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Change…

The only thing constant is change…

As i reflect on that thought, it brings me to the conclusion that change comes in two flavors; slowly which hardly feels noticeable or in monumental waves leaving me to feel overwhelmed and at times, to great to even bare.

Over time, things do in fact change, I grow, change, morph, conform, fight back, people around me have changed, feelings change, I continue to learn and make modifications… also, the people around me have done the same thing. My ideal of right and wrong have changed as I grow, what is and isn’t acceptable has also changed. My own personal value has changed in relation to all these factors. For me, some things crept in slowly over time and as a result became my ’normal’. Even if that normal wasn’t good for me, I didnt see it, as the change was subtle. Kind like gaining weight… I don’t see the ounces that turns into pounds each and every day – until one day my eyes open and I see the 25lbs that wasn’t there a short time ago. My life in the last 10 years have been just that. I grew to accept a normal that should never have been normal. I accepted the unexceptable over a period of time making it my new normal until one day, my eyes opened and I made the drastic change to become healthy – like going on that crash diet. Just like gaining all that weight creates a sense of guilt, shame, self resentment and even disgust… realizing my new normal was not healthy has caused the same feelings and emotions. Sense of self worth becomes overwhelming and the crash diet doesn’t get one where they want to go fast enough and eventually, the diet doesn’t work and the feeling of self worth plummets once again. What a cycle. I have come to realize that living as I was has caused some internal things to break or to be hindered. The ability to feel love or even the ability to accept love for what it is has been shook to its core allowing doubt to come in and set up shop…

This leads once again to change.. the ability to change unhealthy to healthy, that sustainable diet of good healthy people in my life, a good solid dose of love that I doubt I even deserve or warrant. That is the similarity of being able to work out, the doubt that I can even do it, and when I do work out, it leaves my muscles sore, like a heart that has been trampled for so long, it too is ‘sore’, hurt and broken. Needing to be fed properly and convincing myself that I deserve to be fed properly, that I deserve to be healthy. Once one has been in such a condition for so long, it seems as if change is impossible and that type of mentality is yet another change that crept in over time.

So then there is the BIG stuff, the changes that are so obvious, they are right in front of ones face. That change that is going to shake your world and change it forever. They can be changes for good and also changes for what may seem ‘bad’ at the time. It seems those negative changes or events that result in change, I deal with much easier, as if they are more a challenge to overcome verses a change that seems unsurmountable. A puzzle or a problem needing a solution. Then there are the positive changes, the ones that just make you happy to wake up, that make you smile for no reason at all… that sudden change of drama filled life to a drama-free life to sight one example of such a change. To have such a change of sheer loneliness to an overwhelming feeling of being loved, those changes can certainly motivate one to aggressively solve, overcome and solve any of the bigger things in life – its those positive changes, those world view changes that result in almost super-power abilities to take whatever negative changes head my way so much easier.

You see I struggle with some simple things as a result of living a ‘normal’ that just isnt normal.. in many periods of time for extended periods of time, I struggle with feeling worthy, with feeling deserving, with feeling as if what I have today, will remain ‘till death do us part’ or a new way to say it, until our time here is finished. Uncertainty and fear of crept in and no matter how confident I may seem on the outside, inside my mind races and at times paralyzes me.

I struggle… even today, I struggle… I want that to change!

I want to be convinced I am deserving, that I am worthy and that those that are true to me, will remain so… that is the change I seek today – quickly or in a flash, either way, I just want that change… I welcome change today and I want to continue to grow in it. The love i have today has become the very thing wiping away years of an old normal and creating a new normal. You see, I have been told today that it isnt too late, that I can be ‘retrained’ that I can be re-programed to a new normal – one full of love, patience and tolerance, one full of commitment, understanding and peace. Thank you to that one out there willing to be that ‘one’.

