Saturday, June 21, 2014
I am not in charge of outcomes, only the actions that I perform. There is a loving force or power, which I call God, in the universe that takes care of outcomes, they are beyond me. In the event that I act lovingly, which is my choice and responsibility, things work out smoothly and harmoniously, increasing the integrity of the Universe. If I choose otherwise there is generally a feeling of tension and often negative consequences. I was actually aggravated when I realized how much time and energy I had wasted by trying to force outcomes. After all, I certainly knew what the best outcomes were!
Friday, June 20, 2014
One of the phrases that I learned early in my recovery work was “nothing matters very much and very few things matter at all", meaning that the vast majority of the things that I worried about meant nothing. At that point in my life, I was thirty seven, had an ulcer, had high blood pressure, did not sleep well and I was having other anxiety problems. Gradually, using a lot of meditation I finally fully realized that the vast majority of things I worried about meant nothing and that I was definitely not in charge of outcomes, both very freeing. I am now sixty five, have no signs of anxiety, have low blood pressure and sleep very well, most nights. I now place my emphasis on relationships and love, knowing that they matter. I think that little phrase was important!
Thursday, June 19, 2014
I work as a mental health therapist with many addicts and alcoholics. Part of what I find when working with them is that their spiritual and emotional sides have not been attended to and are not developed. Personally, that was true with me as well until I got into recovery and realized that was part of my problem. The lack of emotional and spiritual development is one of the common clinical and sociological results of addiction but it is also one part of its cause. There is and emotional and spiritual hole or lack which is filled, at least initially, by the chemical of addiction. In my work with addicts, I first locate their God or love part and then, using that part, begin to develop their spiritual sides.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
During a recovery meeting recently someone commented something to the effect that we humans spend a great deal of time in an effort to prove that we are “smarter than prairie dogs”. While this was an exaggeration and meant to get a laugh, which it did, as a species, we do emphasize the power of our intellects, sometimes at the expense of our spiritual and emotional development. In my case, after being a rebellious teen, I turned my attention to my intellectual achievements. At the end of that process and after several years I received a Ph.D., had some notoriety in academic circles and had become an assistant professor. I was also miserable, emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. I then set about developing my emotional and spiritual sides. I have since realized that my intellect, while a wonderful and vital part of my being, is limited. In addition, I now recognize the importance of love, compassion, forgiveness and connectedness in my life.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
I live in a world where many people at all socioeconomic levels and in all positions lie and deceive, while I do not. I spend a great deal of time, daily, in order to insure that I lead a life that increases the integrity of the universe, which does not include lying or deceiving. A large part of me expects other people to recognize that I am open and honest, and then I also get offended when they do not realize that I am different. I realize that I am being pretty silly and certainly unrealistic. As I have learned through my recovery programs, “an expectation is a premeditated resentment”.
Monday, June 16, 2014
I cannot stop other people from making negative or positive assumptions and projections about me. I can make certain that I not take those assumptions and projections personally, not take them as defining me. It is important that I not allow my well being depend on the reaction of others to me. As my wife, Maria, just commented, “in order to give up the lows, you have to give up the highs too”. Like I noted two days ago, I still do not like it when people are angry with me and I also like to be praised. Both are likely to happen when I connect, but neither define me. This past weekend, I had several people praising me and toward the end of last week, I had several other people criticizing me. I cannot attach or identify with either.
Sunday, June 15, 2014
For the last several days I have been making loving connections with many people of all ages and within a variety of circumstances, a wonderful and intense experience. I used to focus on my work life and things like productivity rather than my interactions, relationships and connections. I was walled off from a great deal of life. When I look back on that period it seems emotionally flat and spiritually hollow. I now feel more alive. I should also admit that the earlier tine was also much simpler and all I could deal with, at the time.