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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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