Tag Archive | Alcoholics Anonymous

December 7th: Slips

December 7th

Sometimes, even when I know it is not in my best interest, I slip and let someone back into my life who I really should be keeping my distance from.

Usually, it is when I’m feeling melancholy or nostalgic, especially around a special event or the holiday season.

When I’m caught up in the moment, it seems that I am being foolish, silly actually, and that I should just let this person know that I miss them.

But the problem is… my feelings change from minute-to-minute… especially, when I am recovering from a loss or a break-up.

One minute… I do truly miss that person terribly… but the next minute… I’m afraid that if I open the door even a crack, they will come back into my world, hurt me, leave me suffering, once again in pain and despair, and then I will have to start the process of healing my broken heart all over again.

I know that it is hard to keep my physical and emotional distance when I so long for the attention of someone I once loved or still love, but I must make a concentrated effort to stay the course,  and allow time to heal my wounds.

I must not be hard on myself when I slip… I am not perfect… I will falter now and again but, it is in my best interest to stay away until I can make a sound decision regarding contact.

“Dear God, help me to move forward on my path and allow time and distance to heal my heart.”

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December 6th: The Questions

December 6th-The Questions

Every once in awhile, no matter how I try to stay on my spiritual path, keep to my moral high road, or work to follow my Higher Power’s direction, I still find myself wallowing in self-pity.

This self-pity almost always has something to do with losing a person that I loved.

It has always been hard for me to recover from a loss, especially when the loss is related to someone who chose to walk away from what I was offering: myself.

And when I fall into self-pity, I am left feeling wounded, abandoned, and disheartened.

When I am in this place of despair, I have learned to ask myself several questions which help to pull me out of my pain and back into a place of loving-kindness.

The questions are simple, but straight to the point:

1. Do I regret the time I spent with this person?

2. Do I regret the love I gave them?

3. Do I regret the memories of our time together? The things we created together?

4. If I had a chance to “do it over again” would I take it back? Choose to never have this person in my life?

My answer to each question is always the same… No.

Even though I suffer the pain of the loss now, maybe even regrets related to things I feel I could have done differently in the relationship, I know that the pain I feel is one of mourning and that mourning is how I pay homage to important people or events in my life.

The intensity of my emotion, of my attachment, reminds me that what I gave was valuable, that I was true to my heart, and no matter the outcome, I am thankful for my generous spirit and my bravery in being willing to share myself with another human being.

“Dear God, thank you for bringing people into my life who have taught me how to love, and how to bear loss. Thank you for showing me that love is a gift that should be cherished.”

December 5th: Feelings

December 5th

Sometimes I let my feelings control me and suddenly, I am overwhelmed with emotion and off balance.

It can be as easy as someone sending me an email saying, “Hey, can I chat with you for a minute? I need to talk to you about something” and the next thing I know, my stomach is turning, I’m running through a mental list of what I may have done to upset this person, and I’m focused on what might happen next instead of staying in the moment.

I have a bad habit of creating a story, running a thread, allowing my feelings to take over before I even know the facts.

When I find myself overwhelmed with emotion I have learned it is best to step back… to curb the feelings… until I do know what’s really going on.

Worrying, fretting about something that might happen in the future, is not going to help me solve the problem… if there even is a problem.

I must learn to quiet my mind and find focus in the moment.

The more I practice not letting my feelings gain control of me, the better I become at keeping a quiet mind.

Emotional turmoil will not help me walk my spiritual path.

Emotional turmoil will drive me off balance and create chaos.

Feelings are not facts.

I must learn to calm my feelings and wait for the facts so that I can logically approach each situation and then choose to “act” instead of “react.”

“Dear God, help me to stay calm when feelings overwhelm me. Help me to make my decisions with a clear mind, a calm head, and a loving heart.”

December 4th: No Contact

November 18th

When I was younger, before I really began to focus on my spiritual footwork, I believed that the No Contact rule was cruel.

How could I just stop talking to someone I once loved?

How could I act as if they never mattered in my life?

Would I really just walk by them; barely acknowledge their presence, as if they were merely an acquaintance?

It seemed that to follow the No Contact rule was a way to punish the person I had once loved, a way of skipping the moral high ground when ending a relationship.

But… as I grew older, I realized that the No Contact rule was not about the other person… the No Contact rule was for me.

I was able to see that by holding firmly to my rule, I was allowing myself the necessary time to heal by breaking away from the person I loved.

This was a way of creating space, so that I was able to:

Fall out of love…

Forgive…

Open myself up to the possibility of someone new…

But if I held on to my past… I couldn’t move forward.

The No Contact rule helps me to have control over the only thing I can control: myself and my actions.

