blessing – a meditation

 

Every experience, no matter how bad it is, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.

Buddha

Recently, I thought I have been struggling with acceptance because of a loved one’s addiction and denial. My program has taught me that it is not up to me to classify someone as an addict, or alcoholic, or codependent since I know that I can only honestly speak about my own experience. But I have found myself deeply affected by fear and pain because I do not feel accepted or loved by this person. I found myself trying to explain my loved one’s behavior to myself by assigning labels to this person’s actions or creating stories around why they can not give me what I want. I would tell myself, “this person is not spiritually fit enough to be open and loving”. At other times, I would think “why doesn’t this person love me enough to do this for me? Am I not good enough?”. Sometimes I would just call my loved one an addict and detach with resentment and anger.

In the end, I realized I was right – I was struggling with acceptance. Only, I was struggling with accepting my loved one rather than judging. I was also struggling with accepting myself and trusting in my Higher Power. I know this because my entire focus was on the acceptance I did not feel I was receiving from my loved one. I worried about this person and their behaviors rather than keeping the focus on me and my behavior and my needs.  It is none of my business what my loved one does or why unless it violates my boundaries; and having my boundaries violated is not the same as having my fears triggered. And that is all that is happening – my fears are being triggered. I am afraid that if I do not feel acceptance from this loved one,  I will suffer and be abandoned.

I remember thinking, even up to this morning, “Why did I invite this person into my life? Why couldn’t I have left well enough alone?” But this is why. It is because my Higher Power wants me to love myself and know that my Higher Power loves me unconditionally – even when other people do not. What a blessing it is that I have the opportunity to learn how to love myself and accept the love of my Higher Power no matter what!

So, today, I took a pen, and wrote a message to myself that reminds me that I am loved by my Higher Power. And I know I will feel the fear that I am not good enough for the people in my life to love me. But then I will look at my wrist and realize the more important thing – that I am, have always been, and will always be good enough for my Higher Power to love and accept every part of me.

A meditation for September 26, 2013

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my truth– a meditation

 

Do not take things personally. What other people say about you is their reality not yours.

 

Recently, I was speaking to person that is close to me. While I was listening to him, I heard my faults that were perceived by this person were being enumerated. He spoke with a great deal of certainty and assertion. My instinctive reaction was to wonder how much of it was true. I was scared that it was true because my inner voice was not quite as loud as his outer voice. I was grateful to speak to my Sponsor at this time and hear that we are each entitled to our own opinions and experiences. At first I thought this meant that what he said was true. But upon further introspection, I realized what this meant was that what I feel inside about myself is just as true because it is my truth. He had his truth about me and that is his business. My truth about me was mine. And whatever he says can become part of my truth only if I choose to let it be.

Today, I will treat my soul as the most sacred part of me. I will only allow in what honors and nourishes it. All other things, I will honor as another person’s truth, but I will remember that it does not have to be part of my own.

A meditation for September 5, 2013.

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be – a meditation

 

You are a child of the Universe,
No less than the trees and the stars;
You have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
No doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should.

-Desiderata Les Crane

Someone once told me “You exist so you have the right to be.” I thought why did this person just repeat themselves in the same sentence. As I worked on the 12 Steps of Recovery, however, I realized that I often deny myself the right to be. I deny myself the right to set boundaries, or stand up for myself, or even acknowledge my own feelings. In the face of any opposition or conflict, I used to shut down – I’d freeze or simply submit to the other person’s wishes.

Now that I am in the program, I realize, I do not have to. I can ask for my needs to be met and I can meet those needs myself. If I need to feel safe, I can tell the other person that I am feeling scared or uncomfortable and request that they stop behaving in a certain manner towards me. If they choose not to, I can meet my own needs by leaving that situation for that moment.

When I realized this, I suddenly felt angry with myself for not knowing this sooner – for not being that person earlier. But, thanks to the program, my Higher Power, and my Sponsor, I was able to realize that those behaviors were helpful to me once and I can grateful for those behaviors because they kept me safe once. They kept me alive. How could I not feel gratitude for that? But now I can realize that those behaviors do not work for me in my current situations.

For me, it’s like doing well in history class and then going to my math class and trying to apply what I learned in history class. It just doesn’t work. It doesn’t mean history is any better or worse a subject than math. It just means what I learned in history just won’t help me score well in math. It’s the same with my old behaviors. They worked for me in one situation, but not in another.

With my connection to my Higher Power, the support of the Fellowship of my program of Recovery, and the 12 Steps, I can take those first steps forward and to learn not only what doesn’t work for me anymore but also what could work for me in the future. And forgive myself for mistakes along the way because I know whatever happens is meant to be. When I do this, I let myself be.

A meditation for July 19, 2013.

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a God of my own understanding– a meditation

 

You cannot define yourself in reference to other external coordinates, you must define yourself internally with a relationship with a higher entity. Think of yourself as a manifestation of some higher “thing”, some higher frequency, this is the visible realization. And you know that because you can’t see atoms can you? You certainly can’t see the forces that hold atoms together. There in the micro quantum world, Richard, lie the answers to everything. We can’t understand it with our logical, rational minds, but we feel it, intuitively. Get yourself in alignment with that stuff and you BEAM like the sun.

Russell Brand

 

“God” was an extremely touchy subject for me when I walked into the program. Because of where I was raised, I couldn’t go a day without someone trying to save my soul or someone trying to condemn it. I thought “if this is God, then I don’t want any part of it.” I felt judgment and rejection and manipulation was religion and God. I thought God was just another way for someone else to judge me and tell me what do to do and shame me, and I already had enough of that in my life.

When I came into the program, I did not want to believe in God. I remember telling a friend that in the fellowship. I told him that this is what I thought God was and I would NEVER pray to a God like that. He nodded solemnly and said “OK,  I can understand that. Just pick a different God. Pick a God of YOUR understanding. If you think God should be an entity that is kind and loving, then great, there’s your Higher Power. If that doesn’t work for you, pick something else.” My mind was blown. Again, the program showed me that I had options – that there wasn’t only one way. I could participate in a relationship with a Higher Power of my own understanding – not just accept or reject a Higher Power of someone else’s understanding. This was amazing and key to my recovery. If I had simply submitted to someone else’s idea of God, I don’t think I would have been able to recover.

My understanding of my Higher Power has changed drastically over time. Step 2 states “we came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” So, in the beginning, I took that and decided that anything that could restore me to sanity in that moment was my Higher Power. Sometimes, that was hearing my Sponsor’s words, sometimes it was locating a doorknob so that I knew I could leave if I felt uncomfortable, and sometimes it was feeling loved and accepted by another person. As my time in the program grew, my Higher Power became all of those things wrapped into one – my Higher Power was a power greater than myself that always protects me and looks after me and loves me, no matter what. My Higher Power is what granted me the sanity to reach out to my Sponsor, or what gives me the presence of mind to look for a doorknob when I am scared, or what guides me to the humility that allows me to receive the affection of another person. But most of all my Higher Power is a power greater than myself that is always with me. That is what I need. So that is what the God of my understanding is to me. When my actions are Higher Power-focused, they are not fear-focused. Because when I focus on my Higher Power, I know all of my needs will be met, so what is there to be afraid of? When I am focused on my Higher Power, I can act from a place of vulnerability and strength – I can act from a place of love. And when I do, I am restored to sanity.

A meditation for July 15, 2013.

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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.

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