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, September 14, 2011

Cause & Effect

There is a definite cause and effect in the Universe.
Things happen as a result of other things.

("Action, reaction, ....reaction again...chain reaction!"
goes a favorite 'Betty' song.)

If we only look at the fact that we have a problem with
drinking and drugging, where do we go from there?
Logic says 'To what caused the problem.'
What came prior.

Well, because we drank and drugged to excess, sure.
But before that.

Maybe we were drawn to the way it made us
   feel--or not feel.
Maybe it became a habit that just took on a life 
   of its own.
Maybe we found a desire to replicate that
   hypnotic, sluggish effect.

But before that.

Why did we desire to feel nothing?
Why do we want an oblivion?
Why do we feel incapable of handling the pain
and uncertainty of living and loving?
Why is the past so formidable?

"It's only fear that makes us run...
it's feelings that you're running from..."
Melissa Etheridge crooned.

There is a reason behind what we do.
Understanding this and dealing with the
reasons can help eliminate the desire to
continue the behavior.

Know thyself.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

You Can Lead A Jackass To Water.....

After you have imparted everything you know to a person,
how much time is sufficient to devote to standing by them?
Continuing their education? Updating and renewing them?
Before setting them forth into the good night.

I had someone tell me I had been a 'waste of their time'
because I didn't comply with their particular ideals on how
to remain sober. That hurt a lot at first, but it's honest from
their perspective. It's fair that we get to decide who is and
isn't worthy of our time and attention.

And in the long run, the brutality did so much more to open
my eyes than any erstwhile friendship ever could have.

How many times do we let an active addict relapse and give
them comfort and care before cutting the strings with tough
love? How many chances do we give a child to learn a new
procedure before cutting them off at the knees? How many
times do we pretend compatibility when our efforts are being
wasted on someone who doesn't jive with us?

Life is 100% about survival; survival of the Fittest. There
are no second chances and there is no prize for second
place. So it's the natural order that we either sink or swim
on our own. We can't depend on kindness, compassion,
a handout or support in the scheme of things.

That's why the dismissal of this friend was the greatest thing
that ever happened to me.

Instead of giving me a fish, I was forced to go and learn to
fish on my own. If we truly want to help others, this is
precisely what we must do; cut the apron strings. Let it
work out on its own. We have to train others to be independent,
instead of making them dependent on us and our support.

Creating dependency of a new sort is just furthering the
addict mindset. Replacement and substitution do not make
for effective tools. Spiritual welfare is much less effective
than spiritual warfare.

We are alone. Forget humans being pack animals. Forget
the illusions of a society of liars and frauds. We've got what's
on our backs and in our hearts; nothing more, nothing less.

That's everything.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cycle of Change

We may not always have a choice about some changes that
occur in our lives, but we do have choice over how we react
and what we do in the wake of change.

And, when we find ourselves stuck in an uncomfortable
status quo, we have the ability to ponder and advocate
our own changes when necessary.

But these most significant changes don't occur by chance;
careful meditation and planning goes on. We might have
contemplated and speculated for months or even years
before breaking free of the spell of the old in order to set
forth a new status quo.

And as it didn't occur by osmosis, neither with it maintain
on its own steam. Any worthwhile endeavor, including a
life well lived, cannot simply coast along. There has to be
attention paid, preparation and planning, difficult choices,
appreciation of our strengths and weaknesses, and a basic
understanding of why we do what we do.

Keeping focused and readying ourselves ahead of time
is a sure way to better combat the pitfalls of this crazy
ride. Not every day will support us, not every person
will like or love us, but at the core of it all has to be our
dedication to self and the goals we have.

Even if your goal is 'simply' to have the best day possible
for you, where you are at right now, that is more than
sufficient. That's everything.

If your goal isn't to be taking care of yourself, perhaps
it's time to examine what your goals are...or to get some.

We will always face obstacles and injuries; life is a
constant flow of change and adjustment. If we refuse to
be proactive and fluid, we will find ourselves at the
business end of decisions and choices, rather than the
one in charge of making them.

We can survive any number of problems, relapses,
mistakes, abandonment, and setbacks; we can survive
anything except perhaps giving up on ourselves.

Finding out...what is fake and...what is real

Even in you follow a spiritual path, it doesn't
mean that you have to be a passive wimp.

But at the end of the day, no matter what
you believe, there's only one person standing
between you and oblivion; You.

We are all of us warriors, not only capable of
defending and watching our for ourselves, but
implicitly designed for self-preservation. We are
expected to maintain our own personal welfare.

But we live in a world where people teach us
to be meek and accommodating and servile.
We are broken and domesticated and kept,
taught to bow to authority again and again.
Because to do so serves the greater 'good.'

We are all of us ultimately insignificant to
everyone but ourselves. So we have to learn the
methods for protecting ourselves.

We have to stand up to those who would
convince us that it is in our interest to give power
to another. That we have to become inactive
in our own fight, and simply 'wait and see.'
Because no one has a vested interest in your
well being or success except you. Nobody.

And the sooner we all accept that and learn
some good old fashioned American self-sufficiency
and toughen up, the better we'll be.

Because the world is rough and tumble, and it's
nothing personal, but it will devour you if you
aren't prepared. Inside every one of us is a
warrior, just waiting to be let out.

Don't let anyone intimidate you into thinking
that you don't have any power over your life...
or the right to exert it.