Seeing Clearly – Episode 157

I see you“Our sight, once clouded and confused, will clear and we will be able to perceive reality and recognize truth.”

Our sight, once clouded…

  • Implies impaired vision
  • Only able to see a short distance
  • Lacking perspective
  • Denial
  • Paradoxically living in the future
  • Guilt
  • Overcompensation
  • I had a very narrow vision, everything was black or white, all or nothing
  • Conflict or disagreement was threatening, I did not understand collaboration.

And confused…. How was I confused?

  • Impaired thought processes,
  • Clouded reality also makes me think of the four M’s: martyrdom, manipulation, mothering and managing
  • I was a fixer and manager, I thought that would help the situation
  • I believed I was responsible for everything, I had to do everything for my family
  • I had no understanding of boundaries, healthy relationships, how to nurture them,
  • Any feedback or criticism was interpreted as a direct assault
  • Others came first, always
  • I did not value myself
  • I did not believe myself loveable
  • Believing that I needed to control everything and everyone
  • Believing I had control over people, places, and things
  • Not seeing how my life, my behavior, my attitudes had been affected by this disease.

We will be able to perceive reality

  • We climb out of the clouds one step at a time
  • This is part of the process, it becomes clearer the more we work the steps and use the tools of the program
  • As I work the steps, I become more able to perceive reality
  • Decluttering my mind and life prepares me for future growth

We will be able to recognize truth

  • This is a spiritual concept.  We are spiritual beings, not just beings.
  • Recognize the truth of who and what I am – both positive and negative.
  • I can only do this when I believe in a higher power that I can count on to care for me
  • Looking at parts of myself that I don’t like requires it being balanced with acknowledging my assets
  • Like a tight rope walker with a balancing pole, have to put equal weights on either side or they will fall.
  • On the other hand, this cleared vision allows me to see the behaviors of those in my life for what they were – sometimes lies, sometimes attempts at manipulating me, unnecessary or inappropriate judging coupled with condescension, sometimes attempts at preserving the status quo as I was changing,
  • Allowed me to recognize the truth that my loved ones suffered from an addiction and deserved love and compassion, regardless of what choices I made for myself or what stage of their addiction they were in.

Readings in this episode are from the Al-Anon book Discovering Choices.

This is the third episode in a sequence on the “Gifts of Al-Anon“, which are described on pp. 268-9 of the book From Survival to Recovery.

Upcoming topics include Step 1 “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.” How have you found power in admitting your powerlessness? How was (is) your life unmanageble? How does this step help lead you into recovery? 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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Choice – a guest meditation from Brian

raft of medusa

 

 

This ain’t no place for the weary kind
This ain’t no place to lose your mind
This ain’t no place to get left behind
Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try

Ryan Bingham – The Weary Kind

 

Choice matters. I chose to come to the meeting tonight. My addict chooses to use. Choice matters.

Choice either moves us forward, backward, and sometimes by not choosing…we tacitly choose to remain where we are. Make no mistake choice matters.

The irrevocable truth  is that we are always keenly remember when we make that first and usually life altering choice….that first al anon meeting….that first Martini; that first cigarette, that first kiss, that first love.

Choice matters to everyone. The only thing we don’t choose is the addicts in our life.  But we choose how to deal with them by first dealing with ourselves. Al anon is inherently good on how it deals with the bad.

The haunting Melody and Lyric of this work of art..this song called Crazy Heart has become my anthem is the well worn armour shielding   me from  the  baptism of fire we inappropriately name recovery.A state that has a beginning but no end.  Choice …a terrible beauty… matters.

In the art of Crazy Heart …the steel guitars cry endlessly into the black cold night. The twang of the icy steel  strings  reluctantly yet uncontrollably  drowns  us once again    deeper and deeper  into  the ocean abyss finally arriving at the bottom …. Home again….the bottom; the bone yard .piled high   with all the broken promises and unfulfilled dreams of wasted memory.

Some of us have already given up ….some in the process of given up….some of us want to give up. Yet we continue to come. We come week after week, month after month, and year after year. We come and we come and we come.

We come bent, broken on bended knee  …pleading, begging for some or something to drags out back into the light.

The broken spirit,hammered  again and again over  the anvils  of time , is as pure in form and nature   as the cold steel of the fearless samurai’s blade. Behold the true disciple; with infinite heart and courage for all.

No matter what creed, no matter the different tale of love and loss….. yet always mystically the same clear unwavering yet always compassionate voice.

No advice  is given but instead  offered

Leave  the remnants of the moral carcass  of the pain and disillusionment in histories absente wake.

Words, rhyme,courage,and reason are all generously  enmeshed in the vibrant jungles of our mind .

The choice is ours. Choice in the beginning, choice in the end but choice in the present gets its due and proper.

The hardest and most difficult thing to see…. the only thing that comes to account is the here and now..

The lonely poets tears fill the cracks of our broken hearts. The random pieces of our soul begin the long painful crawl towards the completion of this puzzle branded choice.

This ain’t no place for the weary kind
This ain’t no place to lose your mind
This ain’t no place to get left behind
Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try

Gratitude.

A meditation for February 1, 2014.

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denial – a meditation

 

“The most confused we ever get is when we try to convince our heads of something that our hearts know is a lie.”

