beauty – a meditation

 

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

Confucius

It is definitely hard for me to see beauty in things when I am feeling angry or hurt or scared. During those times, I can't see past the end of my own nose, mostly. But that doesn't mean the beauty isn't there. My Higher Power never sends me any situation in order to hurt me. Rather, I feel every situation that I encounter is sent to me in order to allow me a chance to grow and heal my soul. What could be more beautiful than that – a universe that conspires in intricate and intangible ways to always care after its children without an eye towards credit or gratitude? In times of fear or pain, I can remember that and remember that even if I am uncomfortable, I am meant to be that way so that I can be looked after. I can always find beauty in that.

A meditation for July 8, 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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anger – a meditation

 

Fear is the path of the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

Yoda

I used to be afraid of angry people. I used to be afraid of manipulative people. I used to be afraid of liars, too. How funny that I felt I could not feel any compassion for them when I found out, in recovery, that I have engaged in all of those behaviors, myself!

As soon as I found out about this, I feared that I was a bad person, so I got angry and then tried to manipulate people and lie so that they wouldn't find out about this. My Higher Power works in strange ways because it was at this moment that I realized that angry people, manipulative people, liars, etc., are just people that are reacting to their fear. For the first time, I was able to feel compassion rather than fear for others. I was able realize that that my fear of people that display this characteristics often leads to my choosing to display those same characteristics. And by doing that, I continue a cycle of suffering and lack of acceptance.

Today, I will try to accept fear that is mine and fear that belongs others. I will try to accept  and have compassion for people (including me) that react to their fears in unhealthy ways – through manipulation, addiction, anger, etc. But I will try to remember that because of my self-awareness, a gift of my recovery program, I can choose differently for me.

A meditation for June 20, 2013.

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change – a meditation

 

The secret to change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.

Socrates

Acceptance does not come naturally to me. By default, I am more likely to spend time going over all the mistakes I made over and over again in painstaking detail. I used to think this would keep me  from making those mistakes again by focusing on what NOT to do. But really, I was often so focused on the negative that I didn't ever stop to think what I should do, what my Higher Power wants me to do, when greeted with that same issue again. When I behaved this way, I was trying to be in control of my feelings and in control of a situation. In the program, we call it “forcing a solution”.

There is a subtle difference, but focusing on doing the next right thing was far more manageable for me than focusing on controlling all the things I felt I did wrong in the past. When I focused on trying to fix all of those things, the job seemed overwhelming and I was easily disheartened because those actions came out of my own fears of not being good enough or not being lovable unless I act correctly all the time.. When, instead of judging myself, I instead accepted that I made a mistake and made an amends to myself and others (if needed), I was able to be gentle with myself and then focus on the positive of trying to do what the next right thing was, and let go of the results. This action comes from love – both love for self and love for my Higher Power. When my actions come from a place of love, I open myself up to all the possibilities that my Higher Power wants for me because I am able to get closer to my Higher Power.

A meditation for June 12, 2013.

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truth – a meditation

 

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.

Ellen DeGeneres

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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