Tuesday: Making a Better Me

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I spent an hour, listening to Brene Brown talk. And I took notes.

  • Courage – The Ability to TELL your story and LIKE who you are in the process of doing that.
  • We are WORTHY of love and belonging
  • To have a RESILIENT spirit
  • Is to to be TENACIOUS
  • While being able to live in your story, we get to rewrite the endings of our stories, if we are willing to walk into them and OWN them
  • I never realized that I am living a SHAME based life
  • Always thinking I am Less Than or Not Enough or Unacceptable
  • JOY is Vulnerable Discomfort
  • You have to be able to FEEL Discomfort in order to feel JOY
  • JOY is as prickly as Grief and Shame
  • To be Vulnerable is to be Beautiful
  • Those Vulnerable parts of us make us beautiful
  • THE THINGS THAT GET IN THE WAY ARE THE THINGS THAT CAN SET US FREE
  • People Never want to talk about those things that are in the way
  • It is all about talking about those things that are in the way
  • People always want EASY, BREEZY and LIGHT
  • In ADDICTION research – An intensely JOYFUL experience is as likely to cause a RELAPSE as an intensely NEGATIVE experience
  • Joy can be uncomfortable because it is Vulnerable
  • WE CAN DO HARD THINGS
  • Too many of us live in a world where we always need Positive and we never talk about the negative, or the failure, or that something is difficult
  • I’m Imperfect, I’m Vulnerable BUT I AM ENOUGH
  • I am Worthy – and Live a WHOLE HEARTED LIFE
  • Hope is NOT an emotion
  • HOPE is a Cognitive Thinking Approach
  • It’s not how we FEEL, it’s how we THINK
  • HOPE is 100% Teachable – Goals, Pathways and Agency
  • Set Goals, Cultivate pathways to achievement, Achieve your goals
  • Agency is simple … I believe I can do it
  • HOPE is a function of Struggle
  • People with high levels of Hopefulness have these prerequisites: Perseverance and Tenacity
  • THE PEOPLE WITH THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF HOPE HAVE THE MOST EXPERIENCE OF FAILURE
  • Dreams DON’T work unless we DO

**** KETO DIET UPDATE ****

I went to my Weigh in yesterday afternoon. I began at a weight of 180 pounds last Fall. Yesterday I weighed in at 145 pounds. That is a weight drop of 35 pounds, and I still have a month till I am seen at the clinic. Hoping to drop even further, before then.

I’ve never felt so good and so alive as I do right now. Even amid the turmoil I am CRUSHING it with physical beauty that I thought I would never find again.

But I have …

I Love My Life Right Now !!!

Donald Trump’s farewell tour

U.S. President Donald Trump adjusts his jacket after pushing past Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic

The world has taken measure of the president and found a person not to be taken seriously. It’s the end of the American century.

There is a tradition among embassy staff called the “Wheels Up Party”. An official overseas visit by a president or prime minister will inevitably mean months of gruelling preparatory work. The diplomats, security staff and advance teams from the home capital will exhaust themselves ensuring even the smallest detail has been planned out, tested and tested again before the delegation arrives.

When the leader is finally in town, it is not uncommon for embassy staff to work 24 hours straight, keeping track of every moving part, adjusting on the fly and praying that nothing goes wrong. Then, after the meetings have met and the sites have been seen, they will stand on the tarmac to watch their leader board his airplane, taxi and takeoff.

And when they can see the wheels on the aircraft retract, meaning their VIP is officially someone else’s problem now, there is a collective whoop of relief, and everyone heads back to the embassy to crack into the duty-free liquor for the biggest party of the year.

I imagine the Wheels Up parties at the American embassies in Saudi Arabia, Israel, The Vatican, Brussels and Italy this week, after President Donald Trump flew off on Air Force One, were among the biggest in living memory. I cannot think of another visit by an American leader that was in as much peril of going horribly, horribly wrong. But to the relief of many and surprise of more, it didn’t. When you think of the possible misadventures, I must assume that the mood among American diplomats was joyous.

