Accepted, Surrendered & Grateful

Accepted, Surrendered & Grateful

“Thank you, Higher Power, for this beautiful day… Place in my path some way to serve others… May I feel your presence today…” – 12 Step Prayer Book

Lately, I’ve been in the groove. The spiritual, recovery, life loving groove, that is. And it’s odd because my General Manager quit on Tuesday, March 27th, and we are on deadline at work – usually a time when we are severely overworked and need everyone’s help. In this situation it would be completely understandable to be panicked or upset. Interested enough, I’ve being feeling happy, excited and optimistic. So what’s up?

Here’s what I think it is. On March 19th, just 8 days before she quit, one of my sponsees (Chris H) let me know he was starting the 21 Day Oprah Deepak Meditation Challenge, and I decided to join him. Prior to doing the daily morning meditation, both Oprah and Deepak talk about how to change our attitudes in order to perceive both life and ourselves in a very positive, uplifting way. Inspirational and optimistic, each morning these meditations have the affect of opening me up for abundance.

While those who love me are calling to express their deep concern about losing my manager while on deadline, I repeatedly tell them that I’m feeling better than ever about work and being able to handle it all easily myself, without any help at all. Of course, if the opportunity to find someone who’s a good fit comes along, great. If not, that’s great too. I’ve fully accepted, surrendered and am grateful for all of it.

This attitude that everything is perfectly fine and under control is not an illusion. The company really is doing great and I’m accomplishing twice as much with half the effort (I even snuck out to see the new Spielberg move).

Is it all because if the meditation? Who knows. But I’ll tell you one thing, since starting it I’m more connected to my higher power than my lower power, and when I’m in that place… ILML!

— JamieQ

The Best Words To Use

If I repeatedly make similar suggestions… I am probably trying to control… Trying to control other people only gets me in trouble.”

— Courage to Change

The problem for me is that I really would like them to change their behavior because, at least in my opinion, it’s unacceptable. But I’ve found the word “unacceptable” is, well, unacceptable, since I believe that acceptance is the first part of the answer to all my problems. The second part is either to take reasonable action or let it go.

A better solution for me is as follows: First I identify what behaviors from others make me uncomfortable. (Hint: writing these down helps.) Next I let others know—in a kind way—when it occurs (they don’t have ESP), and how I will handle it. Finally, I practice consistency in identifying the uncomfortable behavior and detaching, allowing others to learn what is, and is not, ok with me (in other words, they usually get tired of me detaching and stop behaving in ways that make me uncomfortable and cause me to detach).

In detaching I’ve found the best words to use with others are something like:

I’m uncomfortable and need a little space to work my Program. We can talk later.

Then I must quickly separate myself physically from that person before I react. In this way I take myself out of the problem and into the solution. I let the other person clearly know that I’m uncomfortable without blaming, and simultaneously keep my side of the street clean (no amends required).

Each time I do this, I celebrate a little victory, because whenever I apply the principles of the program… ILML!

— JamieQ

What an Idiot

If you keep saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of bing a prophet.” 

– Issac B. Singer

Sounds pretty similar to what I say frequently, “Be careful of what you’re saying out loud and to yourself, because your mind is listening and it believes you.”

Of course, it’s impossible to always think and say things that are positive. But what is possible is to catch ourselves when we do think or say things that are negative, and then take contrary actions.

Here’s a very clear example of how I practice living in the solution and getting out of negativity: 

After spilling the milk at home alone, I say out loud “What an idiot!”

Awareness hits me and I think to myself, “I just called myself an idiot, that’s not kind or productive.”

Which prompts me to take action by saying the contrary thing out loud, “Actually, I’m not an idiot, I’m a really smart guy who just made a mistake because we human beings do that, we make mistakes.”

Which evokes a feeling of success and celebration, causing me to yell out, “I’m stoked I caught myself, that’s a victory, you rock James, I love my life.”

Which puts a big smile on my face. I’m smiling after spilling the milk. That’s rad!

This process, once practiced, can become an automatic way of life, regardless of who, what or where the negativity is directed.

So the next time you start thinking upsetting thoughts, or speaking things that are fearful or unkind, give it a shot. And remember, it all starts with awareness.

Whenever I use the tools of the program to change the way I think and speak, from negative to positive, ILML!

— JamieQ

Into Me You See

“Loneliness comes from a feeling of separation, the idea that we are different.” – In God’s Care

Our program has solutions that lead to serenity, peace and happiness. This is great news for most of us, who have spent years in disfunctional relationships, destructive behavior and unhappiness. But the icing on the cake is the deep, meaningful, safe friendships we develop by showing up to meetings and that feeling of connectedness we get from exchanging intimacy (into me you see). My life is richer than I ever could’ve hoped because of all my friends in the fellowship. ILML! 

The Luckiest Man in the World

… he stands at the edge of new mysteries, joys, and experiences of which he had never even dreamed.” 12&12, p.110

I can tell you this. I’ve slept in abandoned cars. In empty homes. In jail. In a mental hospital. On a beige rug with fleas so thick it looked black. In my vomit. In a closet. And those aren’t even the really bad places. When I remember that, my life is so far beyond any dream I ever had. That’s why I tell people I truly believe that I’m the luckiest man in the world. Thank you God, AA, AlAnon,  and AlAnon. ILML! 
– JamieQ

Every Ounce of my Heart

“… let me sow love.” – 12 Step Prayer Book

I’ve discovered that in order to most effectively do this, I have to start by growing and nurturing the way I love myself. Once I came to a point where I really loved being me, and learned how to support that on a daily basis, I found that deeply loving others without being codependent was easy. Today I have many Sponsees and a Sponsor that I love with every ounce of my heart, and their love for me blesses me a thousand times over. ILML! 

  

My True Motives

“To detach … means I love myself enough to stay out of others’ insanity.” – Hope For Today 

This is a great page. It speaks to the place my head gets into when I confuse caring with attempting to fix, control, or change another. It reminds me that ‘Being helpful and kind’ is great, provided that, in my divine righteousness, I am not being kind and helpful in order to get them to do what I think is best.  Today I’ll let others behave as they wish, I’ll help if asked, detach if it’s toxic, stay connected to God and try to be the best James I can be today. ILML! 

– JamieQ