Let your mind guard your heart

Early in my sobriety, a wise woman taught me “I over E”. Intellect over Emotion.

Most people seem to live quite differently from this. Perhaps being able to apply this formula is a step toward emotional maturity…I don’t know.

What I do know is that when I’m confronted with a situation in which I have a knee-jerk reaction, an emotional response, it usually turns out better if I don’t.

Maybe that’s what separates the average mammal from higher-functioning humans. (Notice I didn’t say Humans, in general.) Animals who are considered to have higher intellect, ie trainable, are those with some measure of the ability to override their instinctual/emotional reactions. Instead of biting the person that seems to be a threat, Fido reasons that since Owner said “No”, that he will respond accordingly. Or when my cat is afraid, and wants to run away and hide, he remembers that I am a safe person and instead he stays put.

When I was active in my addiction, I rationalised and justified acting on my feelings every time. I felt X, so of course I did Y. There was never any thought between X and Y. Just feeling + action.

In the end, because I was so unable to successfully handle my feelings, no matter what X was, Y always equalled a drink or a drug.

Recently, I had an experience that effectively sliced my heart open with the skill of a top-rated surgeon. I never saw it coming. My emotions were laid out, raw. They flowed out of me like a flooded river. I’m human, after all. Feeling things is a part of that.

Then after a time, I came to a lull in the rapid flowing pain, and I was able to lift up my head and gasp a breath of air. With that moment of clarity, I became aware that I had options.

I could choose to let the waters keep throwing me further downstream, hitting the rocks on the bottom and feeling the burn of lungs aching for air,

OR

I could reach up, the next time I surfaced, and grasp for…anything with which I might be able to pull myself ashore.

After so much time in the current, being beaten and tossed about, I really am exhausted. It’s hard to think. So, in planning my course from here, I decide to rest a bit. My body certainly needs time to heal from to plethora of cuts and bruises.

This is where I over E comes in.

Left to my feelings, I am in a never-ending fight. I circle a sewage drain of anger, regret, fear, and more. I am a slave to emotion when I’m tired and weak. My mind tells me that this is going to end in the destruction of my life and any relationship that I care about, unless I (daily) take the control from my emotions and hand it back to my intellect.

If animals can control their instincts, their emotions, and choose to lead with what they KNOW, then I can, too. We can, too.

Just because someone or something pushes my button, our buttons, does NOT mean we have to react. We can pause. Pray. Breathe. And choose to RESPOND.

I over E.

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A great thing to stick on a note and post beside your mirror. It works for me.

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The Power of Addiction

The Power of Addiction

This is the power of addiction. Whatever the object of our addiction is, it attaches itself to our intense desire for eternal and intimate communion with God and each other in the midst of Paradise—the desire that Jesus himself placed in us before the beginning of the world. Nothing less than this kind of unfallen communion will ever satisfy our desire or allow it to drink freely without imprisoning it and us. Once we allow our heart to drink water from these less-than-eternal wells with the goal of finding the life we were made for, it overpowers our will, and becomes, as Jonathan Edwards said, “like a viper, hissing and spitting at God” and us if we try to restrain it.

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“Nothing is less in power than the heart and far from commanding, we are forced to obey it,” said Jean Rousseau. Our heart will carry us either to God or to addiction.

“Addiction is the most powerful psychic enemy of humanity’s desire for God,” says Gerald May in Addiction and Grace, which is no doubt why it is one of our adversary’s favorite ways to imprison us. Once taken captive, trying to free ourselves through willpower is futile. Only God’s Spirit himself can free us or even bring us to our senses.

 

 

 

Original author, unknown.

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Trees

Rough weather makes good timber.

—Appalachian adage

When you journey up a mountain path, you see many types of tree growth. In the lower part of the mountain are small saplings just starting their growth as well as towering trees. Higher up, trees are smaller. Some cling precariously to the side of the mountain, growing out of a small patch of earth between cracks in a rock.

Journey up the same path after a spring snowmelt and you may see a different view. In the lower regions, once towering trees have been felled by the power of raging water, and small saplings have been snapped at their base. But up higher, small trees are still firmly in place, steadfast in their grip between the rocks.

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The lesson in this is that the strongest can survive. Like the trees, you are ever-exposed to the storms and difficulties of daily life. Will you be overwhelmed by life’s adversities, easily felled by such things, or will you develop an inner strength and resiliency that will enable you to work through each difficulty? Today recognize that challenges in life are inevitable. Brace yourself for them, hold firm to your position, and never let them dislodge you.

I am a survivor who can withstand the difficulties in life. I do this with strength and with dignity.

Quoted from the books Morning Light and Night Light by Amy E. Dean.

Find recovery resources at Hazelden.org.

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Thoughts on a Friday evening

Today was a good day.

I went outside this morning, and the sun was shining, birds were singing, and it really FELT like Spring. (Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons, btw)

Then I decided to go to a noon (AA) meeting that I’d not attended before. It was in a remote little place, between towns, in a church I’ve driven past hundreds of times. I had no idea that, at any given time, there was a group of folks saving one another’s lives inside.

When I walked in the chair person was reading from a recent Grapevine, which always encourages me. I had an article published in that publication, many years ago, and so of course I have always been fond of “Our meeting in print”.

The room looked like it could ordinarily be used as a Rec room for the churches’youth group. I spied an Air Hockey table, a jukebox, and a small setting area on one side with comfy coiches and chairs. There was a kitchen on the other side, and the bar area had 4 kind’s of cookies and a coffee maker, along with the usual literature options.