There were still a few cringing gaffes, of course. At the NATO summit, for example, the world was treated to the sight of Trump pushing other leaders out of the way so he could preen in front of the cameras. If Alec Baldwin had acted out the scene during one of his Saturday Night Live appearances, it would have been too over-the-top to get a laugh.

We were looking so hard for these sorts of pratfalls that some important items were largely ignored. Consider that Trump chose Saudi Arabia as his first overseas visit, committed to an unprecedentedly large arms deal with Riyadh, and then invited almost every Sunni leader in the world to listen to his speech. America is now officially picking sides in the Middle East’s long and bloody Shia/Sunni rivalry. This is a move that will inevitably only increase tensions in the Middle East.

In Israel, Trump revelled in one of the coziest visits in decades between a sitting U.S. president and an Israeli leader. One White House press release had the dateline “Jerusalem, Israel” which, in the arcane world of diplomatic subtleties, was a big step towards the United States recognizing that city as the Israeli capital—another move that will only increase tensions in the region.

But even these diplomatic developments were not the real story. While Trump was feted in the Middle East, he was treated with surprising indifference in Europe. For the first time since the Second World War, an American president stood among allies, not as a first among equals, but almost like an outsider—someone who had to be invited, but who no one really was going to take very seriously.

At one point, Trump used a commemorative address to instead complain that NATO allies were being unfair to “American taxpayers”. The other leaders standing nearby exchanged wry looks; a few even seemed to roll their eyes. By all accounts, there was no scramble to appease the president, no panic among delegations about how to “defuse” the American anger. No one really cared that much. Likewise, when the president refused to endorse the Paris Climate Agreement, or NATO’s policy of mutual defence, no one was willing to bend even a little to mollify the Americans. They shrugged.

Even a month ago, the reaction would have been entirely different. When Trump came to power there was universal agreement he had to be treated with kid gloves, he had to be taken seriously, otherwise who knows what chaos he would unleash. But now, no one seems especially worried. Rapidly, over the last few weeks, America’s rivals and allies stopped seeing the United States as the “indispensable nation” whose opinion mattered, whose approval was always necessary.

What changed? The world has a much better measure of the man now. They see him as inconsistent—even if you convinced him on Monday to support the Paris deal, he will quite likely repudiate it Tuesday morning in a tweet. He has also proven so ineffective in controlling the bureaucracy and even his own party, it is unlikely that a repudiation will change much any time soon.

And beneath all of that is Trump’s unprecedented ignorance—Merkel at one point was reduced to showing him a map of the former Soviet Union to explain Russian objectives in Eastern Europe. What is the point of trying to get his support on one issue or another when he has literally not even read the summary of the relevant briefing note?

Trump’s first world tour may well end up also being his farewell tour. Not because it will be his last, although with the accelerating pace of the Russian scandal that is not impossible. But rather because it marked the official end of the American century—when Air Force One took off and finally headed back to Washington, it left behind a new world where the United States no longer counts, where America has effectively abandoned the field to Europe, China, and Russia. Wheels up.

Monday: Personal Responsibility

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Our sobriety is in our hands. I am personally responsible for my sobriety. If I want to be sober, then I have to do the work. That’s all there is to it, really. I’m not going to get sober, sitting at home isolating, or sitting in a meeting and not engaging.

There is only a short amount of time for you to just WARM a chair. At some point you are going to have to engage, or go back out and DRINK. Who wants that for themselves ?

There are some who still do that, to this very day.

If you want sobriety, then you are going to have to work for it. What you put into it, is what you get out of it. And I am putting a lot into me right now. It’s coming fast and furiously.

If someone gives me suggestions, I should really DO THEM. If you ARE NOT doing service SOMEWHERE at least one night of the week, what the FUCK are you going to meetings for ? Really !!!

I tell my friends to do service, or to call a friend and connect, and they look at me like I am from MARS or something, or that I must be CRAZY.

Oh, for the Love of God ….

