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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Higher Power – a meditation

 

The poorer we are inwardly, the more we try to enrich ourselves outwardly.

Bruce Lee

I love this quote. It provides me with such a simple check of where I am with my program, at that moment. If I am worried about things going on outside of my control, I know that my true issue is that I am suffering spiritually. I once heard that you can only focus on one Higher Power at a time. It can't be a God of your own understanding and this other thing (like money or partner, etc.). When I am focused on my partner's actions or gaining control of a situation outside my hula hoop, I make those things/people my Higher Power. But when I remember this quote, I realize that when I am focusing outwardly, I am choosing to lose my serenity. Just as simply, the answer to my problems is that I just turn my focus inwardly, to my connection with my Higher Power, God of my own understanding. When I do this, I can regain my serenity and my Higher Power takes care of the rest.

A meditation for June 24, 2013.

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grace – a meditation

 

There is a loveliness to life that does not fade. Even in the terrors of the night, there is a tendency toward grace that does not fail us.

Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life

I think, deep down, when a situation happens, I always know the “right” thing to do first. I always know what my Higher Power would want me to do. However, my default is often to then “catastrophize” the situation and then set aside what I feel the “right” thing to do is, and then react based on the fear of the consequences. I used to think this was disheartening and proof that I was irreparably damaged and that my Higher Power had forsaken me, but now I know that that means there's hope.

I realize now, that I am not irreparably damaged. I made choices based on the tools I had in the past and I did the best that I could. But the simple fact that I made those choices indicates to me that I can now make another choice. And because I never lost sight of what the “right” thing was (even if I attempted to ignore it), I know that I can now make different choices in recovery. My Higher Power never left me. The proof is in the fact that I always knew what the right thing to do was. I always had that tendency towards grace even if I chose not to honor it. Today, I know I can choose.

 

A meditation for June 14, 2013.

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selfishness – a meditation

 

It is not selfish to live the life you want to live, it is selfish to tell others to live the life you want them to live.

– Oscar Wilde

 

I am often afraid to live my own life. I am afraid of the consequences. I am afraid I will be shown to be wrong. But it is so easy for me to see what others should do in their own lives. I used to think “what bad luck! If only my friend's problem was mine, I'd know EXACTLY what to do!” I find it quite funny, now, because I see that no matter what “problem” I had, I would have felt overwhelmed by it. The reason for this is because I was so emotionally involved in my own life and the consequences of my actions that it was difficult for me to make the right choices.

Now, that I am in a program of recovery, I have learned other tools with which to address my life rather than my old go-to's of denial, avoidance, or control. I am able to see now that when I was trying to control others and tell them how to live their lives, I was measuring their choices by the standards and priorities that I want to apply to my own life. Those standards and priorities only have a place in my own decisions since others have their own standards. That is why I try to stay in my hula hoop and try not to give advice but rather give suggestions when asked. Only I am able to make the right choice for myself just as each person is only able to make the right choices for him- or herself.

A meditation for June 11, 2013.

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fault – a meditation

 

When you think everything is someone else's fault, you will suffer a lot.

Dalai Lama

Before working (and practicing) the 12 Steps, playing the victim was my default method of existence. It permeated my every state of being. The way I talked, the way I acted, even the way I thought – all of these thing belie the fact that I saw myself as a victim. I never said “I was angered by this action,” I would say “He made me angry.” This immediately affected the way I thought. I thought “He made me angry.” I thought “She made me yell at her.”

I didn't realize it at the time, but that was the basis for the way I thought about myself. I thought other people made me who I was. I thought was a puppet and they were the puppet-masters. “They make me behave defensively”  or “they make me act disrespectfully”.  I did not take responsibility for myself.

Now, I try to remember that no one can make me. It is not possible. I can choose to do something, though. So, every day, I choose to try to change my attitudes. I am not perfect at it, by any means. But I choose to from the simplest behaviors – I no longer say someone made me do something. I say I chose to. “I chose to become angry. Next time I will choose to take pause.” That simple shift in words, shifted my thoughts, which shifted my behavior.

I not longer saw myself as a victim. I held myself accountable for my actions by phrasing things in this way. When I realized I was accountable for my own actions and an active participant in my life, a lot of my old destructive behaviors stopped. The program gave me this gift – the gift of the phrase “I choose…”

A meditation for June 10, 2013.

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