Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.
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.
Continue reading “freedom – a meditation”
What would happen to our recovery if it depended completely on one or two well-intentioned but fallible human beings?
How Al-Anon Works, p. 123 (tradition 12).
My recovery would fail, that is my answer to that question. I think that is why I used to be so “unserene” before my recovery program. I used to make people my Higher Power and in doing so, I idealized them. I would expect perfection. I did them such a disservice, but doing this. I did myself a disservice, too. I refused to accept them as human. I put them up on a pedestal and, in doing so, placed the responsibility of my serenity and happiness upon their shoulders. So, when they fell short of my expectations as was inevitable, I felt betrayed and hurt and that my needs weren't met.
The flip side of this is that I wanted to be this to others. I wanted to their Higher Power. I wanted to fix their lives, I wanted to meet all of their needs, I wanted the responsibility of their serenity and happiness to fall on me. When this was the case, I felt validated and valuable. But, when I felt short of my expectations of perfection, I felt guilty that I had failed others and fearful that this meant I had no value.
In all ways, forcing the responsibility of my recovery and my serenity on others or taking that same responsibility from others and placing it upon my own shoulders only serves to separate me from that serenity that I so desperately sought. Even when I did feel serene in these circumstances, it was often short-lived. Now, in recovery, I know that I was looking externally for a fulfillment of an internal emptiness. In the end, all that could fill that space in me was a Higher Power of my understanding. Thanks to working the Steps with my Sponsor and continuing to practice these principles in all my affairs, when I lose my serenity today, I am able to regain it again when I shift my focus back to my Higher Power and my serenity. Now I am able to do this and as such, I can love and accept the humanity in myself and others and not seek validation from those relationships any longer.
A meditation for June 21, 2013.
Continue reading “humanity – 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”
“An idealist is one who, on noticing a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes it will also make better soup.”
— H. L. Mencken
Frequently, I have a picture in my head of how something should be or how some event should go. When my image does not match reality, I am usually projecting some ideal vision of my life onto the real world. Naturally they don't match. I have learned to check my expectations against what really is, to try to stay centered in the here and now. While things may not look as rosy that way, I am also less likely to be disappointed than when I hold unrealistic, idealized expectations. Roses don't make good soup. My life is more serene when I can enjoy roses for what they are, and cabbage for what it is.
A meditation for February 12, 2013.
Continue reading “rose soup – a meditation”