I am still processing all the pieces of advice I have heard from friends and fellows. I’ve been to a few meetings. Tonight, I saw my sponsor and HIS sponsor. I spoke to another friend who is LONG sober, and understood where I am in my head.

  • I have been through the Angry Period
  • I am sitting in my Unvarnished/Unfiltered stage
  • My Sober “Give a Damn” is Broken
  • Sometimes I just need to call a “Douche Bag a Douche Bag”
  • I am allowing assholes and elbows to infect my serenity and sobriety
  • That’s not good at all. Working on that presently !
  • Heavenly Father is directing the show – there is no doubt
  • My Elder Friend Spencer is in the loop
  • According to the men who were in the room on Thursday, I did fine
  • I was honest, I spoke what needed to be said
  • Even if assholes and elbows were sitting in the room
  • My Long Sober friend who “got me” said that once he was so angry from the chair that he got up and stopped talking and left the meeting, because of the same shit I was seeing from the chair the other night
  • I may not have IT, but I do have a variant of IT
  • I am directed to PAGE 112 in the Book – The first three words … READ THIS BOOK
  • We are reading the book.
  • If faced with an asshole, I should suggest page … 112
  • Right now, I don’t really care if I hurt your feelings, this is where I am right now
  • If I don’t know what to do, I do service, ALL the TIME
  • It is HIGHLY suggested that if I give you a suggestion … LISTEN for Fuck’s Sake

Oprah on God …

Heavenly Father speaks to us. Often. However, we don’t always hear Him or get the message or the memo. In the beginning, the first time, Heavenly Father whispers, if we don’t hear it the first time, He whispers again, the second time.

If we don’t get it twice over, the third pass, is when Heavenly Father hits us in the back of the head with a 2 x 4. If we miss it the third time, the final pass is when Heavenly Father drops the wall, on top of us …

I’ve actually experienced this series of hits, I had the wall fall on me. This happened a few years ago, during my heavy growth period between twelve and fifteen.

I’m sure that some of my friends took it personally, that I said the words, “YOU are a Douche Bag,” at the Friday meeting, two weeks ago, because they are not returning my phone calls.

That’s the problem with some people. People always assume, you are talking about THEM, in a meeting, and rather than ask ME what was going on, or if I indeed was talking about them, they go silent and they avoid me like the plague. If I have something to say to you, I am going to say it to your face.

That night, I WAS talking about someone specific, which was very close to cross talking,

It is what it is …

Some of my friends ARE Douche Bags. That’s just the honest TRUTH !

My friends, my CLOSE friends, will come to me and tell me when I am being a DOUCHE BAG. Last Friday my friend Joe took me aside and sternly suggested that I change my tack, because I scared some of my friends out of the room that night.

Douche Bags … All of them.

Why do we always have to be Politically Correct, and skate over the truth, so we don’t harm someone’s tender sensibilities ???

FUCK ME ALREADY

I’m tired of SUGAR coating my WORDS and dancing on the head of a fucking PIN.

I’d rather be Imperfect and Honest, rather than be Perfect and Dishonest.

I’d rather be honest and be hated, than to always have to sprinkle sugar on my friends character defects and shortcomings, like they don’t exist.

Oh, but they say, progress not perfection, you cannot expect someone who is less sober than you, to be in the same place mentally and emotionally, where you are. People have been straight up honest with me, they never let me skate across the ice like I was a professional hockey player.

I don’t play hockey and I’ve never been to a hockey game, not once.

It’s OK for you to be an asshole and I let you slide, and if I step one step out of your comfort zone, you fucking shun me like pariah …

What the FUCK is that, really ???

I may not be very sober, at least, here I can be honest. I am doing my best.

I’m so glad that I got my “Geographic Disease of Alcoholism” under control. I just know that if I had a car, all bets would be off … Not that I’d drink again.

Heavenly Father took the car away from me for a reason when He did. If I was grounded in One Place, I might settle down and get better and stop drinking.

Which is what I did here. I landed sober, and I’ve stayed sober.