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October 4, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Can your Faith be seen …

Faith, believing, hope ….. words that have caused the greatest of minds to ponder on, have caused many to contemplate on and sometimes even seen as words of fantasy. The hopeless, the distraught or even the uncertain man or woman, these words can be challenging and worse yet, can’t be visualized to be pertaining to them. For me, the greatest of these words is ‘faith’. I heard a definition for faith may years ago which has stuck with me as it truly struck a chord within me. It captured for me in a simple sentence, the very essence of what  James spoke about in Chapter 2 verses 14 and following. It demonstrates something within myself which I hold to be true and so valuable in my life. In how I deal with others, how I perceive others in that what do I see in them that they value, how does that impact my life as a result of being “friends” with them, are they what I want in my circle, my relationships with regardless of the level. You see, without hope, there can be no belief and yet still without belief there can be no faith. Ones Faith is predicated on ones belief and gives them hope for the things in which they long for and pray for, that have yet to be. Faith is what should drive a man, as I watch you, I can clearly see what your faith is by what you do. Giving me a reason to want that in my life, have the person become a part of my circle.

Faith is belief that changes behavior….

That definition rings so true to my heart, many simply hear the word faith and automatically try to box it up and place it in the corner of religion only, they hear it and think of church, or of some sort to theology. I ask you to look beyond that… see what it is you do and why. What drives you, what do you believe in, what give you hope and have faith in that relief to such a degree that all you do and are is a result of that belief to where you are so committed to it that your actions, words, deeds and thoughts revolve around that belief and it can be seen because it reflects in your life!

You see, for me, I have faith in many things. This faith can be found in many areas of my life and are not simply seen in ‘church’. I have faith that if I work hard I will be rewarded and receive a good and decent wage. As a result, I change my behavior in a way that can be seen by my boss, who then becomes compelled to pay me. Seems over simplified and yet, this small concept can scale to a large degree and be applicable to almost all systems and establishments. My boss will not be the only one that sees my hard work through my actions, my friends will see it, and thus my reputation will be one of good standing in my community. My children will see my hard work and strive to achieve that same level of commitment, and on and on and on. Its that hope of being ‘successful’ for oneself, ones pride, and believing that the system will provide what it promises and having the faith to simply go and do it…

I have faith in the 12 step recovery process, and as a result I have modified my thoughts, feelings and actions to reflect that in my walk, not simply my talk. Faith means taking action without fully understanding the results because I believe in the system by what I have seen in others and embracing the hope I too can achieve levels of success, which is my own personal measurement, not your, and my faith will be demonstrated in my action.

My faith in Christ is much the same way, and as such my faith gives me a responsibility to act accordingly, otherwise my faith is dead. It becomes hollow words. My faith does not give me license to do as I please, make up my own rules and follow my own thirst. If it did, then my faith would be of myself and not of Christ. I have hope in the after life, I believe He died for me and my faith thanks Him for that in my action, or as stated earlier, my changed behavior.

Find your hope, believe in that process and have the faith to take action. We have one life to live – live it with faith!

 

April 15, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Why is the grass greener….

I have heard it once, I have heard it a thousand times… “The grass is always greener on the other side”! Some older folks i know then quickly add “But it still needs to be cut”.

Its this follow on response that gets me thinking each and every time, “It still needs to be cut”. This brings me to think that there is some work involved. It is implied, by the simple act of cutting grass – sure isn’t going to cut itself and still look good. So then, how does “his” grass over there look good? Why doesn’t mine? Why am I even comparing “his” grass to mine? All very good questions! What is the issue with my relationship, when that one over there looks so so good…..

The grass over there is looking good because I am missing a couple important factors. I am not taking into account what goes into green grass. Things like

  • Good seed
  • Consistant watering
  • Fertilizer
  • Weeding
  • Grooming

Why doesn’t mine look very good? Maybe because I am not putting in any of the work, I want to have all the rewards with none of the work. This work, in regards to the above list of work needed for green grass, is simply outlined as thus (to me).

