We Are The Luckiest: my experience of reading an amazing book!
It is funny the way God drops things upon you in the exact moment you are ready to receive them. I was just introduced, unrelated to anything of my own, to a book and an author with whom I am already in love! The coincidence that the author shares the name Laura was not lost on me as I made the heartfelt connection.
I opened the pages of We Are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life and the introduction began with:
“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.
“Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually, then suddenly.”
Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises
I’ve read many stories of other alcoholics, but any author who can capture me in the first line with a quote is already off to a great start. Then she mentions having listened to Pema Chodron and her shared love of writing, and I knew I had found a kindred spirit.
Then I get to her poem by Rumi, a poet I almost never hear anyone quote,
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again , come , come.” – Rumi
And not two pages later she is talking about one of my favorite podcasters, Dax Shepard. By the time I learn of her love of yoga I already feel like I am sharing the same brain with this amazing author from whom I’m wondering if I have been cloned!
As she speaks about change starting with the decisions I make NOW, I identify with the overwhelming feeling of most recovery program’s FOREVER, which can feel unbearably overwhelming. I connect with the simplicity of her focus when she says, “Nothing in the future exists yet. But anything is possible right now. Including the thing you think you cannot do.” It is all about the shift in perspective.
I connect with her bittersweet relationship with AA and the complexity of feeling like you are the only one who isn’t getting the system that everyone else gets. She says of her decision to publicly discuss her relationship with AA, “many people told me not to broach the subject of AA because it can be polarizing, but that’s exactly why I am broaching it. As in politics and religion, the beliefs on both extremes of AA are dangerous and limiting….reality is always much more nuanced.”
I have recently echoed her words, “It’s probably the most used aphorism in AA, but I abide by it – and not only in relation to AA but as it applies to all of life: ‘take what works, and leave the rest.’”
WOW, this woman is literally inside my brain!
Then on to her discussion of using while active in AA and the messy service one addict offers to another….
In all the years of my recovery I have never had a moment where I so identified with the experience of another! I have prayed to read a book that would speak to my heart in the way this author currently is!