TIME

I have a stark reminder of time by listening to the battery-operated clock on my wall. It was the last treasure that I kept when my last parent died. When in solitude, the tick, tick, tick, tick, reminds me of him, remembering that I was sitting in the chair in his room while he was preparing to transition.

The ticking clock is a reminder that time waits for no one. I want to utilize my time wisely. In other words, it does me no good to wander in the past wishing and thinking that “what if” only I would have done this or that. No. All I have is today.

So when I get in a place of morbidly wondering about the future, I revisit the phrases that have enlightened and strengthened me in so many ways. Here are a few heard over the years:

  • I am here for a purpose
  • My serenity depends upon my belief system
  • Live to spread love
  • Growth is intentional
  • Suffering is optional, but the pain is not
  • Life is inevitable
  • Fear is the only enemy I will ever face—the only thing I have to fear is fear itself
  • Alcohol is undefeated
  • My best math is to calculate the future cost of current decisions
  • Anger is a mask that fear wears
  • The good that I am hoping for is already mine
  • There is nothing so wrong a drink won’t make worse
  • Never forget to check my motives
  • Preventive medicine is attending recovery meetings regularly
  • Move a muscle, change a thought
  • It’s lonely at the top, and if I make it there, I sure hope my feet are on the bottom
  • Grow or die = god
  • Hearing other people’s experiences = HOPE
  • Yet = you’re eligible too
  • Get off drugs = god
  • Great outdoors = god
  • Good orderly direction = god
  • Don’t stop at the salad bar because recovery offers an entire buffet
  • Intersectional addict
  • Necessity journaling
  • Sanity is living in harmony with reality
  • If I want to trip, get into reality
  • I have been living in a pandemic for a very long time, with alcoholics and drug addicts dying
  • Recovery is a class of higher learning
  • I get to choose my conception of a higher power
  • Time waits for no one—it’s always too soon to quit

ENERGY

On this day, September 11, 2021, I feel the connection to many who lost their lives to a horrendous attack on The United States of America.

I feel the energy of those reading stories about that day, the connections of those doing memorial services.

I feel the energy in connection to the universe. I get to feel my emotions when sometimes I want to forget and numb my feelings. Fortunately, I am in recovery from drugs and alcohol. As a result, feelings will surface, and I have ways to deal with them in another way instead of false healing. I no longer have to stuff my feelings, but rather, face everything and rise.

My love and connection to all are accessible as a given to connect. All one has to do is pick up the spiritual tool kit and join—my energy is bountiful and free-spirited. Together, we can stand!

Consciousness

What does it mean to be conscious? For me, it’s about awareness. With today’s climate, I am aware of many things. One, in particular, is division and hate. I have a choice to participate or do something opposite to bring about love and harmony. No matter how small, it can certainly make a difference in my attitude and perhaps can attract others to extend the same.

While wearing my mask, when I walk, I pass out dog treats to bypassers. I admit the animals have become accustomed to me and make a point to let their owners know they need to stop and collect on their goods. I have no idea how this act of kindness affects anyone, but it sure does brighten up my mood.

Consciousness helps me to be aware of the brokenness around me. Maybe I can extend a helping hand in other ways too. For instance, perhaps I can assist the elderly struggling to get their groceries into their car. Maybe I can allow a waiting vehicle to merge into traffic. Or restrain from honking my horn unless it will prevent an accident. While in the drive-thru line, I can pay for the person behind me for coffee or ice cream. I can also protect the earth and pick up trash and recycle too. So many ways to be aware.

Consciousness can be an intentional act of kindness. If I am constantly in a mood of hatred, lying, stealing, cheating, being defiant, I will not be aware of anyone but myself. In my opinion, those types of actions are a horrible place to be. On the flip side, when I am compassionate, loving, kind, act with integrity, honesty, and concern for others, these are sure ways to bring about peace and harmony—those things that cost me nothing but awareness.   

There is a solution

Whenever I fear suffering from the anxiety of what will be, I ask myself, “Lynda, what can you do?” I am powerless over people, places, things, my past, and my future, but I am not powerless over how I respond to the world.

What I know to do is get quiet in prayer and meditation. My plea is usually for guidance and the ability to quiet my mind. When I listen during these moments, the direction is for me to reach out to others, perhaps with a phone call, a written note or a card, or even a text, because my familiarity has been to get out of self from righteous indignation.

Physical activity is essential, whether a walk around the block or intentional time on my yoga mat; stretching, bending, relaxing, deep breathing, staying in the moment bring about significant serenity.

Reading literature on self-improvement brings about contemplation, even sometimes the outcome is awe. When I try to get people to do what I want them to do, it causes me discombobulation. And that’s nonsense since I know the outcome can be confrontational. So instead, I try to have the joy of accepting people where they are because this keen sense of awareness is to walk in the direction of the solution, comforting that spiritual axiom within myself.

