September 7

FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 7: “We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing?” ― Sri S. Satchidananda

Here is one of the gurus I most resonate with. And the first sentence of this is why. I grew up in the 1960s primarily. I was 6 years old in 1960 and most of my formative years came between then and 1970. So I believed all the rhetoric around changing the world to make it a better place. We fought so hard for that. I marched and joined and protested, etc.

What I have learned in the 50 years since that time is that I can only change my way of thinking, which will alter my attitudes and beliefs. My behavior can change, such as not taking a drink or drug, but I must learn to see life differently or nothing will shift on a permanent basis. And, more importantly, I will be miserable. There is nothing more miserable than an addict without a fix. All of those I see without this shift in consciousness have moved into other addictions and remain SO miserable and unhappy.

The greatest advertisement I can be for 12-step recovery is the joy and happiness I have for life. All the time, no matter what is going on. This is what draws others to me.

And I have given them all the recipe, but they like to scrimp on the ingredients or the cooking times or the amount of work that goes into this perfect recipe.

Our obsession on changing others to suit our needs is the most damaging idea we cling to. It is so ingrained in our minds and attitudes and behaviors. Think about how insane that is! And every single one of these steps is about THAT. Only THAT. Crazy, huh?

Me, I just want to sing with Alvin Lee…”I’d love to change the world, but I don’t know what to do, so I will leave it up to you.” Me, I just want to focus on keeping my attitudes and ideas on Kelly. She can be such a handful! And I want to be the person that is mentioned in this quote…plaguing everyone with joy!

And not only dying happily, laughing, but living that way right now, today.

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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