Monday, September 23

Spiritual Weightlifting 9/23/13

 This is a view of the Fremont hills, where I grew up, so did my sons.    I
 lived right where the rainbow ends.  I'm not kidding, in the town of Niles.
       I know I've been gone for awhile.  Sorry.  I'm back.  It's been crazy, since speaking at a peace forum in Berkeley.  I have new clients, now.  I've been
exhausted, pacing myself, not posting here, going to bed earlier, instead, bal-ancing long hours of work with rejuvenating rest.

      I met with others last night.  It's nice hearing their successes, hope and experiences dealing with life's challenges.  There were ideas expressed I can use.  It's comforting, hanging out with others who share things I think, but at one time was afraid to say.  It's reassuring knowing they face similar circumstances.  I am not alone.

My Gratitudes:
1.  It strengthen my character, being supported by a community of friends where I can be who I am---good or bad, up or down, emotionally---and still be loved.  Their support provides dignity, respect, compassion and reciprocity, making it possible to thrive, even during stressful times.
2. My middle son and I visited, yesterday and today, at length.  Talking heart-to-heart is fulfilling. Connecting with another person is one of the richest times possible.  Healthy relationships invigorates the soul.
3. Practical matters were tended to this weekend.  I exercised discipline, forgoing fun.  The dividend?  More order, less clutter, tranquility and a cleaner home.
4. I celebrate a loving relationship with God.  I'm grateful knowing One who is patient, kind, generous and supportive, who loves me deeply.

Spiritual Weightlifting

        I appreciate the healing power of humor, when going through tough times.  Applying principles---including mirth---instead of worrying or being upset, when stressed, strengthens me emotionally.  It is empowering, detaching from life's vexing issues.  Applying principles above my personality is spiritual weightlifting.

        I'm characterologically strong when strongly connected with others---my Balcony People---who love me unconditionally.  Fortitude is mine, because of the nurture, love and acceptance they provide.

        I'm grateful that, when tempted to say something regrettable, I respond, not react.  I apply tempered responses.  Reacting----aggressively blurting out with the venom of sarcasm or judgment towards those others, or passively yielding to the blame or shame others would want me to wear---is no longer my default mode.

       This past week I didn't react to a derisive person.  It was close, but I kept my mouth shut.  It's easier to respond when not allowing others to define who I am nor determine my moods.  I stood in my power, recovery and integrity.  It's easier to do this when I know the love of many.

       Maintaining my relationship with God, asking Him for His will, and the power to carry it out, helps too, big time, when challenged.  In recovery, this is Step 11.  I find it helpful remembering that God never uses shame, guilt or sarcasm to motivate.  It's obvious.  God is Love: love isn't abusive.

       Being belittled is not hearing God's voice, nor is it His voice when we hear judgment echoing within our mind.  Nope, He operates by balancing truth with love, always.

       God never stoops, using negativity to motivate.  Following His example, neither should we lower our standards, using harmful means to prod others.  You know, using shame, blame, guilt or sarcasm.

       Growth happens when we have this perspective.  We can be happy when cruel people are mad at us---their reaction means we must be doing something right---we're standing up to abuse and emotional coercion.
"How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world." Wm. Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, Act V, Scene 1  
       Even though others may disappoint and harm, it's our responsibility dealing with it.  Our happiness is not contingent upon those who have wronged us, apologizing, or making things right.  Life will be rough when we expect others to fill the whole in our souls.  That is our job.
'Acting like a victim is a choice, not a destiny."   Hope for Today, 189
       Joy occurs when we dig deep, pausing, before reacting, looking at what we can do to meet our unmet needs and doing something about it.
"If you feel like a doormat, you need to get up off the floor."     Courage to Change, 361 
How About You? 
What two things help you to respond, instead of reacting?  I'd love hearing your ideas.  

1 comment:

Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

When trying to respond with grace or kindness, instead of reacting regrettably, I try to do the two following;

1. Pause, bite my tongue (figuratively)and walk away, or change the subject; buying time.

2. H.A.L.T: I find that I'm most prone to reacting, or overreacting, when I'm Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. Therefore, when I'm suffering from HALT, I need to do just that, stop, take care of whatever distracting needs I have at the time, and then get back on track.

On this gorgeous, cool, autumn-esque evening, I am grateful for;

1. Leaving work early today at 10:00 AM to go to the gym, swim, chill, and refresh the heart, mind, soul and body.

2. An unusual and delightful luncheon rendezvous with my wife at a new-to-us Chinese restaurant in Castro Valley. While the food was forgettable, the occasion was special.

3. A glorious, MSG induced, 3 hour nap in the afternoon.

4. Fresh figs and coffee at dusk in our organically humble, backyard garden.

5. Time and energy to both do my homework and post here!

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.