In July, I was asked by a family to assist them with an injustice that had occurred to their family by a life insurance company (relating to alcoholism and mental health issues).  I will only discuss the basics because the specifics are not the reason for this article.  I accepted an agreement for compensation on a contingency basis.  Quite frankly, I wanted to help them more than I wanted to do the work for the money.

They offered that I could place a lien on the policy so that the insurance company would pay me directly.  I declined to do so because I primarily felt they needed the assistance I felt terrible for the situation — specifically how the mother needlessly suffered.  I did the work in faith.

Well of course I need not say more do I?  My son and friend Paul told me I was crazy when I did it.  They told me in July that I would not see a penny!  But the family did contact me via email and let me know that they won.  The note contained no thank you, simply a message that said where do we send the check?  Even though it was strange to me that there was no personalized note, it did seem like the fact that they notified me showed that these were people of integrity, right?  To me it certainly does.  Well apparently I was incorrect in my judgment.

After nearly 3 months since that note the check did not arrive.  After some prompting by me a check for 5% of the agreement made it’s way to me.   Once again no note, no thank you just a check with consulting fee written in the memo.  Well of course I communicated my displeasure to the family.  It took a bit to get on the phone with them they were avoiding me like the plague.  Buyers remorse had set in I was no longer qualified in their eyes, I did not go to court was another excuse, I did not get additional back up by a Doctor (they failed to provide me with enough medical history for our Doctor to be comfortable with giving his professional opinion, they forgot that in their defense of why they would not fulfill their commitment), I misunderstood our 90 minute conversation and fact finding emails, my two hours of work (actually about 10 between fact finding, calls, the Doctor consultations and they has some other issues to justify their position.

I listened to his issues and then I attempted to compromise and accept 25%.  The husband stated he would discuss it with his wife and get back to me.  Two days later I had received no response to my emails so I called his cell.  The answer?  “No”, a bit more justification readjustment of the story and then “hell—no”!

I learned a strategy in early recovery that I continue to use today.  When faced with situations like this my serenity and spirituality is what counts.  I cannot change anyone I can only change my response.  I can be vengeful, angry and spiteful but it only hurts me.  Even if I am successful with my negative thoughts (I am human) and my wishes for harm come true!  If karma swings against them, if God pays them back…  Nothing and I mean nothing positive can come from it in my life.  My recovery spirituality and my serenity is all I have.

This recovery principle goes for the people I have hurt and the people that have hurt me.   This family has issues, the wife is 35 and reportedly terminally afflicted with cancer, the oldest child has a severe illness, who am I to judge them?  So I pray the prayer that Duff McGee taught me 22 years ago he said, “Danny, Pray that they get everything you want in life and more”!    Honestly, at the time I thought oh boy I want justice!  But I will say I did it, and it worked, it has worked for me in the past, I teach people to use it today and it will work in this situation.  How will it work for me?  Simple, today I will not drink or drug.  Today I will put my head on the pillow at the end of the day, I will say my prayers, pray for the family and then I will go to sleep.

This Blog is my way of saying “Lord please give them everything I want and more”.  More importantly, I am sharing this in the hope that I can help someone that needs this principle.  My son cashed the check and we donated money to a few agencies that we love and that do good work for people and we bought a couple of recovery tools we wanted for the center.

Life is goood, sure this sucks at Christmas when I could use the funds for the holiday, but it is what it is…  Please pray the prayer with me for them and for me!


Dan  🙂