letting go of denial – a guest meditation by Beth

Eye_Of_The_World1
Image source: http://carlprox.theworldrace.org/blogphotos/theworldrace/carlprox/Eye_Of_The_World1.jpg

 

Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world,
The heart has it's beaches, it's homeland and thoughts of its own.
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings,
But the heart has it's seasons, it's evenings and songs of its own.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own,
And sometimes we visit your country and live in your home,
Sometimes we ride on your horses, sometimes we walk alone,
Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own.

 

Grateful Dead — Eyes of the World

 

Nothing inspires me to wake up and enjoy this glorious day and to take my rightful place in the world like this rejuvenating song.  Step 11 conscious contact with HP to the max.

Denial is something I am having a hard time letting go of.

In meditating this week about why this defense mechanism continues to creep back into my life, when I have long outgrown it, some very interesting things were revealed to me.

By admitting my powerlessness in step one, and asking god for help to accept the things i could not change by repeating the serenity prayer, i opened my heart to a new way of living. As a newcomer this was a dramatic and cleansing awakening. It was fall then too, and I saw that the leaves falling slowly down to earth were just like my worries, each drifting gently away as I let them go, one by one. Over time, I found the courage to see my character defects for what they were, and became willing to let them drift away too.

Today I can see clearly where I want to be, and understand very well the inescapable correctness in striving to live life on life's terms, always aware of reality as it actually is, living in this moment and this moment only. Continually seeking to improve my conscious contact with the god of my understanding, to me right now, means striving to stay in that space where I see what IS, and accept true reality without judgement or argument. Practicing gratitude is an excellent tool to bring me back into the present as well.

I know I am returning to old bad habits when I am struggling inside, exhausting myself in an internal mental wrestling match. I am usually trying to change something that is not in my control, avoiding acceptance at all costs, or resisting seeing something i am denying. After a while, when i am good and tired, I stop. Because of the good habits I have learned over time from the good people in these rooms, from readings, and from time spent being truly honest with myself, I can see my struggle for what it is, and let it go. But see, often i don't just go there in my head. When i am in a bad place mentally, i can say or do something I regret, and hurt someone I love very much.

That is why maintaining conscious contact with the god of my understanding is so important for my recovery. I need to over and over remember to see things as they ARE, and accept them, not fight them.
I came to these realizations because I was suffering, upset with myself for a hurt I caused while in denial. Denial for me is sneaky. It creeps in without my knowing it, and I learn painful lessons again and again. My denial comes in twin forms. I convince myself that things that are not present are really, definitely there, or I pretend something right in front of my face is not there at all.
Sometimes denial can save your life, because the reality of what is actually true is too painful to bear at that moment. And other times denial is just a bad habit easy to fall back into, a crutch I don't need anymore, which hurts me more than the pain of seeing life for what it really is. I want to banish my destructive habit of denial, and replace it with loving acceptances once and for all, and striving for mindful, conscious contact with my higher power feels like a real solution, so that's what I'm working on.

A meditation for November 7, 2013.

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living fully here and now – a meditation

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We are not to retreat from life, pinning our hopes on ‘elsewhere,' but to know that we will come to that final destination best by living fully here and now, be it through joy, or pain, or a mix of both.

– Madeleine L'Engle, The Rock That Is Higher

I spent much of my life trying to get fulfillment and happiness from other people. I needed you to be happy so that I could be happy. I needed you to like me so that I could like me. I needed your approval so that I could approve of myself. I needed your attention so that I would not be alone with myself. You were the ‘elsewhere' on which I pinned my hopes.

Through the Steps, I am finding my way to a life that is supported from within me, with the aid of my Higher Power. I have learned that I control my own happiness, and I am not responsible for yours. The love that my Higher Power has for me is helping me to love myself. Through Steps 4-9, I see my strengths and assets, have asked my Higher Power to remove my shortcomings, and am amending my behaviors to a way of living that is consonant with my values. Step 11 is helping me to be comfortable in my skin, and to find serenity in solitude and calm. Through my continuing spiritual awakening, I spend more time living fully in the here and now, more time as myself. I find myself less in need of you to define who I am, and am thus able to enjoy your companionship for what it is, enriching rather than shaping my life.

A meditation for September 19, 2013.

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perspective – a meditation

 

The tiny seed knew that in order to grow, it needed to be dropped in dirt, covered in darkness, and struggle to reach the light.

 

I think it is easy to see struggles and difficulties in our lives as troublesome and not want them because they are a source of discomfort. However, I think there is so much more to our individual experiences than just how we judge them. Calling something good or bad, no matter what it is, is arbitrary, I've found. What might be good one day is bad the next depending on my mood. But when I step back from a situation and stop trying to judge it, I can instead see what good it can bring to  my life. If some situation triggers my fears due to past memories of similar experiences, then I can see it as an opportunity to work through that fear. If I find myself feeling shameful about a situation, I have an opportunity to address that shame, and so on. I try, today, to focus on how I can grow from a situation rather than complain about whether it is bad or good. Instead, I try to see situations as opportunities for happiness and opportunities for growth.

 

A meditation for September 9, 2013 .

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prayer – a meditation

 

Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.
Mahatma Gandhi

I used to use prayer as my judgment of God. At night, I would sit and explain to my Higher Power all the ways in which I felt that other people or circumstances were wrong or unhealthy or needed to change. Then I would proceed to tell my Higher Power exactly how these changes should occur in order to make life easiest for me. And I used to believe that if my prayers came true, then God loves me. Since I am not God and I don't control God, my prayers did not often “come true.” Because of this, I felt angry, judged, hurt, scared, and abandoned by God.

After I came to the program, I realized that my form of prayer was really just me taking inventory of my world and then trying to command my Higher Power to fix what I felt was wrong or incorrect. Today, I try to accept the world and understand that it is as it is for a reason, and that whatever the reason, it is in my highest good. I remember, early on, that I used to pray to understand the reason, but now I realize that it is not about the reason or other people or external circumstances. It is about me and the reality that I create. So today, when I pray, I ask my Higher Power to help me create my reality in a way that is of service to my Higher Power, myself, and others. When I pray, I ask for guidance rather than give it; I ask for love, rather than judge; and I ask for the will of my Higher Power, rather than my own. Because of this, I feel peace.

A meditation for September 6, 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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