Choice – a guest meditation from Brian

raft of medusa

 

 

This ain't no place for the weary kind
This ain't no place to lose your mind
This ain't no place to get left behind
Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try

Ryan Bingham – The Weary Kind

 

Choice matters. I chose to come to the meeting tonight. My addict chooses to use. Choice matters.

Choice either moves us forward, backward, and sometimes by not choosing…we tacitly choose to remain where we are. Make no mistake choice matters.

The irrevocable truth  is that we are always keenly remember when we make that first and usually life altering choice….that first al anon meeting….that first Martini; that first cigarette, that first kiss, that first love.

Choice matters to everyone. The only thing we don't choose is the addicts in our life.  But we choose how to deal with them by first dealing with ourselves. Al anon is inherently good on how it deals with the bad.

The haunting Melody and Lyric of this work of art..this song called Crazy Heart has become my anthem is the well worn armour shielding   me from  the  baptism of fire we inappropriately name recovery.A state that has a beginning but no end.  Choice …a terrible beauty… matters.

In the art of Crazy Heart …the steel guitars cry endlessly into the black cold night. The twang of the icy steel  strings  reluctantly yet uncontrollably  drowns  us once again    deeper and deeper  into  the ocean abyss finally arriving at the bottom …. Home again….the bottom; the bone yard .piled high   with all the broken promises and unfulfilled dreams of wasted memory.

Some of us have already given up ….some in the process of given up….some of us want to give up. Yet we continue to come. We come week after week, month after month, and year after year. We come and we come and we come.

We come bent, broken on bended knee  …pleading, begging for some or something to drags out back into the light.

The broken spirit,hammered  again and again over  the anvils  of time , is as pure in form and nature   as the cold steel of the fearless samurai's blade. Behold the true disciple; with infinite heart and courage for all.

No matter what creed, no matter the different tale of love and loss….. yet always mystically the same clear unwavering yet always compassionate voice.

No advice  is given but instead  offered

Leave  the remnants of the moral carcass  of the pain and disillusionment in histories absente wake.

Words, rhyme,courage,and reason are all generously  enmeshed in the vibrant jungles of our mind .

The choice is ours. Choice in the beginning, choice in the end but choice in the present gets its due and proper.

The hardest and most difficult thing to see…. the only thing that comes to account is the here and now..

The lonely poets tears fill the cracks of our broken hearts. The random pieces of our soul begin the long painful crawl towards the completion of this puzzle branded choice.

This ain't no place for the weary kind
This ain't no place to lose your mind
This ain't no place to get left behind
Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try

Gratitude.

A meditation for February 1, 2014.

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Communication – Episode 56

siblingsDo you have trouble communicating your needs and feelings to your loved ones? Do your attempts to ask for what you want always degenerate into an argument? How have you learned to communicate better in this program? Today, Spencer, Maria and guest host Meishia talk about Communication.

We started with this list of questions.

How did you communicate in your relationships before you came to the program?
What special challenges to communication have you faced/seen in alcoholic relationships?
Which of these communication skills did you have then / do you have now? Listening attentively and openly. Stating your needs clearly. Using “I” statements.
Which of these communication problems did you have then / have you reduced or eliminated? Accusatory or judgemental statements. Expecting others to “read your mind”. Emotional reaction. Escalation to argument or fight
What are “I” statements?  Why would you want to use them? How can they help to enhance communication and avoid emotional escalation?
Are you aware of the non-verbal signals you send?

A well-written contribution from Adrienne sparked our conversation, and we just rolled on from there.

Our topic for next week is face to face meetings – why are they important? Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
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denial – a meditation

 

“The most confused we ever get is when we try to convince our heads of something that our hearts know is a lie.”

Karen Moning

My ego and soul often have conversations with one another. This interaction between the two parts of me is constant, whether I awake or asleep, happy or sad, or restless or at peace. The details of each conversation varies depending on what the topic is, but the general gist is the same: my ego says “I am afraid that everything needs to be different for me to be happy” and my soul responds “I am happy already, I am just afraid to see that I am.”

Before recovery, these conversations occurred also, but I didn't realize because the voice of my ego had reigned supreme over my choices for so long that I hardly heard the small voice of my soul respond. As I worked the Steps, that changed. The voice of my soul became louder and louder. I wasn't used to hearing both voices and I suppose my ego wasn't used to the competition so it often felt like a battle in my head. My initial days in the program felt like a struggle between the ego that I knew and the soul that I had rejected. But I slowly began to listen to the voice of my soul. It was so calm and peaceful that I felt at peace listening to it. I felt charmed by it and began to utterly ignore my ego.

