10-18-20 Adversity

Adversity

How do we confront (or try to avoid) the hard times? 
Do we have the ability to bounce back from perceived adversity?
We will all experience loss and trauma in our lives.
It is important to address these experiences and feel our loss and pain in order to work with it and grow.

You may distress yourself by expecting that you, others, and life should conform to your expectations. These three tyrannical shoulds cohabit with needless misery. The thinking that you are automatically entitled to have things go your way, including happiness, inevitably results in unhappiness. You may grow your resilience by moving in the opposite direction: the unconditional acceptance of self, others, and life. This means you take things as they are—you accept reality unconditionally.  “The less you trouble yourself about unattainable expectations, the less needless stress you’ll experience.” Psychology Today 

My addiction has roots in my wanting to avoid adversity. I found that drugs or alcohol or other behaviors kept me from having to address or confront my perceived problems, which weren’t really problems but just life with its endless variety. (Not determined by my personal desires.)  When I was out drinking and drugging or betting at the track or buying things or eating too much, the last thing I wanted was for anything to interrupt my good time.  HOWEVER, pursuing only good times became an overriding behavior that impaired my ability to cope with everyday life. As I recover, I notice that I still have a tendency at times to avoid problems because of my old behaviors.

I might complain a lot about something which is using my energies to garner pity from myself and others. Not an effective way of dealing with anything…it only promotes my misery with no solution.

I may turn pessimistic and be a dark cloud for everyone, while I rather enjoy my sense of poverty and wretchedness.  A poor coping mechanism—and again, not a solution.

I may procrastinate dealing with a difficulty, which only prolongs the pain and may cause more problems.

Feeling sorry for myself, while judging others works pretty well, if I want to be miserable.

The majority of life’s calamities are self-inflicted.  I see this in my addiction:  I do not blame anyone else. What I did, I can also undo.  Me, not someone else, but with help. What I have found in recovery, from the others who are also invested in recovery, is not sympathy for any of my self-inflicted wounds, but understanding and compassion for my dilemma. They share the tried and true lesson that I CAN recover, and begin a new healthy way of thinking and acting.  I begin to trust myself and feel worthy. I become willing to change my view of my selfishness. 

By recognizing, accepting and letting go of as many needless stresses as you can discover in yourself, you are likely to experience a rising tide of resilience.  You’ll have greater emotional reserves to address unfortunate situations that come your way. You may feel we are not worthy of a good life or cannot trust yourself after what you have done. That is the magic of being in the company of others who have felt the same way, and you hear their stories of growth and acceptance of who they are and of the life that is possible. 

You begin having tools to work with and release the past weight of resentments and regret. First you have the awareness of what you are doing. You have to be the watcher of your behavior. Not the judge, but an awareness that accepts and finds healthy alternatives to old limiting fearful behavior. And to know and engage an alternative that does takes courage and a behavioral change. Mostly in supporting yourself and finding how to best interact with others, accepting them and supporting yourself. You learn to not project into the future with fear. When you begin dropping the rocks of the past and the future you begin engaging in the present authentically. That will influence the future and have a better outcome than living and making decisions while in constant war with yourself.

When adversity strikes, meditation can be our best friend. Not as an escape, but as a weapon to fortify our minds and bodies, to create resilience and perspective. Meditation allows the mind to shift, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, to a state of calm and peace.

Meditation may not necessarily provide answers during the session — and it doesn’t have to. Meditators report that the deep coherent rest of meditation washes away stress, increases inner wakefulness and harmonizes emotions. Afterward, we feel a burden has lifted and we can more confidently navigate difficult waters.

Though we are often at war with ourselves and reality, we still don’t seem to clue in to the harm we do and that there is an alternative available. If you are just replaying old tapes of pity or resentment, be aware of what you are doing, and choose to bring your attention to the present, as in meditation. Bringing your conscious awareness to the energy in your body is very useful, Feel the energy in your hands, then in your whole body. You are then not being adversely affected by your troubling and circular thoughts. Then choose to engage in a healthy mindset.

“Look within to gauge your worth rather than depending on institutions or the opinions of others, for institutions rise and fall, and fashions come and go, but a good sense of your own value will see you through life’s ups and downs…Try to use difficulties, setbacks, and imperfections as a stimulus to creativity whenever they arise. When you feel trapped, like a fly bumping against glass, fly some other way!…It is important to face your fears. By ignoring them, you increase the risk that trouble will come when you least expect it and are least prepared to deal with it.”
Huffington Post

What can you LEARN from adversity, in order to be more intelligent, resilient, and not repeat the problem? You can create new ways of thinking if you persist and believe in yourself.  

You need to change your thoughts and outlooks, someone else can’t do it for you.

You become Aware of when you are being negative, and Mindfully engage in the positive richness of your situation. What can you learn? Who can you help? Get out of yourself!!!

The vastness of our lives is only constrained by a limited mind and a small heart.  Let us wake and continue into the day with a large heart, a vast mind, and help create a world endowed with peace and dignity.

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


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