I hope to use the common sense of doing the next right thing, and sometimes that is as simple as writing a gratitude list. Although I attempted to replace the news, I know that social media is not my friend; that is more the reason to look inward.  

Instead of thinking I am not good enough, all I have to do is look in the mirror and know that I am loved just the way I am. There is a solution. As long as I remember, drinks, drugs, and chaos go hand in hand, which is not the remedy—that’s why I will stay in the solution.

DISTRACTIONS

I never thought about how distractions are temporary because as soon as I complete one task or another, I return to me. Emotional and spiritual bankruptcy is a thing. I have to be willing to acknowledge what is happening within me. Am I hungry, angry, lonely, tired, known as HALT?

I am a daily walker with miles of alone time, contemplating not much of nothing because I love the outdoors. I realize that when I return, I find solace in picking up sweet things, justifying I walked miles so that it will be okay. I even purchase the mini this or that playing mind games that it’s small. I know that calories add up, and before I know it, my weight can be out of control. I am still grateful that I walk because I can only imagine my weight if I didn’t.

Since I don’t eat red meat, I told myself that it’s okay that I have sweets. I even supported the lie with the thought, “You don’t drink alcohol, neither drugs, and you don’t smoke cigarettes.” Yet, I always return to me.

I want to handle my emotions and take time to ask myself, “What are you feeling, Lynda? I want to do this before I stuff my face with those sweet harm feeders. I know that eating more vegetables is a thing, and I can put more into my diet. Yet, emotionally eating happens so quickly I don’t realize I’m doing that, so I have to be intentional.

After walking, I spend 10-15 minutes on my yoga mat, stretching, bending, wishing for what isn’t. I am also reading more on healthy eating and trying to be gentle with the process. For me, it’s all about first things first, and that’s my sobriety. Then easy does it, allowing myself to live life like wearing a loose garment. Gentle, with repetition, building new healthy habits is the key. I love me. I want to get to a place of acceptance with my ancestors’ body image because that also is the key to accepting my body. After all, being healthy is most important, not the image.  

Love is the answer for myself, my body, and my desire to be the best Lynda I can be, without using distractions to take away the pulchritudinous of me.

AWARENESS

Being an approval seeker causes me to believe I can rescue people. Constantly, I ask my higher power, the great spirit of the universe for help, to relieve me of the bondage of self.

Criticism towards myself and that from others can cause me to try harder to please and seek approval from others. Although I work diligently trying to help others, I also notice that can wear on me.

How do I change a habit that I am aware of, especially since I have this overdeveloped sense of responsibility? I accept that when I escape from working on my flaws, especially those glaring one, it causes me to acknowledge those exact defects I see in others reflect what I don’t want to see in me.

I don’t want to continue feeling guilty when I stand up for myself. When I acknowledge to people close to me, what I desire to change, my experience has been when I share that information, then that same awareness perhaps causes a flare in others to think I am judging them. I know I have to focus on myself, use I statements, and don’t try to control others, because as a rebuttal, people retaliate. In other words, I don’t want to harm myself because someone might criticize me.

I am no longer addicted to excitement because recovery has helped me know and appreciate life’s quiet and serene. I also pay attention to how I use the word love and not to confuse that with pity. For instance, my awareness of myself is on a higher plane, and those things that perhaps I deny are because I am not yet aware. However, I can still judge myself, especially my body image, which means I still have low self-esteem, but I am working on that.

Until recently, I didn’t realize how I fear abandonment of losing what I have; it stems from trauma bonding with sick people at a very young age. Addiction, to me, is a learned trait based on what I’ve seen and partaken in over the years. I don’t want to be a reactor but instead participate in my recovery—for this knowledge, I am abundantly grateful. When I am emotional and spiritually capable, I welcome my higher power to inundate, flourish me with new awareness—that’s the possibility for change if followed with action.

SADNESS

Every so often, something happens where I go into this place of sadness. I perhaps will think about what was or what I wish would have been. What I know to be true is not to stay in my head with the woe me too long. When life seems overwhelming as it does now, I know to take the time to make a gratitude list of why I am thankful.

The emotion of feeling defeated is natural, and without help, it hijacks my mind. That is why I need to speak my truth out loud so others can hear me. That doesn’t mean that the emotion will automatically leave, but I am always grateful to have the audacity to share when I feel down because my thoughts might help another.

The most important thing for me to know is that every day will not be rosy. Life comes with challenges, some ups and some downs. It’s ironic how I was out walking when triggered with the thought of someone I loved dearly since childhood. The idea of her being dead from pancreatic cancer made me question why?

