About the Author
David Spohn is the Senior Art Director of the Hazelden Foundation's Information and Educational Services Division. Over the past two decades, he has designed and illustrated hundreds of books, from children's books to adult daily meditation books.He has also written (as well as illustrated) several children's picture books, including Nate's Treasure, Winter Wood, Starry Night, and Home Field, (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard/William Morrow.) Nate's Treasure was a Golden Kite Award finalist in 1992. As these books are set at the farm where he lived, and the characters in the books are his two sons, he often tells people 'My books are stories from home.' He has visited dozens of schools throughout the Midwest talking to children about art and writing, and sharing his stories. He has also served as judge for the Minnesota Book Awards annual competition (design category.)David's newest book, Life on the Edge, though not a children's book, is also a story from home. It is a book about parenting a child with AD/HD. Offering information, hope and joy, Life on the Edge reflects the education received in raising a severely emotionally disabled child. He has shared his message with radio audiences from coast to coast, and Canada, and served as a panelist at the Minnesota's Children's Mental Health annual conference.David Spohn lives with his wife, two sons, a dog and two cats, near Lindstrom, Minnesota.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
He who is outside the door has already a good part of his journey behind him.
When we see how far we strayed from the kind of men we wanted to be, we are overwhelmed by how far we have to go to get back on the track. Perhaps we see clearly for the first time how unfair we were or how much we hurt those we love. Maybe we see how pervasive our compulsions are in our lives and how much we missed.
That is when we are most ready to do the work of recovery and become most spiritual. It is helpful at those times to remember that this program is a journey. Although at times the distance seems overwhelming, all of us are on the path. As long as we live, we never reach a point where we can stop growing. The important thing is we are on the path, we have a good part of our journey behind us. Once begun, outside the door, we are progressing like all our brothers and sisters in the program.
Today, I will remember it is the reward of the journey itself, not the destination, that I seek.
When you can't stand criticism you learn to be a perfectionist.
It's human to make mistakes and to feel incomplete. Perhaps if we were all smooth plastic printouts we could expect perfection of ourselves. Each man is actually a process. We are not things, but events--happenings, and the events are still unfolding. These are our creative spiritual adventures.
We have somehow learned that openness to criticism is dangerous. Perhaps we thought someone would not like us if we were wrong, or that we would get hurt or belittled. When we live with a relationship to our Higher Power, we can stand up for ourselves. A man has a right to make some mistakes! We grow more if we allow ourselves the leeway of simply being in process.
I will not ask to have the power of perfection. I will only ask that I not be alone in the process of living my life.
Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new
—Ursula K. Le Guin
Our relationships are alive. We don't control them and neither do the other people involved. We certainly influence our relationships--and if we are aware, we see they also have their own yeast. Whether we are talking of a love relationship with our spouses, lovers, children, friends, or parents, it is a very fluid and dynamic affair. If we are actively involved with the other person and give time and nourishment to the relationship, it will grow. But if we are passive and only waiting, the relationship will grow stale.
God speaks to us through other people. Our relationship with our Higher Power influences our relationships with all the people in our lives. Today we can nurture our relationships with time, tolerance, and honesty. In turn, we will be nourished.
May this day be one in which I give attention to those I love.
©2008. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Touchstones. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Hazelden Publishing, PO Box 176 , Center City, MN 55012-0176.