Sadness and Loneliness – Episode 214

Alone but not lonelyHow were you lonely and sad? Is there a difference between loneliness and being alone? How has recovery helped to relieve these feelings?

Eric and Spencer explore loneliness, sadness, and recovery guided in part by these questions.

  • Definitions.
    • Sad, despair, isolated, grief, loss,
  • How did you deal with (or not deal with) sadness before recovery?
    • What brought you sadness?
    • What other emotions went with it?
    • How did you act?
  • When were you lonely?
    • What other emotions went with it?
    • What was your “self-talk” when you were lonely?
    • How did you act?
  • How has your recovery changed this?
  • How is being lonely different from being alone?
  • Did you used to resist being alone?
  • How has that changed?

We made reference to a couple of articles from Psychology Today.

The Surprising Antidote to Loneliness

The Value of Sadness

A previous episode on Hope (episode 65) was mentioned.

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 “Sadness and Loneliness – Episode 214”

Tapestry – a meditation

Tapestry

 

 

My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue
An everlasting vision of the ever changing view
A wondrous woven magic in bits of blue and gold
A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold

 

Carole King — Tapestry

When I look back at my life so far, it has truly been a tapestry. The path I have taken, the experiences I have had, the troubles I have gotten through, and the growth I have experienced are not anything like I envisioned my life when I was young. The reality of my experience is infinitely richer than my imagined future. I have lived in forest and desert, in hot and cold, in city and country, and in cultures familiar and exotic. I have had happiness and despair, love and anger, accomplishment and frustration. I have known the ecstasy of love, the agony of desertion, the despair of illness, and the joy of reconciliation. I have started new phases of my life with anticipation and wonder, had them ended with rejection and disillusion. All of these are threads in my tapestry. All throughout, binding those threads together, are the people who are in, and have been in, my life. People who celebrated with me in triumph and joy, people who held me in sadness and grief, people who taught me how to live life, people whose example showed me how I could survive my troubles, and most of all, people who loved me for who I was.

Are there things in my life I would rather not have experienced? Yes! But they are part of my tapestry, and it would be the poorer for their lack. Today, I will celebrate the tapestry that is my life. I look forward to what “wondrous woven magic” the future will bring to it.

A meditation for October 4, 2013.

Continue reading “Tapestry – a meditation”

expectations – a meditation

 

“When someone sees the same people every day, as had happened with him at the seminary, they wind up becoming a part of that person’s life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”
Paulo Coehlo, The Alchemist

I spend a great deal of time focusing on the external. I judge people and situations as “right” or “wrong”, or even “good” or “bad” depending on how I feel about them. I even used to say things like “they made me feel…” or “he hurt me…” or “she mad me mad…” In none of these situations do I take accountability for my own feelings in the situations. I just hold my external circumstances to up to certain expectations.

How did I develop these expectations? I believed that if everything and everyone were a certain (as I expect them to be) then I would be safe and happy. I wouldn’t be yelled at or teased or judged or criticized. And that’s what I wanted so badly. I wanted peace. I wanted a space to just be myself. Ironically, this is exactly what I was not allowing of the people and environment around me. Though I wanted peace, I kept pushing my expectations on others either passively or aggressively. Though I did not want to be criticized, I was constantly assessing how other people or situations could and should change for the better. In my desire to have space to exist, I tried to control all the space around me. But I do not need to do that.

In the beginning of this meditation, I wrote “I judge people and situations depending on how I feel about them.” In this sentence lies the answer to my need to control via expectations. The key is my feelings. I think, often, I take my feelings out of proportion by minimizing them. I reject or ignore my feelings by telling myself not important enough. But those feelings build up and form resentments and expectations which I then take out of of proportion again and believe them to be the most important thing. This is black-and-white thinking. But it does not need to be.

I can simply accept my feelings for what they are – my ego responding to the world around me. I can accept that I am sometimes in pain, happy, angry, sad, etc. If I can do this without judging my feelings and simply allowing them to be, I am better able to process them and only then am I able to decide how I want to react.

Just for today, I will try not to judge others. Rather, when I feel frustrated or upset about another person’s behavior, I will stop and take a quick inventory on why I feel bothered. I will not judge my reaction as good or bad, but rather simply accept it. In doing so, I can give myself peace and give myself space to exist. When I can offer this compassion to myself, only then am I able to offer it to others.

A meditation for July 31, 2013*

*Thanks to Hillery for requesting a meditation on the topic of expectations! Continue reading “expectations – a meditation”