Level 5 Member
Saturday, June 27, 2009, 8:36 AM
"We don't have to settle for the limitations of the past, we can examine and reexamine our old ideas." Basic text, p.11
Most of us come to the program with a multitude of self-imposed limitations that prevent us from realizing our full potential, limitations that impede our attempts to find the values that lie at the core of our being. We place limitations on our ability to be true to ourselves, limitations on our ability to function at work, limitations on the risks we're willing to take--the list seems endless. If our parents or teachers told us we would never succeed, and we believed them, chances are we didn't achieve much. If our socialization taught us not to stand up for ourselves, we didn't, even if everything inside us was screaming to do so.
In NA, we are given a process by which we can recognize these false limitations for what they are. Through our Fourth step, we'll discover that we don't have to be the lifelong vicitms of past experiences. We are free to discard the ideas that inhibit our growth. We are capable of stretching our boundaries to encompass new ideas and new experiences. We are free to laugh, to cry, and above all, to enjoy your recovery.
JUST FOR TODAY: I will let go of my self-imposed limitations and open my mind to new ideas.
Blessings to all who seek recovery. Rickie Lee
Thursday, June 25, 2009, 8:47 PM
Blessings to all. I have some positive thoughts that can apply to anyone, but especially to those of us in recovery.....
Start each day by reminding yourself that you attract the positive--good people, good outcomes, good opportunities. Repeat a positive mantra.
Instead of fearing change, see it as an opportunity for growth.
Let your life be a story of understanding. Let go of your fear, anger, and other negative feelings--they are all hindrances to understanding.
Be patient with yourself. A calm and peaceful mind is the only way to overcome failure.
Be gentle with all things.
KOAN: Why does the rose bloom?
Mindfulness protects you from negative habits, such as grasping and condemning, that create pain and confusion in your life.
Change your routines
Does the thought that you're having now create suffering or well-being?
Cleaning out your home creates space and clears mental clutter too.
Blessing to all. Don't suffer in silence. Reach out for support. Remember, your Higher Power is always with you. Rickie
Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 9:01 AM
Inside or outside? The lemon is sour on the inside...if things in a situation go sour for me, did the sourness originate inside of me? If I sense hostility, am I sensing my own emotions? Am I looking into a mirror that reflects myself? What happens when your friends just treat you like a guest? Is that simply my perception of outside events? Am I projecting internalized preconceptions? I really would like to know....I think perhaps I should find my answers in this manner....slow down my speaking, listen more, observe others, and perhaps in that manner I should sense what is the truth of the matter. Can one not make direct, blunt observations without being rebutted by saying that is my own perception? When does the rubber actually meet the road? Is that why the court system is so backlogged, this kind of thinking, delaying, and stalling? Are there no absolute truths, or was that simply a notion back in the days of the ancient philosophers? Is it true what I have heard? Has Truth actually stumbled in the streets? I take a block of wood, cut it in half. One half I carve the image of my favorite saint, goddess, iconic image. The other half I burn in a fire to cook food or to keep me warm....which half has been more useful? which half is more real? Which half truly inspires me and motivates me? Is it truth that has stumbled in the streets? What happened? The fact that I ask what happened, does that make me unaware, or am I unable to face what I perceive? Are my perceptions correct, or am I paranoid? Why would I be paranoid? what would trigger that emotional state of being? Is that the enemy within? Why be afraid of myself? Is that not the definition of enemy within? I can't get away from myself, I'm always around, I can't shake me, so I must learn to live with me. Do I seek to please myself, or others, or my Higher Power? Does it really matter to anyone other than me? If I see something noone else sees, does that invalidate my perception? Or is there some kind of mote or plank or speck in their eyes? not for me to say. go get your eyes checked and find out.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009, 9:26 PM
Many years ago I had a deck of Animal Medicine Cards. In the guide to the cards, there were instructions on how to determine your totems. The guide said, once you do this reading once, you never do it again. You have selected your totems through this divination.
These were my totems: Eagle, Snake, Spider, Ant, Turkey, Deer, Whale and Owl. I have been involved in a particular discussion about Snake medicine, whose message is transmutation. this particular medicine imparts upon you the ability to take poison from others, and literally change it, so that it doesn't kill you. Looking back upon my life, for the first 31 years, I would say that I was living in the Victim archetype. I remember in my early years I cried a lot. I feel now that I might have been depressed. I didn't have a particularly happy childhood, but I have talked with many others who suffered as children too. Some women never surrender that Victim mentality, and take it with them throughout their lives, and their anger is either turned inward, making them depressed, or they lash out in turn their frustrations outward, and may sadly act out the very abuses inflicted upon them on their loved ones.
