Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lessons on Life: Beginning Middle and an End

There was a man who had four sons.

He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly.

So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away. The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall.

When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen. The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The second son said, no it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree's life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season,
and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.

If you give up when it's winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, and the fulfillment of your fall.

Author Unknown

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lessons Learned From Life’s Experiences

Have Empathy For The Source Of Your Pain. Who, What, Where, When and Why. There is the strongest possibility that whatever is causing you pain may be reflecting you back to you.

Rational Thought Won't Work. My rationalization is Biased by my experience. That much is true. My Experience influences my best thinking. Again True. And my rational thinking is pre determined by the aftermath of my experience. Therein lay the Bias. So what makes sense to me might not be either sensible or reasonable, the problem is, it makes sense to me. There are times when I am prepared to fight to the death for those beliefs; that doesn’t make any of those beliefs either True or Right. They are just my belief(s) biased by my experience.

There Is Something At Work Behind All This And That Is Beyond Me And My Self Centeredness And All That I Can Imagine. A Force far greater than me. Can you imagine that. Imagine something you couldn’t possibly imagine.

Be Prepared To Re Examine Your Motives And Your Reasons As Well As Your Morals For Doing What You Do. This gets to be interesting when you discover how to use rigorous honesty and apply it to self.

• In Order To Do Your Journey You Will Have To Confront Evil. This is true. It has happened to me several times in my life. It happened at times and in places that one would not necessarily think it would be present but it was. Evil does not have to be coarse. It can be ... but sometimes it is very subtle.

Never Say Never. Occam’s Razor underscores this sentiment ... “Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate” … Principle of Parsimony. The precursor to the KISS principle.

• You Can't Change Human Nature. The only thing you can change is Your Mind About Human Nature.

Human Nature Is The Curriculum Of Life. It Is What You Do With It, That Matters.

With Time Spent On The Path

There Will Come A Time

When You Can Return To The Starting Gate


See It For How It Truly Is

For The First Time

“With Eyes Unclouded By Longing.”

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

EXPERIENCE has taught us -- 175 Missing Pieces

66 On Seeing Clearly

EXPERIENCE has taught us that as we begin to come from a place of deeper understanding, from a place of connection with a Higher Power or with the Way of Things, we may begin to notice that there are several truths quietly at work in our lives.

First: if we try to escape from life’s situations without allowing them to heal or to come to completion, the need for the completion will rise again someplace else in our lives, sometimes changing its form or appearance, but still being of the same necessity: that’s Karma at work in our lives.

Second: there is a thought that seems almost inconspicuous in all this, yet it is probably one of the more important principles in recovery. It also has a Catch 22 quality to it: what we believe is what we will experience, and healing takes place only in our minds, although it seems to manifest itself in other places as other things outside ourselves. When we remove ourselves from a dilemma without resolving it to the soul’s satisfaction, and thereby avoiding the healing process contained in the resolution of that dilemma, we are not allowing the spiritual forces to prevail. What we are doing is simply mood-altering, and that is avoidance. So the need for the process to take place will follow us around like a lost puppy dog from situation to situation. The circumstances will be recreated again and again as the soul attempts to have us resolve these deeper conflicts it perceives as needing completion. This seems to be The Way of Things.

Third: when you try to fix a situation all by yourself and you choose to rely only on yourself and your own resources, know this: You Are In Serious Trouble.

The Way of Things is simply to address life with gratitude in our hearts. To face the tasks that arise on the path before us. Then to ask for the guidance we need. Then to allow the healing to come to us.

Put another way:
Round Pegs Square Holes.
Larger Mallets
Simply Don’t Work.

67 On Seeing Clearly Perhaps for the First Time
EXPERIENCE has taught us that when we cover our pain with cognitive insights we lose sight of what really needs to happen for us to heal or to come to a place of spiritual completion.

It is a fact that most people are well into their recovery processes before they truly begin doing the “feeling work.” For some it takes years to come to this place. Unfortunately, some never reach this place within themselves. The search for cognitive insight into why is often the culprit that keeps most lost in their private little prisons avoiding the feelings they need to process in order to escape the prison walls that confine them.

They are both their own gatekeeper and keeper of the keys.

There Are Signs, Posters, And Slogans That Are Put On Walls At Some Of The Various Recovery Group Meetings, And One Says:



Translated, This Means:

After Three Thinks, Give It Up

You Will Only Hurt Yourself.
68 On Seeing Clearly Perhaps for the First Time
EXPERIENCE has taught us that all who enter this territory of willing exploration and recovery have to, sooner or later, put down their devices of mood alteration.

These devices may be some variation on chemical or substance use, or they may be activities that we do as part of our daily rituals, or they may be people with whom we are in relationships. Still, they are devices that we use either overtly or covertly to mood-alter, and they stand between us and our escape from the prison of our minds.
The Key Is Always In The Hand Of The Seeker.

69 On Seeing Clearly Perhaps for the First Time

EXPERIENCE has taught us that the process of no longer using any mind-changing, mood-altering devices (chemicals, or otherwise) can induce a twisted form of thinking for the first while. This twisted form of thinking sets into motion a false belief that the worst is over (this is called the pink cloud effect) and that all our problems are fixed.

Not true, but . . . well, not really true is a better way to try to describe it. If we really stopped and thought about it, not really is not even close to the truth of the matter, but we have taken a step in the right direction, finally. More land mines up ahead, though.

The truth is, life’s conundrum has just changed faces. It just sits there in another form, waiting, like a huge, silent demon, waiting and wanting to control everything in our lives that it can.

Quietly It Waits.

. . . You Stumble . . .

. . . It Stirs And Smiles . . .

Yet Again.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Systemic Maturation

Systemic maturation occurs both in the healthy functional family and the dysfunctional family. These stages are called The Early Phase, The Middle Phase and The Late Phase.

The Early Phase:
This is the time when new families form boundaries, rules, regulations and rituals to govern themselves. The healthy family establishes boundaries to meet the needs of the family members. The dysfunctional family establishes boundaries to meet the needs of the Prime Stressor and the family as a unit. Accommodation rather than cooperation is the primary factor. I live my life adjusting to someone else’s problem.

The Middle Phase:
This is a time of consolidation. In the dysfunctional system, this phase is marked by the necessity of commitment to the family and a growing consistency of regulatory behaviour according to the family. It really boils down to each member of the family being there for the family but the family not being there for them. It is during this stage that dependency behaviour(s) of the Prime Stressor is reinforced. The family consistently meets the needs of the Prime Stressor/and the system ... at the expense of the needs of the individual within the system. Members of the system get abandoned with everyone home. During this phase there is strong resistance to either growth or change. New rules and norms form around how the family can operate. These become the rules of the road within the system. Everyone adapts:

The family adjusts their thinking to make the unacceptable acceptable. This is not healthy, but it is the norm and acceptable because it has been sanctioned by the system to define their Way of Doing Things. Acceptable according to the rules developed by the family to cope.

The Late Phase:
It is during this phase that the legacies for future generations form. The way of things for the family system becomes the customs and rituals especially at celebratory times of the year. Co dependent families experience this phase with the most difficulty. With the progression of the dependency cycle severe health problems begin to arise and the family resists the need for change and becomes more rigid in their ways. As the family tries to cope with the crisis of the moment they are totally unable to prepare for their future and more importantly they have never considered facing the demons of their past.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Recipe for Sanity

Only by discussing ourselves, holding back nothing, only by being willing to take advice and accept direction [can] we set foot on the road to straight thinking, solid honesty, and genuine humility.

Repeat Often