This, however, was very typical behavior for me. I always go to extremes. With my black-and-white thinking, I had either entirely ignored my soul or entirely ignored my ego. But the truth is both are part of me. To reject either one is to reject a part of myself, and when I reject part of myself, I feel fearful and fall to old patterns. And this is exactly what happened. I began to ignore my “bad” feelings. I began to tell myself that I shouldn't be angry and that I can't be unhappy and that I have to be serene all of the time. But I am human and I could not do those things and I began to be afraid that I wasn't good enough to listen to my soul. The irony of it all was that my soul, ever loving and accepting, never told me ignore my ego. It kept trying to guide me to acceptance of all of me by signaling me through my emotional discomfort that the path that I was treading would not guide me to happiness. When I finally became desperate again, I was able to listen to my soul once more as well as my ego. I learned that I am both things. I am yin and yang. I am dark and light. I am ego and soul. To deem one good and the other bad is to not honor myself.

It is only when I am able to listen to what my ego is telling me that I am able to understand myself and my fears, and then my soul is able to reach out and be nurturing during this awareness and guide me to healing and peace. One without the other does not help me. That is only half of me. It is only when I am able to accept both sides, able to accept all of me, that I am able be open, honest, loving, and peaceful.

A meditation for October 12, 2013.

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self – a meditation

 

It is always our own self that we find at the end of the journey.

Ella Maillart

What I find most beautiful about this quote is that it doesn't say that I need to be someone different at the end of the journey. What I see in this quote is that spiritual growth is not about changing into someone else, at all. It's about becoming more myself. This is something I feel is true with every passing day in recovery. Sometimes I think to myself that I'm not recovering, I am uncovering. That, I seek out the person I am under all of my fears and resentments and anger. I used to reject that person because I thought that person was weak and unloveable. I thought that acting on fears or anger makes me strong. But I realize that it's those anger-based actions that have brought me the most suffering because I am not being myself. I do not believe I am an angry person or a scared person. I am a person that can feel angry or scared, but basing my whole life on those two emotions has brought a lot of imbalance in my life. Once I became more aware of myself, I am able to feel fear and angry and choose to act out of love for myself.

A meditation for October 09,2013

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amends – a meditation

 

The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.

John Green, Looking for Alaska

I have had a lot of anger towards loved ones in the past. I remember that I used to write down the resentments against them when I took my inventory. I was so upset from the harms that I perceived had been committed against me – even if they were decades old. I had heard in the meeting rooms that forgiveness is key to finding peace. And I kept telling myself to forgive these people. I would even chant it to myself or act as if I had forgiven them. Nothing helped. My resentments remained and I felt frustrated.

Eventually, I got to the 8th Step in my Stepwork with my Sponsor. To do the 8th Step, I had to make a list of all persons I had harmed and become willing to make amends to them all. I listed everyone on my resentment list and listed my anger and judgment against them to be reasons for my amends. Thankfully, I had a wonderful Sponsor that asked me where my amends to myself was on the list. I realized I had no amends to myself – not really. I had hastily scribbled my name on the last page in the margin. My Sponsor reminded me that I was not really honoring  and respecting myself by ignoring my self-amends. I took her suggestion and sat and wrote a proper amends to myself. In the amends, I apologized for not standing up for myself in the past. I apologized for lying about my feelings  to myself and others. I apologized for ignoring my own needs. I apologized for giving up my power to other people. And then I cried because I had just been given an amends by the one person with whom I actually angry, myself.

As I cried, the pain left me and the suffering left me and my wounds started to close. Since then, every day that I am honest about my feelings, every time I honor my needs, and every time I stand up for myself, the wounds close a little more and open up more space for gratitude and love and even more forgiveness. And as I heal and forgive myself, forgiveness for others comes so easily. I think this is because my reality exists within me and I project that reality onto the world around me. Now that my reality is that I am responsible for loving myself, so I am able to seeking external validation and resenting people when I do not receive it.

Today, my Higher Power blessed me with happiness and peace as well as pain and fear. All four blessings are always present for me; some offer comfort and some offer opportunity. When I can see all of these as equal, one not better than another, I can stop feeling like a victim and be accepting, grateful, and forgiving.

A meditation for September 29, 2013

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