Thankfully, I’m getting better at identifying and ending ‘old ways’ that no longer serve me well.
Building the new is where I have tripped up in the past. Over the years, my personality (a 9 type on the Enneagram) has found it easy to slip into procrastination, analysis paralysis and avoidance of difficult conversations. These flaws have cost me plenty both personally and professionally.
Thankfully, the older I get, the easier these things are to manage and respond to.
How about you? What ‘old ways’ continue to get in your way? What are you unwilling to ‘let go of’? What will enable you to loosen your grip?
As a wise folk once told me, either the Divine is in everything, or the Divine is in nothing.
I can’t pick and choose which people, situations, experiences I think are blessed by my higher power and which are not. It’s all or nothing. I choose all, which means seeing the Divine in ALL things, even the broken and disfigured parts of this world. In all people, even those that piss me off.
I have to work at it every single day. My addiction has taught me that it starts with me. If I don’t learn to love the flawed parts of little ole me, then I certainly can’t learn to love the broken pieces of those around me. It’s inch by inch gains, day by day.
What’s the alternative? Whatever it is, I’m sure alcohol and I have tried it and found it wanting.
In the hills, bushfires have destroyed over seventy homes and ash covers much of the the city.
Finances are dwindling and work options are limited.
And yet, for the most part, it’s all out of my control.
What I can do, however, is be present right now. I can be the best Dad and partner I can be in this moment. I can do the right thing by myself and the family. I can stick to my Daily practices and focus on controlling only that which I can.
External things can’t fix internal issues. I think we all know that in our clearer moments.
My recent relapse was based on the lure of the external. An old friend – alcohol – showed up over a matter go weeks, whispering sweet mumblings and offering comfort to my anxious mind. It was a substance out there, accessible, reasonably cheap and I was somewhat familiar with its promises of relief. What a disaster.
I have spent much of my life wrestling with the external. Confident that some thing – a person, job, money, opportunity, book, substance, whatever, would deliver me to happiness and contentment.
Today is another opportunity to sit with both my muddled and my true self, to welcome all my internal rumblings and grumblings, doubts and dreams and not flee from any of them. To ‘hold the tensions’ of reality.
Here’s to being present. To opening up to all my peculiar thoughts and emotions and welcome them all. And here’s to doing what matters, based on the values I hold dear.
This resonates strongly with me today. I must only begin…every day, every hour, every conversation. It’s an ongoing part of my recovery. However in watching many people, communities and countries around me frequently descend into frustration, anger and resentment, I think we can ALL benefit by starting again every single day. Multiple times each day.
Yep, that’s it – our one life, existence, and every evening we prepare to do it all again the following day.
The world is indeed spinning. My drinking was an attempt to avoid the constant motion, deny it, spin against it. It didn’t work. Today marks twenty one days sober and already it’s far more enjoyable to spin with reality than fight it.
Today is my daughters 23rd birthday. Wowsers, time sure goes fast. When I read this poem, (Hafiz- my favourite poet) I think of all the mistakes I’ve made as a dad – the poor parenting moments, the shouting, the neglected moments when I was so caught up in myself, the drinking, divorce, moving between separated parents houses week on – week off, and all the other moments when I dropped the parenting ball.
Thankfully, I’m becoming a sober ‘drunken nuisance’ as Hafiz says. I have learned how to forgive myself and today, I get to start again. Today, I choose to be sober and a good Dad. Today I get to laugh and be present to all around me, especially my four kids.
Stay confident and be kind to yourself. After all, we’re just humans. We’re not Gods.
Thankfully, I have little problem with letting go of the past, nor do I tend to waste much effort on fightingthe old.
Building the new is where I trip up. Procrastinating, analysis paralysis and avoiding difficult conversations. These have been my struggles over the years. However, I’m discovering that the older I get, the easier these things are to manage and respond to.
I am powerless over others. Over this virus. Over what our leaders do and don’t do. I amnot powerless, however, over my attitudes. I am not powerless over assuming responsibility for my own recovery. I have the power to exert a positive influence on myself, my loved ones, and the world in which we live.’
AA Daily Reflections
The great Stoics have been saying this for thousands of years. Get clear on what we can and can’t control. Waste no time on that which is out of our control.
Today, I celebrate a dozen nights booze free. Today I can control what I put into my body – be it booze, food, social media, negative thoughts, etc. I can’t control Covid, the weather or the state of the world…but today, I get to choose what I do or don’t put into my body. For now, that will be enough.