Monthly Archives: December 2012

Saying yes to Peace.

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I believe that I am a peaceful person. One who seeks the solitude of my own thoughts, the quiet, and likes to seek answers and open my heart more and more. I like to avoid conflict, or at least, seek to resolve it if possible. I like to embrace others and let go of judgments.

However, there are times and situations in my life when I have actively been NOT choosing peace; but rather instead, making the choice to stay in the midst of chaos, caretaking and controlling. That is not a peaceful way to live.

One of the discoveries that I have made most recently, in the last few months, is that I actively choose the chaos and drama over peace, but act like it isn’t bothering me within. Act like I am peaceful, when inside, I feel like a bundle of nervous energy. My stomach is in knots and I feel conflicted about how to handle a situation.

When there is conflict in my life, or potential conflict in my life, I avoid dealing with it. I postpone the dealing, or ignore it altogether. As a result, it becomes more and more difficult to draw a firm boundary, and to resolve what needs to be taken care of.

Although I have painted to myself that my lack of peace has to do with what others will, or won’t do, to help me to acquire that peaceful feeling, it really has nothing to do with anyone else.

It has EVERYTHING to do with me. I am the one saying NO to peace. I am the one that won’t forgive myself, let myself off the hook. And then, make it look really logical by blaming the other person.

In my Sacred Path cards today, I drew the Pipe card, representing the seeking of Inner Peace. I have had this theme running through my life as a persistent lesson for the last week, and drawing this card today just sealed the deal.

Am I ready to say YES to peace?

To say yes to peace, it means that it is not just the “absence of war; it is a way of acting, knowing, creating, listening, speaking, and/or living. This peace is the balance of recognizing and honoring male/female, teaching/learning, humility/pride, and every other aspect of living in harmony.

So, peace, is simply, BALANCE.

I am ready to say YES to balance in my life. By honoring the parts of my self that are prideful, controlling and blaming, I can then choose an alternate, such as humility, letting go and loving others. And myself. For me, peace lies in the forgiving of myself, and the acknowledgment of my power and strength.

So, today, and everyday, I am making it a point to acknowledge how I have chosen the conflicts that have occurred, and now, am choosing peace.

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Embracing the Shadow Self.

I have managed to feel like I am dealing with, cursing, or shaming myself about my relationship with my physical body since I was nine years old.  When I was nine, even a bit before that, I became very aware that I was overweight.  Fat.  Chubby.  Heavy.  I have used each of those words on myself, and had others use those, and more, to emphasize that I wasn’t the proper ratio for my age and height.

When I say that not ONE DAY has gone by since that time, 41 years ago, when I don’t think about my body in some way that is less than loving, is an understatement.  Although I cannot recall each and every day since that time, I am pretty certain that I have felt lousy about my body most of my life.

It has been a journey, mind you.  At times, I have lost a lot of weight, that was better for my health and well being, and felt a temporary sense of pride, and joy in my new found shape and size.  Then, I would gain it back, or be filled with fear each day that I would gain it back, if I decided to have a cookie, or a piece of cake.

Can anyone relate? 

Now, this is not an issue that was caused by anyone; that holds the accountability with anyone, except me and my perception of ME.  The ugly voices, that tell me that say to myself that I am fat, that my thighs look big, that my upper arms look chunkier, that is my Shadow Self.

If you think about a shadow, it is literally a reflection of who we really are.  When we are walking along the sidewalk, and catch a glimpse of our shadow, it is our figure.  Now, the image is often distorted, by the way that the light catches it.

But, it IS us.  And, the LIGHT is what makes a shadow.

My Shadow Self wants to keep me in this circle of doubt, anger, shame and ridicule about my body, whether I am underweight, overweight, or just right.  I thought that I had it fooled when I would lose pounds, weigh myself weekly, and keep it in check.

This week, I was helped to realize that I need a new game plan.

So, I am embracing my Shadow Self.  If I think to myself, “I am gaining some weight here”, I can say, “So WHAT?”.  The thought does not have to bring a value to who or what I am.  It is a thought, and I can dismiss it away as easily as hold onto it.

And, guess what?  We can change what we think about anything at ANYTIME; our perception, and the variation of it, is always up to us.

So, this week, I decided to embrace my Shadow Self, love my body more, and let the thoughts be, and then drift away.

I am building a tremendous life.  

Complacency, cravings and how to stay sober.

So, for the last few weeks, I have not been attending any AA meetings.  Now, I have stayed sober.  I haven’t even had the craving for a drink.  But, I had the notion, that I was doing fine without meetings; that I wasn’t having any trouble maintaining my sobriety; and I could do fine on my own.

 

That, my friends, is my story.  However, the end of last week changed my perspective quite a bit.

 

You see, I have been going through this transition, when I want to be able to just give up, or take up, things, activities and rituals that feel good to me, simply because they feel good, not because I NEED to do them.  God forbid, I keep a consistent schedule of doing something, because I have a need to do it to keep me balanced and healthy. 

