It has taken many years of sobriety to stop playing the blame game, which kept me in turmoil as I played out in my head just how others were responsible for the way I felt. If only they wouldn’t do, say or act in the way they do, I would be happy. When I’d think of the phrase “It’s a spiritual axiom that, when I am disturbed, there is something wrong with me,” I felt that I was being blamed for my reaction. So that led to the justification for how I was feeling. I could not grasp that owning my own feelings and being responsible for bringing myself back into a state of serenity put the power back to me and my God and that it was nothing to do with others.
Today if I’m annoyed or feeling rejected or offended I start questioning myself. Why am I allowing what some other human being does or says to have power in my life? Why am I feeling rejected and do I really want a relationship with someone who is cold or rude to me? If someone called me a purple chair, I would see it as that person being silly. So why does criticism, which is also just another’s thought in that moment (and has more to do with them than me) affect me. Am I feeling insecure? Am I agreeing with another’s assessment of me as being lacking in some way? Those kinds of feelings come from childhood and have no place in today.
This is self-examination. If I’m disturbed the first thing I need to do is to quiet the disturbance. I love the writing that Doctor Bob kept on his desk. It shows me how to quiet myself.
“Perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore; to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me.
It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised, it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door and pray to my Father in secret and be at peace, as in a deep-sea of calmness, when all around and about is seeming trouble.”
Meditation has become a daily practice for me and the results have been incredible. No depression this year, OCD gone, anxiety disorder not experienced, a sense of calm and a new relationship with my Higher Power.
I pray differently too; more of an affirmation of truth rather than asking for anything. I’ve stopped tormenting myself with trying to figure out what God’s will would be. All the great spiritual traditions have love at their core. If I make everything I do and say about love, I feel I can’t go wrong. I was never too sure about the statement ‘God is Love’; however, I could accept that love is God.
These are only my own thoughts and my life is immeasurable better today because I stay aware of what I’m thinking, knowing that my thoughts produce my feelings and my feelings produce my actions.