I would not say my story is particularly unique, considering the research that I have done. There are "horror" stories, as it was put to me, that are worse than mine. some things people refuse to believe or accept exists. All I will say of that is that I have taken some evil poison. Many do not believe in evil. They believe that by taking such a position you live in darkness and fear, and that you attract these entities to you. I politely disagree. I have had an insight into some things that are not spoken of, not mentioned, but believe it or not, is quite common in this area. I have lived amongst these individuals, and at that time, I was the weakest bird, having no parental support or care. The weakest bird always loses. And so I did. Having spent so much time with a particular group of people, when I had my transformation and breakthrough, I saw clearly what had transpired in those blank times. I remember the time in Vacation Bible School at the Baptist church. I was in the Kindergarten class. I remember going to church, then, all is blank, and I remember a man, in a suit, taking me to the babies class. I remember the adult in the group just staring at me like the idiot she was. I remember thinking, this is the babies class, why am I in the babies class? then, I heard a voice, you can go out now. I went to the door and went outside. My classmates were there, Evette and Mike, my cousin. They both looked at me and said, "Where have you been?" I am sorry to say to this day, I cannot answer that question. This is what happens when you send your children somewhere unsupervised. They become easy prey, easily intimidated, frightened into dissociative silence. I will talk to my sister Allison tonight, and see what we can find out about that day. I have another saying, "the thing you create is the thing that will destroy you." That is a message from the Snake in me.
Blessings to all those of Love and Light, Rickie
Monday, June 8, 2009, 9:06 PM
"Do the right thing," A movie directed by Spike Lee. In the movie, noone did the right thing, and it all ended in chaos. I would never like to see any situation move to that end.
In college, the psychology professor said there were three rational ways to deal with conflict....attack, withdraw, or compromise. I like to try compromise, to work it all out. When I withdraw, I feel like a loser. Attacking just feeds my red overlay and I my anger gets the best of me. But at times, you have to be a defender of the faith, and take a stand. That is not necessarily an attack, but it clears your air, and may possible lead to a compromise.
some individuals cannot be reached. They have locked themselves inside their sacred walls. They look in a mirror, but they see something other than what is reflected. I knew a woman like that one time. She saw herself as a feminist, a fighter, and a uniter. The patriarchy has separated us, she said. They have robbed us of our power. Yet, when a fellow sister was in need, she passed her by cause she had to get to the liquer store to buy her usual 5 gallon box of wine. She started her day with a coffee and whiskey. drunk every day. she got into mysterious devotions, and channelling of powerful spirits. she caused me many problems. I finally cut ties with her. I thought she had something to teach me, and that I needed her validation. She was just a drag.
I had many trying difficult times after I parted ways with this woman. I was primarily a recluse for many years. I think if I had remained a recluse I would have been in a better place today. i dont know that. Past decisions I cannot change, just learn better and not repeat them. These days I am working hard and hard pressed. but I sense a change coming, and I have been told to watch, document, and keep an eye on the eastern sky. This I do with great frequency. I spend most of my time giving to others, primarily my son, who is high needs. I have been criticized for not doing more for the environment. Perhaps those who criticize me for that would give me a day off to go and clean up a lake or a river and they can take my son to the bathroom, give him his medicine, change his clothes, and help him to feed himself. Would I get that whole day off? Hmm.
We all have our own callings. Mine in particular is a leaning toward human rights. I think there are many injustices in our world. My plate is full helping the humans in need here at home. I am thankful that there are those who take up the causes of individuals in different parts of the globe. There efforts are blessed. God has just piled my plate full here at home.
Do the right thing. That is easier said than done. There have been times in my life, having made bad decisions, involved with unscrupulous individuals, that I prayed to God to help me do the right thing. I prayed for Him to help me grow a spine. Sometimes he helped me do that. Sometimes He chipped in and helped me out Himself. I am thankful for those measures of grace. Now I pray he strengthens my spine to stay upright and do the right thing where I am. My world and all in it will be better off for it.
