DISCIPLINE MONTH: DAY 8: “To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.” — Gautama Buddha
Nothing I have ever valued came to me for no purpose or no reason. I truly believe that although my life is all about grace, it is more valuable to me today for the work I have put into my recovery and the value I take pleasure in finding in life. While I am absolutely certain that I am not the author of my recovery, I certainly maintain it well and feed it all that I can.
I cherish it like I have other things that are part of my life. I take great pains to make sure that I cherish everything in my life, from my health to my recovery, from the feral cats I get to feed to the birds who visit my yard, from the furniture in my home to the car I drive, from the home itself to the gardens outside my door.
This also includes those relationships with dear friends and loved ones. I want them to feel cherished and nurtured. This takes discipline. When we disagree or have a misunderstanding, it is important to speak about it and clear the air. That way we are engaged in discipline of relationship.
My joy of life and the exuberance I contain in all these things is due to the discipline of tending to the life I have, no matter what I may think about it or what feelings I may be experiencing around it. Those things are fickle and will change in a second. My part is to tend them well and cherish them fully.
That is the nature of life. What we don’t appreciate well may not be around for long. It is ALL transient. There is no such thing as a lifetime. It might be 5 seconds or 50 years or 100 years. There is no such time frame granted and guaranteed to any of us.
Nor is there a lifetime guaranteed to the things we love and use in life. A boat or a car can be destroyed in a second, gone! Did we cherish them well? It speaks to who we are and our sense of happiness is directly linked to our ability to appreciate and cherish whatever tools and objects we may have at hand. They are just as transient as our relationships with people.
I have found that when I cherish my car or my home, it is more comfortable for me to be in it. I take good care and keep it nurtured and well-appreciated. This also goes for people and animals and the planet we live on.
If I walk on the beach, I will pick up things that do not belong on the beach. Same with the hills and trails I love to hike upon. Or the boardwalk, or the street where I shop. It does not matter. It is all mine to tend to and cherish. We are all connected and one.
This discipline has served me well. I love to spread it further and make it more deeply lived each day. That, I believe, is the way to more and greater grace. So far, it has been a wonderful practice!