A Moment of TRUTH

He walked into my office, shut the door, turned the lock with a firm snap of his wrist, and sat down in front of me, right across my desk. A “moment of TRUTH” was about to unfold. I could tell he was upset, and deservedly so. After all, it had been just the prior weekend, after another one of those binges at home, while I was alone, binges I’d become infamously famous for, that I’d “called in sick” the following Monday. “Can’t make it in today. I’ve got the flu.” By then, the pattern was well-known. Everyone knew it, family, friends, co-workers, community, EVERYONE. “Gus has a problem. Why won’t he get HELP?”

Slowly, he pulled a blank sheet of 8 ½ x 11” paper from his briefcase, set it on the desk, and said, “This isn’t working for me.” “He” was the man I’d worked for and alongside for over 20 years, the one who’d consistently promoted me to higher positions, who’d gone to bat for me time and time again. And then he said, “Do you think you have a problem?” My heart was in my throat. I could barely breathe, let alone talk. But I did. I said, “Yes.”

“Let’s connect the dots then Gus.” He then took a pencil and started placing dots about a quarter inch apart on the paper. By the time he was done, the dots took up almost the entire sheet. I couldn’t tell what he was doing. But then he did something else. Taking the pencil, he began slowly marking and connecting one dot to another……

Before long, I saw the four letters slowly taking shape……H E L P.

That was nearly seven years ago. When he was done, all that was said was left up to me. It was my choice. Get help or not. I didn’t. God had other plans. He made sure I hit rock bottom before He would step in and pluck me from the ashes, ashes of my own self-destruction. Everything I’d worked and dreamed for; my job, my family, my home, and nearly my life, would soon be reduced to pieces.

Today, I look back on that “moment” in time as clear as if it just happened. So much has changed since then. Everything’s changed. I’m still the same person on the outside, just a few more years and a few extra pounds. But everything inside is completely different. I’m not the same man I once was. Where there was once pride, anger, denial, and ego, lies instead humility, acceptance, compassion, and love. Oh, but I’m far from perfect. I still get angry at times. I still have an “ego”, we all do. I say this often, “I may have lost a lot of pride, but what pride I have left for what I’ve done since, and for who I’ve become, I’m damn proud of.”

What am I left with? A sense of purpose. A sense that I’m to give BACK to this world, and to those with whom I interact with, that which I almost lost. LIFE itself and all that’s pure and true about. Values like truth, respect, honor, dignity, courage, integrity, sincerity, sympathy, compassion, and love. He’s given me another chance, another opportunity to do good, to make the right choices, or what I call “NEW ways of living and thinking.”

So whatever YOUR situation is, whatever circumstances you may be under, remember this; everyone gets another chance, everyone deserves the best this life has to offer, everyone has value, meaning, and purpose in this world. And when your “moment of TRUTH” arrives, grab on to it. Clinch it and never let go. I guarantee you, when you make the right choices, good things will happen in your life. It may not happen tomorrow. It may not even happen the next day, next week, or next month. But it WILL happen, it’s a virtual guarantee. So keep going, you’re not finished yet. Thoughts become words, words become actions, actions become habits, habits become character, and character becomes destiny. Greatness exists in ALL of us and your future is NOW.


  1. Thank you Gus for having the right purpose now that you can share with each person daily. You have opened my eyes to a new way of “taking life”. I appreciate you so much and feel very connected to you. You truly are a wonderful friend.

  2. I am truly impressed and amazed for you sharing this with us because no matter where we are in Life it truly takes lots of courage to share painful experiences with others because lets face it some people love to gossip and critisize others because they themselves don’t feel good about themselves and information like this might hit a nerve in them that they might have to deal with some of their own addictions but their are many people just like me that you are helping because we truly no where you have been and know what it is like to be down because of difficulties on the Journey of Life! You are helping some of through our own recoveries! Smiles from your friend on the Gulf Coast of Texas! Keep up the marvelous work!

  3. Louise, your comments echo much of the “message” I’ve been attempting to lay “out there” for some time. Too many people are choosing to push down their past, they think they have to “forget” painful memories. What they don’t realize is while they’re going about their life putting on a smile and demonstrating to the world they’ve “got it together”, all those memories remain. So release them. Let them go. Lay them out there and say, “Here I am, warts and all. And, in spite of that, I’m still standing. More importantly, I’m liberated, I’m free of the past.”

  4. Hi Gus
    It has been a pleasure for me to a part of your websites and inspiring thoughts. Hearing your story reminds me of mine own moment of truth. Its will a gracious heart that i now live realizing like you that the best it ahead of us. I am trying to learn my lessons from the past and use them to make me a better person now. I enjoy reading your inspiring thoughts and your story. Its one of the things about life we some times forget. We all have storms we must face and encouragment and compassion from others are the best gifts we can give or get. So thanks for all of yours. You are making a difference.

  5. Gus, I think it took a lot to publish this one and I am impressed. It takes a good attitude and spirit to take our mistakes and use them not only for our own refreshment but for the encouragement of others. Joyce Meyer says that “I ain’t where I want to be, but I’m glad I’m not where I used to be!” Life is constant change and growth and it is good to heal and move on. I love your blogs. Thank you for helping me to grow and learn and be encouraged! Kindest regards!

    • Actually Jacki, it was easy. To me, it’s odd how most people seem to think saying something like I did here is like some sort of courageous act. For me, it’s simply a part of my nature. It flows naturally. Those walls of false pride crumbled down long ago. Thanks!

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