Don't wait until everything is just right […] There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger.
Mark Victor Hansen
In my life, as with everything else, I often looked to the external to provide me with a sign that the time is right for me to make a change. Because change scares me, I kept waiting for all the best possible scenarios to align to offer me the path of least resistance. Funny thing is, even when that happened, I still had an excuse for why it wasn't a good time. That's because I kept looking externally to solve something that was internal – my fear.
My program of recovery showed me that my fear does not have to be my reality. Because of all the support I received from the Fellowship, I was able to feel safe to explore my fear and accept it; only then was I able to look internally past that fear and realize that there is something more important than it – my serenity.
Once I prioritized my serenity, I started looking internally for the signs that I should make a change and what I should change. I would take inventory, pray, and meditate. When I did this, I made choices from a place of self-awareness and calm. As a result, I was able to let go of the results of my actions while still being able to accept the consequences of my actions. I am so grateful to the program for allowing me to know this peace.
A meditation for August 2, 2013.
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The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.
When I was early in my program of recovery, someone once told me that I am not my feelings, I am not my thoughts. I remember thinking “what the heck does that mean??” I had not yet understood that all of my fears, judgments, thoughts, and emotions are part of my ego and I am more than my ego. My ego is how I learned deal with the world. Beneath that, there is my soul. On the soul level, I do not try to process the world through emotions and fears. Instead, I feel connected to it. I am part of it. That is the part of me I try to connect to when I reach out to my Higher Power through prayer and meditation. I try to accept and be a part of and connected to rather than setting myself aside as less than or better than. Instead, I can just be and allow my surroundings to just be.
Today, in recovery, I will try to accept my environment rather than try to judge it. I sometimes forget that my Higher Power communicates with me through people and situations whether or not they are tied to a program of recovery. Today, I will try to remember that and treat every situation, whether as I judge it as good or bad, as a gift from my Higher Power.
A meditation for July 30, 2013
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Meditation is not passive sitting in silence. It is sitting in awareness, free from distraction, and realizing the clear understanding that arises from concentration.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Prayer and meditation is recommended in the program by way of Step 11. However, meditation is not something that comes easily to me. Growing up, I was always taking care of several different things at once without a moment to stop and think or reflect. And honestly, back then, I never needed to do that. I never needed to reflect on my life because I always tried to reflect what other people wanted me to be. And I couldn't do that by sitting alone with my eyes closed and thinking about what it is that I need to do for myself.
So, needless to say, sitting still and not accomplishing anything tangible for any period of time scares me. It is strange to say “meditation scares me” but it is true. Without a million things to do, there is just me alone with myself. And when I meditate I am alone with myself and seek the truth and a greater understanding of what my next purpose is. That is so contrary to my life growing up that I am completely out of my element. I even feel guilty at times when I try to meditate because taking that time for myself feels selfish.
But my best thinking got me into recovery, so when my Sponsor suggested meditation, I did the next right thing. I accepted that I was scared and uncomfortable and did it anyway. I am still nowhere near perfect at it, but every time I do it, my hesitancy decreases a little more. Meditation doesn't help me to quiet my mind. My mind is still just as noisy. It used to feel like I was in a busy crowd and hearing so many noises in my head. Those noises are still there. But when I meditate, I feel like I am still in a crowd but instead I feel that I am having a conversation with my Higher Power. And all the other chatter becomes background noise. I am able to sit in awareness. And I am no longer lost. I no longer need to be afraid. Sitting quietly doesn't mean I sit for quietly and drown in the voices in my head. Meditation now means I find my own voice in my connection to my Higher Power. And it is time that is always well-spent.
A meditation for July 29, 2013.
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