discombobulating after a move. It's been interesting observing my psyche adapt to drastic change, as I compare the newer Pablo of the past ten years---the one that knows recovery from codependency---to the former Pablo that once allowed circumstances to dictate my emotional and mental well-being.
It's appropriate for the new year to reflect and ponder how we can go about our days. The following spiritual disciplines can help us get through the day, especially days that present challenges and stress.
Meditation slows us down and helps us get away from the frenetic white noise of a busy life. Meditation stills our mind, allowing us to get perspective.
Seeking God's will amidst of the turmoil is what we are attempting. Praying for grace to carry out His will, not ours, is our goal. This is known as Step 11 in recovery. Spirituality is humbling, is healing, is rare.
Meditation is connecting with a transcendent God. Prayer is talking to him. Meditation is when we stop and listen to what He has to say. I believe we were given one mouth and two ears because we were meant to use them in that proportion. When we open the ears of our heart we find direction.
Nothing is as satisfying as having a relationship with a loving, nurturing and gracious God. For those who may not know He is forgiving and kind, I have two words: He is."The mind of man plans his ways but the Lord directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9
"Prayer is," Victor Hugo said, "no matter what position our body is in, our soul is on its knees." This means we can pray while driving and keep our eyes open. (A good thing.) We are as strong spiritually as we are in our prayer.
If we are weak here, we will also be feeble spiritually. It's best if we don't worry about the words used. We just want to be real like Tevye, in Fiddler On the Roof.
3. Palms down exercise.
Try sitting, with our forearms resting on our thighs, our hands extended beyond our knees, facing downwards. Releasing to God whatever concerns us, is our focus. It can go something like this:
You will feel the tension release from your body and soul. Try it.Lord, I release to you my worries, my anxiety, my pain, be it mental, physical, emotional or in any other form. I give to you my past history and the pain it contains. Father, I release my resentments, fears, and doubts to You. You can do for me what I can't do for myself. I turn these issues over into your loving care.
4. Palms up exercise. It looks like this:
You get the idea. We give thanks for knowing a God greater than ourselves. He can restore us when we're frazzled. The sanity and serenity we seek is available, when we draw close to Him. There is only one God and we are not it.Dear God, I receive from You your power, strength, perseverance, poise, peace and prosperity. I receive the emotional safety, tranquility, hope, and harmony that you alone provide. I receive the joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control you want me to enjoy. I receive the fantastic community, fellowship and celebration of life I enjoy with my family, loved ones and friends, your hope and abundance.
5. Reading inspiring literature helps. Yes, I believe in God. I've also found positive, uplifting books are an additional power greater than myself. Our best thinking and actions brought us the problems we face today. We overcome frustration, anger, anxiety and resentment, when we exercise restorative principles above those weak areas in our personality.
We can exercise instead of stewing in our depression. We can call a good friend instead of isolating. We can watch a funny movie when we're in the dumps. Applying constructive alternatives allow us to surmount the unpleasant challenges we face, including anger, being overwhelmed and fear. And good books unlocks doors, helping us consider options for overcoming life's challenges.
Applying healthy principles assists us in becoming emotionally mature, where responding---and not reacting---to the drama life throws at us becomes more of a reality, and not a dream. Literature can be a power greater than ourselves.
Our needs are God's way of extruding us into relationship with emotionally healthy and discerning others. Using character discernment allows us to invite others into our life who help us become better persons by their presence. For more about this, you can read here.
Though not perfect, safe friends are "good enough" in their own character that the net effect of their presence in my life is positive. They are accepting, honest, and present, and they help me to bear good fruit in my life. (Thoughts taken from Henry Cloud's and John Townsend's, Safe People.)
Calling a friend when we are at wit's end can be a sanity saver. It's good knowing that, "two are better than one, for they have a rich reward for their labor." Ecclesiastes 4:9
I have a hard copy of my gratitudes. I use one of those marbled, spreckly composition books with a black spine. I keep my daily record of thanks in it. I try writing at least three. At last count I have over 41,000 gratitudes in the several notebooks I've filled up. They help change the direction of my thinking.
The optimist sees the opportunity in every problem.
The pessimist sees the problem in every opportunity.
It is only the optimist who soars and it is the pessi-
mist who will try to clip his wings, to prevent him
There are several other things I do that help me to get through the day. I'll have to share them later.
How About You?
What helps you get through the day? I'd love hearing your ideas.