9-22-19 Choose to Honor and Care For

Choose To Honor and Care For

Honor – To have and show high respect for, integrity, dignity.   

Care – kindness, maintenance, to attend to, to regard highly, to treat with respect. 

Both honoring and caring are actions that come from a certain state of mind. Meditation, prayer, and mindfulness-awareness deepen our relationship with our mind as well as our body and have the potential to strengthen us from the inside out.  This transformation only happens when we step in fully and take total responsibility for learning about ourselves. Without self-awareness, we can tend to blame the world and others in our lives for our struggles. Freedom from suffering is an inside job. We are constantly offered  opportunities to learn more about ourselves, to wake up. Do we honor those opportunities?

We keep looking for, waiting for that place, that state of mind that will be what we have always been looking for. Quit looking and just see. Here, now, this is what it is. We accept that we are human and imperfect–that we have ups and downs. That our emotions take us for a ride sometimes, with joy, or then with jagged feelings. That we feel bored or anxious or unsure. We can fully step into all of that, not with the attitude of putting up with what is happening while waiting for something better, but with a non- judgemental acceptance of what is happening. It is all valuable and the essence of a full life. Then we begin to unfold and appreciate life.

What do we honor and care for? We may honor a sense of not being worthy. Of needing something elusive  which drives us to become subtly dishonest and manipulative in order to get what we want, even if  we are not quite sure what that is.  We may hide behind many masks. We may identify with the frustration of never being engaged in here and now.

It seems almost too simple that what we need to do is to just feel, accept and engage in what is happening. Not engaging so that we are overcome, or identify with an emotion, but so that we can acknowledge and accept where we are. To not grasp onto an emotion but to let it flow by. When we have difficult times, we can be so trapped in that emotion we do nothing but feel and project, verbally and physically, our confusion and pain, and inflict it on others. My addiction was the epitome of being trapped and acting in very harmful ways. I never thought to care for myself in a kind way–to honor that I was entrapped and needed help. I only wanted to continue destroying myself. Many pay the ultimate price for that. 

When we feel and accept, we are honoring ourselves and caring for ourselves and OTHERS.What do we honor in our lives that is healthy? We honor all of ourselves.  

We do not need to “get anywhere” we need to be right here, right now. That is the big brass band, that is the prize we need to win; ourselves, just as we are. We welcome knowing ourselves as fully as possible and accepting ourselves, with a sense of honor, dignity and imperfection that we embrace. We wrap our arms around and care for all of ourselves tenderly, and know we have arrived. We recognize that our emotions are always arising and fading away. They are not who we are, but they are the very thing that makes our lives vibrant, wonderful and alive. 

We see this as we practice Shamatha Meditation. We simply take a direct look at how our mind works and gently but firmly train our mind to relax, accept and move towards our peaceful
abiding and wiser actions. There are many types of meditation and contemplations out there, and some can be useful for relaxing ourselves and promoting a healthy sense of self, and that is good. But the most basic and necessary to practice is Shamatha, Mindfulness – Awareness. We may not really want to take a look at our mind and work with it, and can find many variations of meditation that our ego suggests, to keep entertaining ourselves. We need to take a realistic, honest look at who we are. It’s not sexy, or entertaining but it is real, and leads us to honor and care for who we really are and work with exactly what is going on. Not just covering over or decorating our egos. We can only fully experience our lives by seeing and NOT attaching to, identifying with and freezing ourselves within our emotions. Don’t stop the flow of life in your mind, let it keep moving.

When you feel overwhelmed by an emotion, fear or confusion, you need to first, be aware of the emotion you are having, as opposed to letting that emotion overwhelm you, be who you are. With an awareness of what you are feeling, (which is not who you are), you can then accept that the emotion it present. You can look at it as something that you are experiencing, not who you are, and ask, “Where is this coming from? What message am I receiving  from this feeling?” Be curious! You permit the emotion to inform your intelligence, your intuition and wisdom, as to what a right action might be. You honor and care for yourself and how you treat others, by
having the discipline to be aware of, to accept, and to let your emotions inform you. Not letting them be the driving force in your life. They will drive you into a ditch. 

We will grow in awareness and honoring our true selves as long as we really do the work. We may not always be able to calm ourselves, and may let the emotions take charge sometimes. But this is merely a message that we do have a choice and will work on taking our better option the next time. We continue to relax with who we are and begin to trust ourselves more and more. We begin being bathed in an authentic sense of ourselves, and strongly feeling the spiritual
connection we all share

“Please call me by my true names, so I can hear all my cries and laughter at once, so I can see that my joy and pain are one.
Please call me by my true names, so I can wake up and the door of my heart could be left open, the door of compassion.
Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice…”

Thich Nhat Hanh

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