Life on Life's Terms from addiction to recovery
It is not a person, place, thing, or situation that is “horrible” or “awful” but rather my perception of it. I find that my perceptions can color life. When I am in a place of gratitude and acceptance the filter through which I see life is one where I can experience the feeling of serenity. When I am in the process of acceptance, weather it be of my circumstances in life or the traffic jams, I can find that quiet still peace inside. My acceptance is tied directly to mistaken beliefs, ego, expectations, and my perceptions. It is when I am fearful that I begin to let expectations drive emotions which in turn colors my perceptions in a fearful way that lacks gratitude and acceptance. The opposite of this is true and the resultant feelings are ones that can lead to a deeper level of acceptance and peace.
Today I will take the moments when I feel restless, irritable, or discontent and use them as opportunities to reconnect with the quiet still peace inside.
The gifts of recovery can get in the way of recovery and when this happens I find myself in old and familiar territory. The simple abstinence from chemicals is not enough for me to experience the happiness and joy available in the moments. I realize that I have been one of the people that used recovery to my own benefit and then checked out. Yes life is amazing and exponentially better than it was; however, I am experiencing a spiritual plateau. I also ponder this idea of plateau because if I am not growing I am backsliding. The peace and ease of my chemicals is not an option today and without active replacement many old and familiar behaviors reemerge in a spiritual quest for relief. These means of coping can bring discomfort to all and I have a responsibility to shift my posture from that of someone who siphons off the solution to that of someone striving to be of maximum service. It is easy to fall into the flow of life and turn away from the actions that made it all possible. It is essential to reconnect and stay connected to the solution that delivered me from a hopeless state of mind and body.
Today I will take 1 action to reconnect to recovery. Today I will be grateful and remember to breathe.
It is easy to rest on my laurels; however, this is a dangerous place to reside especially if spiritual growth is my goal. I can and do become stagnant, slipping subtly back into the old ways of reacting. I see the world through old glasses and old behaviors follow. When I am spiritually inactive and complacent I do not grow. When I am not growing it is impossible for me to be of maximum service to others. I can recommit at any moment and multiple times a day to the design for living that has delivered me from pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. When I become aware that I am coasting and living off of yesterday’s action it is important for me to take action in the here and now. It is easy for me to find that the gifts subsequent to a new way of life can impede the process that delivered me to the other side of hopeless. Gratitude is action and when I become aware that I have become inactive it is simply a new opportunity for me to commit to change.
Today I will demonstrate Gratitude through my actions. Today I will begin the journey from stagnation to growth.
The antidote to fear, anxiety, uncertainty, anger, resentment, and a whole host of other responses that take me out of the sunlight of the spirit, is Gratitude. When I take time to pause, relax, take it easy and reflect upon what I have to be Grateful for there is no room for anything other than a deep sense of security and comfort. Today life is life and when I add judgments like “fair” or “unfair” I miss the beauty of each moment. Life just is and then it is not. Today I get to experience “all the realities and verities of existence” and it is ok. My first and overpowering instinct is to avoid any discomfort whether I run or isolate or numb. My initial response is to try and not experience. Today I realize that when I face life as it washes over me I am able to experience the full range of what it is, without judgment or expectation. Fear is a corrosive thread that makes up much of the fabric of my life and it is by walking in Gratitude that I can move beyond the limitations of fear into a more full experience of what is. For so long life was a competition and a race to get from point A to point B yet this illusion left me on a hamster wheel. I realize today the journey isn’t about the destination of point B but rather the “to”. This wonderful ride can end at any moment and with Gratitude in the moments there is an absence of regret or reserve.
Today I will strive in the moments of fear to pause, relax, take it easy, and search for the Gratitude.
It seems to be much easier to look around and notice what I think is wrong. The shortcomings that I am so willing to point out because I think I know how circumstances should be seem to be so apparent. Today it is with gratitude that I reflect upon the what it was like part of my story. I was stuck in a bitter morass of self pity with seemingly nowhere to go. The solution to this misery was the only one I knew which brought me to the inevitable end. This end was really the commencement of a way of life better than I could have imagined. It is not as if everything today is a walk in the park but it is living, breathing, and experiencing the ups and downs of life. I do get to live life on life’s terms and feel the full range of emotions, not always pleasant, but I am present for them. I have been given a gift that I only get to continue to enjoy if I continue to be willing to freely give it away as it was given to me. I can look around and notice what is wrong but really if I look deep enough I can see that everything is more than ok, the day is an amazing gift. Life today is nothing but opportunities. Every breath is a gift that was not a guarantee just a short time ago. It is easy to rely upon the Devine Power that has delivered me to the solution in which I now live when life is smooth and easy but the true test of faith comes when circumstances are not as I think they should be.
Today I will focus on what it was like while I am experiencing the present moment in an effort to bring gratitude into each breath.