Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.
I have a fear of showing my weaknesses. I have a fear of letting others know when I have been less than perfect. I fear that my flaws will set me apart as “less than” and verify that I am not good enough. But when I walked into the meeting rooms of my recovery program, I realized that the only thing that sets me apart as different is when I identify myself as different. It is my own judgment of myself and others the spurs my decision and fear that if anyone really knew me and really knew I was human, I wouldn’t be enough. Now that I have worked the Steps (especially Steps 4, 5 and 6) I realize my weaknesses, fears, and vulnerabilities and accept them for what they are. I realized I can accept myself as who I am, for my feelings, fears – everything. And then I can make the conscious choice as to how I act. When I am able to do this, my they are no longer areas which, if pointed to by others, can hurt me. Now, those same characteristics that I used to hide, I use as tools to reach out to others. With my own experience in these ways, I am able to reach out to another person in pain and, by sharing my experience, strength, and hope, help another realize that they are not alone, either.
A meditation for June 13, 2013
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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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I did it selfishly because I didn’t want to live in pain, anymore. It’s funny, when you do something from a place of truth…it works out where it is the right thing for a lot of other people as well.
It is interesting what I feel is selfish and what I feel is altruistic. A cursory glance over my choices lets me believe that I am an altruistic person. But upon sitting with my Sponsor and going over my 4th Step, I realized I was a self-crucifying martyr. I didn’t make the choices to be “altruistic”; I made those choices that could be seen as altruistic because I was afraid of the consequences. I was afraid of my own powerlessness.
Today, when I think of making a choice that is altruistic, I pause and ask myself if it’s coming from a place of love or a place of fear. If it’s coming from a place of truth and love for myself and others, I can tell because I can let go of the results. When it’s coming from a place of fear, it’s obvious to me, because I pin my happiness on a particular outcome.
The beauty of life, that I am able to see now because I am working a program of recovery, is that when something is done purely out of love, there is no right or wrong outcome. Thought the outcome might not be what I hoped for, or even if it is the one I feared, the outcome is always good. Because when I do something out of love, I am being good to myself. And in being good to myself, I am being good to all those around me.
A meditation for June 9, 2013.
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