Bless you, brjaan, the longest journey is from the head to the heart and like the journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step. caritas, mm
I will, finding a hotspot can be difficult sometimes I do all my postings from my Palm wireless device. Today was a reminder of all the people that I hurt and a lesson in learning how to surrender it.
I am having one of those Lonely angry tired days at least I am not hungry. I met with my wife one last time probably the last it is so awkward and the regret we both feel is overwhelming and the unhealthy codependency is overwhelming. I am rewriting my first step and taking this slowly.
Dearest brjaan, I have read your latest post several times with a sympathizing heart and was unable to express myself in words, so I prayed for you instead. Please continue to share with us. For you brjaan my very first smilie done on this forum filled with love.
Thanks Freebird I had a first step day yesterday and was reminded of my spiritual poverty and deep need for healing.
I am feeling increasingly alone. I know intellectually this is not true but emotionally I feel alone. I guess my feelings could be described as a dark sad void full of my tears. This is silly and I do not deal with emotions well.
I'm also involved in a 12-step program, ACOA. I understand the feelings and emotions you describe. I actually started a 12-step program about 15 years ago, but then had a few spiritual experiences, thought I'd just go straight to heaven and leave all the feelings and emotions behind in hell. Of course, it didn't work.
These emotions and feelings surfaced again and with a vengeance. I'm learning to hold these feelings, these abandoned parts of myself in a compassionate heart. Remember, we are learning to reparent ourselves one day at a time.
Aye. You are looking the devil in the eye, brother Jaan. Aloneness. It's what we are all running away from. If we were all born as Siamese twins it might be what we would all run to. But that's not the case. As human beings we are stuck alone in our own skin. That is the default position. That is our nature.
Escaping aloneness is what fuels a multi-billion dollar beer, wine and liquor industry. It fuels the drug trade. It fuels the tobacco industry. Of all the pains we meet, most could be borne without resorting to artificial escapes and stimulations, such as video games, movies, TV, sex, and eating. But aloneness cuts so deep that it is tough to bear � especially when alone. You would think that being around other people would be the cure, but it isn't always and can actually make our loneliness seem all the worse in contrast.
It is usually when trying to escape aloneness that we make a lot of unfortunate decisions in our lives. But that can be easily forgiven for aloneness is so incredibly hard to bear. If it's any help, brother Jaan, know that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE struggles with this problem. The best advice I've ever heard regarding dealing with stuff like this is to get out and volunteer your time to help somebody less fortunate than you. Maybe the elderly. Maybe kids. Maybe the homeless. I hope something like this suits you. Let us know how things are going with you.
Today I feel better like the shadow has been lifted temporarily. The difference I think last night I forced myself to do my meditations and was silent. I could not sleep but I have some peace today or maybe just old fashion acceptance.
To answer the question about service yes it is somthing I try to do when my schedule at Staples permits it.
I'm glad to hear you're feeling better, brother Jaan.
I could not sleep but I have some peace today or maybe just old fashion acceptance.
There's nothing quite like old fashioned acceptance. Indeed. I can't say that I run into very many (if any) people who handle being alone or feeling lonely very well, myself included. I was walking by myself deep in the woods the other day. Usually this is a pleasurable experience but I was struck by a sudden pang of intense loneliness. And I immediately thought of what you were going through. Usually when we are alone and feeling lonely we also have all kinds of thoughts running around in our head, thoughts we can't control. And they very often aren't pleasant thoughts. But it occurred to me at that moment to think that, in terms of human relationships, this is pretty much as bad or as poor as it would ever get: being alone and feeling lonely (and frankly, not feeling particularly good about myself). But instead of running from such a moment, or trying to drown it out with some other activity (as is the usual case), I thought it would make sense to just stop and say "Hello" to myself as if I were just meeting me for the first time: "Hello," I said to myself. (Who was speaking to whom, I can't quite say�but stay with me on this). "I'd like you to meet Brad. This is you, right now. Can you like this fellow? Is this state of consciousness you're in now really so hideous? If this is as bad as it gets, is it really so bad?"
If we just stop and look at ourselves and realize that there is NOTHING intrinsically bad or distasteful about the way we are simply being at the moment, we can sort of settle into being okay with just being who we are. There's really nothing intrinsic about the mind we are experiencing that is bad or broken. If we can sort of make friends with ourselves at these moments, if we can just sort of stop and say "Hello" and befriend ourselves because there is no reason NOT do so, then we go anywhere with ourselves and be perfectly okay. We do not have to try to escape ourselves. We don't have to fear being ourselves.
That may all sound quite silly, and I may not have describe it very well, but if you just become aware of your consciousness right now and realize that this is it. This is the stuff of life. This is where it all happens. And we perchance then catch a glimpse at all the CRAP that we shovel onto our consciousness that we call "essential" when it is really just useless clutter. Crap that says "You must have that." "You need this." "You're not good enough unless you do that." It's almost funny when you see it in this light.
To answer the question about service yes it is somthing I try to do when my schedule at Staples permits it.
