11-20-22 Considered

Considered

Considered: Matured by extended deliberative thought. Viewed with respect or esteem. Measured, thoughtful, reasoned. Well thought out. Principled behavior. Their actions were a considered response to the situation.

Antonyms – disregarded, neglected, unstudied, inattention.

Consider if you are content with where you are and how you relate to the world and yourself.

Consider if there might be some changes that would be beneficial.

Consider what barriers there are to stepping into those changes.

Consider what you need to do to incorporate those changes. 

Consider if you want to begin now, or keep thinking about it. 

When we’re new to recovery from any type of addictive thinking or behavior, we can first take steps to address and alleviate past trauma and resentments. We can share our stories and our anxieties with another (as we do in a 12 step program or with a counselor). We can then use considering to help to lessen our manic mind and decrease our sense of unease. We consider its cause, and then choose a more spiritual, connected response. 

We may have gone into initial recovery in a state of desperation. We were killing ourselves—or, at best, we knew we were living a life of lies and avoidance, but did not know how to break free. Our entry into recovery is often not a considered, reasoned action; it is a cry for help with a problem we can’t control. Many of us experience a period of withdrawal that screams for us to return to the drug or behavior for release from our pain. But we know the pain is temporary and we need to go through it to have any chance of a better life, even if we’re not sure what it will be like. After our minds clear a bit, we begin to experience life opening up beyond our dependency on the behavior or the drug.

We may still retain many manipulative, fearful, defensive and offensive behaviors we’ve picked up from living in a world that promotes those as necessary. We are addicted to our manic “thinking,” we manipulate, justify, and try to fit Reality into our box of what is acceptable and what is not. To address the “normal,” ingrained behaviors we’ve learned, we will need courage, and we will go through a withdrawal, where the ego fears losing its hold over us.

Then, though clear of our addiction and staying active in recovery, we may feel like we’re still experiencing a lot of pain and confusion in “regular” life. Many harmful behaviors are socially acceptable and even promoted. ALL people, addicts or not, experience similar problems. Blaming our problems on an “addictive mind” is a poor excuse, and keeps us emotionally tethered to our addiction. We must go beyond any small, defining mindset and take responsibility for ourselves and all we do.

If we have the strength to remain in recovery and to not negatively judge the process which is allowing us to start feeling our emotions, and if we can trust those who have gone beyond their addiction, we have a chance. We may get beyond the stranglehold addiction had on us, to where we have gained a reasonable foothold on life and many things have improved. Far from being the finish line, this is when the work truly begins IF we want to continue progressing and growing beyond “good enough to get by.”

We need to consider what it means to live a spiritual life in recovery, and how to step into it if we so choose. We need to have new tools, means and processes to engage in it fully.

Consideringrequires the discipline of giving space to our thoughts prior to taking action. We begin to see positive results as our difficulties are less likely to continue distracting us, or to remain an entrenched identity (meaning we identify with our difficulties) that keeps us from serenity and peace.

Meditation. Our outer circumstances are always changing. By reinforcing our ability to work with the present moment and giving us space to explore our minds, meditation engenders qualities of balance, empathy, and happiness that are less and less dependent on causes and conditions beyond our control. We gain insights into the nature of mind and reality and learn to put these insights to good use on the path to freedom.

Mindfulness means keeping something in mind—that is, continuously remembering and coming back to the object you’re aiming to keep your attention on. The Buddha also connected the following states with mindfulness: being alert, being ardent, being intent, and experiencing with comprehension. Mindfulness is not just a kind of bare attention…it incorporates the intellect and wisdom. Ultimately, it is a way of training the mind that is integral to all other elements of Buddhist practice and spirituality. Mindfulness is involved in living ethically—sticking with that behavior requires remembering how you want to live, and being aware of the choices you make and what their consequences are likely to be

We can work effectively with everyday life when we’re walking, eating, brushing our teeth, showering, working, etc.; we simply and completely consider what we are doing. We can breathe deeply 3 times, letting the manic mind relax, and feel the grace, the calmness and connection inherent in simply being alive and connected. We bring our attention, our mindfulness and consideration to each aspect of our lives. We respect ourselves enough to believe in ourselves, and are willing to have the discipline to incorporate new behaviors and grow spiritually.

We can pay attention to when we make the effort to be Present, and when we continue to spin through life. We can consider which we prefer.

“Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things.”-Bruce Barton

Do not be discouraged by slow progress or mis-steps. It has taken you a while to get to where you are, and you can continue and grow with patience and diligence. You can do it!

Whatever process has led you to a better life, continue practicing and enlarging on that. We must go beyond a state of “I am doing OK,” to “I am opening up more. I don’t know, and I will continue seeking, and living a considered life.”

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 website  — fcheartofrecovery.com


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