blessing – a meditation

 

Every experience, no matter how bad it is, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.

Buddha

Recently, I thought I have been struggling with acceptance because of a loved one’s addiction and denial. My program has taught me that it is not up to me to classify someone as an addict, or alcoholic, or codependent since I know that I can only honestly speak about my own experience. But I have found myself deeply affected by fear and pain because I do not feel accepted or loved by this person. I found myself trying to explain my loved one’s behavior to myself by assigning labels to this person’s actions or creating stories around why they can not give me what I want. I would tell myself, “this person is not spiritually fit enough to be open and loving”. At other times, I would think “why doesn’t this person love me enough to do this for me? Am I not good enough?”. Sometimes I would just call my loved one an addict and detach with resentment and anger.

In the end, I realized I was right – I was struggling with acceptance. Only, I was struggling with accepting my loved one rather than judging. I was also struggling with accepting myself and trusting in my Higher Power. I know this because my entire focus was on the acceptance I did not feel I was receiving from my loved one. I worried about this person and their behaviors rather than keeping the focus on me and my behavior and my needs.  It is none of my business what my loved one does or why unless it violates my boundaries; and having my boundaries violated is not the same as having my fears triggered. And that is all that is happening – my fears are being triggered. I am afraid that if I do not feel acceptance from this loved one,  I will suffer and be abandoned.

I remember thinking, even up to this morning, “Why did I invite this person into my life? Why couldn’t I have left well enough alone?” But this is why. It is because my Higher Power wants me to love myself and know that my Higher Power loves me unconditionally – even when other people do not. What a blessing it is that I have the opportunity to learn how to love myself and accept the love of my Higher Power no matter what!

So, today, I took a pen, and wrote a message to myself that reminds me that I am loved by my Higher Power. And I know I will feel the fear that I am not good enough for the people in my life to love me. But then I will look at my wrist and realize the more important thing – that I am, have always been, and will always be good enough for my Higher Power to love and accept every part of me.

A meditation for September 26, 2013

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be – a meditation

 

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

Max Erhmann

 

There are so many beautiful messages in this poem. I feel that every time I read it, I read something that speaks to exactly what I am feeling in that moment. So, today, I put it to you, reader; what does this text invoke in you? Please share your experience, strength, and hope as a comment on this meditation with your thoughts on how this poem touches you.

A meditation for September 21, 2013.

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*maintaining serenity – a guest meditation by Ruth

 

If you planning to do something, become aware of what you really going to do. For example when you plan to go to the natatorium, than imagine how it is there, how people bespatter you with water, pushing you back and forth, accuse you and steal from you. But you will go there in peace and feeling safe, when you remind yourself upfront that you want to stick to your moral conviction. This aligns you with human sanity. This approach applies to everything else. Then when something is really disturbing you, you can say to yourself. I didn’t want to go only to take a bath but I wanted also to practice my moral convictions which makes me sane. This won’t happen if I let myself get upset by those incidents.

Epictetus – The Enchiridion

 

Epictetus was a late stoic philosopher who lived from about 50 to 130 after Christ. When I came first to Al Anon, I recognized that the program contains a lot of ancient wisdom; this made me feel comfortable early on. On the other hand, to know that human beings are struggling with the same issues since ancient times made me feel as thought I am part of a chain of humans from the past to the present.

My home group meets in a parish hall near the oldest church in town, the fundaments of which date back to the 9th century.When I arrive early enough before the meeting, I get into the church and sit there for awhile. Then, I think that all of the prayers which have been spoken around this place are still there and I have a feeling of being connected to the time, location, and the human beings around me. When I am on the street again, trying to make my way, I am much more relaxed looking at the other people and knowing that they are also just on their way.

 

A meditation for September 20, 2013.

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wait – a meditation

 

Don’t wait until everything is just right […] There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger.

Mark Victor Hansen

In my life, as with everything else, I often looked to the external to provide me with a sign that the time is right for me to make a change. Because change scares me, I kept waiting for all the best possible scenarios to align to offer me the path of least resistance. Funny thing is, even when that happened, I still had an excuse for why it wasn’t a good time. That’s because I kept looking externally to solve something that was internal – my fear.

My program of recovery showed me that my fear does not have to be my reality. Because of all the support I received from the Fellowship, I was able to feel safe to explore my fear and accept it; only then was I able to look internally past that fear and realize that there is something more important than it – my serenity.

Once I prioritized my serenity, I started looking internally for the signs that I should make a change and what I should change. I would take inventory, pray, and meditate. When I did this, I made choices from a place of self-awareness and calm. As a result, I was able to let go of the results of my actions while still being able to accept the consequences of my actions. I am so grateful to the program for allowing me to know this peace.

A meditation for August 2, 2013.

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sponsor – a meditation

 

The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it – basically because you feel good, when you are near or with them.

Charles Bukowski

When I came into the program for the first time, I was terrified of the idea of asking someone to be my Sponsor. I didn’t know who to ask or how I would know when I find someone I want to ask. Eventually, I started hanging out around a group of people amongst which my current Sponsor was one. When I was around this person and talked to her, I felt calmer. I felt I had more space to exist and I was treated with respect, kindness, and compassion. This was because I was treated that way by my Sponsor. My Sponsor was a free soul.

And every day since, I have found more and more people in the program around whom I feel good and at peace when I am near them. These are the people that have what I want. These people have peace. And when I am around them, it is contagious.

When I first came to the program, I was relieved from their serenity. It was like standing by a fire on a cold night. I felt warm. But when I walked away, I became cold again. I would keep coming back to meetings for more warmth, more serenity. And as I came and heard everyone’s shares, I would have sparks in my own souls that would light me up for a little longer than just the duration of the meeting. Then I got a Sponsor and worked the Steps. Suddenly, those sparks started to become a small flame. As time passed and I continued to work my program in all my affairs, my flame turned into a roaring fire of my own as I was able to be in touch with my own serenity and my own Higher Power.

The program showed me peace, then it showed me peace could exist in me, and then it lit a fire inside of me through the program of 12 Steps. I am grateful to the program for this because I now have my own serenity and I am able to give back the same to the newcomers and friends of the program.

A meditation for August 1, 2013.

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