Tag Archives: AA

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.


First Things First

Can you relate to this?

Why is it that when I hit a stressful time in life, the very things – like meditation and exercise – that would help relieve stress, are the very first things to get bumped from the daily routine? It’s like something within me says, “there’s no time for this!” And so, I begin to shave these things from my daily routine. Then over time, I wonder why I am getting more stressed, having difficulty sleeping and focusing!

In reality, these are the most important things NOT to bump from the schedule in the midst of a difficult time. They are the very life-blood that keeps me grounded. Without them, all else begins to suffer – my work, my relationships, even my play time!

I lay awake last night, once again, feeling the pent up energy in my body and my restless spirit as my mind whirled. I have not exercised in a while. No wonder I am having difficulty sleeping. So much pent up energy! I have not really given myself to meditation in a while. No wonder I have difficulty focusing!

The irony is this: when I bump meditation and exercise from the schedule, it seems I don’t have enough time. When I take the time to meditate and exercise, it seems as if I have much more time on my hands, time even to play!

First things first. What are the REALLY important things that I need to maintain in order to live well, even in the midst of a stressful time?


LIVING In the Storm

I am going through a bit of a major shift in my life. In one sense it’s not a big deal. In another, it’s a HUGE deal. And it’s one of those situations where you don’t know whether or not it’s all going to work out. Ever been there?

My tendency in such times is to stop living. I get so focused on the challenge at hand that I put my life and sometimes my relationships on hold. This is no way to live. OK, it usually takes me a while to learn things; but learn I do! This “storm” in my life is presenting me with a wonderful opportunity to learn patience and detachment. It presents me with another lesson in what it means to be so detached that I can continue to LIVE in the midst of the storm. Do what I must, yes. But then, let go and allow it to go where it will.

We CAN live in the midst of the storm!


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.


Holding On Tight

Luke 6: 36-38

Holding on tight?

Let go.

Sometimes we have a tendency to hold on tight. We hold on to people, places, things. We protect, hoard, worry, feed resentments, judge, . . . and in the process we fail to live. When we’re so concerned about holding on to what we have, when we’re so concerned about never forgiving this or that person, when we’re so concerned with controlling – we fail to live and enjoy the moment.

Be compassionate, don’t judge, forgive and don’t worry about holding on to what you have but give, give, give! And in the process we will experience life again! When we cling, even to our judgments, we are not free. It’s like the story of the monkey who discovered a banana inside a hole in a tree. He reached in to grab the banana and got stuck. He stayed stuck for hours, trapped and unable to move; until he realized that if he just let go of the banana and relaxed his hand he could be free.

Sometimes you and I are holding on so tightly to people, places and things – even our own hurts – and in the process we stay stuck and miss the glory of living! When we let go, we’ll discover an abundance of bananas free for the taking.