Good seed: If I am planting positivity, using kind words, expressing and planting love, then the seeds are being planted. If I am walking around angry, resentful, using unkind words or no words at all (silent treatment) I am going to get what I plant… Plant pumpkin seeds, you get pumpkins. Plant seeds of hate – get hate. It is pretty simple if I keep it simple. At times I need to remind myself of this along with thinking about why am I getting what I am getting? How have I actually asked for what I got? What seed have I planted to yield the produce I am looking at?

Consistant watering: What am I showering upon my grass? Is my grass left wanting for water? Dry, Thirsty? Drought? I have got to focus on the fact that if my grass is dried up, brown, and “crunchy it is because I have not taken any time to shower it with love, forgiveness and understanding. This understanding can simply come from sitting still and listening. Making the grass important in the realm of how I spend my time, That the showering of love comes from precious moments of time spent. Taking a little bit of time to compliment, to recognize the small things and make them important to me. If they are important to her, they must be important for me. Am I causing my grass to wilt?

Fertilization: Feeding this grass good food is such an important part of green grass. The old saying is so so true, garbage in, garbage out. Just like my own body, feed it crap and I get fat and unhealthy. Very simple. Yet, I forget that when I am spewing terrible things from my mouth. When I am being selfish and keeping everything to myself. Part of that good food, is sharing whats in me with my mate. If it is good for me, I need to share it. Allow the other to feed of my strengths. To encourage with what I know and to let them in and prosper as a result. If I isolate and keep to myself in the name of “self protection” I am starving my grass and not only will it die, so will part of me.

Weeding: Simply put, I have to get the weeds out of my yard. They are distractions, taking the focus on the grass and onto things that have no real value in the bigger picture. Taking inventory of what is and isn’t important. Putting my mate above myself so the weeds can’t have time to grow and extend its roots so far in that it is difficult to weed it out, or even worse, to were it becomes so “normal” and excepted, it is consistently a problem that is unseen. Left alone, the grass disappears and the weeds take over, choking out the very thing you desire. Replaced by the weeds of which I want no part it. All in the name of “protecting” myself. It really is self centeredness at its finest. Whats taking over?

Grooming: Another word to use is manicure, which is a verb, or an action word. Manicure is to make (something, such as a lawn or garden) look neat, smooth and attractive. Am I clipping, trimming and cutting what I should be? Am I leaving jagged edges? Gouges in the middle that can not be repaired?  So much can be said here, but I will leave this to the readers imagination as to what is being done and what condition the grass is being shaped into by ones own actions. Love, patience, forgiveness, meekness, long suffering, praise, honor, respect, etc. are all tools that should be used when grooming your grass. Am I using the right tools to make things smooth, neat and attractive?

Why am I even comparing? This is the really big question for me. Why would I even be so concerned about it? I have come to this conclusion for myself. This is me talking about me only. Might not be you at all. For me, I am comparing because I am not seeing all the work you are or may be doing, but I am seeing the results in how your life my be lived. I am seeing the smile on your face as you go about your day. I see the joy you have inside that is a result of the work which I don’t always see. Yea, sure, I might run into you cutting your grass, but I don’t really pay attention and look beyond that and see all the other things you do. I frankly, some of it is none of my business. I am comparing because I want what you have, and my issue of envy, jealousy and resentment come when I don’t want to do the work to have my own green grass. I want it and I want it now, so I have to look elsewhere to get it. I don’t like what I am seeing because I am ashamed of what I am and don’t feel very green at all.

As stated in  “Living Clean; The Journey Continues” We no longer use our disease or where we are in our recovery as an alibi for bad behavior.” Likewise, I can not use it as an excuse for grass that isn’t green. Just like everything else I have done in my recovery, its the work that put in that yields the fruit I desire.

Today I am going to get my gloves on, roll up my sleeves and get to work on my grass so that it will be greener than anything I have ever seen.

