2-23-20 Waking Up

Waking Up

When I was still using, I used to wake up not feeling well, sometimes really really crappy, and was consumed with guilt and confusion. I then concentrated on how I could maintain my addiction, which involved being consumed with ME and how to manipulate others. I was absent and numb to any sense of the real world and others. I was in a nightmare.

Today when I wake up, I’m excited to see what the day will bring. I have learned to look compassionately on my past, to recognize my old harmful behaviors and let them prompt me to continue moving in a healthy direction, and to be able to help others because of my experience. Remembering what it used to be like is helpful in recognizing how far I have come, to have an enormous sense of gratitude for that, and to know I can have some discipline in letting go of the past and of projecting the future, and progress even further, right now.

Today, I’m sometimes still absent, numb, confused, in pain and fear. BUT, I am not consumed with these difficulties. I am so much more present, available to others, able to make plans and progress in life. The difficulties I do and will encounter I am present for, I don’t avoid them. I look honestly at them and use the tools of being aware, of feeling kindness towards myself, to deal with them. I have found a freedom from the shackles of my addiction of old as I move forward with a curiosity and sense of appreciation for whatever life brings.

Why do we still sometimes feel unhappy with our lot in life, who we are? Basically it is because we are consumed with thinking about ourselves. What happens when we are not thinking about ourselves? How often does this sense of presence that is not consumed with ourselves occur?                                                                                         

First, we have to be aware of what’s going on in our heads and hearts. Then, if we have the tools, we can make a choice about how we relate to what is actually happening, not just our version of reality. This is where Mindfulness and Awareness are essential. If I choose to go through life mindlessly, not being aware of what is affecting me or how I am acting, I am creating suffering.

My awareness is a discipline, in that I KNOW what I am feeling and what direction I am heading before I act. My mindfulness is my awareness of taking an action after consideration.

When I mindlessly lash out with anger, or withdraw in fear, or refuse to even acknowledge what is really going on, it will always result in my causing harm. Sometimes it’s harm I cannot make   amends for.  I may then feel frustrated and keep trying to hide or get what I want even harder. OR, if I have the awareness of where I have just gone, and an awakening of the courage to drop my ego and fear and act in a peaceful and compassionate manner that will not bring me anything, I wake up and may accomplish all things to the better.

We say yes to simply feeling what is occurring. Not yes to engaging mindlessly in an emotion. When we can feel our world, accept it, give space to the feelings and feel a kindness for ourselves, we honestly acknowledge what is taking place. We permit our newfound wisdom concerning our past and the openness of NOW to inform us as to what the right action is. We are informed from within and from without. We are not using our intellect, or rationalizing and justifying our actions. Reacting or rationalizing always comes from our small, selfish self. What we want to do is to permitour awakened nature, our kindness for ourselves and others, to come forth. This is waking up.

  • Once this level of self-love occurs, a door opens to the understanding of why the pain is there. As we lovingly befriend ourselves, we want to be honest. Awareness reveals the cause/effect
    dynamic that created the wound in the first place – a set of circumstances, often in childhood, we experienced and from which we formulated a negative belief about ourselves. Kindness, loving
    kindness, is always necessary when we honestly recognize our old wounds, and with a tender heart embrace and accept ourselves so we quit hiding and acting out. This permits an innate
    aspect of wisdom and compassion to become a part of our active senses. 
  • Practically, what can we do? 
  • Engage in your spiritual path. The spiritual life is quite practical; it isn’t some lofty ideal that will never be reached. You can live and engage in a spiritual and an earthly life that mesh very nicely, and bring so many blessings. This happens slowly but consistently if we are diligent.
  • Even as our addiction was progressive, so is our recovery, as long as we make the right effort, informed with compassion.
  • When something is ill-affecting you, take the time to stop and honestly look at what it is. Take five or ten minutes to just sit, look honestly at, and feel the little demon that is gnawing away at you. It is a darkness that cannot exist in the sunlight of awareness and kindness. Why would you not want to look at what is causing you to suffer? If you had a pebble in your shoe, you would stop and take it out.

Spirituality speaks to the inevitability of pain and the possibility of healing within the pain—not trying to avoid pain, or to grasp onto and enhance pleasures. I find it helpful to remember how I got here, and to have the willingness to keep going, not just be satisfied with “better than crappy.”    

Our spiritual path, whatever it is to each of us, does take a discipline and an acceptance of our humanness, with a lot of love for ourselves as imperfect but wonderful people. We use the same discipline to see others in that light.

What makes up your path, and how often do you engage in it? Could your journey be enhanced by increased discipline and attention? What do you need to do? NOW is the right time to start.  In fact, it is the only time. What will you do differently today? Now?

We can begin to wake up out of the nightmare of avoidance and trying to satisfy Self, which is superficial and never-ending. We can begin connecting honestly and kindly with ourselves and others by not judging, but caring and healing.

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