Archive for March, 2010

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No dread, no regret, no resent

March 24, 2010

My mantra for the past few weeks has been, “Just for today, I will not dread, regret, resent”.  What an amazing few weeks it has been!

I simply resolved at the beginning and throughout each day, to avoid wherever possible these three pitfalls of thinking.  Any time my mind migrated there, I would simply immediately redirect to something positive.  I would not join in the internal dialogue in my head that would say things like,

“Man, today is going to be a tough day”, (dread)

“You really should have chosen a career as __________ “, (regret)

“I really hate that guy”, (resent)

You get the picture, I am sure.  I simply found myself drifting into these thought paths more than I cared to and to no practical end.  I was the only one who was hurt when I did.  Well, initially anyway.  Then I would hurt others by my behaviour that resulted from the emotional funk from dreading, resenting, and regretting.

And who am I to question God as to why the path I took was not the right one for me?  How do I know I am not exactly where I need to be and can be of most value to myself, God, my family, and humanity?

Who’s to say that if one of the things I regret not doing would not have been my undoing?  Who’s to say that if my ‘ship came in’ the way my thoughts felt it should have, that I wouldn’t have sunk it?

Life is amazing today.  As long as I remain in today and grateful for everything.

There is no place for dread, regret, or resentment in a life that, as Don Draper puts it, “Moves in only one direction, forward”.

Ciao.

Chaz

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Pain + Drama = Self-Pity

March 19, 2010

I find the tricky part of self-pity to be the fact that it is usually rooted in some amount of genuine pain.

Our culture has encouraged us to wrap our pain in drama and the result is usually self-pity.  Betrayal, loss, abuse, injury… they all hurt.  There is no getting around this.  They are however entirely typical and frequent events.  Nobody is exempt.

We unfortunately, whether knowingly or unknowingly, add drama to our pain and thereby, throw a bucket of gas on the fire.  We multiply our pain.  We often say, “It’s not fair, How could this happen to me? I don’t deserve this, How could he?  How could she?  I’ll show him/her, Why me? etc”.

Closing in on my mid-40’s, I have yet to meet the person my age who has been spared some form of painful calamity or gross injustice in life.  I would be wary of anyone who felt they hadn’t.  Illness, loss, injury, divorce, betrayal, financial setback, job-loss, abuse, natural disaster.  Who hasn’t been through one of these?  None are fair and they all hurt.

The day I learned to simply say, “this hurts”, and drop the followup statement like, “how could she? I don’t deserve this? I’ll show them? Its not fair?, etc”… or a real sneaky one, … talking about the injustice over and over with as many people as possible, was the day my pain stopped morphing into self-pity (as often).  Life took a turn toward becoming more manageable.

When we express our pain with the addition of drama, it is usually distasteful to others and they become intolerant.  So we are often unable to find genuine help because we push others away.  Instead, I have found that simply saying, “Man this hurts and I don’t really know what to do about it”, was often an effective way to seek help dealing with the pain.  Especially from those who have walked a similar path before me.

The advice back was often, “You just have to go through it a day at a time”.  This was not what my self-pity wanted to hear.  It didn’t feed the drama.  Yet when I finally learned to go through the pain a day at a time and function as best I could with minimal drama and focus on positives, life did indeed get better and the pain began to subside.  Very quickly in fact.

Others relate to the pain of the experience more than the drama.  So today, I do my best to separate the two, and avoid the drama altogether.  This is the easier, softer way.  Even though the unrecoved parts of my thinking want to run to the drama.

Undramatically….

Ciao.

Chaz

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Another year, another pineapple.

March 9, 2010

So Chaz celebrates another year sobriety and recovery.  Late in relation to the date, but celebrated nonetheless.

BTW… no big hidden or double meaning to the header… I take pineapples rather than cakes.  Just a health and fitness preference.

I wasnt going to do a public “cake” (pineapple) this year.  Frankly, I have grown weary of public meetings.  I stepped aside and did a step series over the past 4 months and nary have been to a public AA meeting.  Frankly, tired of many outside agendas I experience in meetings. 

Wanted to dig into the steps and connect with others in recovery on a meaningful and authentic level.  Hard to do that in a room of mixed genders and multitude of intents for people being there.

So three other guys and I met weekly, privately and worked through the steps once again.

Then a trusted and loyal friend pointed out to me that people newer to the program may benefit from knowing more publicly that I found things that work.  So I re-joined a home group and took a celebratory sobriety anniversary pineapple.

I came, once again, to the conclusion that the rooms of AA are really only a small part of my program of recovery and sobriety.  They help keep me in fellowship, share what I have received, and receive new things and things I have forgotten.

The power comes from fellowship and seeking the will of God as I understand him.  When we gather in his name, he shows up.  Even if everyone is not entirely sure who he really is.  Lights come on and eyes begin to open.

Good things happen.  Every time.

Ciao

Chaz