Sunday, May 8, 2011
Storms - forgivness - choosing my thoughts
I watched another baby squirrel fall a few minutes ago. He scrambled away. I guess that is the perils of being a squirrel just like being human. Taking your falls and deciding to get over yourself and move on.
I have fallen a lot in my life and by the time I reached the program I was pretty battered by what life had dished out to me. I was desperate and wanted answers. This was the first time I was willing to shut up and listen.
I was still looking for someone to blame for my situation. At first I felt relief because when I got to the program I identified the alcoholic as the source of my excruciating pain. But that didn't help me feel better. In the program I learned that my thoughts and my own actions were the real source of my pain.
We make decisions and with any decision there is consequences. I remember early in the program when no one was giving me much sympathy for the situation I had put myself in. I thought they don't understand me or my suffering. When I realized I had to be accountable for my own life my own feelings I was shocked. It felt awkward to see my life as choices and to see my thought and feelings as choices.
Until then I thought I was hurdling through life and being showered by meteors. I was helpless and powerless. I had to brace myself for the next unknown storm. I always got exactly what I expected to get, more storms.
I am not saying bad things don't happen or that everything is my fault but I do have the ability to at least look at it from a less personal perspective or change the way I think about things. If I just lay down in the middle of the road it increases the odds that I will get run over. Especially if it has happened before.
Once I realized that was not a victim that I was the key player in my life I was overwhelmed with sadness. I did this. I picked this. This is my fault. This is not helpful and only leads to more feelings powerlessness. I can still get there when I am resisting where I am.
The steps gently clear a path to acceptance and forgiveness. Acceptance being important because if I don't acknowledge and accept my own power I feel helpless. I can spend a lifetime waiting for someone to say they are sorry or rescue me from my pain. If I accept my own power to screw things up I can accept the power to make better choices for myself the next time. I can choose to not let the past control my future.
The forgiveness is tricky. Somebody should pay because what happened was wrong and I should be compensated or at least acknowledged for the pain I have suffered. It takes a pretty evolved person to acknowledge their own mistakes and the odds of that coming from a sick or addicted person is slim.
If I stop focusing on getting that ever elusive apology I can move on to what is wrong with me. Which is nothing really. If I step down from my throne of judgement, I can look at myself and everyone else as human. Back to acceptance. I can see I made mistakes and choices that altered the course of my life. On a good day I can just accept that this was the course I was suppose to take because I took it. There are no mistakes just more learning. I did the best I could with the information I had at the time.
I can admit my emotional limitations and even admit I have hurt others on my own path an evolved moment. If everyone is just trying to make it using the skills and information they have been given, how can I not just let it go.
Keeping that fire going by living in the past takes a lot of energy and for me those people are not even in my life anymore. The steps don't speak of forgiveness just acceptance. I think that it is because it take the focus off the one thing we can control, ourselves. When we stay in acceptance it slips into forgiveness without us even realizing it.
Every day I have a chance to make a better choice for myself.
I have to say a word about my mother. She wasn't perfect even if over the years I made her into perfection and blamed all that was bad about my life on my father. I could do that because I was eleven when she died. She didn't have as much time to make as many mistakes as my dad did.
She was strict and believed in spare the rod and spoil the child (he didn't). Being ADD this was hard on me. She did her best she loved me and taught me how to be independent. She also taught me to not let other people put limitations on me. I could do anything I really wanted to do.
My life changed the day she died. I have coped by living most of my life in my head. I can see that for the first time today, maybe a gift from mom. I had to entertain myself as a kid and I just continued this as an adult. The constant searching for truth or God and trying to understand myself is like chasing a moving target, but it keeps my mind entertained.
I have been the only person putting limits on me and mainly because I spend so much time in my head. I am starting to just live and let go. There is nothing more to figure out and the past can't define me unless I let it. I can see I am gonna have a lot of free time.