9-11-22 Adversity


How do we confront (or try to avoid dealing with) 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 truly feel our loss and pain in order to work with it and grow. To avoid difficulties, only lets the difficulty grow and discolors all your experiences. The pain of an adversity may overwhelm us if we don’t have a foundation of worthiness and kindness in our hearts. The adversity we are looking at here is more of a self-inflicted wound.

You may distress yourself by expecting that you, others, and life should conform to your         expectations. 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 other behaviors kept me from addressing or confronting my perceived problems.  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. 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 of avoidance and self-indulgence.

I might complain a lot about something, which is using my energies to pity myself. Not an effective way of dealing with anything…it only continues to promote my misery with no solution. I may turn pessimistic and be a dark cloud for everyone, while rather enjoying my sense of poverty and wretchedness.  A poor coping mechanism — and again, not a solution. I may procrastinate in dealing with a difficulty, which only prolongs the pain and may cause more problems. Feeling sorry for myself works pretty well, if I want to continue being 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, or move beyond. Me taking action, not someone else who I keep looking for to save me. What I have found in recovery, and from others who are also invested in recovery, is not sympathy for any of my self-inflicted wounds, but an understanding and compassion for my dilemma. They share with me the tried and true lesson that I CAN recover.  I begin to trust myself and feel worthy IF I want to, and am willing to change my view of being selfish and negative. 

By recognizing and releasing 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 you 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 we hear their stories of growth and acceptance of who they are and of the life that is possible, beyond self doubt.

When adversity strikes, meditation can be our best friend. Not as an escape, but as a tool 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. Afterward, we feel a burden has lifted and we can more confidently navigate difficult waters.

How we retain and integrate awareness and mindfulness with actions, an after meditation in our everyday lives, is how we grow. Meditation is just a jump start, we then need to take the wheel, and navigate our lives with appreciation and patience. Meditation and awareness gives us the tools to recognize when we are creating a problem, feeling resentful, taking something personal, basically in distress because IT is not going our way. We can then breathe 3 times and touch back into our sense of opening, not shutting down, and deal with the difficulty in a more spacious, detached manner.

“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! Sometimes you need to change directions; sometimes you need to  address the difficulty. When you believe in yourself and have a foundation of patience and kindness the right solution will arise. 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.” Paraphrased-Huffington Post

We “pursue” happiness because we think it comes outside of ourselves. I do have everything I need. I am an imperfect person, I make mistakes, and I am also capable of amazing things. I am complete when I feel connected to the world and to others.  I can live with dignity and have compassion for others, because I know what suffering is, and I am learning that peace, resiliency, and acceptance can give me a most wonderful experience. And I am worthy of that.

In my addiction I rarely laughed or felt light. Today I am so much happier, through all the joys and difficulties life holds. I continue to remind myself many times every day to relax a little more, and to not be so serious. Of course there will be difficulties and lower times and better times in life, but it is all of life that I now accept and step into more willingly. I feel the simple joy of being alive, as a powerful platform to engage life from.

My world is as rich and full as I make it. I refuse to be burdened by negativity and fear. That is my choice, not always easy or clear, but I WILL keep walking that path. I respect and value my life, and the lives of all others as well.

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

Heart Of Recovery web site  — fcheartofrecovery.com