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Guest Post: A Higher Power and a Higher Self By Don Everett Smith Jr.

c. www.merchantcircle.com
You’re so mean when you talk/About yourself, you are wrong/
Change the voices in your head/Make them like you instead
         -Pink, “F—in’ Perfect”

In recent months I had been in a funk that almost touched on depression for several different reasons. Because of this I decided to call my old college buddy, Ralph Pinkerton, a writer from Fort Hawke (the home of the Lost Highway and the supposed home of a creature with black wings that the locals have nicknamed the Vampire).

He has stated publicly he is a recovering alcoholic and I consider him almost a scholar in Alcoholic’s Anonymous (AA) Big Book. I knew he always offered a certain perspective on life, the universe and everything. And one day he was kind enough to hear me complain. You see, my wife and I were borrowing a car from a friend, because we were far from being able to afford a new one.

“This is not how this was supposed to turn out,” I said to Ralph.

“How was it supposed to be?”

“I was supposed to be a famous journalist, comic book writer or screenwriter with, at least, my own car,” I said. (Granted there were several other things I was annoyed about, but for the sake of this blog I wanted to focus on that one issue).

He was quiet for a long, long moment.

“I have always said there are two things that I deal with that can be applied to you,” he said.

“What’s that?”

“I have always said I need to have more faith in my God and myself,” he said.

Without turning this into a discussion of theology, psychologists have said belief in a Higher
Power and prayer help people live happier lives. Check out this April 2013 article about a study
from McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts:

Faith in a higher being has been found to significantly improve treatment for people 
suffering with a psychiatric illness 

“Let me quote from the Twelve Steps of A.A. ‘Made a decision to turn our will and or lives over
to the care of God as we understood Him’,” Ralph said.

I had to admit that I had not done that.

Then Ralph asked me, “Do you believe in yourself?”

I had to admit, again, that I was not. Many of the issues I deal with today result from feelings
about myself after several years of elementary school peer victimization.
Or as some psychologists put it – “being bullied.”

“It is time to do something about that,” Ralph said. “Pick one small task and accomplish it.”
He also added, “Do yourself a favor, and keep a sense of humor. It will fill in the cracks left
when your faith in God and yourself is weak.”

I thanked him. I wish I could say I applied it perfectly to my life, but I do my best.
The first I act I did was making my bed. Just accomplishing that one thing was able to help me
feel a little bit better about myself and this led to other positive things.

Look what my wife and I were able to pick up this weekend thanks to the help and knowledge of
several friends: While this is not the end of all my issues and problems, it is, I believe with God’s help, some belief in myself, a ton of assistance from my friends and the love of my wife Laura, it is a new
start.

c. Don Smith

Sometimes, that is all we need.
Thanks, Brooke, for the spot!

c. 2013

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