Tag Archives: 12 Steps

Amazing Divine Synchronicity

I have been struggling with the re-emergence of a guy in my life that I once had deep feelings for. I have been struggling with the way he is living his life. I am no saint, by any means; but after many years of not being in touch, to hear of the way he is living and justifying his life surprises me.

In the midst of this struggle, I opened to a daily reading. It was from Teresa of Avila’s “Interior Castle” and this is what it said: “Let us look at our own shortcomings and leave other’s alone. . . . There is no reason why we should expect everyone else to travel by our own road, and we should not attempt to point them to the spiritual path when perhaps we don’t know what it is.”

I looked up and laughed, amazed at Divine Synchronicity. . . . And to think there are times when I have difficulty believing!

Teresa goes on to say that we might learn important lessons from the people who shock us. Indeed, it may help define more clearly what is life giving to us and who we are.

Get the focus off of him; and get it back on yourself and what you need to do to live in ways that are life giving for you.

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Raising What Was Left For Dead

Have you ever felt absolutely, utterly lifeless?  Have your choices ever left you wandering in a valley of despair and regret?  Have life circumstances, broken relationships or betrayal ever left you paralyzed and with a sense of utter hopelessness for the future?  Has an addiction ever held you so tightly within its prison walls that you felt no means of escape?

In such times it is difficult to believe in the reality of any Power that could lift us beyond what seems like a living grave. . . . Yet, that is our hope and, frankly, that IS our reality.  There IS a Power that can lift us up.  If I look back on my life experience I see clearly how this Power has raised me to new life on various occasions; and I need to call on this Source again.  Traditional religious language would call this “salvation.”

I try to do it all myself.  Or rather, I get so caught up in paralysis that I do NOTHING.  But once I am able to call upon this Power and DO SOMETHING that will help connect me to It (like prayer, meditation, reading a meditation, etc.) – EVEN IF I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT AND DON’T FEEL A BIT CONNECTED IN THE PROCESS – once I do this Something begins to lift me.

Today as I meditated, I chanted a hymn from the Camaldolese Morning Prayer.  The words of the first verse struck me:

“God’s glory, Christ, our new dawned Day,
In deep compassion for our earth
Has raised what we had left for dead,
And healed what sin* had brought to birth.”

*Read here “weakness, addiction, sickness, brokenness, betrayal, poor choices, etc.”

The Power is there to raise what we had left for dead.


The Truth Will Set You Free

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8: 31).

 

Did you ever try to run from the truth?  Have you, or are you hiding something from your partner?  Have you ever, or are you now living in denial about some negative behavior in your life? 

 

OR

 

Have you ever, or are you now not acknowledging the truth of your goodness, what you have to offer to others, the gift that you are?

 

We spend tremendous amounts of energy hiding from the truth.  No wonder we’re so tired out at times.  Once we acknowledge the truth, it’s like a heavy weight is lifted from our shoulders and we begin to know what it is to walk through life with a bit of a lilt in our step. 

 

For years I hid the truth of who I was.  I hid it from others and I hid it from myself.  I lived in a prison of fear and struggle, fighting these feelings I had for those of my own sex.  After all, if I was “one of those” I was told I was headed to hell!  I will always remember the spring day when I first uttered those words out loud:  “I am gay.”  I was shaking.  I was so frightened; . . . and yet exhilarated at the same time as I felt myself being freed.  And you know what?  After I said it, the world didn’t come to an end.  As a matter of fact it felt like a two ton weight was lifted off of me.  The truth set me free.

 

Perhaps there is a truth within that you are struggling to acknowledge.  It might be a negative behavior that you’re hiding, or it might be realizing and acknowledging your giftedness.  Perhaps it might be good to sit and feel the weight, the pressure, all the energy that you’re spending hiding that truth.  Do you really want to live this way?  The first step to living more fully is acknowledging the truth.  In A.A. they say: “We ADMITTED we were powerless over alcohol.”  It is the admission, the acknowledgement that is the first step to freedom.  The truth will set us free!


Sometimes It Takes A While

NOTE:  Again, I have to apologize that I am not consistent in writing for those who read my blog.  I am in the midst of a move and things are very busy.  You might want to consult one of my previous meditations in the mean time.  I hope that you find what I write here helpful and uplifting to your spirit! 

 

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I so wish I was one of those people who are always able to walk with a sense of peace in the knowledge that they will be taken care of, that it will all work out.  I confess to you that I am not.  When something comes up, be it financial, a concern for a friend, work or the world, my first reaction is to get all upset.  I oftentimes get down on myself for reacting this way.  Come on, after all, I’m a person of faith ain’t I??  Would a person of faith react this way?  Does anyone else feel this way?

