were never a big draw for me, I was at times drawn to the freedom that they appeared to offer. We all want to BE free, to live within the truth of our being. How wonderful to be able to choose this freedom any time that we are willing to enter the party of life in Shabda and Soul. Here’s to another day of radical love communion. 🙂
Thank you, Jamie. It is so true, we are completely fortunate! I love that “radical love communion!” Blessings to you.
This post brought both tears to my eyes and a radiant smile to my face. Isn’t it wonderful when we finally find what fill that place of yearning we try to satiate with our excesses and addictions?! Indeed, let’s rsvp to the Divine’s celebration!
I’m so glad, Sage. It is amazing how easily that “place of yearning” you speak of is satiated. Yes, RSVP, every moment of every day! Much love to you, my friend.
some of the materials on offer in the world do seem to give us a kick. for some it is alcohol and or drugs, for others it is food. some get a kick from work or sex. Over time they all start ganging up and become the package called celebration.
They all give a kick but most of the time we read the kick in a way that does not set us free but actually gets us stuck and sucked in. Finally we get the kick of a life time that catapults us into the stratosphere of existence. All the meanings are completely different here.
Now that it has happened to you, ENJOY THE FUN which is absolutely free.
Ganoba, I love your fresh way of expressing the “kick.” It is so sweet and fun. Obviously, you see life as the adventure that it is, rather than seeing these things as good or bad. A higher view of these “materials” as you call them, has really liberated me. Thank you!
Lesley, I am grateful for your sharing of you precious experiences, which led to finding the One, and to your unique path. I, as well as Sage, had tears in my eyes, seeing what you went thru, and how beautifully you have evolved. There is also a joy in the reading of this, for forgiveness of my own self is always growing, and you have been a catalyst in that process.
Thank you, Pamela. I so appreciate you reading and commenting. Yes, it seems that every day we get to forgive ourselves more, and through that, blossom into our Divine selves. Blessings to you!