Here on Beliefnet it is easy to get involved in some dramas. I could tell some stories, and I am certain that some of the old timers could do so as well. I found that I always took it all too seriously. this site is a wonderful way to make friends and learn many new things. When it turns obnoxious, however, I tell you I just don't think I need that drama. So, that in turn leads me to the next question, what is the right thing to do? I'll sleep on it, and maybe have my answer in the dawn of the morning light. It is full moon time, Full Moon blessings to all. Rickie
Sunday, June 7, 2009, 6:56 AM
This phrase "the times are changing" is not a new one. Nothing is as constant as change. I always hope as I change I am growing, learning, and making improvements. One important lesson is to learn to agree to disagree without hostility. If I am tolerant, and you claim to be tolerant, but when we present our different perspectives, one of us argues, then tolerance is absent.
I am a student of spirituality. I am basically Christian, but open to learning new things. In our world today, the clash of religion has created a dangerous situation. We only have one world to live on, and I do pray a Spirit of Peace will descend and that we can all live as brothers and sisters of the Divine Light. As John Lennon said, you can call me a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
In terms of economics, times have become difficult for many. Over the spectrum, people must learn to live without. There are things I used to purchase, but i have to pass them by now. We used to eat out frequently, but now that is a rare occasion. This is a pruning process. The Christian scriptures says that this pruning process will result in the bearing of more fruit. We find the things that matter to us the most are not material, but spiritual, and the value of family and friends and fellowship.
My heart and my prayers go out to those who truly suffer loss in these times. Hopefully we can abandon our petty disagreements and put first in our priorities to do things that make a difference to those who suffer loss and have difficulty meeting basic needs. Jesus Christ said the poor will always be with us. Let us give generously, putting aside dogma for actual works of faith that prove our religion to be true and substantial. blessings to all, Rickie
Sunday, May 31, 2009, 3:33 PM
In order to be whole, those of us with injured inner children must address their wounds and pain, and help them to heal, and to know that they are safe. How we are injured varies, but from what discussions I have there seems to be a common theme--we are injured by adults who have hurting inner children themselves. When you realize this, the need for compassion and understanding is crucial. Forgiveness is crucial as well. Resentments are deadly, especially once we are awake and remember the totality of our suffering. If those individuals happen to be our parents, and they are still in denial, suffering themselves, and still projecting their anger, it can be a difficult situation to deal with. how easy to lash back in anger. But anger is not a luxury that most of us can afford. It is not easy to do, but i feel that chosing love is always the best action to take. I have been told that love never fails, and that is remains, even though for many it may have grown cold. The fire of Divinity within your heart will give you the love you need to be tolerant, understanding, and tactful. Many times the physical blows of the past turn into verbal digs today. Most of the time I am able to just let it roll of my back. Don't respond in kind. This is a hurting person. They are hurting worse than you are. and they have a sickness of the spirit and the soul, and are in desperate need of connection with the Divine. Try tact. Let that evil remark roll off of your back. Say a silent prayer for this person. Send them the Peace of the Lord. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Was it not evil that wounded their inner child as well? You can easily walk in their moccasins. since you are able to relate, have compassion, as you would for one who is sick. Chose love, love never fails. Love conquers all. Blessings to all, Rickie
Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 6:57 AM
I have been following a discussion in which there is talk of doing away with the ego. I have been thinking about this idea. It can be a difficult task. how does one go about doing away with ego, or what I would consider perhaps a self centered, inflated sense of one's self, and selfishness? Is it a cognitive process, or a spiritual transformation, or a combination of both? How does one go about this process? What hampers one's ability to do away with the selfishness of egotism?
I met a man, once, a doctor, and he was quite kind, and told me shortly, he had no ego. However, after dealing with him for a matter of years, I am afraid to say I was the catalyst for the flaring up of his ego, and he was quite judgmental and just down right mean. I am sorry I brought out the worst in him. I wish we could all live problem free lives, and not give people like our doctors reasons to dislike us. I did not incite him on purpose...my life was just a mess, dysfunctional, and I was making poor decisions, and got pregnant on top of all that. he was insistant that I abort my child, due to the medications that he had prescribed me, and insistant that my child would be born defective. I was in a perplexing situation. i wasnt a single parent, I was married. I was educated, had a home, and a caring family to assist me. I was driven to the brink, but I revolted, not the first time, and decided to give my child a chance to live. after all, I had not used birth control in 20 years, and I had been sexually active during that time. i felt the hand of the Creator was at work. As it turned out, I found some OB/GYN's that were Christian in their orientation, and they supported my decision to keep my baby. They said this doctor with no ego didnt want any problems, just to sweep it all under the rug. They said not to worry, and I didnt. i continued to see this doctor during my pregnancy, and he never passed up an opportunity to give me a nasty dig. I took his digs in silence.