Living here is the longest period in my life that I have been settled in One Place for this long. I made the right decision.

Met a young girl from ICELAND tonight, here on vacation. I asked her, “Why would you come here of all places, if you lived in freaking ICELAND ???”

Her response … Well I live there. She wanted to see Canada for the first time.

That’s like when I lived on Miami Beach. Locals never pay attention to their surroundings, because we live there and work there for a living.

I never went to the beach, probably once or twice in the middle of the night, and not during the day. It’s funny, I worked for a bit in a friend’s tanning salon, during my final drinking period.

I was amazed at all the GYM bunnies, who would not dare go to the beach and get sand in their bathing suits. On a Friday afternoon, or all day Saturday, they would come and tan, so that they had that GLOW about them to go drinking that night.

God forbid someone actually had to do the work of taking care of one’s self naturally.

If I can drink it, bathe in it, or spray it on, all the better.

That is, if you can afford, the easier softer way …

God I love sobriety.

This entire emotional period of my life is like one HUGE rocking roller coaster.

They warned me that I would feel again. It only took fifteen year to get here. I have friends who are early on, who are also on this roller coaster themselves.

Political Correctness has gone out the window for many of us. Not sure how sober that is, by my sponsor and HIS sponsor tell me that sometimes Honesty is the best policy.

YAY for Honesty …

Trudeau asks Pope Francis to apologise for schools

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has asked Pope Francis to apologise for the role of the Catholic Church in a Canadian school system where indigenous children were abused for decades.

The PM met the pontiff at the Vatican on Monday as part of his trip to Italy for the G7 summit.

The residential schools were set up from the 1880s to take children from their families and assimilate them into mainstream Canadian society.

The last one closed in 1996.

“I told him how important it is for Canadians to move forward on real reconciliation with the indigenous peoples and I highlighted how he could help by issuing an apology,” Mr Trudeau told reporters after meeting the pope.

He said he had invited the pontiff to make the apology in Canada.

Some 150,000 aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their families, and sent to live in church-run boarding schools where they were forbidden to speak their language or practise their own culture.

Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission has called for a papal apology, as part of the healing process for survivors.

Although the Vatican has not commented on Mr Trudeau’s request, it confirmed the talk was “cordial” and lasted about 36 minutes. It said the conversation “focused on the themes of integration and reconciliation, as well as religious freedom and current ethical issues” but did not mention an apology directly.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which has been tasked with collecting the stories of survivors and recommending a way forward for the country to heal, has called the residential school system “cultural genocide”.

In its report, the commission recommended the Catholic Church issue a formal apology for its part in the residential school system.

Similar apologies have been issued by Anglican, Presbyterian and United Churches, who along with the Catholic Church helped run these schools as joint ventures with the Canadian government.

In 2008, former prime minister Stephen Harper issued an apology on behalf of Canadians, calling it “a sad chapter in our history”.

A year later, Pope Benedict expressed “his sorrow at the anguish caused by the deplorable conduct of some members of the Church” to a delegation from the Assembly of First Nations, a national advocacy organization, who went to the Vatican.

In 2015, Mr Harper met Pope Francis and called attention to the commission’s findings.

Mr Trudeau said he also spoke with the Pope about a subject dear to both of them: the importance of stopping climate change.

“We talked about how important it is to highlight the scientific basis of protecting our planet and the moral and ethical obligations to lead, to build a better future for all people on this earth,” Mr Trudeau said.

During the visit to the Vatican, Mr Trudeau was joined by his wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau. While in Italy, he also visited the Roma football club and will meet Italy’s prime minister and president.

Monday: Remember …

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A long time ago, in a jungle far far away, a man perished in the Viet Nam War.

He is a ghost in my life. A man I remember today. I may not have known him but my father did. Love has no boundaries in the theatre of war, and strangers fighting in a common fight, find companionship, security, honor and valor, together.

I carried his name, until the burden of never ever living up to his valor, courage and honor, drove me to wipe him away, the only way I knew how.

