Saturday, November 6, 2010
No Longer At Odds With Everything
It is a truth that those who have little room for their own pain in their own life, who cannot accept pain as a normal and natural part of their life, seldom, if ever, encourage others to enter directly into an experience with their feelings that could or would promote a more intimate understanding of this feeling and thus soften the resist¬ance to the feeling that the feeling engendered in the first place.
It is a given in this business that the resistance to pain in the long run only serves to enhance the pain. Thus examining it in some depth can only serve to relieve the pain.
Simply Put, It Breaks The Cycle
Most people seem to refuse to want to see that holding on to or attempting to smother or tightening up around the feeling only intensifies the suffering. This grasping at and holding onto is a defense strategy that was learned early on in childhood. It never worked well then, but that strategy was all there was and it seated itself deep into the psyche and now in a moment of crisis, out trucks the old ways in a vain attempt to control what cannot be controlled.
Pain for most is treated like a tragedy, something that should be played out rather then something that should be passed through.
Possibly it should be something that could ride on your left shoulder and give good guidance, if it were trusted. If it were more a part of your next moment because you have a relationship with it that allowed you insight and understanding, few, very few, recognize that there is grace to be found in the deeper investi¬gation of things that we were always trained to fear and shun.
"It isn't just the pain in my body that really hurts, it's all the pains of my life that I have to pull away from; “that” which imprisons me in my impression of how I think life should be. Me beginning to see my feelings in me just as they are, brings me to a point of seeing just how little time have I ever given to me having real feelings in my life and those real feelings included initially my pain, both physical and psychological."
Of those who have worked on these ideas with me, it is nearly universal; it wasn't just the pain in their body that they hadn't understood, it was also a myriad number of sensations like fear, boredom, anger, restlessness, self-doubt, just to name a few, which they had always pulled away from, which they had never allowed themselves to enter into, which when explored they found libraries of experience that they could now draw on and apply forward into the next moment.
Spiritual Principles for Recovery
Initially, we have to focus on honesty, open-mindedness, willingness, humility, and acceptance.
The practice of the Principle Of Honesty starts with admitting the truth about our life and continues with the practice of honesty on a daily, moment to moment, basis.
When we say, "I'm in recovery" it may be the first truly honest thing we've said in a long, long time.
We begin to be able to be honest with ourselves and, consequently with other people eventually.
Change and recovery doesn’t happen overnight.
If I've been thinking about acting out on my stuff I need to ask myself; have I shared it with my sponsor, my therapist or my group; have I told anyone else or am I still keeping secrets?
To practice the Principle Of Acceptance we must do more than merely admit that we have problems.
When we accept our problems for what they are, we accept that they are not the working definition of self.
When we accept our problems for what they are, we feel a profound inner change that is underscored by a rising sense of hope.
We also begin to feel a sense of peace.
We come to terms with our obsessions, compulsions and addictions in our recovery processes, and with this we come to appreciate the meaning and comprehend the realities these eccentricities have in our lives.
We don't dread a future of recovery practices, of attending meetings, of interpersonal contact, of doing step work; instead, we begin to see recovery as a precious gift, and the work connected with it as no more trouble than other routines of life.
An Open Doorway
Imagine this: there is an open doorway and on the other side of the doorway you hear three people and they are talking about you.
Here are the circumstances:
You know them all very well, for you they could be family if you like.
Second, you can hear their conversation very clearly, everything that is being said about you, you can hear.
Stop and listen. You won’t be noticed.
1) Write out what you would most like to hear them say about you.
2) Write out what you would least like to hear them say about you.
Don’t turn the page until you have written this all out … Done? … Over
Now comes the Work
Know this, that at least in part what was written on the previous page was a list of your true Hidden Hopes And Fears.
So what do these two statements of “your hopes and fears” say about how you think others see you?
What does this tell you about yourself?
Write out what these two statements seem to imply to you.
As you look back at what you have written in this exercise, are these hopes and fears really important to you now? Next, were they more or less important in your past?
To what degree are they alive and meaningful your today life? And to what degree are they ghosts from your past, which you have been reacting automat¬ically without much re-evaluation?
To what degree have these “hopes and fears” about the opinions of others shaped your life up to now?
How much do you think they will affect you in the future?