October 7

DISCIPLINE MONTH: DAY 7: “Ultimately, it is through short-term victories that we achieve our long-term goals.”― Ernest Cadorin

Each and every one of the 12 steps has given me a great story, some more than 10! They have produced absolute miracles in my life, separately and cumulatively. I love how amazing life becomes in this process!

When I am feeling a bit low, which happens more often than I care for, it is my job to turn my thinking around. That is what my work is all about. Step 10 has always been a good barometer for me. The reason is that I get to see where I am being an asshat. If I am, why? And I begin to work through a mindfulness practice that takes me into the realms where we practice this skill.

Body: Is my body in pain or feeling the effects of bad food, not enough exercise, or too much exercise? Am I slouching? Am I tired? Am I neglecting my physical body in some way?

Feelings: What is my general feeling? Sometimes I feel blah…not interested in anything, not really in touch with my emotions at this moment. Do I feel happy, sad, mad, glad? I write until I can identify not only the feelings, but the story that goes with them.

Mind: This is where the story lies. I need to check for the story that is being told in my mind. I have to be aware of what I am thinking. I meditate a lot, but sometimes disengage from my thoughts. They are the ruling factor in whether I am spiritually fit or not. Meditation is important for me to pay attention to what Ego has to say to me.

Mental: This story is the reason I am emotionally happy, sad, glad, or mad. I have to learn to adjust it so that I am living in THIS moment with equanimity and acceptance of all that IS. Most of us have a tendency to want to rewrite the moments and judge, critique, or change them to suit our personal desires. This is where we become restless, irritable, and discontent. I cannot afford those 3 demons any longer. I must become adept at working through Ego to gain contentment and peace with LIFE as it comes, without an agenda or an opinion. Equanimity is the goal here.

Each time I work through this process, I am rewarded with peace. Most of the time I end up laughing at whatever crap I think should be happening, versus what IS happening. And each moment of peace I receive is truly a victory for me, over Ego, over addiction.

It is so much more than not getting loaded or drunk. It is all about the acceptance of life I could never get before, drugs and alcohol just made me forget my rage and shame. That was NOT a victory and no goals were ever met that way.

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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