If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.
– Lao Tzu
I am struggling right now with living in the future. The health of someone I love very much is declining rapidly and visibly. I see this person only a few times a year, and the difference between the last visit, in the fall, and this visit is startling and frightening. I can only envision this path continuing downhill to death, and I am frightened and angry at that prospect. Sharing my fear at a meeting has helped to lessen the anxiety, but it is still there. I know that death is inevitable, and I pray for acceptance of that fact. Perhaps more importantly, I must pray that I am ready when it does come. Only through acceptance and the help of my Higher Power can I return to living in the present. Only then will I again be at peace.
A meditation for December 27, 2012.
Continue reading “peace – a meditation”
“A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.”
– Maya Angelou
I am reminded that I don't always have to have an answer for the questions in my life. There are times when I must just sit with my questions, awaiting the knowledge of my Higher Power's will for me. But that does not stop me from singing my feelings, whether they are happy or sad. Like a bird, my song expresses my self, not my answers.
A meditation for December 26, 2012.
Continue reading “a bird sings – a meditation”
… so may we when life turns hard find in love our stay and guard.
… so may we this happy morn honor every child that's born.
… so may we our gifts bestow, whether we be high or low.
… So may we, with heart that sings, share the truth this season brings.
Once in Royal David's City
The lyric “… so may we when life turns hard find in love our stay and guard” captures, for me, the fellowship of our program. I am sustained by the love of my fellow Al-Anon members. In our closing, we say “you will come to love us in a very special way, the same way we already love you.” It is that selfless, unconditional love that I get and I give that provides me the strength and courage to be honest and open with you all. It is that love that supports me in healing. It is that love that keeps me coming back. “So may we, with heart that sings, share the truth this season brings.” In Al-Anon, we can continue to share the truth, and to sing in our hearts all year round.
A meditation for December 25, 2012.
Continue reading “so may we – a meditation”
If it is language that makes us human,
one half of language is to listen.
In this program, I have learned to listen. In most meetings, I cannot interrupt, comment, or respond immediately or directly to another person's share. I can only sit and listen. I can only take in what they are saying. I can only connect it to my thoughts and understandings.
As an Al-Anon friend, and most particularly, as a sponsor, I have learned to listen without judgement. I have learned to still my desire to find a solution, to fix a friend's problems. I know that I most often am not looking for a solution, but for a loving ear. I want someone who will hear me, who will understand me, who will empathize with me. Someone who can say “Yes, you are human. Yes, you have erred. Yes, you are loved. Yes, I hear you.” I am learning to give back what I most yearn for.
It is a gift to be listened to, and it is a wonderful gift to listen.
A meditation for December 24, 2012.
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Kelli leads a discussion with Swetha and Spencer about acceptance. Kelli opened with a reading that begins “It is said that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional …” She speaks of her previous belief that accepting something meant thinking that it was right. She has grown into an attitude of patience, acceptance, and tolerance for people in her life. Acceptance is very important to her when she is driving, which she does for her job. Swetha used to ignore or deny behavior that she didn't believe were how they should be, and feared that acceptance would make things real and ok. She has learned that she can accept someone's behavior as real without approving of it. Spencer also used to feel that acceptance meant approval, but now accepting reality lets him find the ways in which he can make his life easier and more serene.
Continue reading “Acceptance – Pilot episode 3”