As I was walking Saturday, I had a profound insight regarding the value of my feelings. My feelings, I realized, are merely glimpses that I am alive. They are not to be feared, or shunned, but rather to be cherished. Out of habit and disease, I have walked around so cut off from the vast majority of my feelings. Feeling is one of my most unique characteristics as a human being, a valued part of my human existence. Being able to recognize that is monumental.
Regardless of this awakening, I can't suddenly "start feeling" just because I have accepted that feeling is OK. I have to work to change old habits, to continually become more mindful. I have been working recently on focusing on the present, of being aware that I have never lived this moment before and will never live it again. So many of the last years, and perhaps all my life, I have lived with my mind focused on the past or projecting into the future, saddened and scared, but reeling in the need to RUN! fast too escape any consequences. It takes practice to even bring myself to the present moment, to put away all those thoughts and the noise that runs like a soundtrack in my mind. However, when I am present, I am feeling the value of being still and being quiet. When I do this, I feel much closer to my Higher Power, much more in tune with the process of listening to the "still, quiet voice." This state of consciousness makes practicing the Third Step much easier.
Another realization I experienced as a result of opening my heart and mind to my Higher Power relates to the work I am doing on the Sixth Step. I had been sort of freaking out at the concept of being rid of all my character defects
and this morning it occurred to me the step says, "Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character." It doesn't say, "Get rid of all your character defects." I know from experience that the god of my understanding has his own timing. I have lessons yet to learn, work left to do, but all this step asks is that I be "entirely ready." It's most certainly true that I don't want to live with the defects of greed, fear, dishonesty and more. I see the destruction they have caused in my life and I'm willing to do the work of the Sixth Step to move from uncertainty to being "entirely ready" to have GOD, not me, remove my defects of character.
Both of these "awakenings" came during my morning walk with my dog. I have come to see this time as a great opportunity to connect to my inner being and Higher Power. In the process of breathing in deep breaths of the fresh morning air, feeling the sun rise above me or the cold wind on my face, I feel alive and open. One of my first sponsors in the SLAA program was a man of Cherokee heritage. He encouraged me to go outside to pray and I found his suggestion to be incredibly useful. It has helped me not only believe that there is a living energy that is a power greater than myself, but also to feel that energy within and surrounding me. The more connected I am to that power, the more safe I feel to experience and explore my feelings without searching for coping mechanisms.
1 week ago