Freedom – Episode 241

What does freedom mean to you? What freedom have you found in recovery?

Eric suggested this topic, and we were loosely guided in our conversation by this outline.

  • Definition of freedom? Many definitions…
  • Do I believe that freedom only comes from being in control of my life?
  • What does it mean to me (now) that “freedom can only come from acceptance”?
  • The blog “Through an Al-Anon Filter” says
    If I want peace, I must give my program away to others. If I want growth, I must give up my belief in my own “rightness.” If I want serenity, I must give up self-will, and be open to my Higher Power. If I want freedom, I must give up my need to control.

    If I want real, lasting change, I must give up my safe misery.
  • (How) do I understand this in my life?
  • Concept Three 
The Right of Decision makes effective leadership possible.
    • We have the right to decide, to make choices. This is a powerful idea and one that many of us may have lost sight of growing up in families that were dysfunctional.
    • “When I began studying Concept Three, I found the answer. It wasn’t alcoholism that bothered me. It was someone taking away my right of decision.” Reaching for Personal Freedom p. 132
  • What freedom(s) have I found in recovery?
    • Free to live my life. I don’t have to follow the whims and wishes of my loved one (I can choose to do so, but I don’t have to.)
    • Free to take care of myself (instead of my loved one).
    • Free to grow.
    • Free to laugh.
    • Free to make choices.
    • Free to know myself.
    • Free to let go of the past (but not wish to shut the door on it).
    • Free to find gratitude in the little (and the big) things, even when some part of my life sucks.
    • I am becoming Free FROM;
      • Despair
      • Sadness
      • Loneliness
      • Isolation
      • Anxiety
      • Blame
      • Resentments
      • Feeling trapped
      • Fear
      • Anger
      • Guilt
      • Shame
      • Dependence (on others)
      • Expectations (of others)
    • I am become FREE TO;
      • Live and Let Live
      • Let It Go
      • Surrender without giving up
      • Say No (and feel good about it)
      • Detach, with love
      • Set boundaries
      • Allow consequences to happen
      • Love, not need
      • Walk away
      • Feel, without fear
      • Say what I mean
      • Go slow
      • Enjoy solitude
      • Be happy
      • Have choices
      • Take risks
      • To be wrong
      • Trust
      • Laugh more (Promise 12)
    • Who knew!?  (as my sponsor said yesterday when I read him my list… 😊)
  • We want to be “happy, joyous, and free”

Upcoming topics include is talking to young children about recovery. Also parenting in all its aspects. And, violence by the “Al-Anon” in a relationship. 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.
Continue reading “Freedom – Episode 241”

leaving – a guest meditation by Hillery

 

“You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted.  But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out?  Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.”

 

Dr. Seuss, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”

I have been considering whether or not I should leave my husband. We’ve been together for 12 years, with a three year split in the middle, in which I’d broken off contact with him because he was emotionally, mentally and sexually harassing me (he still does). My family, on the other hand, were convinced that my husband and I were perfect for each other. So, to make them happy, I got back together with him.

A year after that, my father passed away from alcoholism. I felt alone. I had never had very much success in dating, either. So, when my husband asked if I would be his girlfriend again, I said ‘yes,’ even though I really wanted to say ‘no.’ I would do this again when we got married.

I had become so accustomed to letting other people make my decisions for me, and so used to trying to make everyone else happy, that I vowed to spend the rest of my life with someone I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with.

For the past two years I’ve wanted divorce, but was too scared of the unknown – a job, a new life, a new place to live – how would I take care of myself? I wasn’t sure what to do. So, I waited. I waited for the strength to go ahead and take care of myself, against the wishes of others, to be able to set boundaries for myself (albeit small ones) and I waited for a sign that it was the right time to move on.

Finally, I feel like I’ve been getting those signs, it seems ridiculous: A song which gave me encouragement, tears, hope; a text from my brother asking me to get a place with him; and my husband asking me to get a job. BINGO! I prayed the other day for guidance to this divorce issue. I’ve never truly prayed before, but I realized that I can’t do this without my higher power guiding me. I heard “compassion” – for my husband, for myself, and for my children, because it will be a long and hard road ahead.

It will be one day at a time, but I feel like I’m starting to feel that I can be free.

A meditation for August 6, 2013.

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