 

So, I tried myself at not attending meetings.  I enjoyed the free evenings, or Saturday mornings when I would typically attend.  I enjoyed embracing my sobriety without hearing the stories of others, or telling my own.  And, I felt totally confident that there was nothing that could shake my commitment to staying clean and sober.

 

And then, Friday happened, that terrible day in Newtown, Connecticut.

 

No, I don’t know anyone that died that day, or whom even had connections to anyone that died.  But I felt sick inside; sick for a community torn apart; families losing loved ones.

 

And, the children.  The babies that were taken decades too soon.

 

After believing that my sobriety was well in hand, and that I had no worries when it came to cravings or triggers, I found one.  In that day, and the days that have followed, I have thought long and hard about how I would most likely respond if a person that I love, and especially, my child, were to have some serious, life threatening event occur.  

 

I would want to go right away and park my ass on a bar stool.  Or, by a nice sized bottle of anything alcoholic and go to it, to numb away the emotional pain of loss.  Of grief.  Of not wanting to deal with the reality of a bad situation.

 

Since then, I more deeply understand how delicate my sobriety is.  Not my commitment to it; that is rock solid.  But, in an instant, I can sacrifice it all, to deal with a situation that life may throw at me.  

 

So, I know that I need to stay humble.  I need to continue to be grateful to my Higher Power, my Source, my Great Spirit, for keeping me sober for today.

 

And, I need to keep going to meetings.  Yes, I need to.  Because my sober life, my happy, sober life, is too important for me to let go.

Re-Calling the Magic.

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I have spent a great deal of my life believing that others around me had to be changed.  Or fixed.  Or improved upon.  It is not an easy thing to admit to myself, or to others, but it is the truth.  In my adult years, I lost much of the wonder, and awe of appreciating the uniqueness of life, that exists in other human beings such as myself.  I started to let my ego run the show, and be the know it all of what I, and others, should be, not what we naturally are.

 

Now, I would always disguise my expectation for others to be as I thought they should, by saying it was for their own good, and only out of a sense of love and caring for the person.  I understand now how sneaky that was, a way to have my world be the way of my expectations, rather than really, fully appreciate those around me as they are.

 

You see, each of us brings such a brilliant, unique quality to this world.  Each of us fights a battle at times, struggles with pain, has demons that we want to conquer.  Each of us deserves gentleness, kindness, compassion and understanding that who we are is exactly enough, and exactly right.

 

We all saw each other in this way at a time in our lives, when we were children, and seeing the world not just innocently, but openly and in an embracing way, was the norm.  Then, we learn that we have an ego, one that wants our world to be a certain way, and begin to exert that influence whenever and wherever we can.

 

So, I am continuing to be more and more aware, of how to let others just BE, who they are and how they are. Love them for all that they bring to my world. Not what I expect them to bring. Even today, and my acknowledgement that I want to be this way, I had at least three occasions today, when I sooner went to judgment about how a person was “being”, then to simply love them as they are.

Lessons continue to be learned, a day at a time, and often, a moment at a time. What I want to keep learning is how to love, accept others just as they are, and Re-Call into my life the magic of years ago.

I keep learning.

New Traditions.

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I am a person that totally enjoys the holidays, and my favorite of them all is Christmas. I enjoy all parts of it: putting up and decorating the tree; shopping for and wrapping presents; Christmas shopping to find just the right gifts for those that I love; making cookies; and all sorts of Christmas songs and carols. It is like Christmas, in addition to its traditional, spiritual meaning, represents for a few short weeks, how I feel about the world, and my life, all year long.

I am also a person that likes tradition, to have a yearly ritual that feels like familiarity and comfort. And, this year, I found myself to have a bout of insecurity of what that would look like for me, as I am creating this new life and moving forward.

You see, for the last few years, for the lifetime of my daughter, my yearly Christmas tradition, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, was spent with our own household celebration, and also spent with my former partner’s family. Don’t misunderstand me; I enjoyed those celebrations every year. Yet, there was a lacking of it being created with my own family.

In addition, when I went out on my own two years ago, there was also the nagging notion that I somehow didn’t have any of my own traditions; that since I was single for a long time since then, that I was without tradition, for me or my daughter, and that somehow, that meant that I was lacking in a way. That it was a situation that I couldn’t do anything about, for her or for me.

SO funny, and so not true!

I realized, through the wisdom of my beloved, that not having traditions in place simply means that I haven’t created them yet; and that, I can create a new tradition any time that I want to for myself, for my daughter, and for me to have with my partner.

In addition, I don’t have to compare what is a fifty year tradition with what I get to create. I don’t have to measure up, or be the same as, what anyone else has for themselves. And, I get to enhance for my daughter whatever she already has in place, with what we get to create together.

So, 2012 is the year of new traditions, that get to be built on my presence of the importance of this holiday to me. I get to make it whatever I want it to be, and whatever I don’t want either. So, what are the essential ingredients that I get to work with?

Cookies. Carols. Shopping. Wrapping. Presents. Stockings. Tree decorating. Snow. Cooking.

And, of course,

Santa.

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