6-9-19 Where Do We Dwell?

Where Do We Dwell?

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. In the early days, I needed to NOT trust myself, but rather to look at all the 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 was and had learn to step out of selfishness and 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 to consider and take care of in the right way, 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 more connected to a reality that is rich and good. I am waking up.

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.

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 and caring, we may feel fairly satisfied in our life even with the ups and downs that will happen. But when those we are attached to are not honest and caring but judgmental and critical, or even aggressive and abusive toward us, we may find ourselves in conflict—caught between the need to have someone in our life, and the desire to be true to ourselves and what we know is right and healthy. Sometimes, we make a “bargain with the devil” and end up giving a lot of ourselves away in order to placate a significant other or friend.  We’d be better served if we found friends and partners who enhance our lives, than by staying with a relationship just because we’re not happy with ourselves or because we want someone to save us or to fill up space in our lives.  

 “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, your intuition, 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, while having the courage in making good choices.

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 and space 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, which sometimes is a bunch, is senseless. When we see the tricks our minds play 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 we are on a good path. We have a choice. Be diligent, be patient.

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. Or by relying on others to fill the hole where a healthy sense of self should be.  We will stumble and get back up many times. But as long as we respect and believe in the basic goodness within us, and that of others, we will find the right path. Be patient and feel what is right.

I must choose the path of acting honorably and kindly, and requiring others in my life to treat me with the respect I have for myself. I believe in myself and in the goodness of others. I know there are those who will act from selfishness and can be a negative and harmful aspect in life. I can choose to feel compassion and to not engage with harmful people.
I know I have the courage to take right action (even though some fear and uncertainty may arise) because I am beginning to believe in and advocate for what I know to be right in the long run. Now, more often than not, I understand what is healthy and right, and I don’t focus on selfishness and immediate gratification.

“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 fearful 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