Happiness is more a state of being than it is an emotion. Gratitude and attitude are the keys. How lovely and disturbing to find that they’re both in our control. Here it comes – another opportunity to get out of our own way.
Seeking safety is a spiritual undertaking. It requires connection and a shift in awareness. Hypervigilance is constantly scanning for threats. Serenity is knowing that either no threat currently exists or that we’re equipped to deal with it if there is one. This is not something we can do alone. We need progressively more safe people and safe places.
There’s a meme to the effect of, “I remind myself that my survival rate of bad days is 100%.” I’ve gotten through the last three hours by saying to myself, “Just do what you can. Just do the next right thing.” This is me officially starting my day over. I’m not going to agonize. I’m not even going to stress. I’m going to practice acceptance while mindful of what my friends in AA say, “You don’t have to like something to accept it.”
I’ve come to understand that control is fear-based and more importantly, largely an illusion. On my good days, the only thing I’m in charge of is myself. On my great days, I’m not in control of me – my Higher Power is. I surrender on a daily basis – asking my Higher Power to work through me to give and receive.
I’ve learned that the expectations and standards we hold ourselves to serve as guiding principles in our lives. Like many in recovery, I found myself repeatedly crumbling under the weight of the demands I placed on myself, the pressure I put on myself to juggle an impossible number of undertakings, and the absence of support that I allowed myself.
When we talk about our “trust issues” we’re often referring to our fears of judgment and rejection. Our experiences both in growing up and in active use taught us to expect it. It’s a hard piece to reconcile. The people in our lives today are very different than those who gave us a distorted sense of self.