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The Struggle Bus of Allegedly Living Life on Life's Terms

Growing up in recovery... I heard the expression "We have to learn how to live life on life's terms," thrown around a lot. My original understanding of it was, "All kinda shits gonna happen, and you're going to have to learn how to deal with it without getting high or ending yourself in the process." That said, I have to admit, I spent a lot of years on the "Struggle bus" cause I couldn't really get a handle on what that meant for me.

It wasn't until doing a kind of meditation that wasn't really meditation. It was just sitting down, unglamorously quiet, breathing, being in conscious contact with myself, realizing that I even had a body and a breath that something spontaneously changed for me by observing the moment.

From that vantage point of being the watcher, I began to notice thoughts rising and falling like waves on the ocean. They were all coming and going without my direct input. Some of them had something to do with me, but honestly, it was like watching the mind having conversations with itself.

Suddenly I realized I wasn't living life on life's terms. I was living a life based on my original programming and indoctrination as a child, ideas, thoughts, instant and distant replays of memories hoping old experiences wouldn't creep into my life today, making things miserable for myself and others. No wonder I having a rough time being comfortable in my own skin.

It was that practice of just being watchful on what was happening in the mind that space opened up for a kind of healing that offered me the opportunity to spend more time with actual reality instead of the unreality of thoughts and mental stories that didn't ever really lead to any version of happiness.

If you asked me today... what is my so-called "Meditation" practice? It's a genuine silence that cannot be broken by thought. Embodied in my body, in harmony with breathing... listening to the moment... noticing what's to be noticed, without adding or subtracting.

--Dignity and Grace

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