Facing fear…

Melody-Beattie.pngMelody Beattie writes:

“How do you face fear?” a woman asked.

“I suggest doing one thing each week that scares you,” I said, even though Eleanor Roosevelt said to do one thing each day that scares you.

Action: Make a list of your fears, known and unknown. Then tell yourself, someone else, and your Higher Power what’s on the list. This idea is borrowed from the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Next make a list of ten things, like deep breathing or praying, that help you feel peaceful, or at least help you make peace with the fear. Learn to recognize fear. Then figure out what you need to do to make yourself feel safe.

We each have similar—and different—things on our list of fears. Sometimes our fears are deep rooted. They got stuck in us from our past. We each have dif­ferent ideas and levels of actions we’re ready to take to be brave and face fear. For some, it might be riding in an elevator. For others, it might be expressing how they feel.

It’s important to know your limit. But sometimes it helps to push yourself a little when your fears limit you too much.

I’ye traveled alone to Pakistan, Algeria, and East Los Angeles, and I was perfectly safe. Yet, in my own home, I’ve given myself a concussion, burned myself, and fallen down the stairs.

There are certain things we need to do to responsibly protect ourselves. I recently asked a friend to pray for my safety on a potentially hazardous journey. She said, “I’ll ask. But know that God is already with you.”

Wherever we go, God’s there. Make yourself safe wherever you are.

Gratitude Focus: Instead of resisting our fears or feeling ashamed of them, let’s try reverse psychology and be grateful each time one comes up.

via December 31.

The Path To Healing

Tommy Rosen has been doing a great job covering the 12 step program over at The Daily Love. Today he writes:

In this Step, we will practice taking full ownership of the circumstances of our relationships in our lives to this point. We will own our side of the street completely and we will approach those that we have harmed with humility, honesty, compassion and a sincere desire to set things right. We will put out of our minds anything that they may have done wrong and approach them to apologize and also to make an amends. Many people confuse making amends with an apology. An apology is to say sorry for what you have done. To “make amends” is to express that you are changing yourself in such a way that you will not commit the same act again. To make amends also has a connotation of making reparations. We will need to make the situation right. If we have stolen, then we re-pay what we have stolen. If we have cheated, then we ask what we can do to make it up to them. Far beyond a simple apology, which by the way, we may have given before many times, when we give an amends, it is a more profound act that can bring true healing in its wake.

Go to your 8th Step list and note all the people who are in your general location. These are people who you can get to easily face to face. Begin to make appointments to see them. No need to let them know exactly what your intention is other than to get together to connect and that it is important to you. Sometimes they will not want to see you. We always try to make amends face to face unless it is not possible. If a person refuses to see you, or lives halfway across the world or if they have passed on, then writing a letter will be sufficient. Prepare yourself before you meet someone to make an amends. Make certain you are ready to own your side of the street and stay off of theirs. It is wise to discuss each amends first with your sponsor or teacher.” Get more here: Step Nine – The Path To Healing – Making Amends!.

Follow the link and read the whole series in you’re interested…

A pause that refreshes…

When I leave the home needing a little detachment, I’m grateful that my commute to work is only 3.3 miles and that one of the midwest’s most beautiful lighthouses is blocks from my office…


Click image to enlarge…

Sometimes, I listen to my YouVersion bible while I walk the breakwater. Today, Proverbs 16 came up in my reading plan…

1 To humans belong the plans of the heart,

but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue.

2 All a person’s ways seem pure to them,

but motives are weighed by the LORD.

3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do,

and he will establish your plans.

via Proverbs 16 NIV – To humans belong the plans of the – Bible Gateway.

Running a business on my own is not always easy. Sometimes an open day on my calendar seems like an abyss. As one of those social media ‘gooroos’, there are never any shortage of distractions to satisfy the ‘ADD’ in me. That’s when I turn to my Higher Power and contemplate my 11th Step guidlines…

Preparing for the Day Ahead
  • We ask God to direct our thinking, asking especially that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.
  • We consider our plans for the day. We can now use our mental faculties with assurance.
  • If we face indecision or we can’t determine what course to take, we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy.
  • We pray to be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of problems.
  • We ask especially for freedom from self-will. [We might also pray for help with specific defects or problem areas, and review our 10th step corrective measures for the day ahead.]
Prayers to be of Use
  • We ask for guidance in the way of patience, kindness, tolerance and love especially within the family.
  • We pray as to what we can do today for the person who is still sick. [We might also pray for specific people in need, or those with whom we’re angry.]
Spiritual/Religious Exercises
  • If appropriate, we attend to our religious devotions, or say set prayers which emphasize 12 Step principles.
  • We may read from a spiritual book.
Practicing the 11th Step Throughout the Day
  • We pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action.
  • We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.” Source: 11th Step Guidelines

You don’t have to have abused a substance to benefit from a 12 Step program! Celebrate Recovery — the Christian version of the AA 12 Step program — has been helpful to me in dealing with ‘hurts, hangups and habits’ and it may benefit you, too. God bless YOU today as you move into your week…

Facing Our Dark Side

steps 5851
Image by dawneday via Flickr

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Step Four of Al-Anon

By the time we get to the Fourth of the Twelve Steps, we are ready to face our darker side, the side that prevents us from loving ourselves and others, from letting others love us, and from enjoying life. The purpose of Step Four is not to make ourselves feel worse; our purpose is to begin to remove our blocks to joy and love.