I never figured out why a man would name his son after a soldier who died in the heat of war, then tell that child, he was a mistake, and should never have been born.

It is an indictment of my father, and besmirches the name of that man who died.

Honor has its place.

I remember …

Kushner’s Relationship With Trump Tested as Russia Accusations Swirl

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By GLENN THRUSH, MAGGIE HABERMAN and SHARON LaFRANIERE

WASHINGTON — The most successful deal of Jared Kushner’s short and consequential career in real estate and politics involves one highly leveraged acquisition: a pair of adjoining offices a few penny-loafer paces from his father-in-law’s desk in the White House.

Over the past week, Mr. Kushner, who at age 36 occupies an ill-defined role somewhere between princeling and President Trump’s shadow chief of staff, has seen his foothold on that invaluable real estate shrink amid revelations he is under scrutiny in a federal investigation into whether there was collusion with Russian officials during the presidential campaign.

Mr. Kushner, an observant Jew, spent the Sabbath in fretful seclusion with his wife, Ivanka Trump, at his father-in-law’s resort in Bedminster, N.J., unplugged, per religious custom, from electronics. But he emerged defiant and eager to defend his reputation in congressional hearings, according to two of his associates.

What is less clear is how Mr. Kushner’s woes will affect his hard-won influence on a mercurial father-in-law who is eager to put distance between himself and a scandal that is swamping his agenda and, he believes, threatening his family.

Some Democrats are calling on the president to revoke Mr. Kushner’s security clearances. Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and a chairman of the House committee investigating Russian efforts to sway the 2016 election, suggested in an interview on Sunday that the recent news reports about Mr. Kushner have brought the investigation from the periphery of the Trump campaign and transition teams into the Oval Office.

“If these stories are accurate” in their description of Mr. Kushner and Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s ousted national security adviser, “were they acting at the behest of Mr. Trump, then-candidate, or President-elect Trump? But whether they were or not, they’re still significant.”

In a statement Sunday night, Mr. Trump praised his son-in-law and the work he has done in the White House.

“Jared is doing a great job for the country,” he said. “I have total confidence in him. He is respected by virtually everyone and is working on programs that will save our country billions of dollars. In addition to that, and perhaps more importantly, he is a very good person.”

But in recent weeks, the Trump-Kushner relationship, the most stable partnership in an often unstable West Wing, is showing unmistakable signs of strain.

That relationship had already begun to fray a bit after Mr. Trump’s dismissal of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, which Mr. Kushner had strongly advocated, and because of his repeated attempts to oust Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, as well as the president’s overburdened communications team, especially Sean Spicer, the press secretary.

It has been duly noted in the White House that Mr. Trump, who feels that he has been ill served by his staff, has increasingly included Mr. Kushner when he dresses down aides and officials, a rarity earlier in his administration and during the campaign.

The most serious point of contention between the president and his son-in-law, two people familiar with the interactions said, was a video clip this month of Mr. Kushner’s sister Nicole Meyer pitching potential investors in Beijing on a Kushner Companies condominium project in Jersey City. At one point, Ms. Meyer — who remains close to Mr. Kushner — dangled the availability of EB-5 visas to the United States as an enticement for Chinese financiers willing to spend $500,000 or more.

For Mr. Trump, Ms. Meyer’s performance violated two major rules: Politically, it undercut his immigration crackdown, and in a personal sense, it smacked of profiteering off Mr. Trump — one of the sins that warrants expulsion from his orbit.

In the following days during routine West Wing meetings, the president made several snarky, disparaging comments about Mr. Kushner’s family and the visas that were clearly intended to express his annoyance, two aides said. Mr. Kushner did not respond, at least not in earshot.

His preppy aesthetic, sotto voce style and preference for backstage maneuvering seemingly set him apart from his father-in-law — but the similarities outweigh the differences. Both men were reared in the freewheeling, ruthless world of real estate, and both possess an unshakable self-assurance that is both their greatest attribute and their direst vulnerability.

