wait – a meditation

 

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.

Continue reading “wait – a meditation”

choice – a meditation

 

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.

Continue reading “choice – a meditation”

healing – a meditation

 

Life will give you whatever experience is the most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.

-Eckhart Tolle

When my body is hungry, I crave food. When my body is thirsty, I crave water. I don’t have to be in control of that.  My body knows what to do to heal itself. It seeks what it needs. Sometimes, I don’t want to eat when I’m thirsty because I’m too lazy to get myself some water. Or sometimes I don’t want to eat when I’m hungry because I feel too busy to get myself some food. But that’s my mind talking. My body is simpler. More straightforward. It knows what it needs to heal.

My soul is the same way. It seeks out situations that it needs to heal.  It seeks out interactions with controlling people or people that engage in behaviors that trigger me so that I can have the chance to set my boundaries and heal. Soul craves growth. Sometimes, in those situations, I don’t want to set boundaries or respond in a healthy way because I feel scared or hurt. But that’s my mind, getting in the way. My soul is simpler. More straightforward.  It knows what it needs to heal. The trick is to silence my mind.

A meditation for July 10, 2013.

Continue reading “healing – a meditation”

Step 7 – Episode 31

end of dayWhat is humility? How do we ask God to remove our shortcomings? Are they really defects?

Listen as Spencer, Swetha, and Kelli, back together at last, talk about Step 7, Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

We explore our understandings of the word “humbly”. It can mean that we accept ourselves as we are, that we are teachable, that we don’t blow things out of proportion, or that we don’t have expectations. When we humbly ask, we say “I am ready to learn a new way of being.”

The readiness we found in Step 6 is essential for us to ask for our shortcomings to be removed. We also know that not all our defects will be removed right away, that there is a process, and that they will go in our Higher Power’s time, not ours. We can start to see the effect these shortcomings have in our lives, even as we continue to act from them. By the time we get to Step 7, we may have some former defects that are gone, or “gone-ish”. This can help us to believe, to have faith in the promise of Step 7.

We each share personal stories of defects removed, lessened, or still present. Kelli and Swetha relate how they used their program, and particularly Step 7, during a “very, very long” 4 day “vacation” with their families of origin. Spencer tells, during the Lives in Recovery segment, of a very recent experience in which he had to use Steps 1 through 7 to regain serenity.

The 7th step prayer asks for removal of “every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows”. We look at various understandings of “defect”. They can be tools that are no longer useful. Swetha puts forth the idea that her character defects were put there by her higher power so that she could learn something, which we all relate to.

Next week, we will be recording a joint sponsorship round table with the Recovered podcast. Our topic for episode 33 is compassion. 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 “Step 7 – Episode 31”

feelings– a meditation

 

Most of the good work in this world was done by people who weren’t feeling all that well the day they  did it.

Eleanor Roosevelt

I have some extremely black-and-white thinking when left to my own devices;I think that I can either acknowledge, and therefore must submit to, my feelings or I think I must be in utter denial of my feelings in order to make a logical, rational choice about my behavior. I used to feel this way because I was scared – I was scared that tuning into my feelings and still making conscious choices about my life would leave me vulnerable and open to being hurt and therefore weak. So I moved to extremes in interactions with others – either extreme emotion or utterly shutting down emotion in myself – to protect myself.

Neither of these, however, worked for me. Today, in recovery, I learn that I must acknowledge my feelings and accept them in order to make a conscious decision about my actions. I can choose to act on my feelings or not. But when I ignore my feelings, I am ignoring myself and ignoring my own need for love and acceptance by myself and my Higher Power. Only through this acknowledgment, acceptance, and asking for help (Steps 4, 5, 6, & 7) am I able to do the next right thing, consciously and without resentment. And when I do this,  I am stronger than I have ever been before. After all, what could be stronger than knowing myself, loving myself, and knowing my worth lies, not in the other person’s response, but solely with my Higher Power?

A meditation for July 5, 2013.

Continue reading “feelings– a meditation”