January 28, 2015 Posted by | Thoughts | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Staying connected…

Why do we say a network is important? And using it more important? Why is constant contact with your sponsor important?

In times of pain… That is why!

When we invest in our relationships with our Sponsor and our network, we get to know one another. Each others needs, wants, characteristics, flaws, method of thinking, etc. We learn so much about each other with investing in those relationships. When we make that investment in good times, when life is going well, we can then be really honest and expose ourselves. During good times it is easy to talk about most anything – its a position of strength in which we can become vulnerable because our minds, spirit and feelings are in a good place.

Then the pain comes, or an event, or life… whatever you want to call it – “it” shows up. Our sponsor then has the most information to help us through it, if we have invested in that relationship. Our network sees a difference in us that is uncharacteristic and can then be the stronger one and pour into us. They know us best, and they know best how to serve us due to the investment we have made into them. They know how to be honest with us without hurting us, because they know us on a deeper level. They can “see us coming”. We know we can not lie to them and not get caught. So it is easier to remain honest with them.

So lets think about this, if we have invested in little in times of good, what is there for us to draw upon when “it” shows up?

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This came about while speaking with someone close to me today, in my network, he was speaking about networks and sponsors and this is a summary of what we talked about. Thought it good enough to share.

December 26, 2014 Posted by | Thoughts | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

We do recover….

We do recover…. Seems to be a term thrown around often and means many different things to many different people. What does it mean to you? Love to hear. For me, it is a simply way of expressing positive change in a positive direction. It defines in a simple phrase a sense of accomplishment without a sense of arrogance. For example, I happen to share about a promotion, or being trusted with some keys to someones house, or asked to watch someones pet over the weekend (and keep it alive)… as I am sharing these types of things, my friend may simply respond with a smile and “We do recover!”.

Things start to happen in this process that we, ourselves, might never been able to imagine. I simply need to dress up, show up, and do the work. Keep the focus on me. Don’t use NO MATTER WHAT and somethings might happen. Basic Text says “When the drugs go and the addict works the program, wonderful things happen.” The two pieces be don’t use and work the program. Many have stuck around the rooms, remained abstinent, and not grown a lick. It’s when I combine staying clean with working this thing. Then I am afforded the opportunity to grow (LC: TJC – “Time represents the opportunity for growth, but we still have to step up to the challenge and be open to the lessons.)

As the text continues in Chapter 8 and we are all familiar with it being quoted many times, “Lost dreams awaken and new possibilities arise.”. I generally relate to the later part of that sentence only because I am not quite sure what I dreamt when I was younger. I started using at a very young age, 12. The chances though I have been afford while holding on to the dream of “We do recover” although, has truly granted me “new possibilities” that I never could have been afforded, had I continued to use. These new things in life, these new opportunities are the things I think of when I hear a member speak the words “We do recover”. Staying clean simply has never presented me anything new, it has only been through work, trial and error and much “practicing” which as afforded me those new opportunities. Gained much experience, have worked much to gain strength and have received much hope – all of which I can now share simply because I did not and do not simply sit and remain abstinent.

To finish up this thought of the work needed, to be able to express “We do recover” the text goes on to fit in an important third part of the process, spiritual growth, “Our willingness to grow spiritually keeps us buoyant.”. buoyant is to remain afloat, or to not drown, to stay on top, to rise. It also means to remain cheerful and optimistic. My ability to keep hope alive (be optimistic) is directly proportional to my spiritual growth. If I remain stagnant in that growth, like a rock that just sits there, I sink. There is nothing “buoyant” about sitting around like a box of rocks. It takes action in order to remain buoyant. It comes right back to that work I mentioned earlier.

Staying clean simply isn’t enough for me if I am to be a part of the we, in this thing called recovery. We do recover…. IF we put in the work which affords us new opportunities to grow spiritually keeping the hope alive, that I can have dreams come to reality!

Keep coming back!!!

December 11, 2014 Posted by | Thoughts | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Business Concept to Recovery Lifeline.

