Sunday, August 19, 2012

Guest Blog: When My Serenity Flies Away, I Know I’m Believing What I Think About Myself.

When I drank, I developed a truly insane ability to continue drinking, despite its obvious consequences. I thought I drank because of my messed-up life. It never dawned on me that my messed-up life was because I drank. My life revolved around drinking. Didn’t everyone’s? [I learned much later the answer was “No! That’s true only of alcoholics.] I figured out ways to go to the Men’s Room during a testy business meeting in order to take a quick swig of vodka to calm my nerves. I had pre-planned where to stash the pint bottle. I knew how to hide a flask and secretly add vodka to my glass of house or host’s wine. I’d be able to go into the bathroom or go outside to smoke my pipe carrying my glass of Burgundy or Claret and walk back in with my “new” glass of Rose’.

Even though I have a lot of sobriety now, I am still just another recovering alcoholic. I’m not recovered. Never will be. Now, even though thoughts of alcohol or taking a drink are very rare and come very infrequently, I can still go on a mental or spiritual “bender.” It happens when I take myself too seriously – when I’m focused on myself and actually believe in the reality of what it is I’m thinking.

When I am in this frame of mind I am very emotionally fragile. Everything is interpreted as being personal. Everyone and everything around me is irritating. I am tired or depressed all the time. I have little motivation to accomplish anything. I cannot stay focused on much of anything – other than how much my life is messed up. I get disgusted with myself and want to escape.
In short, I am in a spiritual funk.

All this brings me back to the principles both of AA and ACIM: I am never upset for the reason I think and whatever “it” is, it is always – ALWAYS – an inside job. But I don’t have to believe what I think. All I have to do is ask the Holy Spirit to provide me with a different way of looking at things.
I really wish I could tell you that I have progressed so far on my spiritual journey that these spiritual “funks” are things of the past for me. I really do wish I could tell you that. But I can’t. I get frustrated, disappointed, disillusioned and distraught. But it’s all inside me and now I have the tools to begin the repair.

Whenever all I think about is me, I can recognize the resulting spiritual funk because I have witnessed glimpses of my life full of spiritual calm and joy. So, I can be grateful for these “funks,” because I simply recognize them for what they are – my Ego. Then I forgive myself, and the perceptions I have projected onto others, and ask the Holy Spirit for a different way of looking at the situation, people or events. That change of my perception is up to Him, not me.

Whew! What a relief.
Thanks for listening, and – as always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual path.
Don
#3 August, 2012
Copyright, 2012

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