1-31-21 Do the Right Thing

Do the Right Thing

“Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” — Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata”

It does take courage and practice, over and over again, to go beyond our old behavior of blaming others and ourselves, and to engage in the practice of caring for others, ourselves and embracing life—all parts of it. Love yourself and others with no difference; let the kindness and compassion be forefront in your mind, before selfish ways.

Self-compassion is seeing your most tender wounds without judgment; being willing to recognize you are human, imperfect…and that it is a good thing.

With Awareness of what I am doing, how I am re-acting, I can choose to act in a positive manner. The energies I am choosing to embody and engage in are the energies that I will be putting forth to the world. If I put forth negative or needy energies, I will affect others in a negative or needy manner and be attracted to the same energies. If I put forth positive, gentle, life-affirming energies, I will bring that energy to the world and attract and be attracted to the same energies. I am responsible!

“If asked what the two most important things in recovery are, I would have to say willingness and action. When I am willing to do the right thing, I am rewarded with an inner peace no amount of liquor could ever provide. When I am unwilling to do the right thing, I become restless, irritable and discontent. It is always my choice. I am no longer at the mercy of a disease that tells me the only answer is to drink. If willingness is the key to unlock the gates of hell, it is action that opens those doors so that we may walk freely among the living.” “My Chance to Live,” Alcoholics Anonymous  

In an addiction, we need to first stop or moderate a harmful action. We then need to recognize why we were engaging in that action and work on the larger, underlying cause, usually that we don’t feel a sense of dignity and healthy presence within ourselves. If we aren’t able to do that, we will either revert to the addiction or find a different addiction that will continue to bedevil us.

“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” — Abraham Lincoln

When we begin taking right action, we no longer feel like a victim and have a strong sense of self worth, along with a positive connection to our world and others. This is the healthy balance that permits us to make the right decisions, though not always easy ones. Trying to have everything easy all the time only brings more difficulties. It is the discipline and peace I find in the right path that sustains me.

If I do not believe in myself—in my innate goodness, my spirit—I will try to fill the hole of my doubt with many temporary satisfactions that only bring more difficulty. If our recovery is only about not taking negative actions, it is like congratulating ourselves for not robbing a bank. 

Essentially, people want to do the right thing and often do. Our innate basic goodness, our spiritual center, is always present and available. We may come from that center many times every day without thinking about it, which is the only way to touch into the Sunlight of the Spirit. Not with conscious thought, but from our heart center that we have learned to access more deeply through meditation, prayer, and an awareness of reality beyond our small self. We make the effort to live with dignity and honesty, and to accept that sometimes we won’t succeed. Sometimes we will do the wrong thing, but we don’t stop trying and are always walking in the direction of the light.

Believe in yourself, know that you are completely worthy of a good life that is sometimes difficult, and try to help others. What would it feel like to fully believe in yourself?

First, we have to pay attention. If we don’t have a sense, a feeling of what we are doing, or going to do, we will act from old destructive behaviors. Fear, and the notion that “It’s all about ME,” can be messages—just information that we haven’t acted on. As we are aware of what we’re thinking, we then have the option of how to act. When we are in fear, we will react by avoiding something, not speaking up, or acting when we should. Or, by acting off-hand and like a smart ass. (How easy it is to be cute and subtly demeaning about others!) It’s very human to have an initial fear/selfish reaction to a situation. But when we are aware of that shortcoming, we can employ our intelligence and compassionand, and then act.

If we cannot respect other people, we cannot respect ourselves, and we will continue to act in ways that distance us from our true self and from others. Even though we may have companions who support us in our fear-based reactions, it just continues to promote the pain. It is truly amazing when we do the “right” thing just because it is right. The weights of selfishness and manipulation dropping away free us and lighten us. When we do the right thing consistently, we begin just feeling better all over, and life takes on a new luster.

Happiness is a by-product of our actions, not an end result of our desires. This is well beyond the belief that when we get this or that, or get rid of something, THEN we will be happy. Living from the heart shows us the way to not be selfish or needy any longer; it touches on an innate sense of wholesomeness that can guide us to who we truly are and how to live in this sometimes crazy world with compassion and humor. We begin to find companionship with others who promote our positive qualities, and we theirs.

“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake.  Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”  — Martin Luther King, Jr.

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