I converted this concept from an article I read on going from flat broke to a 6 figure income in 6 months article I read today… but as I was reading it all I could think about it the concepts as applicable to recovery, no matter how I tried to put it out of my head, the connection to these concepts in recovery and in my own life just wouldn’t leave my thought process. So, I thought I would run down the concepts and “rewrite” them as they jogged through my mind while reading, inputting my own thoughts on them… Here goes – be patient 🙂
Absolute Clarity:
I begin with a direct quote “It is easy to make decisions once you determine what your real values are.”
All I could relate to and hear screaming in my head was Step 3. Let me explain, the “values” i read in this are the spiritual principals of the program, and with that comes the decision to turn my will and my life over to a Higher Power. Those discussions are discussed in the Green and Gold and should be based on what we believe (Spiritual principals) and what our goals are (freedom from active addiction).
In my addiction, which was one of the lowest positions i was in my life, i found myself blaming everyone and everything else for my condition and position. Once I realized that it was me that needed to change, things got simpler. I no longer needed to influence the world around me and everyone in it, but simply work on me. Keep it simple, change one person verses every other person in the universe.
I have to take 100% responsibility for my current condition, my current situation. Having clarity is power. Personal responsibility then gives me the power to see what needs to be changed. Keeping it simple, by reducing what is around me, gives me the clarity I need, singleness of focus. Reducing the “noise” and the “clutter” that is in my head… Taking focus on what it is I want, recovery. Figuring out who I am in the process and how to get were I am going (goals).
Confidence:
Again, lets begin with a direct quote. “Insecurities will destroy you, while real confidence will take you to a level very few attain.”
Confidence follows clarity. As you begin to see that making choices that fulfill the Spiritual Principles and your goals, confidence tells you that you can in fact do this thing. As this clarity of this daily walks comes to be, as the noise stops, you gain the confidence needed to do it again, making the next right choice for the right reason. Even when no one is looking or knows.  Once that clarity begins taking hold, you begin to find out more and more what is it you are becoming and what you want from recovery.
This is the point in which reevaluation of your circle becomes important. Your standards change, your goals begin to take new shape, your recovery “desires” are awakened and who you want to emulate in your journey to “get what they have” morphs. If you hang around five people that are confident, you will be the sixth. If you hang out with 5 people who are working with something, you will be the sixth. If you hang out with 5 drama queens, you will become the sixth. If you hang out with 5 chronic relapsers, you will become the sixth.
It is inevitable.I challenge you to find the winners, hang out with them and you will soon find yourself becoming like them, winners. Once you elevate your peer group, you will become like them.
Crafting your Rituals (habits):
The quote is “The amount of stress you have in your life is in direct correlation to the lack of rituals you have in place!”
One of the best learned tools of recovery I learned from my very first sponsor was keep doing the things that work. Get into a consist position of prayer and meditation, stay in the literature and remind oneself of the things that did NOT work yesterday.
I need to be reminded that I need to define who I am going to be on each and every day I am given to live this life, this gift that has been bestowed upon me. I have been given a finite amount of time in a day, and how I spend it will directly impact the amount of stress that is in my life. As a result, my clarity will be skewed and my confidence will wither away. Just as important as to what I need to do with my time, is the converse, what NOT to do with my time. Sitting idle, wasting it, creates stress when I don’t get done whats needed, and clarity is lost. It is all connected very much so. It is amazing what can be accomplish be being aware of what things in my life kill my time and thus create stress. Once I learn where my results come from and where they don’t, i then can begin to focus on the 20% of the things I do that produces 80% of the results that I want. Once I am in clear command of this concept, the idea of repeating mistakes slowly withers away. The habits I need to keep and those that I need to let die on the vine, inventory… daily. My “Good, Bad and Ugly” list.
Well, that is what I got out of the article. Feel free to read it for yourself, but, not sure why a business article spoke to me in the way it did, but, the mind is a strange place, especially mine.
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/240510

December 9, 2014 Posted by | Thoughts | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Selective Honesty….

