We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. How can I best serve thee- thy will not not mine be done. – the AA big book.
When I was a little girl around 12 years of age, I would go everywhere with my Daddy who at the time was a recovering alcoholic. He was knee deep into service and he would take me to AA meetings and to visit the sick and dying from the disease of alcoholism. Keep at mind at age 12 I was more age 16 in my spirit because I grew up dreadfully fast in an active dysfunctional home. I learned at a young age that I have to be brave and find my own way because the adults around me had not found their way yet. As much as I did not love the active alcoholic part of the journey I adored the service part where you went and ministered and served others. I thought this was the ticket!!!!
My dad’s sponsor Woodrow gave Curt (we all called daddy, Curt) a book, The Majesty of Calmness. There was a phrase that stuck with me at that age and I remember it deep in my soul till this day!!! I am sure I am paraphrasing it but it was so resounding to me, I wanted to live it. In those worn out pages it was something like this:
Happiness will come to you in the brightest and best form if you seek to radiate it rather than absorb it!!! I remember thinking, that is what I want to do with my life, I want to radiate happiness!!! That is my job!!! Yes!!! Lord, show me how to do that.
I was a happy child, I know that shocks you. In spite of the tumultuous household I thought it was my job to be the peaceful, happy one. The one that held it together and created peace and calm. I learned at an early age to find a deep peace and joy within myself that I was not finding in the outside world. As I have told you before I read everything I could get my hands on that talked about withstanding insurmountable odds. I read everything that talked about using our words as an instrument of accomplishment and attainment. I watched what I said and what I read.
All the lessons I learned growing up in this environment have been the single most impactful thing on my life. I was given tools and learned the lesson of God’s will and service and the ability of the human spirit to repair itself and to serve others. It was worth all of it to get me to the place that I am today, grateful and hopeful and resilient.
Little did I know that many years later my father would succumb to the disease and die of alcoholism at age 62. As life would have it my precious husband who lived a devoted life of service and recovery died a sober alcoholic at age 63. I watched both men live a life of unselfish service only my Father did not follow through with his recovery and it would cost him his life. He forgot it was a daily walk contingent on his spiritual condition.
As I grew, I kept going back to the idea of radiating happiness!!!! I just did not know how I could do it in a big way. I am learning that the more I do what I feel led by God to do I end up absorbing that same happiness pressed down to overflowing.
When Hugh passed away I became Happy Ass and started my blog My Happy Ass life. I started writing and speaking and doing a live feed during covid. It was on a whim that one day I just got up and turned on the live feed and read one of my affirmations outloud and told a little story. Then I did it the next day and the next and here I am almost 3 years later and I am still doing it.
It dawned on me one day during Happy Ass that this was my way to radiate happiness rather than absorb it. And the wonder of wonders, it is the greatest joy to me. I love preparing for it, I love doing it and when I don’t know what to say I think God whispers in my ear and I listen!!! I wanted to do something worthwhile at age 12 and I felt a calling and I thought it had to be a big calling. Now I realize that all of our lives are a calling. We just have to give ourselves to it and be of service and allow God to fill in the blanks.
So many of you are so kind and loving. You spend countless hours raising money for charities, you feed the hungry. When someone is in need you are the first ones to arrive on the scene. I am blown away by your ability to give without expecting adoration and praise. I suspect each and everyone of you knows about the radiating happiness thing!!! I see you doing it all the time and I could not love you more for it.
Thanks for allowing me to love you and to serve you. I have gotten so much joy just being in your presence.
Loving you so very very big,
Karen Key Smith aka Happy Ass
ps. My mom was an amazing woman, I will tell you more about her one day!!! She reminded me daily that my heart of service and love would be my greatest asset!!!