The healing from survival guilt is possible yet can be a slow process. I have to remember that I am worthy and have a human right to live my best life, and under no circumstances do I allow guilt to take me to a place of harming myself with drugs and alcohol, seen as a slow suicidal death.

I welcome the sadness and will allow the thoughts to bring about the sweet moments of life. I can always ask the great spirit of the universal to comfort me while in the pain of sorrow and ease my pounding heart—to direct me to be of maximum service to others—to act as if that past happiness lingers moments away in my thoughts.

PURPOSE

As the leaves rustle on the ground falling from the catalpa trees, I skip and run, imagining what I will be. Along came the days with some pain, and I now know childhood oppression stems from parents using tactics that eventually crush the spirit.

Along the way, I gravitated to what I knew because the stronghold of trauma was still new. I found a cure for my disturbances, and it was the addiction to drugs and alcohol, sex, food, and more.

When the obstructions became too heavy, a gentle reminder of hope sprang forward with a strong determination that no way could the oppressors continue to hold my precious talents.

I lured myself into believing that I was all alone, but suddenly the answer was to become my loving parent and partner. When I hear the experience, strength, and hope from others, it’s a gentle reminder that I can accomplish those things that I buried so long ago. Even if one nugget at a time, to unhitch one rock a day, one promise kept doing better than yesterday.

Not realizing that my dreams and hopes live on within and all I have to do is believe that I am worthy of removing the next stone that keeps me down, hidden from those talents.

The search started with long, purposeful walks, meditating with the great spirit of the universe, a voice of the unknown nudging me to keep pushing, keep lifting, rising above the obstacles while always remembering that I am not alone.

I am grateful for that sweet spirit, like the soothing of cool lemonade on a blistering hot day because the ancestors keep knocking at my door, guiding me to the hidden treasures—I have a purpose of living on in search of the unknown.

FEAR

Fear can be a healthy emotion. Although knowing what I know today about thinking the action all the way through before I act, there was a time that something would nudge my consciousness to reconsider what I was about to do, yet I would respond by being in self-will run riot.

I think about how my mind can play tricks on me, such as believing that I am too old and set in my ways to change. Then, I contemplate the thought that there is a higher power and a lower power of the universe driving my thoughts, and the consequences to which one I choose to acknowledge can vary greatly.

I know that my creation is not to be a fall down drunkard, stealing and taking things that don’t belong to me to survive my willful demands of life. Instead, I gravitate towards a magnificent force where I strive to stay sober from drugs and alcohol to help others who struggle to see that life holds more significant meaning.

In a society that constantly pits people against one another, I have to withdraw from the demand to hate, which includes myself. Instead, I make a conscientious desire to meditate on a higher being that lives within me and know the lie to hurt myself and others is a sham.

An addict, any addict, can get sober, lose the desire to use and find a better way to live. No matter what my mind wants to tell me about those things that come from a place of lower influence, I ask the great spirit of the universe to help me, to comfort me, to relieve me of the bondage of self, to quiet my mind from the disease of addiction, and ease the pounding of my heart. Over and over again, I repeat.

Fear can cause unwanted stress, and that can kill. There is also a fear that continues to push me to do the following right action in front of me. Today I get a chance, and that is all I have is today. As been spoken, yesterday is a canceled check, tomorrow is a promissory note, and today is a gift, and I am so grateful for the knowledge to know that fear can be healthy.  

Defiance

It’s Sunday, and my body, heart, and soul will tell me that I should participate in a ritual that represents organized religion, but the defiance is potent and persuasive.

Instead, I took part in a twelve-step narcotics meeting that started with a breakfast club of everyone sharing sentiments of gratitude for being alive. A five-minute meditation followed to help quiet the mind and settle in for the meeting. Then there was a fifteen-minute share from a speaker, winding down with thirty minutes for shares of 4 minutes each from a platform sometimes greater than five hundred people, so the variety of claims were plenteous. This regiment represents a ritual per se, but one of personal growth, based on an individual’s desire for healing, yielding no guilt and shame from expectations or lack of a particular dogma. The fellowship is tender that allows me to connect spiritually with the universe while listening to and hearing people from all walks of life worldwide.

Defiance doesn’t necessarily mean a negative thing. Still, it can indicate a desire to improve those things that better my life and push out those things that weaken my ability to be the wholesome person that I’m capable of being.

Thank you, sweet spirit of the universe, for guiding, holding, supporting, and nudging me toward betterment for society. My love for life is a boldness that I welcome. I have to stay in action to recover from a dis-ease that wants to tell me that I am less than and don’t belong when I know that I do. The lie that wants me to be disobedient for the love of life, but that lie is dead, and I can recover when I show up for life and participate in my recovery—for that, I am upmost grateful.