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Accepting Change

 

 

The winds of change blow through our life, sometimes gently, sometimes like a tropical storm. Yes, we have resting places – time to adjust to another level of living, time to get our balance, time to enjoy the rewards. We have time to catch our breath.

But change is inevitable, and desirable.

Sometimes, when the winds of change begin to rustle, we’re not certain the change is for the better. We may call it stress or a temporary condition, certain we’ll be restored to normal. Sometimes, we resist. We tuck our head down and buck the wind, hoping that things will quickly calm down, get back to the way things were. Is it possible we’re being prepared for a new “normal”?

Change will sweep through our life, as needed, to take us where we’re going. We can trust that our Higher Power has a plan in mind, even when we don’t know where the changes are leading.

We can trust that the change-taking place is good. The wind will take us where we need to go.

Today, help me, God, to let go of my resistance to change. Help me be open to the process. Help me believe that the place I’ll be dropped off will be better than the place where I was picked up. Help me surrender, trust, and accept, even if I don’t understand.

This is a great reading for me today! The path of least resistance is always easier. The path of least resistance is easier than change. However, change is sometimes needed. Change is how I get from point A to point B. I have to leave point A to get to point B. It is uncomfortable and scary to leave point A. When I leave point A, I am all alone. Being all alone can be scary and stressful. However, I need to remember to have faith. If I surrender and have faith that everything will work out the way its supposed to, then life is much easier and I am much happier. Staying in an unhealthy relationship can be the path of least resistance. Staying in an unhealthy relationship means that I have the comfort of being with a person that is familiar. We already have a connection. It is less work because we already know each other, we know about each other, likes and dislikes, etc. However, in the long run, staying in an unhealthy relationship is not good for either party. We all want to be happy, joyous, and free. Prayer and meditation, getting feedback from my sponsor and other guys in the program, and following my intuition will help me make the tough decisions to make changes in my life. Sometimes change needs to happen in order for God’s will to be done. I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year, I just need to surrender, trust, accept, and do the next indicated thing.

Human Ecology – Recovery – Mind, Body, Spirit

We believe in Human Ecology, the understanding and care of human beings as whole persons in light of their relationship to God, themselves, their families, and the society in which they live.

–The Philosophy of Human Ecology

The philosophy of Human Ecology covers all three aspects of our recovery: body, mind, and spirit.

We know that taking care of our bodies is essential to recovery. That means eating properly, exercising as much as we can, and not abusing ourselves physically.

Taking care of our minds is also important. We are trying to make choices that enhance our recovery, not diminish it. This includes the things we read, watch, and listen to. We seek out education and positive affirmation. We go to meetings. We gather with others who share our vision.

Spirituality is the common thread through all of this, for without it we are lost. Our spiritual search is our effort to improve our conscious contact with God. Through this search comes harmony of body, mind, and spirit.

Today let me remember the principles of Human Ecology. They provide a simple reminder of where I’ve been and where I am going.

Taking care of my mind, body, and spirit has been very important to my recovery from substance abuse addiction. I pray, meditate, and create a gratitude list every morning. I go to 12 step meetings almost daily. I speak with my sponsor and other friends in recovery daily. My normal practice is to exercise and eat healthy on a daily basis. I sponsor guys. I share at 12 step meetings. I have a normal sleeping schedule and I live a balanced life. All of these things contribute to my recovery and contribute to me being happy, joyous, and free. All of these things help me to be spiritually fit. Thanks to my recovery and Alcoholics Anonymous, my life is amazing today!

Self-Pity

Self-pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.

–Maya Angelou

Some days we grasp at self-pity like a blanket on a cold night, and we are momentarily comforted. However, extended periods of self-pity will undermine our primary purpose, which is to be at peace with ourselves and others so that we may know freedom from our addictions. Thus our self-pity prevents us from carrying a message of hope to fellow sufferers, that they too can find release from their suffering through the Twelve Steps.

Staying clean and sober are gifts available to all of us when we cultivate gratitude. We can be grateful for this program that has brought manageability and serenity to our life, and that leaves us little room for self-pity, anger, or impatience. Our mind will be willing and open to receive God’s guidance and support when we let go of our self-pity.

Today I will stay free of self-pity so I can receive God’s strength.