It was as if I’d strolled into a pleasant memory. If you’ve never been to an AA meeting, suffice it to say that by simply walking into the room, no matter what else is going on, or whether or not you feel any kind of way about being there, you are welcome.

Sick and worn out? Welcome.

Stinky and unbathed? Welcome.

In need of psychiatric meds but managing to somehow keep your shit more or less together? Welcome.

Nobody walks into an AA meeting by mistake.

It was nice to see a majority of gray-heads at this particular place. I haven’t been to many meetings of late where many of the attendees had over a year sober, and this cup looked to be running over with sobriety. With the emotional roller coaster I’ve been living in, it felt like a gift from God to slip into a seat at the back of the room, and listen.

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The coffee was hot, and someone had brought some carrot cake, with cream cheese icing. It was almost as if I’d called ahead and put in my order.

I think going to a meeting on any day that I’m not employed is a Good Thing. I left that meeting feeling hopeful and happy. Some one once said that you could think of “G.o.d.” as

Group

Of

Drunks.

I know that whenever I’m in a group of people working on a spiritual solution for the problem of alcoholism  (or addiction, thank you), my God meets me there.

I’m a greatful recovering alkie/druggie, today, and my name is Abbie.

An Addict Fell in a Hole

pexels-photo-1601495_1553889831615AN ADDICT FELL IN A HOLE and couldn’t get out. A businessman went by and the addict called out for help. The businessman threw him some money and told him to buy himself a ladder. But the addict could not buy a ladder in this hole he was in. A doctor walked by. The addict said, “Help! I can’t get out!” The doctor gave him some drugs and said, “Take this. It will relieve the pain.” The addict said thanks, but when the pills ran out, he was still in the hole. A well-known psychiatrist rode by and heard the addict’s cries for help. He stopped and asked, ” How did you get there? Were you born there? Did your parents put you there? Tell me about yourself, it will alleviate your sense of loneliness.” So the addict talked with him for an hour, then the psychiatrist had to leave, but he said he’d be back next week. The addict thanked him, but he was still in the hole. A priest came by. The addict called for help. The priest gave him a Bible and said, “I’ll say a prayer for you.” He got down on his knees and prayed for the addict, then he left. The addict was very grateful, he read the Bible, but he was still stuck in the hole. A recovering addict happened to be passing by. The addict cried out, “Hey, help me. I’m stuck in this hole!” Right away the recovering addict jumped down in the hole with him. The addict said, “What are you doing? Now we’re both stuck here!!” But the recovering addict said, “Calm down. It’s okay. I’ve been here before. I know how to get out.” -Author Unknown

The moral of the story is that the best person to help someone struggling with a cunning, baffling and powerful ailment like addiction is someone who’s been there and recovered.

“…love one another right now…”

I found this on my cousins’ social media page. Been looking for something great to share with you…thanks, Margie. ❤

There was a farmer who grew excellent quality wheat and every season he won the award for the best grown in his county. One year a reporter from the local newspaper interviewed the farmer and learned that each Spring the man shared his seed with his neighbors so that they too could plant it in their fields…
“How can you afford to share your best wheat seed with your neighbors when they are entering their crops in the competition with yours?” the reporter asked….
“Why that’s very simple,” the farmer explained… “The wind picks up pollen from the developing wheat and carries it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior wheat, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of all the wheat, including mine. If I am to grow good wheat, I must help my neighbors grow good wheat”…
The reporter realized how the farmer’s explanation also applied to peoples’ lives in the most fundamental way… Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all…

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Sucker punches, feeling lost, and waiting on God.

I know, each day, that at some point I’m gonna take a hard punch to the gut. I can only bob and weave for so long before the son of a bitch connects.

But, guess what? I’m getting stronger. I’m becoming more resilient, again.

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Some days, it’s actually more annoying, that the grief keeps coming around. I KNOW it’s there. It buzzes around in my periphery, all day and night, just looking for a good time to strike. Almost like the most painful game, ever.

I know that my role, is to STAY IN TODAY. My Sponsor told me “Look a your feet. Where are you? Be there.” And the enemy is hard at work, doing his best to distract me with memories of regrets and dreams of a future that will never happen.

Ultimately, more often than not, I wipe my eyes and stare into the eyes of the devil. I remember Who is in charge; Who has my back, and Who is working ALL things together for my good. And the devil doesn’t stand a chance against my God.

I don’t want to say what I tell him, the one trying so hard to destroy me, now. You can fill in the blank.

My choice, in lieu of fighting back, is to pursue forgiveness. One of the “stages of grief” is said to be anger, and when I noticed myself drifting toward a generalised rage, I began taking steps to remedy that. A friend recommended a book, which has been helpful.

The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere is an easy read and very much scripturally-based book that delves into places a lot of Believers would much rather sweep under the rug. Anger is ugly, after all. Mr. Bevere points clearly toward the answers for resentment and woundedness, and does it without throwing any shade. (I don’t know about you but the last thing I need is to be shamed for admitting the darkness that still resides inside.)

So, today I’ve been thinking about how much I want to find my PLACE. I know that with #Jesus, I am home. With my amazing #husband, I am also very much home…

That leaves a whole lot of life still unsettled. Maybe I need to put some roots down, and the reason I’m SO freakin’ unsettled is that I have such shallow roots.

I want to know what my WORK is.

I want to recognise my CONTRIBUTION to the world is supposed to be.

So…listening to an Andrew Murray book about WAITING ON GOD.

How’s your March going? Please let me know. I want to celebrate your happiness with you. I need thinks to think about, outside of me.