Mr. Kushner’s reported feeler to the Russians even as President Barack Obama remained in charge of American foreign policy was a trademark move by someone with a deep confidence in his abilities that critics say borders on conceit, people close to him said. And it echoes his history of sailing forth into unknown territory, including buying a newspaper at age 25 and developing a data-analytics program that he has said helped deliver the presidency to his father-in-law.

He is intensely proud of his accomplishments in the private sector and has repeatedly suggested his tenure in Washington will hurt, not help, his brand and bottom line.

That unfailing self-regard has not endeared him to the rest of the staff. Resentful Trump staff members have long talked about “Jared Island” to describe the special status occupied by Mr. Kushner, who, in their view, is given license to exercise power and take on a vague portfolio — “Middle East peace” and “innovation” are its central components — without suffering the consequences of failure visited by the president on mere hirelings.

Adding to the animus is Mr. Kushner’s aloof demeanor and his propensity for avoiding messy aspects of his job that he would simply rather not do — he has told associates he wants nothing to do with the legislative process, for instance. He also has a habit, they say, of disappearing during crises, such as his absence on a family ski trip when Mr. Trump’s first health care bill was crashing in March.

Mr. Bannon, a onetime Kushner ally turned adversary known for working himself into ill health, has taken to comparing the former real estate executive to “the air,” because he blows in and out of meetings leaving little trace, according to one senior Trump aide. Just as Mr. Trump does, Mr. Kushner quickly forms fixed opinions about people, sometimes based on scant evidence. But Mr. Kushner is quicker to admit when he has misjudged a situation, and to change course.

Despite the perception that he is the one untouchable adviser in the president’s inner circle, Mr. Kushner was not especially close to his father-in-law before the 2016 campaign. The two bonded when Mr. Kushner helped to take over the campaign’s faltering digital operation and to sell a reluctant Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of Fox News’s parent company, on the viability of his father-in-law’s candidacy by showing him videos of Mr. Trump’s rally during a lunch at Fox headquarters in mid-2015.

When asked by friends and associates to describe the source of his influence over the president, Mr. Kushner has offered explanations rooted in loyalty, family and, above all, his acceptance that Mr. Trump is a 70-year-old man of fixed habits who cannot be easily diverted from a course of action.

Mr. Kushner is fond of telling friends that he does not have “any vested interests” beyond seeing his father-in-law succeed. Many of the people working for Mr. Trump are not “looking out for the boss, but I am,” Mr. Kushner told a visitor recently.

“My job is to put him in a good place,” Mr. Kushner told another person he spoke to before embarking on the Middle East leg of Mr. Trump’s trip, which he planned.

Often, that entails soothing Mr. Trump. Other times, he serves as a goad, as he did in urging Mr. Comey’s ouster and assuring Mr. Trump that it would be a political “win” that would neutralize protesting Democrats because they had called for Mr. Comey’s ouster over his handling of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, according to six West Wing aides.

Mr. Kushner’s war with Mr. Bannon has been a damaging distraction. Several upper-level staff members said Mr. Kushner has made it plain to them that they needed to choose sides or be iced out from an increasingly influential team that includes Gary D. Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council, and a handful of other Kushner-allied power brokers like Dina Powell, a national security official.

Mr. Kushner remains infuriated by what he believes to be leaks about his team by Mr. Bannon, who has privately cautioned Mr. Trump against being “captured” by liberal, New York “globalists” associated with his son-in-law, according to three people close to the president.

Mr. Trump, however, has had enough. He recently chided Mr. Kushner for continuing to call for Mr. Bannon’s ouster, saying he would not fire his conservative populist adviser — who has deep connections with Mr. Trump’s white, working-class base — simply because Mr. Kushner wanted him out, according an administration official.

Mr. Kushner appears to be modifying his centrist stances. Instead of urging the president to keep the United States in the Paris climate accord, as he sought to months ago, he has come to believe the standards in the agreement need to be changed, a person close to him said.

