feeling

Do I Deserve This?

Lonely_TreeSomething that I struggle with every day is maintaining a feeling of worthiness even when others are treating me badly. That I don’t have to be treated badly is a task for another life time. Right now, I just have to learn how to hold on to feeling good about myself.

Normally, the slippery slope begins with an incident of some kind, that is often characterised by me feeling ‘unseen’. From there it may escalate to shouting match with the one that doesn’t see or, more typicallly, it is an aggressive exchange that takes place entirely in my head. I replay the infraction over in my head, a number of times, and then I start to gather more ‘evidence’, of other times that I was misunderstood, yelled at, left out or disregarded.

Once I have a fair number of examples in my head of how badly I am treated, I ask myself the question: Do I Deserve This Treatment? Today I have come to understand that there is no good way to answer this question:

Yes (I deserve it) – I’m a bad person that should be punished and I’m treated badly because that is all I’m good for.

No (I don’t deserve it) – I am a victim and I continue to be treated badly because I am powerless to change how I’m received.

Today I realise that it is the asking and answering of this question that leaves me feeling bad, because I have created a link between someone else’s ‘bad’ behaviour and what I deserve. I did that. Nobody said to me, “I snapped at you because you don’t deserve to be spoken to well”. I just made that connection for myself and it feels bad, it feels unworthy.

From now on, I am going to know that I only deserve to be loved (as my friend Todd told me on Valentine’s Day) and other people’s behaviour can’t change that.

[I don't know where this image comes from, but I think it is so beautiful and if it belongs to you, please let me know]

Cat & Mouse

cat-mouseThe cat just brought a mouse into the house.

It occurs to me that life could be much worse. Particularly if I was a mouse.

Forcing Solutions

This is part of the preamble to the 12 Step Fellowship that I found recovery in.

The statement begins with the qualifier that ‘without Spiritual help’, and therein also lies the answer. I find myself forcing solutions and because it isn’t going so well, I’m getting itchy & scratchy.

In the last 3 months, I have been slowly putting my relationship back together with my boyfriend, after an estrangement of 12 months. We are doing it together and I am learning to have an intimate and mature relationship for the first time in my life. We have counseling once a week and talking and listening in between.

So the relationship is going well and we are moving slowly but surely to a very happy place. That isn’t my problem. My problem is that we are looking for a place to move in together again, in September. I should say that I am looking because that’s what I do. I force solutions 3 months in advance and it isn’t working out for me. I can’t find the perfect home for us, this instant. It is making me crazy.

I should hand this over to the care of God, and trust that in good time, the right house will become available. I must also know that the right house may not be perfect according to my terms, and that I will have to co-operate with my partner to find a place that suits us both.

Oh what relief I feel, when I Let Go & Let God.

Image from: http://robynpassante.blogspot.com/2010/09/struggle-redefined-or-when-you-feel.html

 

Stairway to Forest

Abundant Life

A friend of mine brought a wonderful quotation to my attention, but she didn’t say where it came from. I apologise for not giving credit where it is due:

The Abundant Life begins when we give up all hope of ever having a better past

I am having some struggle with staying in the moment these days. I have quite a lot of big changes coming and I am sure that the uncertainty is enticing me to bring out The Controller and also to look back and think that if things had been different, these changes wouldn’t be necessary.

What insanity it is to look back and wish it was different? And even more so to try to control the future and others.

Imagine I could give up these very unhelpful behaviours, I would be free from the pain they cause, and abundance would be my prize. So the first step is to recognise all the things that I am trying to have power over, but in fact I have none. The second step is where I come to see that a Power greater than myself can free me from these behaviours. This Power can be as simple as Awareness.

The third step is very like imagining, but it is more directional and more specific. I have to decide to hand these behaviours over to that Power and to know that in this way they can be resolved. I came a little unstuck before, when I handed things over and within a few days/weeks/months, I would find that these behaviours were back in my brain, bouncing off the walls. The third step makes no statement about how many times we must hand over. In my experience, the more entrenched the behaviour is, the more often I need to hand it over.

After two years in recovery and 6 months ‘sabbatical’, it turns out that I need to return to step 1, 2 & 3.

That’s the way recovery goes….

 

Lonely_Tree

Left Behind

When I first came into recovery in 2009, I attacked recovery with all the fierceness and enthusiasm I bring to everything in my life. Old timers and literature told me that ‘Easy Does It’ & ‘One Step At A Time’, but I didn’t listen. I wanted to be healed, recovered & whole again. I wanted it right now, I was sick & tired of being sick & tired.

I believe that I made quite a lot of progress in my recovery. I worked very hard at it. I worked so hard that I had little energy, time, inspiration left for anything else. And eventually, after two years of ‘recovering’, I had had enough. I couldn’t stomach thoughts of being powerless, of letting go, of nurturing a relationship with God. I wanted to just be, I wanted to take hold and I needed some people in my life.

I left recovery behind. That means I let go my habits of daily gratitude, of prayer and meditation and I stopped watching my behaviour. I left my blog behind and my friends in recovery. Any time I thought about these things, I quickly killed the thoughts and distracted myself with busyness.

Now months later, I find that I need my program in my new life and I need to learn how to integrate its principles in all of my affairs. I have missed all the things I left behind, most of all myself. Right away, I apply gratitude, I let go of that feeling of being left out and I sit down with a cup of tea and tell God all about it.

Image: http://widescreen.pixxp.com/

Daily Gratitude – Work

Image from Melissa Deakin Photography

It seems like a weird thing to be grateful for, but when there isn’t much of it, I become aware of how precious and important work is to my wellbeing. Work often results in money which we all need to get by in the world, but it is more than just money.

Work lets me feel like I am contributing to the community I live in and the world in general. It creates opportunity for me to connect with other people, which I love to do. Work also makes me feel useful and capable.

I am very lucky in that I do work that usually excites me and I feel great enthusiasm for what I do. I know that not everyone does work that they love, which makes me feel even more grateful that I can.

So today, I feel really grateful that I have work and that it is work that I love.

Daily Gratitude – Changes

20120122-124742.jpg

People say that a leopard doesn’t change it’s spots. They say that people don’t change. It isn’t true. People do change.

People change themselves if they want to. I have wanted to change, and with a lot of hard work and patience, I have changed. I am so grateful that I no longer feel about myself the way I used to. I am grateful that I’m not just a conditioned response.

I am grateful that in the 12 Step program, I found in myself the courage and strength I needed to admit that I’m not perfect and my way of doing things wasn’t working. I’m grateful that I was able to change and that more change is coming.

Change is often a very scary prospect, but with faith and perseverance it pays off in the end.