A journey to embrace, explore, and honor the Freedom and Power inherent in active recovery.

No more shame...

No more shackles....

No more secrets.

The path--and the Power--are within. Be Free.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Common Ground

What works for me need not work for everyone.
The opposite is also true.
Neither truth need negate the effect of the 'opposing'

"To thine own self be true," but that doesn't mean
conflict must ensue.

I can attend a meeting of any support group, even
if I disagree with 90% of stated beliefs. I can partake
of companionship, be a support, amicably voice a
differing opinion, and find/give love to my fellow
seekers without adhering to what doesn't work for me.

I can be respectful, believe in and work my own path
of recovery, and stay sober. I don't need to change
anyone else, shout to be heard, defend myself, or
allow anyone else to hurt me.

I need the support and respect of only one person;
self. I require no permission to follow my heart and do
what is best for me. I can take the good in others and
ignore what I perceive to be 'the rest.' The same is true
for differing systems of recovery.

Just as no one system can be expected to work for
all people on the planet, expecting such a system to
change to meet the needs of others is unrealistic too.
Be happy that others are happy.

It's a great big beautiful world, and there are as
many ways to get well as there are of being sick.

Recovery is not a competition.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thinking of ending it?

Hope you're reading this.
Of course it's impossible to know whether someone is
being overrun with emotion or truly at wit's end.
As someone who has been truly suicidal, I at least can
empathize with the sentiments.

I do know that no one else on this planet can be
in control of my emotions; siblings, parents, children,
lovers, no one.

Only I can decide my life is worth fighting for.
Only I can do what needs to be done.
Sometimes there are decisions that are frightening to
me, sometimes it is work or effort I would prefer not do.
But there are always options...
options that do not involve giving up.

It is my job to take care of me; no one else's.
It is a hard and uncomfortable, sometimes lonely truth;
but it is also sobering and empowering.

I would recommend pp. 415-420 in the Big Book of Alcoholics
Anonymous (4th edition)...
I think it's about pages 446-451 in the 3rd edition.
relevant. Be open to reading it, and let the truth
sink in.

Circumstances can be horrible, but it is my response
to them that is key. My character is determined by exactly
what I do in a crisis, not in how well I do when things are
'peachy' and going the way I desire them to.

Do let your anger and frustration be voiced. Keeping it inside is not
the answer. But don't do something rash over a temporary setback.
(Or even a string of setbacks.)

Write down all that you feel is wrong.
Determine why you feel things have happened this way.
Then write down why you think each problem is unavoidable.
Write down why you feel each situation is intolerable.

Wait a bit...then go back and read your writing, and then consider
what you would say if that letter had been sent to you by another
person. What would you think of their desperation and
giving up? What advice or support would you offer, if the hurting
person were someone else responding this way?

Another task I would undertake is this;
Write down or envision a world you consider perfect.
What things would need to transpire to make this world so great?
Who is present? What are you like? What is happening?
What surrounds you?
What would it take to help you attain happiness, in your estimation?

Get quiet, go inside, be still and calm.
Block out all the noise and distraction of everyone else and their
drama and opinions. Get to the heart of the matter. What is really

Much love...
Hang in there.

Our Greatest Fear

This is a prayer that Marianne Williamson wrote, and it
is awesome and inspirational.

However, I have altered it and changed out the word
"Universe" for "God" so that I can read it.


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of the Universe.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
the Universe within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

"The Whole Truth" by Alan Cohen

(from Alan Cohen's meditation book, A Deep Breath of Life)

September 16
"A married man is interested in me," Marilyn told me. "But I don't feel attracted to him." 
"What did you tell him?" I asked.
"I told him that I do not date married men."
When I heard Marilyn's response, something did not sit well with me. "You did not tell him the whole truth," I ventured. 
"What do you mean?"
"The bottom line is that you are not interested in a relationship with this man. The fact that he is married is secondary. What would you do if he got divorced, showed up at your door with flowers, and announced, 'Here I am-not married anymore'?"
"I guess I would tell him I was not interested in creating a relationship with him."
"That's the other half of the truth you need to tell now."
Life is a series of lessons in discovering the truth and living it. Whenever we hedge, compromise, withhold, deny, or camouflage what is really happening, sooner or later we will have to retrace our steps to the point where we diverted from the whole truth, and tell it. Speak up now, and avoid the rush later.
Take a moment to consider any areas of your life in which you have not told the whole truth. This is not to make you guilty, but to liberate you. Whenever we set aside what is happening and pretend, our "stash" robs our energy from being fully present. Consider what you would say if you had the courage to put your cards on the table. Although the prospect may be challenging, it is a lot less work than carrying a lie and then having to come back and say what you wanted to say in the first place.
Help me be aware of the truth and have the courage to live it.
The truth is my strength and my friend.

Personal Responsibility

It is my job to Question Everything, not other people's
job to tell me the truth or be fair.

I am responsible for protecting myself and my heart 
at all times; no one else has been directed to take up
that task.

I have to learn how to Leave when it's Over; and
never stay too long in a place I am uncomfortable, 
unappreciated, or not getting my needs met.

I cant allow anyone to change my heart, 
no matter how charming the smile or how
desirable the promises.

Learn what people are to be trusted, and
to what extent, and how few those people
truly number. Take the ability to absorb
this discernment as valuable lesson, nothing

When other people treat me poorly, it is not a 
reflection of me in any way. I must know my own
value at all times. Cruelty is other people working 
out their own issues; I cannot become upset by it,
and I especially can't allow it to alter how I act.

If I know something to be wrong, I can trust myself.
I can trust my inner Voice. I can trust my needs.
Other people don't know what's best for me. That's 

Take people as they are. Know that we are all
equally flawed and capable. Don't believe the
hype. Don't get distracted by wishful thinking
or elevated notions; also don't discount that 
such things have benefit to others.

See the value in the power of disagreement 
without feeling the need to become disillusioned or
disturbed. Everything in its own place.

My value and validation and acceptance come
from within. I cannot seek to endorse them through

There are reasons for every person and conflict in
my world. Until I learn the lesson, the conflict will
continue. If I view another as a problem to be avoided,
I miss out on a tremendous opportunity.

That which frustrates me the most in another is what 
I see of myself reflected. 

I can't control other people, and I'm not meant to.
The disinterest I have in being altered and demeaned
for who I am (and how I believe) is inherent in all of us.
Respect this commonality, despite the distraction of 
how our individual needs manifests it differently.

As I expect acceptance and respect for being the 
miracle of who I am, in all my divine intricacy, so must
I accept others...and honor their needs.

It is not my job to actively change, influence, condemn,
or dismiss another; if I am solely focused on my needs
and my betterment, all else falls into place. Who am I to
instruct another in something as personal as a spiritual

It's all good. There is a different truth for every soul on
the planet. As no other person can--or needs to--comprehend
my path, so too am I released from worrying about another's
efforts and decisions.

Like me, others are doing the best they know how.
They love me to the best of their ability.
Accept that, and move on.

True Faith

True faith does not exist in a vacuum.

It doesn't require a constant reflection back upon itself.

True faith weathers the storm of opposing views.

It does not require a condemnation of other faith.

True faith is its own reward, needing no validation.

It is secure in its own regard.

True faith is not absolute, boastful, or unkind.

It restores on its own, without denying another.

True faith supports its own weight.

It does not crumble under assault.

It is a living, breathing, adaptable, continuous design....