Mr. Trump admires Mr. Kushner’s tough streak, and shares his taste for payback, especially in defense of his family. Over the years, former employees said, Mr. Kushner has quietly sought revenge on enemies whom he sees as hostile to another scandal-buffeted man in his life — his father, Charles Kushner, a New Jersey-based real estate tycoon who was imprisoned for, among other crimes, efforts to retaliate against his sister for cooperating with a federal inquiry targeting him.

As owner of The Observer, a once-edgy, salmon-hued broadsheet he purchased when he was 25, Mr. Kushner pushed for negative articles his editors viewed as vehicles for personal animus. The Observer’s targets included The Star-Ledger in Newark, whose coverage of Charles Kushner’s case angered the family; a little-known banker who apparently had irked the elder Mr. Kushner; and a lender who had refused Jared Kushner’s request to forgive part of the family’s debt on a Fifth Avenue skyscraper.

Ken Kurson, a friend of Mr. Kushner’s who until this month was the editor in chief of The Observer, said accusations about personal score-settling were “complete nonsense,” adding that story ideas “can and should come from anywhere.”

Mr. Kushner sees his role as a freelance troubleshooter, but he has focused on foreign policy, friends say, because he saw a gap in the White House structure in that area.

Top administration officials know the importance of cultivating him: Last month, he traveled to Iraq at the invitation of Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and he serves as a sounding board for officials like Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, according to Elliott Abrams, a Republican foreign policy veteran whom Mr. Trump vetoed for a job in the State Department.

“I hear more worries about the president than about Jared,” he said. “In fact, I never hear complaints about Jared.”

Jason D. Greenblatt, the White House adviser on international negotiations, said that on the Middle East, at least, Mr. Kushner is not just a sounding board, but an adviser who helps shape policy options for the president. Together with Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson and others, he said, Mr. Kushner helps shape policy decisions to put before the president. He said Mr. Kushner deserves a substantial part of the credit for Mr. Trump’s recent trip to the Middle East. “Jared put together all the moving parts,” he said. “It went great.”

With a staff of about a half-dozen, Mr. Kushner has also created an office for innovation that is tackling a disparate array of projects, from promoting apprenticeship programs as an alternative to four-year college degrees to modernizing how the government buys software.

Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, said in an email, “His passion on this is very real.”

So far, on some issues, the innovation office’s role seems mostly advisory. David Shulkin, the veterans affairs secretary, said he meets with Mr. Kushner about twice a month to discuss his plans to modernize the agency.

Asked for a concrete example of how Mr. Kushner’s office has helped him, Mr. Shulkin said aides were pulling together corporate leaders who hired a lot of veterans, “and that’s important.”

But the Russia investigation has shaken Mr. Kushner, friends and associates say. When news broke last week, Mr. Kushner and his wife at first discussed getting a statement denying the report issued through the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II — who told them that it was not a good precedent to set and that it was a job for a personal attorney.

While Mr. Kushner has said he and his wife might move back to Manhattan if it were best for their family, he appears, for now, willing to stay and fight.

Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that White House officials had reached out to reassure him that Mr. Kushner was willing to cooperate in the inquiry into possible collusion between the Russians and Trump aides. “He seems to be a very open person,” Mr. Corker said of Mr. Kushner. “I’d let him speak for himself when the time is right.”

Friday: Episode 2 – Mentally Drinking !!!

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This morning, first thing, before I did anything else, I called my sponsor.

He picked up the phone.

I went about my day, with a clearer head, and a lot more calmer than I was before I went to bed last night.

I took the Metro to the meeting, and cranked out set up until a fellow showed up to help me finish. And one by one, I spoke to other men, who are much longer sober than I am, who were sitting in the room last night, while I spoke.

I am told, by one, that if there is someone in the room, who I don’t like, or who does not like me, for one reason or another, THAT is the person I need to speak to, from the chair.

And really, when are things, at any time, all about me ? But my perceptions…

I know, some, have problems with me, because I am prosperous, doing well, have good friends, and am somewhat sober.

In most cases, it is NOT all about me.