One of these days I�m going to turn into Albert Schweitzer, but I have a hard time doing stuff like the stuff that is commonly recommended. What one CAN easily enough do, though, is to take some time every night to pray for other people that you know need help. That can do wonders.
wow the last posting made me think about my inability or avoidance or unwillingness to be alone. Brad it was the way you framed your walk in the woods that caught my attention. For you it was an opportunity to sort out what is essential and what is not. Sometimes the pain is deafening thanks for a new way to deal with it.
Overheard in a twelve-step meeting, "If sex is sometimes a real pain in the butt, then you're just not doing it right!"
For you it was an opportunity to sort out what is essential and what is not. Sometimes the pain is deafening thanks for a new way to deal with it.
Well, I probably shouldn�t tell you about the times that I hurl 4-letter words at god instead of trying to make the best of things, but that happens as well sometimes.
It seems most of the best traditions � whether psychological, philosophical or religious � emphasize being at peace in the present moment. It�s good advice because the only place we can possibly be is "now". If "now" becomes nearly intolerable then we�ve got a problem. (A problem with which I have been, and still am quite often, familiar.)
I think it�s best to view the healing of the psyche, mind, and spirit as analogous to the calming and smoothing of the waves on a pond. When we throw junk on this pond we make waves. But the waves will dissipate all on their own without us knowing how to make this happen. And the pond, when calm, will reflect a very clear and beautiful image.
The way, I think, NOT to view our minds is as skyscrapers, or some other structure, in the process of being constructed. We might then think of first laying a good foundation, which surely seems logical, and then once this is done starting on the first floor, slowly gaining strength and height until we eventually reach the clouds � even heaven! But the problem is that our foundations at any time can be easily shaken, cracked, or even wrecked by some thought or problem that comes along unexpectedly. And then it feels like we have to start all over, that we have to tear down those few floors that were built so that we can lay a new foundation, hopefully a more solid one. And then quickly we realize the we can ever build anything substantial in this way. It�s all so easily wrecked.
If I were doing a 12 Step Program I would think in terms of, say, draining a swamp and building a pond. The contractor who would help take us through every phase of the job would be God Builders, Inc. Each step would lead to a further purifying and calming of the water. Any mistakes (any waves) would not be a deal-breaking setback but would be something that would simply dissipate on its own. Rather than needing to work harder or to do something special to make up for past mistakes, we learn that all we need do is to let the pond settle again.
wow the depth of that last reply blew me away. Have I been angry with God? Yes I have been why did God not heal me why am I an addict etc. My marriage is gone due to my addiction and I go threw feelings of relational withdrawal and fear. Yes I do get angry with God.
Yes I have been why did God not heal me why am I an addict etc. My marriage is gone due to my addiction and I go threw feelings of relational withdrawal and fear. Yes I do get angry with God.
I was walking in the wilderness today doing a little thinkin'. (No. I never stop. It is my curse�or cross.) I was thinking about intelligent design, good and evil, and suffering. And a thought occurred to me. Every bit of matter, every electron, every neutron, every photon, has a nature to it. How this nature "sticks" to it I don't know. It seems to me that, say, an electron hasn't the capacity for memory. How does it know what to do? Nature is so (apparently) incredibly simple at the smallest scales and yet you can make so much out of the stuff of the universe. How is the possible? It's all so incredibly well balanced and intricate.
There are literally dozens of attributes (like the mass and charge of the electron) that if it was just a little bit different then matter would never clump and life would never happen.
We hear about God being omnipotent, and that's fine. But can he make a square circle? Seems to me that even God is constrained by logic, if that can be thought of as a constraint. I'll let Cardinals and Popes fuss over whether such thoughts are heresy. But the point is (and you just knew there was a point coming ) that due to the intricacy of this universe, and especially due to the incredible amount of flexibility and just plain usability built-in (you can make galaxies or you can make thoughts with the stuff of nature), it's quite possible that even an omnipotent One didn't have an infinite variety of options when it came to putting together the physics, the matter, the energy, and all the other attributes of the universe. The complexity of all these interrelated parts is so astounding, and yet so powerfully flexible and malleable, that there may just not be a lot of different ways to build a universe that satisfies a few basic requirements (such as having independent beings, beings who have free will, and with that free will who are capable of good or evil acts). It's quite possible that when all is said and done that there were only about five possible choices and this was the best one. It's also possible that there was only one. Perhaps we could have just all been created as spirits with no material body. I don't know. But it is possible, I hope you will agree, that the universe we have (even though we may not know all the "why's" and purposes) may be the only universe possible that meets certain requirements, or is the best option of several possibilities.
All this leads to a very simple statement then which I hope is not too blunt or too callous: It was either this life or nothing. Pain certainly is no stranger to the innocent and undeserving, but think of the marvelous system that is built-in so that if one is in the midst of an addiction (as I have been in my life) it is very painful. It makes it hard to stay there. Put another way, I would hope to god that God would not make it super easy to stay both in a marriage and in an addiction. And he obviously hasn't. From that you may determine that He wants you both out of addiction and in a good marriage. So consider things to be logically working their way to normal even if it is painful to go through this process. Acknowledge that it would be very difficult to both feed an addiction while keeping any kind of marriage that was worth having. As far as why such addictions start up, well, they do tend to have a way of getting us out of a status quo, even though it is often just "out of the frying pan and into the fire." But the fire can cleanse and cauterize. Our addiction is a big, fat billboard telling us and the rest of the world that we have some unresolved business that we need to deal with.