As it turned out, I had a normal, healthy baby boy by C section. I took him to see the doctor, and he seemed quite delighted. But, shortly, the doctor with no ego began to send me digs again, and not being dragged down by pregnancy, I reported his rude behavior, and fired him. My son developed normally until his 12th month, when he lost his words. My husband left us at that time, his choice, with no money, no food, no car. My family came to our aid. At 16 months we were referred to the Sparks Clinic and University of Alabama in Birmingham, but did not get into see them until he was 23 months of age. At that time they diagnosed him with autism. Going from doctor to doctor, I repeatedly confessed my sins during pregnancy, but I was assured over and over that nothing I did caused the autism. I believe this to be the case because of the broad spectrum of the population in which autism is occuring. No one particular causitive agent has been discovered, other than immunizations. The "experts" insist this is not the case, and that the risks of not being immunized outweigh the risks of acquiring autism (tell that to the parents of an autistic child!).
Anyway, since the doctor with no ego treated me during my pregnancy, I have felt from time to time that it would be appropriate for him to inquire about my son, and his health and development, but he has not done so. Perhaps that is my ego in action. all of this goes to prove a point....if you are in such a place to express openly you have no ego, I do believe the Divine will send someone along to challenge your statement. It seemed so in this particular case. Sorry I made you lose your cool, doctor. I was just living my life, and we intersected paths. Now we have moved on. After I blistered him with my complaint, I have neither heard from him or seen him. Is it my ego, or shouldn't he inquire about the boy? blessings to all who take the time to read this. Rickie
Monday, May 18, 2009, 2:28 PM
I heard someone say don't take anything personal. That is very good advice, cause may people try to bait you, or actually say mean things about you, or insult your intelligence. Sometimes people stare at my son, and it's really hard not to take that personally, cause people should be taught its really rude to stare at and make fun of disabled people. But they do it anyway.
I find we all come from different places here on this planet. Each of us is dealt a different hand. Some people get a winning hand from the start. Some get a decent hand, draw a few, and get a better hand, and conversely, get a worse hand. Some people get a losing hand right from the beginning. But, I have found out that you can still have a losing hand and win the game. It's all in knowing HOW to play the game. Don't be discouraged cause you get lousy cards. Make the best of it, and keep that poker face, and don't give in.
As far as taking things personally, I was told by a very wise woman I knew that I should be grease, and they should be water. When they pour it on you, it all rolls off. Or, take the advice of the late governor of Alabama, Big Jim Folsom. When someone throws mud on you, let it dry, then it all brushes off. There are many ways to deal with rude behavior. You can run into it anywhere. They always say that words shouldnt hurt, but the real fact is that they do often hurt. When people are insulted publically, that hurts. It's hard not to respond to that. It happens all the time. It happens to children in school. It happens at work. It happens anywhere people gather together. I, myself, tend to get a bit uptight. I just have to go somewhere, meditate a while, put it into perspective, and chill. After all, only really rude people do things like that. I think we should always be kind to one another, and chose love. People who publically embarass others are not chosing or acting out of love. Others see it. And our Higher Power sees it too. It just makes for sowing bad seeds of discord and disharmony, and creates really rotten karma. I have been doing really well lately, considering my hand, but I know how to play this game.
The most important thing out of all of this? Never despair. and always chose love. It never fails. Blessings to all, Rickie
Sunday, May 17, 2009, 2:31 PM
Tomorrow I have some plans, hopefully I can get to them. First of all, I plan to plant some green bean seeds and some sunflower seeds. After that, I plan to finish the landscaping I started on my mom's porch. Finally, I will trim up the holly bush. It has lots of new growth, but is rather ragged looking and needs a hair cut. Our weather has turned unseasonably cold for this time of year. I do not ever recall having a cold snap this late in the year, but I suppose anything is possible, and I am constantly reminding myself, don't be suprised. When you think you have seen it all, something else happens. Blessings to all, Rickie