freedom – a meditation

 

Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.

Roald Dahl

This quote doesn't resonate with me – that's what I think is so great about it. When I joined the program of recovery that I am in, I didn't walk into it thinking “This is going to work and everything is going to be great!” I had decades of cynicism, fear, pain, control, trust issues, and skepticism telling me how this would just be another waste of time. I went for the first time because I couldn't think of anything else to do. And then magic happened when I didn't believe in it. It shocked me when I heard other people telling my story. With every share I heard, I thought “me, too!” That was magic for me. I couldn't believe it, so I came back again and again and again. The more I came back, the more I came to trust the magic of the program. The magic happened whether or not I believed in it, so long as I did the work. That is, as long as I kept going to meetings, as long as I kept being open, honest, and willing, as long as I worked the 12 Steps. And the magic continues to happen for me. When I see a newcomer come in to a meeting, I smile because I know that, whether or not they know it,  that the same magic is happening for them the moment they walk into the doors.

A meditation for June 26, 2013.

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self – a meditation

 

Today, like every other day,
we wake up empty and scared.
Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading.
Take down the dulcimer.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways
to kneel
and kiss the ground.
Rumi

Today, like many other days, I woke up with my fears and insecurities. I wanted to turn to logic, and science, and reason to fix it. But I've tried that a million times. To quote my Sponsor, “there is no formula.” So, instead, I phoned friends and immediately felt the love and support of my Higher Power through these people to whom I had reached out. I was reminded then that everything would be OK.

So, I prayed and I took an inventory, but I did not take an inventory of those things which I feel I must work on more. Instead, I listed all the ways in which I had progressed and the ways in which my Higher Power was looking after me. I didn't really stop to realize all that had changed in so short a time. When I was feeling scared, I didn't try to exert control, I hit the “shiny pause button” and called people. When I felt uncomfortable, I didn't cave in and feel resentful later, I set boundaries. When I was greeted with a situation, I was able to make good choices and still feel my feelings without letting them control me.

A situation that, a year ago, would have sent me spiraling into fears and anger and resentment for days, or even weeks, is now something that I addressed in a matter of minutes and came out of feeling the love and grace of my Higher Power and extending that same love and acceptance to others in my life. In the many years that I have lived before the program, I never had these tools. If I have them now, that I have each of those tools is a miracle and a gift from my Higher Power and the fellowship in my recovery program.

With these tools, the help of the fellowship of my recovery program, and my Higher Power, I am growing. Slowly, one day at a time, I am becoming someone more like myself.

A meditation for June 25, 2013

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anger – a meditation

 

Fear is the path of the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

Yoda

I used to be afraid of angry people. I used to be afraid of manipulative people. I used to be afraid of liars, too. How funny that I felt I could not feel any compassion for them when I found out, in recovery, that I have engaged in all of those behaviors, myself!

As soon as I found out about this, I feared that I was a bad person, so I got angry and then tried to manipulate people and lie so that they wouldn't find out about this. My Higher Power works in strange ways because it was at this moment that I realized that angry people, manipulative people, liars, etc., are just people that are reacting to their fear. For the first time, I was able to feel compassion rather than fear for others. I was able realize that that my fear of people that display this characteristics often leads to my choosing to display those same characteristics. And by doing that, I continue a cycle of suffering and lack of acceptance.

Today, I will try to accept fear that is mine and fear that belongs others. I will try to accept  and have compassion for people (including me) that react to their fears in unhealthy ways – through manipulation, addiction, anger, etc. But I will try to remember that because of my self-awareness, a gift of my recovery program, I can choose differently for me.

A meditation for June 20, 2013.

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protection – a meditation

 

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

Psalms 91:11, King James Bible

I was sitting in a restaurant with a friend when I heard this quote. I was feeling a little insecure and lost in life at the time. While we were in the restaurant, my friend noticed “Pslams 91:11” written nearby and we asked what it referred to. That is when I first heard this quote. In that moment, I felt my Higher Power was reaching out to me to remind me that I am safe and protected. I felt so loved and connected with my Higher Power in that moment that I immediately wrote the quote down.

I begin to seek out addictions (whether that be work, or control, or substances, or what have you) in an effort to fill the hole inside of me that is filled with fear. This quote reminds me that my Higher Power will never lead me where my Higher Power will not protect me. But it also reminds me that when I am scared, I need not reach out to unhealthy avenues to feel fulfilled. If I just allow myself to be open to it, my Higher Power is always taking care of my needs and sending me love and comfort when I most need it.

A meditation for June 19, 2013 Continue reading “protection – a meditation”

closer – a meditation

 

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.

Earl Nightingale

I have always wanted to be healthy. I have always wanted to respond to hard times in a positive way. I have always wanted to grow spiritually. But I decided to wait until whatever difficult situation passes. “Not today. It'll take so much effort today. I just don't have time to deal with something difficult today.” That was my excuse every day.

Eventually, many days passed and nothing changed. Ironically, at times like this, I would then look back and think “if only I had done it back then, I'd be done with it by now. But I can't today, because it'll take so much effort today. I just don't have time to deal with something difficult today.” I look back on it and laugh now, but I realize I always found the time to be angry, or worry, or take someone else's inventory, but I could never find time to look at my own part in things and take the first step towards recovery.

The truth is, I was just afraid of the pain I'd have to deal with if I set a boundary or tried to become more self-aware or respond in a way that I felt was healthy. I was afraid of suffering. Being in a recovery program now, I am often reminded that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. And, when I finally got honest with myself, when I was behaving in those unhealthy ways, I was already suffering. But I was afraid to reach for something better for myself.

So, today, I am going to take a step that I was afraid to take yesterday – no excuses. And tomorrow, I might be in pain, but that, too, shall pass. And I shall be a step closer to the person I want to be.

A meditation for June 7, 2013.

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