Chuck C. has said, “Every alcoholic I’ve ever known is a perfectionist, an idealist. It is this drive for excellence that …makes us set goals for ourselves that we can’t attain. We’re forever disappointed in our own performance and we demand more of those around us than they can put out. It’s a beautiful attribute, but it’s a killer until we learn how to live with it.”
A killer, he says!
Well, back in 1958, Chuck was in a little bit of a financial mess. He had a vacant plant costing him something like $13,000 a week to keep the doors open on , and he was waking up every day in a cold sweat thinking, I’ve gotta get some business in there. He was juggling 5 or 6 different deals to fill the plant and all of them looked like any one would come through and fix the problem, but…as luck would have it, it was not to be.
In the book (New Pair of Glasses, by Chuck Chamberlain) he writes that he had it all figured out. “I’d done all their (the business guys) thinking, all their planning, everything. I’d gotten the deal together for them. It was mine.”
And then they said no. No deal.
“Everything had just evaporated right in front of my eyes.”
You know that feeling? That is the WORST feeling.
“Twelve years before, I’d started making 12-step calls in business; helping people do things they needed to have done because I wanted to. And here was this pinch and I had to go get some business, and I went to get it and everything evaporated.”
(This is that moment when you’ve tried to power your way through a situation. You’ve set it all up, managed it, orchestrated everyone’s part, and it STILL hasn’t turned out as you expected.)
So he goes on to say that he just gives the (failing) business back to his partner and decides to just go back to making 12-step business calls (helping people do the things they needed to have done because he wants to)
and then he says…
“Something happens that you (the reader) knows is impossible!”
A guy ( a business friend) calls me in my office and says, “Charley, I have the feeling you’re in trouble and I have written a check to you for $50,000. You don’t sign a note, you don’t pay interest, we’ll apply it to our next deal we have. Come and get it if you need it.”
And then Chuck C. says something I adore. He says,
“The gift of God was made at the foundation of the earth. When I was sitting in that chair, in that moment, with everything gone, at the blackest moment of my life, the universe was mine. God was mine…I had to discover that. And being an Alcoholic, I had to discover it in my own way and my own time…He’s a gentleman, God is. He doesn’t intrude where he’s not wanted.”
Our work is to stay sober and do the work of the spirit, whatever that may be for you. It may be a religious presence of god in your life, or it may just be the energy of all that is around you pouring into you. I call that flow. And when I’m trying to wrestle satisfaction from life (something I’m almost always doing, unless I’m consciously focussed on NOT doing it) I am not in flow. Flow for me is one of those brilliant places. I don’t yet know exactly how to get there…but I know EXACTLY when I am there, because my heart is at peace and my skin is literally alive with goosebumps and I can feel that everything is magically as it is supposed to be in each moment.
Like Chuck C., let today be for fun and for free and invite God in.