Archive for May, 2010


Two-speed Chaz

May 31, 2010

I used to have two setting; Elated or Enraged.  There were very few point in between.  Not until I was nearly 40 years of age did I learn that there were a whole range of intermediate setting for my emotions.  One of which was disappointment.

In my pre-recovering thinking, any let down was cause to switch to the Enraged setting.  And manifest this setting by either raging, fearing, depressing, pouting, drinking, or shutting down.  Yes, I am talking about during my adulthood.

Disappointment is that setting just a few notches in from “Normal” that I now switch to when something doesn’t turn out like I hoped it would.  It involves a little pain, which I accept as part of the setting.  But I know now that the pain is never enough to kill me and that it will eventually pass.  So I just let it pass through and if need be, talk to someone which always helps.  I no longer have to switch all the way to Enraged when little to medium things don’t work out.  I have a place to go emotionally that is far safer and becoming very familiar.

In active alcoholism, I wonder how many of us sought to be on the elated side of things, aided by our grandiose thinking and drinking.  And when we weren’t in these elated states, we sunk to some form of dark enraged irritability?  Did we know that a Normal setting even existed?  Or did we bounce back and forth in a bi-polar fashion?

Sobering up limited our options to spend time in what we felt was elation.  We are now available to discover and function in many points on the emotional spectrum.  Isn’t this what most “normal” people do?




Spiritual, not religious?

May 8, 2010

So what about this one?  An intriguing discussion emerged on my last post involving the distinction between “spiritual” and “religious” as it pertained to our involvements with powers greater than ourselves. 

My experience is simply that religion is a human-contrived set of practices, disciplines, and rituals he uses to formalize his interaction with God or whatever he believes are non-human powers greater than himself.  Religion as I see it often begins with a genuine experience of some kind with the supernatural.  The person or people who had the experience then form some sort of discipline to practice or continue the connection and perpetuate the experiences for themselves and others. 



Religion seems to get a bad wrap.  Yet by the definition I have come to understand, most of us are in some way religious.  We do practice specific repeating activities to remain connected to the powers we believe in.  I have been involved in religious group who appear to practice religion only, with no clear sign of connection or involvement with a higher power.  The religion felt essentially empty. 

Yet God as I understand him, seems to reach me and make himself known to me in ways that are completely outside of the common disciplines that those who claim to represent him practice.  In other words, outside of the religious structure of many of those who claim to be his followers. 

It can all get complex, which I choose not to participate in.  God as I understand him is bigger than our mistakes, pride, and self-deceptions.  I find remaining humble and searching keeps a steady flow of interaction with God.  This to me is spiritual.  And I can get religious about it if I choose, which does not need to compete with my spiritual experiences.  Religion in fact can enhance my spiritual experiences as long as I do not put my disciplines (religion) proudly ahead of my interactions with God.