The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The word “decision” was a tricky one for me. It’s funny because I always thought I was great at deciding things. I decide very quickly that I do or don’t want something and whether or not I would pursue it. And that’s true. I am great at the initial decision of acknowledging there something I want and something I want to pursue. But all the thoughts that come after that decision are thoughts of worry, concern, and fear that it won’t turn out the way that I want it to.
My whole life, I was this way. I would worry and be concerned and be scared. My fear that I wouldn’t get my needs met always, always overpowered my actual needs and desires. Inevitably, my fears came true. I used to think “What horrible luck! Why does this always happen to me?” Looking back, I feel such deep love and compassion for myself at that time, because I honestly did not have the tools to know why “it always happened to me.”
The answer was in the mirror. It always happened to me because it was always what I thought I deserved. And whether in small or big ways, I conspired to make into a reality what I believed to be true. If I felt ashamed, guilty, and had low self-esteem, I unconsciously sought out relationships that involved controlling, judgmental people. That is, I sought situations that reflected back to me what I believed to be true.
My environment reflects what I believe in my soul because I am drawn to realities that I can understand. Anytime that anything in my life did not coincide with my own beliefs about myself and my life, I rejected it. If someone was nice to me, I did not trust it. If something good happened to me, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.
My outsides reflect my insides. When I first heard that statement, I expected to be angry, but instead, I was so incredibly grateful. My outsides reflected my insides. My insides do not reflect my outsides. I can choose to change my attitudes and actions – my insides – to change my environment and change my life. I can choose.
But how? How do I change my attitudes and actions? One of the first things my Sponsor shared with me was to act “as if.” I can act as if I love myself. I can act as if I have good self-esteem. I can act as if I know my needs are more important than my fears. I can act as if I trust that my Higher Power will take care of me no matter what happens. And when I acted that way, something magical happened and I started to believe it in my soul. When I started to believe it in my soul, my insides changed. And true to form, my outsides reflected my insides and my world changed. Though I still live in a reality that I chose, in recovery, I know that I can choose a different reality.
A meditation for July 25, 2013.