soul – a meditation

 

Life is a school, where you learn how to remember what your soul already knows.

 

My reactions when I was a child came from the soul. As I grew older, my soul began to be buried under fears, scars, and emotional abuses. I thought I lost my soul, but I was wrong. It was always there. I can never lose it. I just lost touch with it. Through the 12 Steps and the support of my Sponsor and fellowship, I am able, little by little, to find my soul again through my connection with my Higher Power. I know when I am acting from my soul as opposed to when I am acting from fear now. When it is from the soul, I feel love and when it is from fear I feel anger and pain. Every day, life happens and allows me to choose between these two options. And every time I choose my soul, I am one Step closer to the person I was and the person I am meant to be.

A meditation for July 1, 2013.

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reflect – a meditation

 

We can waste time searching for our own reflection in others, or we can focus on reflecting what we love in others.

 

So much of my life has been spent watching or experiencing one abusive situation after another and seeing how my loved ones sweep it under the rug and pretend it's OK. It really shook me and caused me to lose faith in myself. When I saw something happen that I felt traumatized by and everyone in my life pretended it was normal, I started assuming that I was too sensitive or imagining things or just plain wrong. And if I brought  up the situations with others, often I would get punished for bringing it up. So, unable to express my feelings and told I am wrong, I started just shutting down when an uncomfortable situation was occurring. When I did this, I began to lose my connection with myself because I no longer trusted myself. I treated myself as a crazy person that had no concept of reality. So I would constantly seek myself in others. As the quote says, I would look for my own reflection in others. I would look to others for validation of myself and my feelings to see if they were “correct.”

Now that I am in program, I learned that my feelings are my feelings and I cannot control my feelings. Having feelings, no matter what they are, is never “wrong.” However, when I am not self-aware enough to allow myself to feel and accept my feelings, my actions can be controlled by them. I learned through the Steps how to love myself by accepting my feelings and then giving them up to my Higher Power, take inventory of a situation, and do the next right thing. I learned this by practicing program, reaching out to others to hear their experience, strength, and hope through phone calls and meetings. When I heard something that I resonated with and met someone who exhibited the peace that I wanted to have, I listened to what they had to say. And I began reflecting their behaviors in those situations. I began reflecting what I loved in others because it helped me learned new skills to deal with difficult situations. And stopped looking for others to reflect back to me who I was because I had a strong connection with my Higher Power. When I practice these principles in all my affairs, I achieve serenity.

A meditation for June 28, 2013.

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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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Our First Meetings – Episode 26

What it was like when we first came to Al-Anon? What do we remember about our first meeting? Did it “click” right away or did it take some time? When did we realize that the program was right for us? How did that happen?

Spencer, Kelli, and Swetha, along with 7 other Al-Anon members talk about their first meeting, or meetings, and how they came to believe that they could find help in Al-Anon. For some of us, the first meeting was transformational and enlightening. Others of us just didn’t get it at first. Some of us went away for a while, but eventually came back and “got it.” From our stories, we identify some things you can do if you're new to the program, and some things we longer-term members should do to help new members feel welcomed. Listen to our stories, and we think you will find something to identify with, and hopefully something to keep you coming back.

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