6-12-22 Getting Started – Keeping Going

Getting Started – Keeping Going

Many people come into a recovery program for a few days or weeks or months, years even, and then revert to their old destructive ways, be it a substance or a behavior. We need to ask for help and practice engaging in new and different behaviors, and we need to continue asking and engaging once we’ve made a start. We must realize that change will take time, but that we are on the right path, and we are willing to do whatever is necessary to continue. 

If you encounter difficulty in recovery, always know that you can get re-started NOW. Some people go out, and never return because of shame and fear. What a pity. They have not lost anything; they have only gained a broader perspective to work more firmly with NOW, if they are only willing to drop the ego for a moment and realize the possibilities that exist for a great life. The ego can kill us.

Even a small gain in feeling self-worth can keep us moving forward and provide momentum. The problems we encounter and the reluctance they create towards living a “good healthy life” is not a deficiency or a lack of ability, it is only a long established and heavily reinforced behavior we can dismantle a brick at a time if we keep at it diligently.

On the spiritual path we replace unconscious habits of confusion with conscious habits of wisdom.  Instead of my unconscious practice of sloth, impatience, greed, anger, or any of the selfish habits that come so easily to me, I consciously practice discipline, patience, kindness, love, and any of the selfless habits that are still foreign to me. I am working to become familiar with good habits.                       

The spiritual path is hard because we are stopping old habits that come so easily, and replacing them with difficult new ones.  For example, mindlessness is natural to us.  It is easy to space out and be distracted.  Try to look at an object without wavering for a few seconds and we will see our talents in distraction.  This is a bad habit, formulated over countless repetitions, and a central unconscious practice on the worldly path.  It is no longer even a practice, but a constant performance.  We have accomplished mindlessness.

On the spiritual path we want to replace this bad habit with a good one.  Even though mindfulness is a natural expression of the awakened mind, it has been buried under eons of mindlessness, so we have to work to dig it out.  The initial stage of mindfulness practice is called deliberate mindfulness because it takes effort to bring our wandering mind back.  It is difficult only because it is unfamiliar. – Andrew Holecek                                                                  

If we keep at it, there will be a change, however we are often the last ones to see it.

There’s a momentary silence in the space between your thoughts that you can become aware of with practice. In this silent space, you’ll find the peace that you crave in your daily life. You’ll never know that peace if you have no spaces between your thoughts. – The Value of Silence: Wayne Dyer 

In Buddhist mind training you… 1 – Notice the behavior.  2 – Try something different. 3 – Commit to practicing that new, healthy behavior until it becomes natural. 

Sit down and be quiet. You are drunk and this is the edge of the roof.Rumi (Poet)
(Here Rumi is not referring to alcohol but rather to our egos, or lack of vision.)

We can have all our physical things in good shape, all of our ducks in a row, and still have no idea where we are going. The purpose of Insight Meditation, sure knowing beyond thinking, is not to create a system of beliefs, but rather to give guidance on how to see clearly into the nature of the mind. In this way, one gains first-hand understanding of the way things are without reliance on opinions or theories – a direct experience – which has its own vitality. It gives rise to a sense of deep calm, purpose, and self-worth.

Keep working on it. Keep going to meetings. If you are in a 12-step program, do the steps. Use prayer and meditation and mindfulness until they become a natural part of your life. Don’t expect to be perfect. Don’t try too hard but do be diligent and willing. It is ok if you take a step backward or sideways sometime. Regroup, know you are worthy of being happy, step through your fears, and keep going.

Never denigrate yourself. You, as much as anyone in the universe, deserve your love. Ask for help and take good advice even when it is difficult but remember that the true healing comes from inside. No person or program can heal you, only you can, with a healthy relationship with yourself, your higher power, and others. 

Make the effort to help others; always offer up anything positive in your life for the benefit of others. Believe in yourself, in your capacity to be kind. DON’T take things personally, quit feeling sorry for yourself, and know there will be ups and downs and you CAN deal with it.

There will be times of discomfort and doubt when ridding ourselves of old destructive behaviors. Our old behaviors gave us good avoidance techniques. Often, we continue to employ these avoidance techniques well into our recovery. Be mindful of moments when avoiding something or someone is your instinct.

This is where honesty and mindful behavior will help us to see who we really are and where we can go if we are brave and willing enough. Keep going, keep going, and keep going. Keep growing.

If we learn to look at, see clearly, and step into our fears, we will begin to realize much of our fear is groundless, and we can accomplish so much more than we thought we could. When we notice the groundless quality of our fears, the fear gives way to curiosity, and the world becomes illuminated.

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
May you be well. May you be happy. May you find peace.

Heart Of Recovery web site  — fcheartofrecovery.com