Being in long term recovery is like being on treadmill that is always on. We must keep up with the speed of the treadmill and accept the fact that we don’t get to set the speed at which we travel. The speed is set by our inner higher power and is usually set at a much slower pace than we “like” to go (boo hoo). Sometimes the speed changes and we need to adjust, but usually we have had some warning and are prepared to make these adjustments, provided we have stayed on said “treadmill” and been able to see the signs. Go too fast and you don’t get to see the signs, go too slow and the signs make no sense.
Sure, you can go faster than the belt, but I promise you, you will fall off in front of it and end up right back at square one. And sure, you can do nothing, but I promise you, you will fall off the back and find yourself scrambling to get back up on the treadmill. The secret to a long successful recovery is to simply keep pace with your own treadmill, so that you don’t run off the front or fall off the back! Life is meant to be lived from the inside out, not from the outside in.
Slow and steady may not “win” the race, but it will keep you on your own treadmill of life and make you happy. Last I checked, life was NOT A RACE!
In this fast-moving digital world, we all have a tendency to get caught up in the hoopla of it all. Digital media has brought the WORLD into the palms of our hands, which makes us THINK we have more power over that world than we really do. For one minute, look down at the palms of your hands, yes your hands, your empty hands. What do you see? Do you see “the world”? No, you see the palms of your hands. Now look around from the palms to the rest of your body, to your feet, the ground below your feet, and then to the room you are in. Wherever your body is, is where you are supposed to be, is where you need to be.
We do not live in the digital world. We do not live in the fantasy world of our minds. We live in our bodies. Where am I right now? I am sitting on my couch, at my laptop and I am writing this and that is where I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to be doing and chances are by the time you read this I will be off doing something else somewhere else.
I suggest we all think big, but do small, do whatever is right in front of you now. Enjoy the moment for it is the only moment you can truly exist in.
Here is why we can’t let “other” people rent space in our heads in a nut shell. They are not other people!
“Other people” don’t live in our heads, they live in their own heads! So, when we argue with “other people” in our heads, we are really arguing with our own selves! Take a minute to let that settle in.
That argument you are having with your lover, boss, co-worker, or friend in your head, has nothing to do with them. Maybe they said something or did something that triggered this argument inside your head, but once they leave the room it's all you. Just like when we dream about other people, those dreams have nothing to do with the person we are dreaming about, those dreams are our psyches way of telling us a story. It just uses images of “those people” to help tell the story. If you have a conversation with someone, outside of yourself, and it triggers an ongoing conversation with “them” inside of yourself, I suggest you find the time to write it out and recognize that the person you need to have this conversation with is yourself and you may find it has nothing to do with the person who started the conversation at all! The most important person you can talk to on any given day is you, why argue with you!
“If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” - Gandhi
I think this is true in everything we do. We don't know what we don't know until we know it and then once we know it we can't un-know. it. The more we do something the better we get at it. The reward of patience is patience, the reward of having done the work, is having done the work! The mind says', "what will tomorrow bring?" and the spirit says, "we cannot know what tomorrow will bring until we get there." The only way to know what tomorrow will bring is to walk into it one step at a time. One way or the other tomorrow will come with or without us!
The ONLY way to unlock the mysteries of the Self is from within the self. As long as you believe that someone else is going to come to you and impart some strange knowledge from outside of you, you will never free yourself! You can pay a million dollars, or you can get this information for free, there is no price that can be put on Universal Knowledge that each individual must free themselves from their self-imposed prison! Individuals must take the time out of the “rat race” we are in and do the work needed to do to free themselves from the prison of their own mind! This doesn’t have to take forever, and you can go back into the “race” but when you do you will do it with joy in your heart, with a new and profound relationship with yourself and the world we live in. Start a new relationship, today, with the most important person in the world, you! Your true, inner self.
A gratitude list is the number one weapon in the fight against negativity, depression and a whole lot of other mental disorders. The brain, though it appears very complex, can be a very simple instrument. It can only truly concentrate on one thing at a time. Mind you, I said “concentrate”. It may appear to be having multiple thoughts at the same time, but it is really a series of tiny snippets of thought, just like a movie is really a series of moving pictures that create the illusion of movement. The mind is creating that same affect. You can bring your mind into focus by concentrating on the things you are grateful for, until these thoughts bring a smile to your face and your heart is happy! There is always something to be grateful for. Being alive, having a roof over your head, food to eat, family, friends, pets, the list goes on and on. Stop concentrating on what you want, the things you don’t have and spend a little time being grateful for whatever you do have, each day, no matter how little it may be!
I've put together a page of links and information on twelve step recovery and various groups, along with some other tools that have helped me in my own recovery. Recovery is a process, a way of life, a new way of life. I like to think of the language of recovery as a spiritual language, This new spiritual language is a second language that needs to be practiced daily. If we don't practice our new language daily we can easily forget it.
Here is a suggestion for moving your recovery in the right the direction. What is the “right” direction? Well, that is the direction that leads you to a good relationship with your inner-self, your inner guide. I suggest you write, write and write some more.
Then I suggest you read what you wrote! How would you feel if you wrote me a note and I told you I got it, but didn’t read it? You feel slighted just at the thought of it, don’t you? Well you must read what you wrote! You have written yourself a note, now read it! This is the very first step we take towards gaining insight into who we really are!
Write, read what you wrote, perhaps reply to what you wrote and then read that too! A journal should not just be something you scribble in occasionally, and then leave in the bottom draw or some other hidden place. A journal is the very best way to connect to and communicate with the most important person in this world. Your own self!