Yeah, you betcha that I get angry at God because I do suppose that I can sit here in my armchair and find a few flaws in his system. I don't like pain. I don't like suffering. Wouldn't it be easier to just send me a piece of Divine mail every morning via the postal service with a list of things I need to do and things I should stop doing and why? But we seem to be set adrift to figure this stuff out for ourselves. And sometimes we're set adrift in some real sh*t. That hardly seems fair or just, and quite frankly, I don't believe it is always fair or just, but this may be an unavoidable attribute of the system we have. It's possibly either this or nothing.
Brother Jaan, do take some responsibility for your addiction. But, frankly, I have no problem giving God some of the blame as well. He set up this system. We are just pawns in many ways. But that said, if he magically healed you of your addiction tomorrow, wouldn't you likely just start another one by next Friday? So there's a spiritual aspect that needs to heal as well. And if God, or anyone else, could just change out your spirit and stick in a new one like we might do with an old refrigerator that wasn't working right, we wouldn't really be people, we would truly be pawns. We would truly be puppets. So the bad news is that it is at least partially your addiction and your failed marriage. The good news is that you can get lots of help, from other people and from the Divine. But quick fixes, I admit, don't seem to be the specialty of either. I really wish it was, but it apparently ain't. But I'll give you one anyway. You can do your part to smooth over everything by accepting, as best you can at any given moment, your life and yourself just as they are now. That's all it takes. Think about that.
Thanx, w.c., it seems a sound approach.
Here are a few support groups worth mentioning:
As they say, "Keep coming back until the miracle happens!"
been lurking a little reading all of the posts. I had a difficult week talking with my wife about the divorce and dealing with my own grief. I attend a SA group and that seems to help but there are days when I struggle. Just wanted to give an update have to get back to work.
...but there are days when I struggle
Remember that you're not alone, brother Jaan. I may be extra-pathetic, but I count the days as unusual when I don't struggle.
Just find ONE THING, no matter how small and insignificant, that means something to you and cherish it as the miracle that it is. In the midst of hell, these little things even more stand out as miracles of goodness.
There is a two-step program which goes like this:
1)" I have a disease,"
2) "and I want to share it with you!!!"
People can go on for years like this, until they discover all twelve steps.
In the meantime, as a longtimer said to me onetime, "enjoy your disease!"
In Recovery Incorporated they say that one can make a business of recovery or a business of being sick. "Endorse yourself," as Recovery Inc. reminds
us, for "making a business of recovery."
I am a bit confused by the last reply. I do not know if it is was a personal slam or not please enlighten me.
I am a bit confused by the last reply. I do not know if it is was a personal slam or not please enlighten me. I disagree with the premise. The steps are a lifetime process and do not happen necessarily in order and in my life occur after crisis. I am in the process of rewriting my first step it needs updating. It is true many people get stuck at 4 and step 9 but I belief each person recovers at the rate God desires it is out my hand as my sponsor would say. I have also been reading the rule of St. Benedict and have found some comfort their. I am convinced that I cannot recover I do not want too it is only through God's prodding and his grace that I am sober today.
Recovery is indeed a process "tailor-made" to each individual's needs, Br. Jaan. I think MM was saying that working the steps is the key to making progress. As you've probably seen in recovery groups, some people go to groups regularly but don't work the steps. It seemed to be just an observation, but MM will clarify, I'm sure.
One of the most valuable experiences to me is what is commonly referred to as the "tough love" aspect of the program. When performed with great skill and tact, I have had oldtimers subtly inform me that I was very far off track and might want to look more deeply at myself and my motives.
At other times, I have been lovingly and not so lovingly whacked upside the head by someone when no other means would have gained my attention. Most of us in twelve steps have very hard heads, which is not to say that we are not sensitive people in need of great love and understanding.
It's just that someone who has been there can often gain our confidence and share similar experience. I could share with you how much pain I have caused myself not from seeing the truth, but from my resistance to it. My head is VERY THICK!
It's so nice to see someone actually writing the inventory, rather than stewing over it.
Easy does it, but do it!
Ok, I'll admit to a tad bit of elder-brother legalism here, but a prodigal son I'll ever B!!!
This is more like what we get to experience from steps 4-9:
I am a bit confused by the last reply. I do not know if it is was a personal slam or not please enlighten me. I disagree with the premise. The steps are a lifetime process and do not happen necessarily in order and in my life occur after crisis.
Brother Jaan. You're in the middle of working the little-known step 8-1/2: Kicking brother MM's ass. It's sort of a bonus step. It's not required�but, oh, is it ever helpful.
[I'm not sure who I'll offend more there, Brother Jaan or MM. Oh well. Whatever it takes to get a cheap laugh. ]
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