pace – a meditation

 

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

Lao Tzu

My favorite part of that quote is “yet everything is accomplished.” I am a “hurry-er.” I hurry up and get there so that I can I hurry up and wait. I hurry up and finish my work so that I can hurry up and go do the next thing and hurry up to do the next thing after that. I hardly give myself a break. I chock my life so full of activities because I am afraid that if I don't do everything and do it all right now, it will never get done. And I am afraid if all of the things don't get done, people will be angry with me and leave me. This triggers my basic fears around being unlovable and less than others.

I love the part of this quote that says “yet everything is accomplished” because I hurry. I have hurried in the past. I have hurried and been frantic and codependent and scared, yet everything that my Higher Power wanted to accomplish was still accomplished. Today, when I find myself hurrying or panicking, I remember this quote and realize “well, I could hurry and book up my time down to the minute and feel miserable OR I could just slow down, tune into my serenity, and do the next right thing. Either way, what my Higher Power wants to be accomplished will be accomplished.” It is usually at this point that I realize that by hurrying, I am only making myself miserable.

I try, today, to remember that my timeline is a form of control. When I try to force my life, or relationships, or friends, or even recovery to go along my timeline, I am trying to control the situation. My Higher Power does not hurry. My life, relationships, friends, and I have not changed all at once due to one big miracle. Every day, my Higher Power sends me little miracles and everything is accomplished.

A meditation for June 27, 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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timing – a meditation

 

Everything you need will come to you at the perfect time.

 

Sometimes, I wonder how my life would be different if I had come to my program of recovery months, years, or even decades, sooner. But when I take a moment to really think about it, I realize that nothing would be different. I would not have been open to the program. I would not have been open to hearing any of it. I would have walked away. The program came into my life at the perfect time for me. I needed to live my life exactly the way I lived so that the second I walked into the rooms I had become someone who could receive help.

If I think about things in this way, I realize that everything in my life came to me exactly at the perfect time. My Higher Power knew when the perfect time was, though, not me. I was always impatient and always in a rush to get to the next thing. Now I can let go and trust that when something should come to me, whether that be the removal of a character defect, a relationship, a promotion – anything, my Higher Power will bring it to me exactly when I need it. And the same for others and their Higher Powers. I can sit and feel frustrated that someone hasn't address his/her character defects, but in the end, I do not know when is the perfect time for them to have that defect removed. Only their Higher Power does. Because of this knowledge, I am grateful that I can let go and focus on my serenity.

A meditation for June 22, 2013.

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Father – a meditation

3 generations

 

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.

— Jim Valvano

I am a father. When my children were young, I tried to shape their values and their beliefs, in the hope that they would become people I could be proud of. As they grew, they started to form their own ideas of right and wrong, of good and bad, of compassion and indifference. They became individuals, with beliefs and opinions, wants and desires of their own.

When they were young, I could fix their hurts and salve their wounds. As they grew, they were hurt in wounded in ways I could not cure. They struggled with identity and relationships. They came to know, first hand, that life is not fair. And I could not fix these things. I could only say, “You are a good, capable person, and I love you very much. I  will stand by you, I can comfort you, but you must work through this problem yourself. I believe that you can do it.”

Now they are adults, striking out on their own, to build and shape a life outside the cradle and confines of my family. They will do things I am proud of, and they will disappoint me. They will make choices that I fundamentally disagree with, and their life will go in directions that I can not anticipate. I am still their father, and I still love them. Whatever they do, wherever life takes them, I will continue to believe in them.

Al-Anon recovery has given me this gift. It is a gift of knowing that my needs and desires are not theirs. It is a gift of knowing that they each have their own higher power, and it is not me. It is a gift of living in the present, to neither regret the past nor fear the future. It is a gift of loving and enjoying what I have rather than ruing what might have been. It is a gift of loving my children for exactly who they are and believing in their goals and aspirations. This is the gift that all of you have given me today, this Fathers Day, 2013.

A meditation for June 16, 2013. (The second sunday in June is celebrated in the USA as Fathers Day.)

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