November 22, 2008

Let Me Be Intimate

"'It's the most precious know absolutely where you belong. There's a whole emotional wrapping-around-of-you here. You see the same rock, tree, road, clouds, sun -- you develop a nice kind of intimacy with the world around you. To be intimate is to grow, to learn...[it] is absolutely fulfilling. Intimacy, that's my magic word for why I live here.'
--Tessie Maranjo, SANTA CLARA PUEBLO

"Every human being, to be mentally healthy, must have the feeling of belonging. When we have a sense of belonging we can be intimate. We can feel. We can connect. If we cannot develop this feeling of belonging, then we will feel lost of disconnected. To be disconnected from life is like walking around during the day not knowing the Sun exists. To have the feelings of intimacy is warm, glowy, joyful, loving and connected. The feeling this Elder is talking about is available to everyone.

"Great Spirit, let me be intimate."

From White Bison

November 14, 2008

So Much Depends on My Attitude

"Our...happiness...[is] not necessarily determined by what happens to us in our lives, but how we perceive what happens to us.

Life happens. It happens all day, every day, and there really isn't much we can do to stop it from doing so. With all of our interactions with other people, it's inevitable that someone, some time, is going to do something that hurts us in some way. Some things are going to happen that make it seem like the world is conspiring against us. But the important thing about that, of course, is how we perceive the occurrences, how we see what happens to us.

"If we take the world and its happenings with a grain of salt, we can keep in mind that things really aren't that bad, that everything is a matter of degree. In that perspective lies a realistic view of the world that can allow us to take the things that happen with a high degree of equanimity, with a pragmatism that tells us that yes, things may be going poorly, but life is a series of cycles, and things always come around for the better unless we don't allow them to do so. Many of us do, in fact, keep the better things from happening simply because we get so caught up in the bad things that we tend to perpetuate them in our lives, often unconsciously.

"You don't always have control over the occurrences of your life, but you most certainly do have control over your perspective, over how you see things. What are you going to do with that perspective--train it to see the positive side of everything, or allow it to drag you with it when it focuses only on the negative?...

"For further thought:

'Remember, a small trouble is like a pebble. Hold it too close to your eye and it puts everything out of focus. Hold it at proper viewing distance and it can be examined and classified. Throw it at your feet and see it in its true setting--just one more tiny bump on the pathway.'

--Barbara Johnson"

From Living Life Fully

November 13, 2008

Circle of Self-Examination, Prayer & Meditation

"There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation, and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit.

"If I do my self-examination first, then surely, I'll have enough humility to pray and meditate -- because I'll see and feel my need for them. Some wish to begin and end with prayer, leaving the self-examination and meditation to take place in between, whereas others start with meditation, listening for advice from God about their still hidden or unacknowledged defects. Still others engage in written and verbal work on their defects, ending with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving. These three -- self-examination, meditation and prayer -- form a circle, without a beginning or an end. No matter where, or how, I start, I eventually arrive at my destination: a better life."

from Daily Reflections

Surrender Leads to Acceptance

"'We surrender quietly and let the God of our understanding take care of us.'
--Basic Text p. 26

"Surrender and acceptance are like infatuation and love. Infatuation begins when we encounter someone special. Infatuation requires nothing but the acknowledgement of the object of our infatuation. For infatuation to become love, however, requires a great deal of effort. That initial connection must be slowly, patiently nurtured into a lasting, durable bond.

"It's the same with surrender and acceptance. We surrender when we acknowledge our powerlessness. Slowly, we come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves can give us the care we need. Surrender turns to acceptance when we let this Power into our lives. We examine ourselves and let our God see us as we are. Having allowed the God of our understanding access to the depths of ourselves, we accept more of God's care. We ask this Power to relieve us of our shortcomings and help us amend the wrongs we've done. Then, we embark on a new way of life, improving our conscious contact and accepting our Higher Power's continuing care, guidance, and strength.

"Surrender, like infatuation, can be the beginning of a lifelong relationship. To turn surrender into acceptance, however, we must let the God of our understanding take care of us each day.

"Just for today: My recovery is more than infatuation. I have surrendered."

Just For Today Daily Meditation
Narcotics Anonymous ©1991 by World Service Office Inc.

November 10, 2008

Maintain Contact with the Memory of the Pain

"The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will power becomes practically nonexistent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink."

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, There Is A Solution, pg. 24~

Pupils in the Great School of Life

"I don't think happiness or unhappiness is the point. How do we meet the problems we face? How do we best learn from them and transmit what we have learned to others, if they would receive the knowledge?

"On my view, we of this world are pupils in a great school of life. It is intended that we try to grow, and that we try to help our fellow travelers to grow in the kind of love that makes no demands. In short, we try to move toward the image and likeness of God as we understand Him.

"When pain comes, we are expected to learn from it willingly, and help others to learn. When happiness comes, we accept it as a gift, and thank God for it."

Letter, 1950
from "As Bill Sees It"
Is Happiness The Goal?, p. 306