Sobriety begins in the mind.
And by mind, I mean the conscious part of you that thinks and loves and dreams, as opposed to the physical brain. One can survive the other.
Over a decade ago, I started the first of a dozen journals with the idea that by writing down my pledges to give up drinking for x amount of time, I could hold myself accountable. Or at least recognize where I was failing over and over again.
I bought a beautiful, gilded journal from a bookstore with an odd illustration on the front. I learned from a description on the back cover that the image was from the Book of Kells, which I’d never heard of. I did an internet search and discovered it was a medieval manuscript written in Ireland — a decorated version of the four gospels relating to the life of Jesus Christ. The image on the cover of my journal was called the Chi Ro monogram: the first two letters of the word Christ in Greek.
Interesting, I thought, and somehow fitting. It made me feel like my journaling would be a sacred process. So for the first time in ages, I began to write, using motivational quotes and doodling in the margins. Here’s my first entry:
March 1, 2005
“All appears to change when we change.” — Henri Amiel, 19th century Swiss writer
When we change — all else changes. I’ll try to do my part, and it’s up to the universe to prove this to be true.
Reading this now is kind of funny, because the universe shocked the hell out of me. It did its part in spades. And I did my part, now and then. I would journal for two weeks straight and then drop out of sight for a week or a month. But something about the process seemed almost magical. I was drawn back to the journal, with its promise of sacred text, again and again.
What I found out is that writing is sacred. It gets you in touch with a much deeper wisdom within your own mind. The voice I heard was wiser and kinder than the voice I was used to hearing, day in and day out. And what flowed across the page became a conversation with a part of myself that I didn’t recognize.
But this higher self, or better angel, or Christ-Consciousness, or Buddha-nature, or Spirit had the answers I was looking for. When I listened to this voice, and not to the voice of the ego, a door was opened, just a crack.
This voice spoke of power and self-love and forgiveness. The more I listened, and the more I acted on this awareness — this divinity within me — the more my world began to change. Dramatically.
Here is a miracle I could only see in hindsight: In the first sentence on the first page of my first journal, I was given the keys to the kingdom:
All appears to change when we change.