Karen Moning

My ego and soul often have conversations with one another. This interaction between the two parts of me is constant, whether I awake or asleep, happy or sad, or restless or at peace. The details of each conversation varies depending on what the topic is, but the general gist is the same: my ego says “I am afraid that everything needs to be different for me to be happy” and my soul responds “I am happy already, I am just afraid to see that I am.”

Before recovery, these conversations occurred also, but I didn’t realize because the voice of my ego had reigned supreme over my choices for so long that I hardly heard the small voice of my soul respond. As I worked the Steps, that changed. The voice of my soul became louder and louder. I wasn’t used to hearing both voices and I suppose my ego wasn’t used to the competition so it often felt like a battle in my head. My initial days in the program felt like a struggle between the ego that I knew and the soul that I had rejected. But I slowly began to listen to the voice of my soul. It was so calm and peaceful that I felt at peace listening to it. I felt charmed by it and began to utterly ignore my ego.

This, however, was very typical behavior for me. I always go to extremes. With my black-and-white thinking, I had either entirely ignored my soul or entirely ignored my ego. But the truth is both are part of me. To reject either one is to reject a part of myself, and when I reject part of myself, I feel fearful and fall to old patterns. And this is exactly what happened. I began to ignore my “bad” feelings. I began to tell myself that I shouldn’t be angry and that I can’t be unhappy and that I have to be serene all of the time. But I am human and I could not do those things and I began to be afraid that I wasn’t good enough to listen to my soul. The irony of it all was that my soul, ever loving and accepting, never told me ignore my ego. It kept trying to guide me to acceptance of all of me by signaling me through my emotional discomfort that the path that I was treading would not guide me to happiness. When I finally became desperate again, I was able to listen to my soul once more as well as my ego. I learned that I am both things. I am yin and yang. I am dark and light. I am ego and soul. To deem one good and the other bad is to not honor myself.

It is only when I am able to listen to what my ego is telling me that I am able to understand myself and my fears, and then my soul is able to reach out and be nurturing during this awareness and guide me to healing and peace. One without the other does not help me. That is only half of me. It is only when I am able to accept both sides, able to accept all of me, that I am able be open, honest, loving, and peaceful.

A meditation for October 12, 2013.

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the Fourth Step – a meditation

 

The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them.

This quote, I feel, captures the essence of my low self-esteem and lack of self-trust. I sought the approval of others because I did not love myself. I sought the advice and direction of others because I did not trust myself. As I spent more time in the program, this began to change. I started to love myself and honor myself…mostly. As long as I am honest with myself about my motivations, I am able to love my decisions because I brought them forth from a place of love and awareness. But I find I am blessed in the moments that I find myself seeking out the approval of others because, in my awareness, I am able to see this as a symptom of my not being honest with myself and not loving myself. It is only during those times that I seek out the approval of others because I am unable to feel connected to myself or my Higher Power in moments of falsehood. When I notice myself turning others into my Higher Power in this way, I honor myself by taking pause and taking an inventory of the situation and my true motivations. It is only through this rigorous honesty that I am able to find myself. And it is only by finding myself that I am able to let go of fear.

A meditation for October 11, 2013.

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amends – a meditation

 

The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.

John Green, Looking for Alaska

I have had a lot of anger towards loved ones in the past. I remember that I used to write down the resentments against them when I took my inventory. I was so upset from the harms that I perceived had been committed against me – even if they were decades old. I had heard in the meeting rooms that forgiveness is key to finding peace. And I kept telling myself to forgive these people. I would even chant it to myself or act as if I had forgiven them. Nothing helped. My resentments remained and I felt frustrated.

Eventually, I got to the 8th Step in my Stepwork with my Sponsor. To do the 8th Step, I had to make a list of all persons I had harmed and become willing to make amends to them all. I listed everyone on my resentment list and listed my anger and judgment against them to be reasons for my amends. Thankfully, I had a wonderful Sponsor that asked me where my amends to myself was on the list. I realized I had no amends to myself – not really. I had hastily scribbled my name on the last page in the margin. My Sponsor reminded me that I was not really honoring  and respecting myself by ignoring my self-amends. I took her suggestion and sat and wrote a proper amends to myself. In the amends, I apologized for not standing up for myself in the past. I apologized for lying about my feelings  to myself and others. I apologized for ignoring my own needs. I apologized for giving up my power to other people. And then I cried because I had just been given an amends by the one person with whom I actually angry, myself.

As I cried, the pain left me and the suffering left me and my wounds started to close. Since then, every day that I am honest about my feelings, every time I honor my needs, and every time I stand up for myself, the wounds close a little more and open up more space for gratitude and love and even more forgiveness. And as I heal and forgive myself, forgiveness for others comes so easily. I think this is because my reality exists within me and I project that reality onto the world around me. Now that my reality is that I am responsible for loving myself, so I am able to seeking external validation and resenting people when I do not receive it.

Today, my Higher Power blessed me with happiness and peace as well as pain and fear. All four blessings are always present for me; some offer comfort and some offer opportunity. When I can see all of these as equal, one not better than another, I can stop feeling like a victim and be accepting, grateful, and forgiving.

A meditation for September 29, 2013

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