 

I hope one day to grow into being one of those people who always walk with a sense of peace and trust.  It must be a wonderful way to live.  In the mean time though, I have to realize that it’s a process.  These times are good practice for me to grow into being that person.  I am given lessons, again and again, to trust when matters are out of my control – and it’s precisely this “practice” that will lead me to a greater sense of trust and freedom. 

 

So, if you’re like me and get down on yourself for not reacting in a better way, give yourself a break.  It’s a process.  The fact is, after a few days of fretting about this or that, I usually do surrender to trust and regain a sense of equilibrium.  Sometimes it just takes a while.


Cleaning House

Don’t ya just love it when the house is all clean and everything is in place?  I love the feeling that I get after I have spent some time cleaning and organizing things around the house or the office.  It evokes a feeling of being centered and at peace.  Some say that the state of one’s home is a reflection of their inner state.  I tend to think that’s true, at least of me.

Sometimes we’ve got to clean house.  And sometimes we’re forced into cleaning house.

At one time, Jesus cleaned house in a major way.  He was quite PO’d at the way people had cluttered the Temple with things that hindered people’s connection with the Divine.  He angrily drove out the merchants and money changers.

Sometimes we need to clear out interior clutter, behaviors that get in the way of our connection with God and one another.  Sometimes we need to literally clean out the temple that is our body by removing toxic substances that can harm our health.  Sometimes we need to “clear the air” in our relationships, take time to talk through issues so that we can begin to dance in step together again.

Sometimes we are forced into cleaning house.  Life circumstances come upon us like a fire and we are forced to look within, to begin again.  As I prayed yesterday morning, I read a meditation by Melody Beattie in her book of daily meditations entitled More Language of Letting Go.  In this meditation she described the wildfires that yearly scorch parts of the earth.  She described a particular fire one year that threatened some archeological sites in Colorado.  They were able to contain the fire and save the sites, and, as a result of the undergrowth in another area being burned off, they discovered twelve other sites.  She went on to say that sometimes Life throws a fire at us, but those fires have the possibility of pointing us in new directions and taking us to places of growth that otherwise we would not have imagined (see p.87-88).  Wildfires are the very things that burn off the clutter of undergrowth and encourage new growth.

Is there some house cleaning that you need to do?  Do it.  It will lead to good things.


Happy New YOU!

Do you like who you are?  Do you like where your life is these days?  As you look to your future, do you like the direction that you’re headed?

Did you ever get to one of those points in your life where you just wanted your life to be so different than what it is?   What do we do when we hit such a wall?  The previous reflection I think helps.  Accept that that’s the way things are for right now. BUT, don’t stop there.  The serenity prayer is helpful here, a prayer that is often prayed at 12 Step Meetings:  “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference!”

If you are wanting to run away, if you are sitting there wishing your life was different – something is obviously wrong.  What is it that’s bothering you?  What is it that you would like to see change in your life?  Can you do anything about that?  If you can,  what little action could you take today to “change the things you can?”  Even one small action today can make a tremendous difference in getting you on a new road.  What small step can you take today that will begin to create a new you?

This morning I concluded my prayer using the closing prayer from The People’s Companion to the Breviary.  I was struck by this phrase:  “Let the birth of Jesus be a new birth for us (p.320).”  May it indeed be a new birth for us!  Happy New YOU!


Holiday Blues? Get Outside Yourself.

For those of you who might feel a little down lately, know you’re not alone. Many people get down this time of year with all the hype, romance, and hustle that this season can be. As I wrote yesterday, I too have realized that I’ve been dealing with a lot of negative thinking and need to change my thoughts.

12 Step programs have a bit of wisdom to offer those of us who feel a bit down, who wallow in self pity, or who deal with a lot of negative thinking. Get out of yourself! Many times in 12 step meetings you will hear this bit of advise given. If you’re feeling down, wallowing in self pity or in stinking thinking – go help someone. Go help another addict, another person who is struggling in some way. Get out of yourself and just go help someone. This will make you feel better.

I did just that yesterday when I visited a woman in a nursing home, who I know is lonely. When I walked in the room her face literally lit up like a Christmas tree and she hugged me tightly. She was so happy that I had come to visit, if even for a little while. I don’t know who benfitted more though. All I know is that I felt a lot better having seen her.

Feeling some holiday blues? The prescription: Get out of yourself. Take it. You’ll feel better.