1-21-18 Foundation

Foundation

Doubt is the first obstacle that needs to be overcome.
I am a completely worthy person. I have inherently in me the capacity to love, to care and to live a full and rich life that is not driven by fear or confusion. I am deserving of all this!

When I first began recovery my foundation was very shaky. I had based my life on avoidance, manipulation and selfishness. I felt a lot of fear, confusion, and surprisingly, (in retrospect), a reluctance to change, or a sense of not knowing how to initiate and maintain an honest, open, caring life. My foundation at first was built on shifting, unstable sand. As with sand being a part of concrete, I learned from others how to add cement, or healthy actions, and how to add water, or work with difficult thoughts and emotions. I began to form a firmer, more level, foundation with new behaviors and actions. I began to respect myself and the world I lived in. In one sense, I now have a concrete foundation from which all things are workable. But I also have to have a flexibility with the world and my concepts, ideas, and attachments that allows me to grow and change.

The growth and change that gives me a strong foundation comes slowly. I may have bursts of insight or awarenesses, but mostly I need to keep walking in the right direction. Slowly and patiently making progress and appreciating my life and my new connection with the world. I learn to accept and seek out those things and people that are healthy and growth promoting. And I learn to avoid, and at times say NO, to those things and people that promote selfishness and confusion in my life.

Life story editing tools: These tools are the habits we can practice if we tend to harbor guilt, regret, anger, sadness, fear or resistance within any parts of our life story. And we all do. Practicing each of these skills enables us to grow rather than remain stuck in unhelpful or unhealthy patterns. We get attached to those scenarios, so much so that we forget that we possess editorial control of our story. We tend to believe that life just happens to us, when in fact we have a lot of say in how our decisions affect our outcomes.

Flexibility: Do you tend to be more rigid or more flexible in your perception of the world and your place within it? If someone wrongs you, do you hold a long-term grudge or do you listen to the other person’s story and offer forgiveness? Want to know when you’re being overly rigid in your experience of the world? Practice catching yourself in red flag moments saying things like: “I’m positive” “That’s the only way”, “I never”, “I always”, “You must”, “I hate”, “I need”, or “That’s just how I am”.
“Is there another possibility?” “Am I being fair to myself and others?” “Does my choice reflect me at my best?” “Am I just being used by old famaliar harmful behaviors?”
Self-permission and Self-compassion: When you’re thinking about trying something new, do you always need someone else’s opinion? Many of us have been conditioned to find external permission and acceptance before moving forward on anything. Many of us are unpracticed at allowing ourselves to feel what we need to feel, move on when we need to, move forward and grow, or give ourselves what we deserve. Yet we seem very skilled at coming down hard on our mistakes and shortcomings.

We are individuals and in the end we must trust ourselves to make our own decisions. To choose our behaviors with a strong sense of self-responsibility. When we constantly ask for permission, we are asking for those responsibilities to be shifted – placing blame somewhere else. Compassion is about loving and respecting ourselves. Having trust in ourselves is a compassionate act. Accepting the mistakes we take responsibility for is also a compassionate act. When you can develop the practice of self-permission, keeping in mind self-compassion, it can be wonderfully exhilarating.

Forgiveness:  As we think deeply about our life stories and our relationships, it’s inevitable that emotions will surface. Are any of those emotions keeping you stuck in a place where you no longer want to be? Perhaps mistakes and guilt from the past are weighing you down and keeping you stuck in a chapter that has long passed. Self-forgiveness and forgiveness of others are compassionate skills for moving forward. For some strange reason we humans feel obligated to carry our burdens and beat ourselves up over things which we no longer can control.
We can choose to put an end to the loop of constant worry and inaccurate crystal ball reading. Like a stop sign that flashes in front of our face when we’re stuck ruminating and obsessing, we can say “STOP!” and make a choice to accept what cannot be changed.

Love and Gratitude: For the most part these are self-explanatory; but the main point about love and gratitude is that they take us out of our selfish selves—our egos—and open us up to the world. By expressing sentiments of love and gratitude, we can instantly stop the incessant me-focused chatter of the mind and instead speak from our heart. Love and gratitude can be directed at a universe full of abundance and wonder. An excellent meditation practice for developing an awareness and expression of love and gratitude is called Loving Kindness Meditation..

Engagement: This is the culmination of it all. The richness of day-to-day living that we must allow in or seek out in order to achieve a basic state of well-being. Beyond nutrition, sleep, hygiene, and shelter, we are referring to the connection with the world around us in a way that adds meaning to our life. We are responsible for creating engagement, seeking it out, or accepting it when others try to engage with us.
To witness where you are and aren’t engaged; where you are making intentional choices to become more and more curious and connected with your world. If we sit around and wait for life to come to us, we will sit around and wait for life to come to us. Brad Waters

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.
Heart Of Recovery web site – fcheartofrecovery.com