denial – a meditation

 

“The most confused we ever get is when we try to convince our heads of something that our hearts know is a lie.”

Karen Moning

My ego and soul often have conversations with one another. This interaction between the two parts of me is constant, whether I awake or asleep, happy or sad, or restless or at peace. The details of each conversation varies depending on what the topic is, but the general gist is the same: my ego says “I am afraid that everything needs to be different for me to be happy” and my soul responds “I am happy already, I am just afraid to see that I am.”

Before recovery, these conversations occurred also, but I didn’t realize because the voice of my ego had reigned supreme over my choices for so long that I hardly heard the small voice of my soul respond. As I worked the Steps, that changed. The voice of my soul became louder and louder. I wasn’t used to hearing both voices and I suppose my ego wasn’t used to the competition so it often felt like a battle in my head. My initial days in the program felt like a struggle between the ego that I knew and the soul that I had rejected. But I slowly began to listen to the voice of my soul. It was so calm and peaceful that I felt at peace listening to it. I felt charmed by it and began to utterly ignore my ego.

This, however, was very typical behavior for me. I always go to extremes. With my black-and-white thinking, I had either entirely ignored my soul or entirely ignored my ego. But the truth is both are part of me. To reject either one is to reject a part of myself, and when I reject part of myself, I feel fearful and fall to old patterns. And this is exactly what happened. I began to ignore my “bad” feelings. I began to tell myself that I shouldn’t be angry and that I can’t be unhappy and that I have to be serene all of the time. But I am human and I could not do those things and I began to be afraid that I wasn’t good enough to listen to my soul. The irony of it all was that my soul, ever loving and accepting, never told me ignore my ego. It kept trying to guide me to acceptance of all of me by signaling me through my emotional discomfort that the path that I was treading would not guide me to happiness. When I finally became desperate again, I was able to listen to my soul once more as well as my ego. I learned that I am both things. I am yin and yang. I am dark and light. I am ego and soul. To deem one good and the other bad is to not honor myself.

It is only when I am able to listen to what my ego is telling me that I am able to understand myself and my fears, and then my soul is able to reach out and be nurturing during this awareness and guide me to healing and peace. One without the other does not help me. That is only half of me. It is only when I am able to accept both sides, able to accept all of me, that I am able be open, honest, loving, and peaceful.

A meditation for October 12, 2013.

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amends – a meditation

 

The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.

John Green, Looking for Alaska

I have had a lot of anger towards loved ones in the past. I remember that I used to write down the resentments against them when I took my inventory. I was so upset from the harms that I perceived had been committed against me – even if they were decades old. I had heard in the meeting rooms that forgiveness is key to finding peace. And I kept telling myself to forgive these people. I would even chant it to myself or act as if I had forgiven them. Nothing helped. My resentments remained and I felt frustrated.

Eventually, I got to the 8th Step in my Stepwork with my Sponsor. To do the 8th Step, I had to make a list of all persons I had harmed and become willing to make amends to them all. I listed everyone on my resentment list and listed my anger and judgment against them to be reasons for my amends. Thankfully, I had a wonderful Sponsor that asked me where my amends to myself was on the list. I realized I had no amends to myself – not really. I had hastily scribbled my name on the last page in the margin. My Sponsor reminded me that I was not really honoring  and respecting myself by ignoring my self-amends. I took her suggestion and sat and wrote a proper amends to myself. In the amends, I apologized for not standing up for myself in the past. I apologized for lying about my feelings  to myself and others. I apologized for ignoring my own needs. I apologized for giving up my power to other people. And then I cried because I had just been given an amends by the one person with whom I actually angry, myself.

As I cried, the pain left me and the suffering left me and my wounds started to close. Since then, every day that I am honest about my feelings, every time I honor my needs, and every time I stand up for myself, the wounds close a little more and open up more space for gratitude and love and even more forgiveness. And as I heal and forgive myself, forgiveness for others comes so easily. I think this is because my reality exists within me and I project that reality onto the world around me. Now that my reality is that I am responsible for loving myself, so I am able to seeking external validation and resenting people when I do not receive it.

Today, my Higher Power blessed me with happiness and peace as well as pain and fear. All four blessings are always present for me; some offer comfort and some offer opportunity. When I can see all of these as equal, one not better than another, I can stop feeling like a victim and be accepting, grateful, and forgiving.

