6-17-18 Where Do We Dwell?

Where Do We Dwell?

When I allow others to be who they are, to act how they do…when I do not try to fix them or permit resentment to overcome me, I feel and see a completely new and wonderful world. Compassion and love are the foremost feelings that then guide me. I let the light shine.

When I first entered recovery, I had a long way to go before I could think clearly and begin to trust myself. I had engaged in nothing but lies and manipulations. At first I needed to NOT trust myself, look at all the terrible decisions I had made to serve only myself, which had made a mess out of my life. I had to listen to people who had been where I had been and had learn to step out of selfishness and more into reality and a truthful engagement in life.

I can and still do engage in deceiving myself about what is true and how I permit outside influences to define me. Those influences—work, relationships, money, resentments, fear, and joy—are important in my life, but I define fewer things as good or bad. Who I am is now defined more by my connection with a higher plane of acceptance and resiliency and a sense of welcoming a full and amazing life. As I grow and learn in recovery, and work on expanding my spiritual life to be ever present, I feel calmer, more worthy and connected. Finally, I feel connected to a reality that is rich and good. I am waking up.

Even the opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily true; therefore, you don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally. Our mind lives in that reality and can perceive that reality when we quiet the false negativity of demeaning ourselves. 

We are often dependent upon others for our happiness, our security (emotional, financial, or otherwise), and sometimes for our safety. We often look to others to fill our needs. When these others are supportive, encouraging, caring, and giving we may feel fairly satisfied in our life. But when those we are attached to are judgmental and critical, even aggressive and abusive toward us, we may find ourselves in conflict, caught between the need to have these people in our life for whatever reason, and satisfying our own needs. Sometimes, we make a “bargain with the devil” and end up giving a lot of ourselves away in order to placate a significant other. Taking things personally is often a by-product of this bargain. Do you perceive that there may be a high price to pay if you disagree or challenge them? Do you really need this person’s approval?

“It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously.” Peter Ustinov.          Keep a light touch with life, sunlight has no weight but it illuminates all things.

 Over years, our mind has filled with beliefs that generate incessant thinking. In all that thinking we have many assumptions that we are not aware of. We even make the assumption that what we think is true. We imagine and assume what others think of us and how they will react. We also assume that the judgments and self-criticisms we have are true. We have learned to make so many assumptions that we aren’t even aware of. These assumptions are not the truth. You can change your life by refusing to believe in lies. Start with the lies that limit the expression of your happiness, lies from yourself and from others. If you stop believing in lies, your life will be free of fear, drama, and conflict. This is the absolute truth, and I cannot put it more simply than that. don Miguel Ruiz 

There are people and teachings you can learn from, and you need to work on integrating what is true and kind into your own behavior. You begin to trust yourself more, while always staying open to learning what is worthwhile. You learn to rely more on yourself, while cultivating healthy relationships that you choose. You will be surprised at how much more you will appreciate and deepen your relationships with others when you are clear-eyed, unafraid and eager to  engage in all of what life offers.

In meditation and in life we encounter many barriers. We encounter old behaviors that we act on without thinking. We may fear boredom, in meditation and in life, and feel the need to fill a healthy openness with babble and chatter. We may be uncomfortable with sitting, being with ourselves. Just me and who I am, can be daunting when not covered by entertainment and stimulation. When we sit through the boredom we begin to see how much of our mental chatter is senseless. When we see the tricks our minds plays on us we begin to not feel trapped anymore. We are willing to let the stability clarity and strength the mind naturally has to arise and begin informing us. We begin working with an enlarged perspective beyond identifying with our thoughts and opinions. We trust ourselves, our human, imperfect selves that are on a good path. We have a choice.

Laziness is also a problem at times. Since we are so used to being entertained we recoil at having the discipline to sit, and to bring our mindfulness and awareness into our everyday life. We revert at times to old behaviors of reacting and feeling unworthy and act selfishly. We need to have the courage and make the effort to NOT take the easy, useless and harmful way out by dropping our aspirations to grow. 

I wish to dwell in the house of the spirit that continually informs and comforts me, as long as I make the effort and aspire to accept who I am, and believe in the path I am on. I must choose this path many times a day. I believe in myself and in the goodness of others.

Discipline sees the nature between virtuous and non-virtuous.  When we dwell in the mental chatter we become fearful and distracted. When we have the discipline to practice meditation consistently our mind grows stronger. Our minds are strong through practice, so we are not seduced into acting on negative emotions. We begin to see that harmonizing our view with our   actions is how we continue to wake up. Exertion is our indestructible armor. It gleams with joy. Sakyong Mipham 

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

Heart of Recovery web site    fcheartofrecovery.com