The only way for me to let go of someone who no longer chooses to share their life with me, is by creating a significant amount of no contact time, while I work through my pain and my past to move forward towards my new life.

“Dear God, help me to have the strength to keep my distance. Help me to be loving and kind to myself and allow myself the time I need to heal without an interruption in my spiritual process.”

December 3rd: Emotional Manipulation

December 2nd-Triangulation

One of the most unattractive aspects of my divorce was the amount of emotional manipulation that I dealt with while trying to separate from my husband.

I never knew which one of us was going to fight for the position of: victim, martyr, or punisher.

Each time I thought of how he wanted to leave me, leave our relationship, leave our family, I would become angry and want to punish him for every transgression he had committed throughout our time together.

Each time I felt betrayed by him, and sought out comfort from family and friends, the role of martyr, the long suffering spouse, arrived on the scene to protect my fragile self-esteem and comfort my bruised ego.

And when I was full of despair or fear… I could blame my husband for my pain, feel sorry for myself, believe that other people had it so much better than me.

My husband played his part in the game as well:

He embraced each role as fervently as I did.

I learned through this addictive emotional manipulation, that nothing was getting solved; neither one of us was moving forward, because we were always so busy acting out our attachment to our particular roles.

I had to train myself to choose not to engage… to catch myself when becoming a victim, a martyr, a punisher and walk away from a fight instead of instigating one.

Over time, this became a habit, and once I chose to no longer participate, the manipulation ceased.

It was so easy for me to fall into a destructive pattern when I was suffering but, by doing the spiritual footwork to become aware of my shortcomings, I was able to move away from each role and focus on what was truly important: forgiving the past, finding gratitude in my present life, and moving towards my future.

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“Dear God, help me to be kind and forgiving. Help me to move forward with love and compassion even when I feel unable to do so.”

December 2nd: Trials

flame lips nature

I know that I cannot walk through life without experiencing trials.

I have been through many… and I’m sure there will be many more before my days are done.

Each of these trials has tested my faith, and when I am wrapped in the emotional and physical suffering that tends to drive a trial, I struggle to keep balance.

How can I possibly make a decision when I can barely keep my mind focused?

How can I move forward on a spiritual path when I am in a moment of great turmoil or despair?

When I find myself in a trial, I have to spend as much time as possible: praying to my Higher Power, discussing the painful issue with those I love and trust, and when doing so, remembering to be fearlessly honest so that I can make the best decision that will help me get through it.

I have learned that prayer quiets my mind and and helps me to receive clarity about my situation.

I go to my friends, my loved ones, for counsel, because they are often able to see clearly, what I cannot see, due to my emotional or physical attachment to the problem at hand.

I have also learned that time will move me through. If I use my resources to stay in the moment, remain as calm as possible, reach out as much as needed for help and guidance, I will get to a point where I can make strong decisions that will move me forward.

Today, when I walk through a trial, and find myself in despair, I remember each trial I have walked before, and I remind myself that because of these experiences, I am where I am today.

Because I have suffered, I have empathy for those that suffer around me.

Because I have experienced trials, I am able to use my wisdom to offer counsel when requested.

Because I have survived pain that I never believed that I could survive, I now have perspective for when I must walk through a trial again.

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“Dear God, help me to be aware of your presence as I walk through this trail. Help me to remember, that on the other side of this pain, I will find a better spiritual path.”

December 1st: Commitment

desert2

Often, when I think of the word commitment I think of marriage: two people making a decision to abide by a certain code, embrace love, and share a common goal through their relationship and hopefully, throughout their life time.

But commitment is not just about marriage, it is about most everything in life, and there are times when I must look at my own commitment to people, ideals, goals, direction and decide what codes I am willing to abide by, what emotions I am willing to embrace, what goal I am ready to pursue so that I can commit.

If I am committed to making a relationship work then what does that mean?

What am I willing to do to succeed with another person?

What am I unwilling to put up with? Deal with? Do I have limits when it comes to my love?

Am I able to put in the time this person will need to make them feel wanted, cared for, secure in our relationship?

Am I willing to put their needs above my own at times if necessary?

Do I have the means to share my life with them spiritually, physically, financially?

Often times, I might commit to things in life: in relationships, friendships, jobs, education, without stopping to think what amount of commitment it will take from me to follow through.

It is easy to say “I commit” …to be caught up in a moment of joy, passion, or excitement and promise to commit to a person, and ideal, a goal, or a direction.

But I know today… that when I choose to commit… I must first spend quiet, contemplative time, and focus on my spiritual footwork to decide if I am truly willing to follow through on that commitment and that path.

“Dear God, help me to be true to my word and pure in my intent. When I choose to commit help me to follow through.”