My friends tell me that I carried the message. And that my friends sitting in the room, only wanted to help me along. That’s good.

Another friend, I had dinner with prior to the meeting, tells me that at this stage in my sober life, I should be at the jumping off point, where I have not had a drink in a long time, I’ve done The Work, I am living life, well, it is time to seek spirituality a little harder.

Wednesday afternoon, my sponsor said to me that, he sees that I like regimen and structure, and order. Not in a “controlling” fashion, just orderly. He tells me that I need to let loose my fist, being clenched so hard, trying to maintain order and control, and open my hand and Let Go and Let God.

I need to practice, a little harder and trusting God.

I’m not quite there yet, even now.

And tonight, I said to the room …

My head is not someplace I should go alone. That my thoughts are dangerous, and I was reminded that, if I think I know something, and plan on talking about that, really, I should just keep my mouth shut.

When I got sober the first time, and Todd was guiding my little ship of horror, I would go to work, leave my problems outside the door, and I allowed Todd to do the thinking for me, because that is what was needed, Todd knew that if I fixated in my brain, the thought of dying, that I WOULD DIE.

And He found the way to keep me out of my head, while I was in the building. It took years upon years of hard work, to be able to do that OUTSIDE the building.

When Alcoholics told me to “go and not come back,” what was left, but the thoughts in my head. Once that happened, the disease of alcoholism, that sick little voice in my head, began working its magic, which lead to my slip.

Because I was thinking, and not thinking very well, left to my own devices.

And over the past months, as feelings and emotions came on, hard and strong, the rat in my head had become overpowering, and what happened ?

I began to mentally DRINK.

In the beginning, there is an idea. Then the thought follows. If not controlled, that thought becomes an action, which leads to a drink.

I didn’t physically pick up a drink, I just went there MENTALLY.

I planned my share last night, down the the finest detail. I THOUGHT I had something particular to say. I ran those thoughts past my sponsor, and got approval.

I sat up there last night, knowing that a major pain in my ass was sitting in the crowd, and I allowed that individual to crank me up, which sent me off script and into my head.

I got home and I was IN my head all night long.

And now I know what that feeling was, it was a Mental Drink.

At fifteen and a half years sober, I still don’t have it, that something I thought I had, looking back at all my friends, knowing where they are. I am not like many of my friends, I’ve said before, who are emotionally and mentally cracked, in double digits.

I am my own worst critic.

I know, right now, that I probably will not get up and talk in front of a room of drunks again, any time in the near future.

I had a message I wanted to speak. I wrote it down. Prepared myself to speak my truth. I can do that in meetings, talk with clarity and faith and meaning. And when I talk, inside a meeting, I am good, for the most part.

I don’t speak, often… I’ve not spoken in front of a group in over six years. So it isn’t second nature. I might hear myself talk inside a meeting, speaking to a Speaker crowd is much  different than sharing in a meeting.

And I don’t have it.

Whatever, I think I should have. Clearly, it was not my night, and I wasn’t spiritually full, and I was easily swayed into homicidal thoughts because of a single man sitting in the crown, who slept through my share … Whom I loathe with all my soul.

My sponsor repeats the thought that:

Your Sobriety and Serenity are the only things that matter now. And anything you allow in, that affects either your Sobriety or Serenity is dangerous. Because if you are not vigilant, and you allow (people,places or things) to sway you …

That is going to lead you back to a drink.

And now I know that I’ve been mentally entertaining a fucking DRINK…

Whatever I think I have, I don’t. No matter how hard I fought to get to this point, I thought I had it, until I got up in front of a room, and opened my mouth.

FUCK ME !

It matters when you get up in front of a room, to have IT.

I did not have IT, at all …

Thank God I am not perfect, nor God. I am not a saint by any stretch of the imagination.

The Books reads … We are Not Saints. Progress not Perfection. Willing to go to any lengths. Then you are ready to take certain steps.

A. That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
B. The probably no human power could relieve our alcoholism.
C. That God could and would if He were sought.