Great reading, this is just what I needed this morning. I am so full of gratitude for my life today. I am grateful to be sober, grateful that I am health and fit, grateful for my friends in recovery, and grateful that I have learned that I am powerless over not just alcohol, but also people, places, and things. Anytime I start feeling sorry for myself, I just need to open my eyes and look at other people and their life circumstances. I have plenty of money, clothes on my back, food to eat, and a nice place to live. My problems today are luxury problems. Being in gratitude contributes to my happiness, being present contributes to my happiness, being open and willing contributes to my happiness. Life is definitely not perfect for me. However, I am happier than I have ever been staying away from self-pity leads me to being happy, joyous, and free.

Things Change

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer

 

When I am rigid and stuck in my ways, my days can become long and exhausting. During my days of drinking and drug use, it was “my way or the highway”. I was right and you were wrong. I was rigid and inflexible in my thinking. I was not willing to listen to what you had to say. Through working the 12-Steps, I have learned how to turn my will and my life over to the care of God. I have learned to open my heart and open my mind. The result being that my days are much easier. I have learned that being inflexible in my thinking causes me to have expectations. Those expectations are resentments waiting to happen. If I open my mind and if I am flexible, I have no expectations. Having no expectations means that I can be present and focus on the current moment. Being open and flexible allows me to change the way that I look at things. This is a much easier way to live life. This way of living leads to being happy, joyous, and free.

Into Action

As one goes through life, one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.

–Katharine Hepburn

 

Newcomer

 

I appreciate the fact that you remain friendly and even-tempered even though I don’t always follow your advice.

 

Sponsor

 

Friends can disagree without having to end their relationship. I might have trouble sponsoring someone who never attends meetings, someone who has frequent relapses, or someone who complains about his or her problems without ever being willing to attempt the Steps. But occasional disagreements are a part of life.

 

A sponsor’s suggestions aren’t commands, any more than the Twelve Steps are. As a sponsor, I only make suggestions; even though they’re based on my experience, I’m not always right about what will work for another person. And I may misjudge what another person’s timetable is. I’m not infallible. I try not to let my ego get in the way, to feel hurt or angry when you need to try something on your own. Learning to make your own decisions is necessary to growth.

 

Each of us makes his or her own way through the process of recovery. We learn more from our own experiences, good and bad, than from anything we read in a book or hear at a meeting.

 

Today, I learn from my experience.

 

Everyone has their own path. My way is what worked for me. However, it does not mean that my way will work for anyone else. I used get upset if a sponsee or newcomer would not take my suggestions. I have learned not to be attached to another person’s actions. After all, I am powerless over people, places, and things. AA is a program of action and a program only works if you work it. So regardless of a person’s path, he or she must work a program if he/she wants to stay sober and if he/she wants to be happy, joyous, and free.

Etiology of Addiction – Personality Theory Model

The Personality Theory Model is a psychological model. It attributes the causes of alcoholism and substance abuse addiction to a person’s personality traits. Generally speaking, alcoholics are selfish, self-seeking, dependent, immature, impulsive, emotional, controlling, and intolerant. The assumption is that alcoholics have certain personality traits and that the resolution of alcoholism requires a restructuring of the personality. (Choosing a Model of Addiction, 2004). The Personality Theory Model overlaps the Twelve Step approach to recovery in many ways. According to the Twelve Step approach of Alcoholics Anonymous, drinking is only a symptom of the disease of alcoholism. Through working the Twelve Steps, an alcoholic changes their personality from the inside. This includes believing that one’s life has become unmanageable, surrendering to a Higher Power, doing one’s inventory, asking God to remove defects of character, making amends and clearing away the wreckage of the past, conscious contact with God, and giving back. In the rooms of AA, if a person does not go through the steps and change their personality, they are said to be a “dry drunk”. I have personally witnessed the personality change that occurs when a person works a solid Twelve Step Program. Working the Twelve Steps causes a person to be outward focused, present, more mature and last but not least, the obsession to drink and do drugs is removed. Working the Twelve Steps leads to the pathway of becoming happy, joyous, and free.

References

Chapter TWO: CHOOSING A MODEL OF ADDICTION. (2004). Addictions Counseling (pp. 20-28). Crossroad Publishing Company.