My rituals

“If we listen to those moments when we hear a message from ourselves, we become true men – real human beings. The message comes in our solitude, when our defenses against truth are set aside.”– Touchstones 7/20

This talks about how important it is to hear that inner voice, which I believe is our higher power. And that we hear it in times of solitude. I know I have a very busy brain and have a hard time focusing and relaxing, probably a lot to do with being an alcoholic/addict. My program gives me solitude, my daily rituals, meetings, helping other people. This program gives me those times to hear my voice. The tools allow me to relax and get connected to that higher power that guide me on a daily basis. This reminds me to do my rituals today. So grateful to have a solution. ILML!

– JasonW

Simple. Easy. Effective.

“As I surrendered my imaginary power over others, I gained a more realistic view of my own life.” – Courage to Change p.334

Our incredible intellect & superior logic would challenge the idea of control by saying: “I can control people in my family, at work and even others, so, ha!” But who is really controlling whom? I can try to get others to act the way I want them to, but how does it feel when they don’t do as I ask? And isn’t my attention then consumed with them and their actions? I’m apt to be much happier when I identify what’s uncomfortable, express my concerns, have zero expectation that they will change, detach from the results, and then detach from them if their behavior continues bothering me. Simple. Easy. Effective. This allows me to live and let live, get back to focusing on things I’m grateful for, and recognize, once again, that ILML!.” 

– JamieQ

Cracking the Door Open

“… I gave up trying to control… I sought a relationship with the God of my not understanding.” – Reaching for Personal Freedom 

It took me 10 years in program to finally get desperate enough to really want some kind of higher power. Until that point I knew that I knew: namely that God was not real. One day I heard someone say something to the effect of “So what. Maybe God’s not real. Maybe God is just a make-believe friend for grown ups. What’s wrong with that if it makes your life better?” It was just enough to crack the door open for me. How could I understand God when the full concept is really beyond anyone’s comprehension? These days I just know that when I’m thinking kind, loving thoughts and filled with a sense of gratitude, I’m plugged into a higher vibration, it feels good, and ILML!  

The Paradox of Recovery 

“Your opponents would love you to believe that it’s hopeless, that you have no power, that there’s no reason to act, that you can’t win. Hope is a gift you don’t have to surrender, a power you don’t have to throw away.” – The Guardian, July 15, 2016

My disease (my brain) would love me to believe that it is hopeless. Recovery is the power of hope manifest. The beginning of recovery is the reclaiming of hope, the reclaiming of the power of the spirit. 

I act my way into recovery. It’s simple: meetings, step work, service, sponsorship. Recovery takes the garbage of my darkest day and turns it into gold. AA 124. The paradox of recovery is that that harder I work, the more fun I have. “God wants us to be happy, joyous and free.” AA 133. If I work and have fun, I have a life that I love!

-Tom K. 

Respond Kindly & Detach

“Detaching in love can only happen when we decide to stop trying to make them act or treat us differently. Self-care begins when we decide to no longer allow their words or actions to control our feelings.” – Adapted from The Language of Letting Go 
Of course, this is much harder than it sounds. Not taking things personally, particularly when they are personal attacks, requires me to be on top of my spiritual, emotional and physical game. If I’m hungry, angry, lonely or tired, I’ll react. If I’m not in a place of gratitude, I’ll react. And even if I’m at the peak of enlightenment, I still may react, because I’m human. The good news is – these days – I respond kindly and detach in love more often than reacting. And whenever I’m able to keep the focus on me, and insist on being happy, ILML!  

– JamieQ

Being the Best

“Peace of mind comes from not wanting to change others. – Gerald Jampolsky

I read something similar to this in Attitudes of Gratitude in Love. Basically it said that we fall in love with someone because we like who they are, marry them, then spend the rest of our lives trying to change them to be like us. We’ve stopped focusing on why we love them and instead are focusing on the fact that they are not behaving the way we want them to, and it feels shitty. However, we can find peace and joy instantly if we simply refocus on the good in them AND do everything we can to be the best and happiest person we can be, regardless of what they are up to. I am now focused on being the best son, brother, father, husband, publisher, employer, sponsor, sponsee, and man I can be today and ILML! 

– JamieQ

The Crashing Waves

“Avoid the rapids when possible. If you can’t, stay relaxed… If you go under for a moment, allow yourself to surface naturally. You will.” – The Language of Letting Go 

I do a ton of recovery work every day. Affirmations. Prayer. Yoga. Exercise. Eating healthy. Reading inspirational books. Journaling my inventory. Making amends. Writing gratitude lists. Going to meetings. Sponsorship. Sending out recovery texts and blog posts. And even with all that, the waters of my life are not always smooth and calm. When things get rough, when I am tossed and turned in the turbulent, crashing waves of my mind, occasionally I am taken under and can’t breath. In those moments, I do everything I can to reconnect with my higher power and have faith that I will survive and thrive. And I remember “This too shall pass!” and soon enough ILML! 

– JamieQ