A meditation for September 29, 2013

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my truth– a meditation

 

Do not take things personally. What other people say about you is their reality not yours.

 

Recently, I was speaking to person that is close to me. While I was listening to him, I heard my faults that were perceived by this person were being enumerated. He spoke with a great deal of certainty and assertion. My instinctive reaction was to wonder how much of it was true. I was scared that it was true because my inner voice was not quite as loud as his outer voice. I was grateful to speak to my Sponsor at this time and hear that we are each entitled to our own opinions and experiences. At first I thought this meant that what he said was true. But upon further introspection, I realized what this meant was that what I feel inside about myself is just as true because it is my truth. He had his truth about me and that is his business. My truth about me was mine. And whatever he says can become part of my truth only if I choose to let it be.

Today, I will treat my soul as the most sacred part of me. I will only allow in what honors and nourishes it. All other things, I will honor as another person’s truth, but I will remember that it does not have to be part of my own.

A meditation for September 5, 2013.

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knowing – a meditation

 

The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing.

Socrates

In the past, I looked for a formula to be sure to always do the “right” thing. I liked the idea of a black and white world. I wished there was always a clear right and wrong because I wanted to be right all the time.  I wanted to be in control in that way.  In the past, it was easy for me to tell people what to do or ask people what to do, as though there was one absolute answer for everyone. I wanted there to be an absolute answer because otherwise, that meant people could be unpredictable and that life was unpredictable and that I wasn’t in control. I feared that if there were no absolutes, how could I be safe?

Fortunately, what I want is not how the world actually works. I have learned that most things in my world fall into a grey area with very, very little black or white anywhere. There is almost never a clear answer when I am looking for a solution to an issue I am having. There is no absolute right and wrong in my life. There is just what feels right to me at the time – what aligns with what my Higher Power wants for me. Today, aligning with my Higher Power in my thoughts and actions is my safety.

To me, this does not feel like knowledge of the mind but awareness of my soul; not right and wrong, but what aligns with my soul and what does not align with my soul. In this way, I beginning to understand that I can only know what aligns with my soul right now, and even then, only when I can quiet my ego and listen. I can not with know what aligns the souls of others. I can not know what will align with my soul in the future. So, I cannot offer advice or judge. I can only do the next right thing.

For me, the wisdom was in accepting that my ego knows nothing, and my soul is in tune with everything. When I can connect with my Higher Power, when I can connect with what is in the Highest Good for my soul, I am at peace.

A meditation for August 4, 2013.

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Higher Power – a meditation

 

When I fear the unknown
You feel like home, you feel like home
You put my feet back on the ground,
Did you know you brought me around?
You were sweet and you were sound
You saved me

Zero 7 — Somersault

I do not know where or when I got the idea that pain was bad or that I must do everything in my power to keep from feeling that pain. I don’t think it’s relevant that I know where this feeling came from, but it’s important to me to be rid of the idea for a few reasons: 1) pain is inevitable, 2) some of the things I love most came about because of painful situations.

As I have grown in my program, I’ve started seeing pain and fear as communications from my Higher Power about my soul instead of seeing pain as an indication of something in me that I need to carefully guard. I hate talking about feelings because I am afraid that I will be rejected or judged and then I will feel pain. As a result, my Higher Power has put people in my life that are very interested in discussing feelings. When I feel terror, I know that this is my Higher Power telling me that in order to heal and grow spiritually, I need to be self-aware about my feelings and feel safe in that awareness rather than rely upon another’s reception of my feelings.

At first I used to wonder why I need to heal and grow, but I think I know now. I think it is because fear is the opposite of love and when I feel fear, I am unable to love. When I am unable to love, I am unable to be close to my Higher Power. And so every time something happens in my life to inspire growth, I think it’s really just Higher Power asking me to be closer so that It can take care of me instead of me trying to control a situation in a vain attempt to care for myself.

When I can keep my focus on my Higher Power, I am able to move towards serenity and peace and love. When I focus on the fear, it my spiritual growth is blocked and that fear becomes my Higher Power. So when I feel afraid, I try to close my eyes and whisper to my fearful heart that we are safe and we will be protected and I focus on my Higher Power.

A meditation for August 7, 2013

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