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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humanity – 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.

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protection – 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”

Step 6 – Episode 28

Wow!Step 6 says “[We] were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.” What are “defects of character.” What does “entirely ready” mean? How do we become entirely ready? What if we like some of our defects? How can we become ready to have them removed? Spencer, Kelli, and special guest host Melissa talk about these questions and others, sharing our experience, strength, and hope on the topic of Step 6.

What are “character defects”? This term seems very negative. A more positive view is that they are traits that block us from becoming the person we want to be. Or, paraphrasing the 7th Step prayer from the AA Big Book, they “stand in the way of our usefulness to God and our fellows.” Many of our defects are old attributes or coping schools that once served us well, but are no longer helpful.

For many of us, Step 6 seems to not require any action on our part. But if we just sit there, how do we become “entirely ready”? Melissa says that for her, there was a lot of writing and prayer involved. We also found that it involves self-acceptance, and acceptance of our faults. Ok, that’s good, but how do we get there?

Our reading spoke of “the 6 P’s”: perspective, pain, prayer, patience,process and payoff. Looking at the pain that a particular defect causes us, and the payoff that it used to give us, or perhaps continues to do us, can help move towards acceptance. If we are often late to meetings and appointments, the pain might be the disapproval of those we are meeting, while the payoff is that we are not “wasting time” by being early. By identifying the “payoff”, maybe we can find something to do that will avoid that feeling of wasting time, and will make it easier for us to actually arrive on time or early. Then we are ready for this defect to be removed.

We might be afraid that if a particular defect is removed, there will be nothing to replace it, and we won’t be the same person any longer. We can look back at the assets that we identified in Step 4. We will continue to have those, and maybe some of them will expand to fill the “void”. Or, a new positive asset will replace the defect. We can have faith that our higher power will replace the defect with something better. A listener wrote that she views the changes that will result as “a welcomed adventure, exploring the new me.”

What changes have we seen in ourselves as a result of working this step? Listen and find out.

Our topic for next week is progress, not perfection. Do you struggle with perfection?  Have you learned how to be accepting of your achievements even if they aren’t perfect? Please call us at 734-707-8795, use the voicemail button, or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
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grace – a meditation

 

There is a loveliness to life that does not fade. Even in the terrors of the night, there is a tendency toward grace that does not fail us.

Robert Goolrick, The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life

I think, deep down, when a situation happens, I always know the “right” thing to do first. I always know what my Higher Power would want me to do. However, my default is often to then “catastrophize” the situation and then set aside what I feel the “right” thing to do is, and then react based on the fear of the consequences. I used to think this was disheartening and proof that I was irreparably damaged and that my Higher Power had forsaken me, but now I know that that means there’s hope.

I realize now, that I am not irreparably damaged. I made choices based on the tools I had in the past and I did the best that I could. But the simple fact that I made those choices indicates to me that I can now make another choice. And because I never lost sight of what the “right” thing was (even if I attempted to ignore it), I know that I can now make different choices in recovery. My Higher Power never left me. The proof is in the fact that I always knew what the right thing to do was. I always had that tendency towards grace even if I chose not to honor it. Today, I know I can choose.

 

A meditation for June 14, 2013.

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