We look for fears, anger, hurt, and shame from past events buried feelings that may be affecting our life today. We search for subconscious beliefs about ourselves and others that may be interfering with the quality of our relationships.

These beliefs say: I’m not lovable. … I’m a burden to those around me…. People can’t be trusted…. I can’ t be trusted…. I don’t deserve to be happy and successful…. Life isn’t worth living.

We look at our behaviors and patterns with an eye toward discerning the self-defeating ones. With love and compassion for ourselves, we try to unearth all our guilt – earned and unearned and expose it to the light.

We perform this examination without fear of what we shall find, because this soul searching can cleanse us and help us feel better about ourselves than we ever dreamt possible.

God, help me search out the blocks and barriers within myself Bring what I need to know into my conscious mind, so I can be free of it. Show me what I need to know about myself.

Source: December 12: Facing Our dark Side | Language of Letting Go

God’s will

AA Big Book
Image via Wikipedia

Each day, ask God what God wants us to do today; then ask God to help. A simple request, but so profound and far-reaching it can take us anywhere we need to go. Listen: all that we want, all that we need, all the answers, all the help, all the good, all the love, all the healing, all the wisdom, all the fulfillment of desire is embodied in this simple request. We need say no more than Thank You. This Plan that has been made for us is not one of deprivation. It is one of fullness, joy, and abundance. Walk into it. See for yourself. Today, I will ask God to show me what God wants me to do for this day, and then ask for help to do that. I will trust that is sufficient to take me into light and joy.

Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (p. 359). Hazelden. Kindle Edition.

You might also find this helpful…

“The following summarizes the description of the 11th Step provided in Alcoholics Anonymous (primarily on pp. 86-88). This is supplemented by some suggestions [in brackets] that we have found helpful.

Preparing for the Day Ahead

  • We ask God to direct our thinking, asking especially that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.
  • We consider our plans for the day. We can now use our mental faculties with assurance.
  • If we face indecision or we can’t determine what course to take, we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy.
  • We pray to be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of problems.
  • We ask especially for freedom from self-will. [We might also pray for help with specific defects or problem areas, and review our 10th step corrective measures for the day ahead.]

Prayers to be of Use

  • We ask for guidance in the way of patience, kindness, tolerance and love especially within the family.
  • We pray as to what we can do today for the person who is still sick. [We might also pray for specific people in need, or those with whom we’re angry.]

Spiritual/Religious Exercises

  • If appropriate, we attend to our religious devotions, or say set prayers which emphasize 12 Step principles.
  • We may read from a spiritual book.

Practicing the 11th Step Throughout the Day

  • We pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action.
  • We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.””

Source: 11th Step Guidelines

For the record, the first excerpt can be found in Melody Beattie‘s book “The Language of Letting Go”. I recommend getting the Kindle edition — it’s cheaper and you can view it on your computer, smartphone or Kindle. The second reading comes from Recovery.net which features a website and an android app…

Taking care of ourselves…

A Belgian Westland Sea King at work doing a re...
Image via Wikipedia
A good thought this morning from ‘The Language of Letting Go’…

We do not have to wait for others to come to our aid. We are not victims. We are not helpless. Letting go of faulty thinking means we realize there are no knights on white horses, no magical grandmothers in the sky watching, waiting to rescue us. Teachers may come our way, but they will not rescue. They will teach. People who care will come, but they will not rescue. They will care. Help will come, but help is not rescuing. We are our own rescuers.

Our relationships will improve dramatically when we stop rescuing others and stop expecting them to rescue us. Today, I will let go of the fears and self-doubt that block me from taking assertive action in my best interest. I can take care of myself and let others do the same for themselves.

Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (p. 329). Hazelden. Kindle Edition.

Take Care of Yourself no Matter What

Alcoholics Anonymous
Image by KayVee.INC via Flickr

Some days, we wake up in the morning, and by the time we go to bed that evening, our life has twisted, changed in a way that we couldn’t predict and don’t want. Our worst fears have come true.

Life as we have known it will never be the same again. The problem isn’t just that this tragedy has come along and knocked our lives for a loop, although that alone would be enough. To complicate matters, we now know how vulnerable we are. And we wonder, in that vulnerability if we can ever trust God, life, or ourselves again.

Many years ago, the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, a spiritually based program designed to help alcoholics recover, cautioned people not to base sobriety and faith in God on the false notion that any person is immune from tragedy. They knew that life would continue to be life.

You are not alone, in your joy or in your sorrow. You may feel that way for a while. But soon you’ll begin to see that many others have experienced, surrendered to, and transcended a similar misfortune or loss. Your pain is important. But you’re not being singled out. Don’t use your misfortune to prove that you were right all along you’re a victim of circumstance, fate, and God.

“God must really love me,” a young man said one day after walking away from a motorcycle accident that should have been tragic.

God loves all of us, whether we walk away pain free or not.

Keep taking care of yourself, no matter what.

God, transform my pain into compassion for others and myself

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