Here is a thought….

Selective honesty: Giving yourself the ability to say “Im not lying” and yet still not being completely honest. Lets not dress this thing up – if you are not telling the whole story – your part, your thoughts, your actions, your MOTIVES – in their entirety, you are not being honest, and the synonym for dishonest is lying. Are you interested in selective recovery? Selective growth? Selective forgiveness? Keep on with your selective honesty then you will get exactly that.

These things we seek in recovery have nothing to do with worldly possessions, though those things can come and sometimes do. But everything to do with internal peace (serenity), internal joy and a comfort that can not be taken, only given away with your “selective honesty”.

I have a sponsor in order to have at least ONE person I can be honest with – completely. If I am not able to do that with at least that one person, maybe i need to rethink whom I am using as a sponsor, or better yet, that I am using that person to claim I have one just so I can sound recovered in a meeting! Think about that for a second. If you are not coming clean with him, then you are using him to live dirty!

Selective honesty – lets call it what it really is – Omission. With that word, we can go into all kinds of bunny hole and trails for a long time. I am sure this post will yield less than 1% of responses we give to other threads of little consequence. Omission will kill me. I will die with secrets kept, with motives hidden, with character defects covered up.

Complete honesty is the only solution to the dilemma I face – the disease of addiction. I can not allow my sponsor to guide me through the steps if I can’t even get past this small and yet pivotal point. COMPLETE honesty is what keeps me going and alive and free today.

You want part time, halfway, sometimes recovery? You want to continue on the merry go round of being “all up in your feelings” AGAIN about the same thing?Keep giving half measures and keep being selective in what you want to work on and talk about. When those secrets beat you for the last time, I will still be right here ready for you to return.

Keep coming back and work on the powerlessness we all have to face and get honest – your life depends on it!

February 14, 2014 Posted by | Thoughts | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Dose – 23 January

Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life:but teach them thy sons, and thy sons ‘sons (Deuteronomy 4:9)

____________________

This tells me that I need to take my own inventory and that I need to do it regularly, daily even. If this text doesn’t contain a good NA message, not sure which one will. This text reminds me that I have seen plenty of proof of my condition – I am an addict. I need no other information to come to this conclusion – my life displayed the evidence perfectly. With my recovery in hand today, I need to continue to look at me for further improvement and to take note of what is being done correctly in my recovery in order to maintain it. I can loose my clean time even quicker than I obtained it. My focus is on me and I am thankful for the chances God has given me.

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How more chances to you think you have left? Are you willing to even take that chance? Self assessment keeps me on track – Thanks be to God.

January 23, 2014 Posted by | Daily Dose | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Dose – 21 January

Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool. (Proverbs 19:1)

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I have to be honest in all my affairs. If living a lie gets me all that the world can offer in material things, what good have I done for man kind? There are many cousins to lying…. inaccuracy, exaggeration, omission, rationalization to name a few. My ability to stay clean is directly proportional to the level I can be honest and look at myself. I have to have integrity today, my recovery depends on it. Otherwise I will fall for anything!

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Is deceit killing you today? Are you looking at self or looking for joy elsewhere? To thine own self be true!

January 21, 2014 Posted by | Daily Dose | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Dose – 20 January

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. (Acts 6:4)

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Some days just don’t go good, events happen, people will be people – good or bad. Things just happen, it is that way it is. So, staying prayed up reminds me that I am not in control and I am not the center of attention. I have to keep praying through any and all things being open to realize that my recovery is vastly more important than events around me. I remember that they don’t happen “to” me and that they simply are happening around me, then I can walk through it pretty calm, cool and collected.

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Have I remember to simply pray when I don’t know the answer, know the way, or know what to do? Prayer can calm almost any storm.

January 20, 2014 Posted by | Daily Dose | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment