blessing – a meditation

 

Every experience, no matter how bad it is, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.

Buddha

Recently, I thought I have been struggling with acceptance because of a loved one’s addiction and denial. My program has taught me that it is not up to me to classify someone as an addict, or alcoholic, or codependent since I know that I can only honestly speak about my own experience. But I have found myself deeply affected by fear and pain because I do not feel accepted or loved by this person. I found myself trying to explain my loved one’s behavior to myself by assigning labels to this person’s actions or creating stories around why they can not give me what I want. I would tell myself, “this person is not spiritually fit enough to be open and loving”. At other times, I would think “why doesn’t this person love me enough to do this for me? Am I not good enough?”. Sometimes I would just call my loved one an addict and detach with resentment and anger.

In the end, I realized I was right – I was struggling with acceptance. Only, I was struggling with accepting my loved one rather than judging. I was also struggling with accepting myself and trusting in my Higher Power. I know this because my entire focus was on the acceptance I did not feel I was receiving from my loved one. I worried about this person and their behaviors rather than keeping the focus on me and my behavior and my needs.  It is none of my business what my loved one does or why unless it violates my boundaries; and having my boundaries violated is not the same as having my fears triggered. And that is all that is happening – my fears are being triggered. I am afraid that if I do not feel acceptance from this loved one,  I will suffer and be abandoned.

I remember thinking, even up to this morning, “Why did I invite this person into my life? Why couldn’t I have left well enough alone?” But this is why. It is because my Higher Power wants me to love myself and know that my Higher Power loves me unconditionally – even when other people do not. What a blessing it is that I have the opportunity to learn how to love myself and accept the love of my Higher Power no matter what!

So, today, I took a pen, and wrote a message to myself that reminds me that I am loved by my Higher Power. And I know I will feel the fear that I am not good enough for the people in my life to love me. But then I will look at my wrist and realize the more important thing – that I am, have always been, and will always be good enough for my Higher Power to love and accept every part of me.

A meditation for September 26, 2013

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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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choice – a meditation

 

Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.

Zen Proverb

I have an amazing Sponsor. When I converse with her, I never feel judged, I feel safe, and I feel heard. But, most importantly, I never feel that she gives me advice or tells me what to do.  She does, however, share her experience, strength, and hope from her application of the program and the 12 Steps to her life. This is extremely important to me because it gives me the space to choose for myself whether or not to walk through the door that she has opened.

Having the space to walk through the door or to not walk through that door and not judged by my Sponsor has been one of the greatest gifts of the program because it helped me understand the word “choice.” I could choose to do something for myself regardless of what others had done, and still be respected and valued. Simple, though it is, this is not something I ever realized before. In the past, I would make my choices based on what I thought others wanted me to do or what would make others happy, and then feel like a victim. But realizing this choice was the first time I felt I could safely participate in my own life.

This awareness first occurred in my relationship with my Sponsor. Then this relationship with my Sponsor became the foundation upon which I started to (and continue to try to) base other relationships. I wanted this freedom, this choice. I wanted this, because it is through the choices that I make that I feel that I can exist and take part in my life. And I am so grateful to my Sponsor and the program for showing me this door.  

A meditation for July 6, 2013.

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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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worry – a meditation

 

Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace.

If worrying was an Olympic sport, I think I’d win gold every time. I often do everything I can in a situation and then when there is literally nothing else I can do, I worry. I start thinking of all the worst case scenarios and it triggers my fears. In all of these worst case scenarios, I end up alone, worthless, and unlovable. I engage in controlling behavior because that’s my defense mechanism, and I lose my serenity.

Just writing a general overview of how my mind works required a paragraph. In reality, this process of worrying takes up takes up more than a paragraph in my head. It takes up the space of books, of epic novels. I have found, however, I never lose my serenity, when I worry. I just lose sight of it. I bury it under all these other things because I make them a priority over my serenity. I just put piles and stack of my epic novels of worry on top of my serenity. When I see my serenity like this, I see how easy it is to get it back. I just turn over my worries to my Higher Power. I imagine myself taking each “book of worry” off the stack and putting it in my Higher Power’s hands. Then, when there is no more worry, I find that all I am left with is my Higher Power and my serenity.

A meditation for June 23, 2013.

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