When is it going to happen? When is that thing that I crave to change going to? When will I feel better about myself without all the caveats? When will that thing that my mind is obsessing on gonna let go of its grip on my attention and feelings? When will I stop thinking and feeling like an impostor? When will I feel like I feel "Deserving," of good things that I have without the guilt and shame, playing in the background of my head? When will I be in that place where I don't have to try so hard? When will I think and feel like a competent human being? When will I be forgiven? When will I get the dignity and grace people are talking about? When am I gonna stop acting out on the illusions of the mind? When am I gonna be 'Fully whole and wholly free?' Fuck!!! When are things just gonna be different? The word "When," can create a gap of pain and suffering the size of the grand canyon in our confidence in our heart, mind, and our sense of who we are.
I've known awareness without the ability to make or influence meaningful change. I've gotten to see a lot of spiritual bypassing, people including myself trying to trick ourselves into calmness through the use of spiritual platitudes, I've been that person, like so many others that went into a meeting, praying and hoping to hear the magical words I needed to hear, seeking 5 seconds of mental relief cause it felt like I was going to throw up. I've seen more than one foxhole prayer in my lifetime. I can't tell you the number of times that I'd been so upset and frustrated that I was sitting in my car screaming "Why does it have to be like this? Powerlessness... the inability to control... is a "Thing!" In fact, there was a moment in my personal life when the thing that I most care about... the bottom dropped out, and the only thing that saved me was the memory of my grand-sponsor discussing the need to develop an intentional relationship with the spiritual principle of "Fortitude... the spiritual strength for the endurance of hardship." What does that look like?
Let me tell ya... hoping and waiting for the moment of change that we think and feel that we need... or someone else needs... that without it... it thinks and feels like we're going to die... can be as bad as what it feels like to be dope sick. Been there, seen it, gone on that ride more than once... and done it.
There's a word in our culture that gets thrown around a lot, but most people misunderstand what the word actually means. The word is "Religion." Most associate with god or some sort of dogma... rules, regulations, standards of a church. In reality that's 100% NOT what the word means at its heart. Religion comes from the Latin root "Religare" or "Religió..." which means that which we connect, bind or tie ourselves to." It can also be put as "that which holds our focus and attention that we would prefer not to be separated from."
Despite the uncertainty of "When," if ever will the causes and conditions change to our personal satisfaction, the things that rest on top of "Fortitude," give me the bandwidth and capacity to turn towards the fire... move through the challenges... the difficulties... "trials and tribulations..." the dilemma's... both the invited and uninvited. Those things that give me the strength to endure the bullshit, and still maintain my sense of dignity and grace are NEVER at a distance. The reflections are always right here and right now, but it requires my ability to appreciate rather than negate. That's been a learned skill, that was super counterintuitive for me, for about the first 5 years of my recovery.
The learned skills as my first sponsor Bly put it... "Being humble... grounded... and willing to put the bullshit down, after being honest with myself," are my religion. What I connect myself to that sustains my heart and mind in healthy ways. That groundedness means having conscious contact with my values.
What is it that I value? Spiritual principles like... "Abstinence," the practice of self-restraint for a greater good and loving purpose. It's "Surrender," letting go of everything that my head assumes it knows about the present moment and how things will turn out. It's "Love with L.O.V.E. (Lots of Voluntary Effort)," instead of doing things as a forced march of obligation, but more like a vibe of 'I get to face and do this as a matter of principle and goodwill.' And my friends... my family... people... are my religion. Through the window of empathy... that if we drop our walls, we can "Get" each other.
My truth is that y'all help me to see myself and my circumstances with a wider perspective. When I see, think, and feel myself mangled, contorted, and distorted as addiction-mind... negativity-mind is shaking out my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual insecurities for me to drown in... You turn me right-side-up. I live and experience freedom with you, rather than without you.
Just for today, I will rest my actions on what offers me healthy connection, within and around me, despite the uncertainties of my life and challenges that I don't have "Solutions" for. In This way, and in This moment, I can be fully whole and wholly free.
堪心 | Kān Shin | Strength and commitment within heart and mind to endure and meet what is difficult.