It’s been about two weeks since I last posted, and frankly, eerily, I haven’t had much to say since. Sure, this is a post, that in many ways is not a post, in the traditional fashion of my usual posts. I am not usually one to do a post about how my day was, or a gratitude list or talk about the minutiae of my life. I do, however, enjoy reading others who do so, so it’s not an indictment on those who enjoy and share those things.
It’s not you, it’s me.
What I can say, though, is that I am happy. Content. Truly feeling comfortable in my own skin.
Whoa – back that up. What??
You heard me. I have been riding this contentment convoy as of late, not questioning anything, and just allowing things to be. In this way of being, I have been both absorbing and reflecting what life has given me. I have transitioned through some small challenges, and enjoyed the pleasant moments. Not to say that it’s a Party Like It’s 1999 type deal, but I am certainly very centered and content. For the first time in my life, and definitely in my recovery life, I feel like I am starting to arrive. I haven’t had many fearful thoughts. Resentments are few and far between. Annoyances are an uncommon happenstance. I feel my eyes are clearer and my mind more focused. I am more at ease with me and the world.
And like some would say, this too shall pass (always the wet blankets those “some” are). Things are always in flux.
But I will take it for as long as I am allowed it. This unblemished content feeling is foreign to me in many ways, and in the past used everything in my arsenal to get away from me – not only did I use booze, but overworking, seeking external validation and avoidance were other weapons in the armory. Self-pity was another drug of choice for me. I did everything I could to avoid walking in the shadow of my spirit, of my essence. I wanted me to vanish as quickly as possible because I didn’t think I mattered or felt worthy to be around. I felt invisible and wanted to stay that way, even if it meant reducing my true self into powder and dust…stirred into vodka (not shaken).
These days, I stride in with a new mindset, a new way of looking at the world. I don’t see everyone as out to get me. I don’t look at others with so much judgement and impatience (although I still judge and can be quite impatient at times). I don’t see the glass as either half-empty or half-full, I just see the glass for what it is – a glass, here, according to Creator’s will. Accepting what and how much is in that glass is the real thing.
Acceptance is the key.
There is wonderful passage in the basic text of 12-step recovery (it’s in one of the stories in the back) which states:
“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation — some fact of my life — unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.” pg. 417 BB
So the onus is on me to change. Always has been. And I choose to be happy, to be content, to allow things to wash over and stay with me if I permit it. Whether it be my dad’s upcoming chemo / radiation, my hectic work and personal life, the strife in the neighbourhood and planet in general…all of these things small and not-so-small are all just a part of a Greater Plan. That’s just how I see it. I can certainly rage against the machine on it, foster and fester in resentments and plummet into self-pity, or I can see it as I would see that glass – just as is.
Easy to say, right? Easy to say when you’re not craving and pining for a mickey of rum every minute of the day. Easy to say when you don’t have the problems I have, right? Easy to say when (fill in the blanks), right? It can be easy to say now, as I have struggled a lot in my recovery. Not everything has come easy. I still struggle with my own old thinking, my old ways. I still have my ego poking me in the ribs, wanting to play and steer the ship. I still have certain character defects pop up and that want to blossom into some bitter solution. But the struggle continues to be worth it. For out of strife comes further clarity and growth.
But what I do have is the sense of acceptance, and in knowing Creator has His will for me. I just need to tap into that. And that almost always means I nee to be in contact with all His children. And yeah, I’m talking about you studs and darlings (flattery will get me everywhere). These last few weeks have been more transformative because I am keeping in contact with others. Isolating crumbles my Authentic Self. I know that for a fact. Reaching out keeps my pulse on things, and keeps me in tune with the world. Whether it be my more regular meetings now, my running group, hanging out with friends, etc. it’s all about contact. And the more I see myself in others, the more light I reflect from you, the more I realize that I am not alone, the more serene I become. I have a greater sense of being within the pack rather than being on the fringes, ready to be picked off by the marauding thoughts of my old ways.
Acceptance is, in so many ways, the key to serenity for me. I catch myself all the time – I get worked up because I get offended or defensive about something that either nothing to do with me and/or has everything to do with pride or ego. I get worked up because I am not getting my way. I get worked up because don’t you know who I am? I get worked up because it makes me feel better about myself to put you down. But when I see these things come down the pipe, I only have to put myself in someone else’s shoes and accept that this is how it was meant to go down. As Eckhart Tolle puts it – accept every situation as if you chose it to be that way.
So therein lies the path for me these days – staying in contact with others. Being of service. Getting out of my own head. Practising humility. Accepting things as they are. Add to that the sometimes difficult thing of doing the right next indicated thing (and I fail a lot in that, let me tell you!), and I am not for want in seeking validation. I am not tied up in what do you think of me, or what do I need at this moment to be happy? I just am.
It just is, you groovy folks. So be it. Capisce?
Doesn’t mean I lay there like a sweaty stack of pancakes. I do have stuff to do and I don’t always want to do it, and often I would rather take the softer and gentler route, but when I walk through that complacency, laziness and/or fear, I am growing. I need to take actions. But I leave the outcome to Him…I just do the leg work.
I’m here today on this one spin of the Earth, and I will do my best to do my best, and let tomorrow take care of itself tomorrow.
Wishing you all the best in your journeys.