“Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars”
― Serbian proverb
Most of my life, I have engaged in black-and-white thinking and saw the world in absolutes. This included my behavior. If I was “right” about something, I would extremely proud and quite egotistical. If I was ever shown to be “wrong,” I would be ashamed and completely deferential. There was no middle ground. I based my entire self-worth on how “correct” I was in any given moment. Since no one could be “right” all of the time, my peace of mind suffered greatly because this was how I chose to value myself. I was exhausted, and perpetually worried about what the next moment would bring. Through recovery, I was able to realize that simply the fact that I exist means I have a right to be, just like everyone else. I do not need to prove my right to exist. I do not need to be right to be respected. Nor do I need to be egotistical any more than I need to be ashamed of myself. I, now, love and value myself always – regardless of whether I am right or wrong. And I extend this acceptance to all of those around me. Today, I see that most of the world is a middle ground. I am humble without feeling humiliated. There isn't just black and white everywhere, for me. My world is now filled with colors!
A meditation for January 3, 2013.
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“Little by little, one travels far.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
Today, I had to walk several miles to get home. Though the task felt daunting, I realized that every step that I took was a step closer to my destination. I was patient with myself and took note of how I felt every step of the way. If I felt tired, I allowed myself a break. If I injured myself, I tended to the wound. If I got lost, I asked for guidance. Once I arrived home, I marveled at how pleasant the journey was because I did these things. With my journey in recovery, I realize that these same principles can apply. I will never be perfect. Instead, daily, I progress little by little. This journey is helped along when I stop and listen to myself to address my needs and, if needed, ask for guidance. Knowing this, I am more able to be gentle with myself, today. Looking back on the little steps I have taken and the small increments in my growth since the I entered the program, I realize how far I have come already. And I am glad to have these tools as I take more steps forward in recovery.
A meditation for January 2, 2013.
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Your task is not to seek for love, but to find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it
In the past, I have often felt unloved. Whether it be by my partner, my family, or my friends, I regularly felt that they did not appreciate and care for me. More recently, I reflected upon this resentment more thoroughly and realized that, in fact, I was not unloved. Rather, I did not receive the affection because it did not come in the form that I specifically wanted it to come in, at that moment. But then, I was often afraid to reach out and communicate my needs and wants because I did not want to feel rejected. To protect myself, I would regularly define “love” as those around me doing what I want without me having to communicate it to them. As we enter the new year, I am grateful now to have my friends, family, and partner in my life. With my change in attitude, I have realized that as I simply appreciate and accept them for who they are, I am more aware of and able to enjoy the love and joy that surrounds me in various forms.
A meditation for January 1, 2012.
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“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.”
– Caroline Burnett
As the new year is approaching, I looked back on my life for this past year. I realized that a great deal of the time, I looked to others – friends, family, partners, etc. – to save me and change my life for me. I used to think that in order for me to be the person that I wanted to be, I had change the people around me. As I had no control over others, I found myself become increasingly frustrated and further away from the person I wanted to be. Since I have been in recovery, I resort to this way of thinking less and less. Today, if I am unhappy or upset with a situation, I first try to find my part in it, look at my available options, and make a choice for myself as those are the things that I can control. I have learned that as I keep my focus on myself, I am able to change my own perspective and, in doing so, change my life. Nothing about my environment has changed since I have been in recovery, but, today, I am closer to the person that I want to be.
A meditation for December 31, 2012.
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“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”
I lose my peace and serenity generally when I am scared of losing control. I fear losing control because I am afraid that if I am not in control something bad will happen and I will be alone and suffer. But, now, in recovery, I can gently remind myself that I always have the company and support of my spiritual community and my Higher Power. I am only alone should I choose to be. As a result, I am able to be more self-aware and make decisions from a place inside of me that is filled with peace and love rather than from a place of denial, fear, and anger.
A meditation for Dec 30, 2012.
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