Month: November 2019

One Day, One Minute, One Thought at a Time

One Day, One Minute, One Thought at a Time

Courage To Change — November 1, 2019

Today is the day. It all starts here. You have to do it NOW. I get it, life is insane and getting faster. There is no chance to slow life down, time has a way of not only getting away from us, but of lying in wait and taking us out at the knees. There’s always so much to do that getting overwhelmed by it is not only natural but expected. Add to that the extra madness of dealing with some of the stuff we deal with in recovery and it’s a recipe for true madness. So remember, take it one day, one minute, hell, sometimes just one breath at a time. You can do this.

Quick and Simple Disclaimer: The readings in this post are literally taken wholesale out of the book entitled Courage to Change. You can find it at Amazon, Here. The portion entitled Alleged Insight, well that mess is all me.

If you’re an introvert, go buy the book, if you’re a broke introvert, the text from many good books can be found HERE , if you’re in dire straits however, go find an Al-Anon Meeting, it saved me.

So onward to Today’s Reading

Sometimes a horse refuses to obey it’s rider’s command and races out of control. My thoughts can do this too, when I frantically try, over and over, to solve a difficult problem. Riding lessons have taught me not to continually repeat a command louder, but to stop the horse, get his attention, and begin again.

Likewise, when my thoughts race out of control, I need to stop. I may do this by breathing deeply and looking at my surroundings. I can help to replace the obsessive thoughts with something positive, such as an Al-Anon slogan, the Serenity Prayer, or another comforting topic that has nothing to do with my problem.

Later I may want to think about the problem again in a more serene way with the help of an Al-Anon friend or sponsor. When I put some distance between myself and obsessive thinking, I can better look at my situation without losing all control.

Today’s reminder

Sometimes I have to let go of a problem before I can find a solution. My racing thoughts may be making so much noise that I can’t hear the guidance my inner voice is offering. Quieting the noise is a skill I can learn with practice. At first, I may have to still my thoughts again and again, but in Al-Anon I learn that practice makes progress [not perfect], one minute, one thought at a time.

“All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quiet in a room alone.”

Blaise Pascal

Alleged Insight:

I have assumed the mantle of Duke of Chaos for a reason. Day in and day out, life is chaos, overwhelmingly, insanely, mind and peace shattering chaos. Five kids with heightened needs (or maybe they’re just loud), and two full time work schedules, and all the mess that goes with. It’s not a good environment for peace and quiet. Really it’s not.

The old joke about dad locking himself in the bathroom for a moment of space or mom losing herself in the back garden where nobody can find her; these are standby’s for us so that we don’t become the manic overwhelmed people we could be. As often as not however, we end up in the middle of an emotional explosion, having to redirect and address the moment without being able to take the time away from the screaming overwhelmed children (or something else) to get back to calm center. Then it becomes a battle of wills. Can my calm intention win out over the external chaos that’s trying to take me down with it?

Can my calm intention win out over the external chaos that’s trying to take me down with it?

The question, while valid, is misleading. It should read, “Will I allow my calm intention to be destroyed or subverted by other’s chaotic insistent pressures? Or shall I take it one moment, one breath at a time and choose the path that will lead us back to wholeness; rather than choosing the path of chaos and unintentional but very real pain.

I have a choice. I always have a choice. Even if in the moment I cannot find the peace of mind to see that choice, it is still there. I can choose peace, or I can choose pain. But I am the one who chooses. Nobody else, no matter how big or small, loud or demanding, overwhelming or abusive, can make me choose one over the other. It’s all me. I can choose.

Closing thoughts:

It may not be an easy choice to make. The temptation to follow others into chaos, the raging emotions inside me, may make that choice damned near impossible to be aware an intentional about, but I still have that choice.

If you’re reading this because you’re also in recovery, you also have that choice. Take it for what it’s worth and try to do the best you can do.

We need to start talking about this crap as whole and healthy (if broken) humans. Silence is the weapon of madness. Connection and truthful reflection (knowing your own self) is the path to freedom. Now, I don’t know your story, but I sure as hell don’t want to leave my demons for my children. It’s time to break the pattern.