Post by Susan P. on Jan 25, 2008 15:08:49 GMT -8
Here is the secret to TRUE and LASTING peace and joy. It does not come from a relationship with someone else, but with a relationship with yourself and with God. When this happens you will find a wonderful person to share with you the great adventure of life.
I had a difficult life and at the age of thirty two I reached out for help. My therapist recommended that I get in touch with my spiritual nature ─ that "vital principle or animating force traditionally believed to be within living beings." I did and it changed my life. Somehow tapping into this rich inner resource transforms us, or alters our attitudes and feelings to the extent that we can change what we have never been able to change before.
How spirituality works is a mystery. It is something that is often observed but not necessarily understood. I overcame my addictions with the aid of spirituality. I started out at the mercy of my dependencies. I was powerless over my inner compulsions and had no strength to fight back. I habitually re-enacted behavior that was self-destructive and life-threatening. Then, in a moment of agony, I called out "God help me," and somewhere deep in my soul I surrendered. Then I admitted that I was powerless and asked for help. Then . . .
⋅ I felt willing when before I felt hesitant;
⋅ I felt courageous, when before I felt terrified;
⋅ I felt guided, when before I felt lost;
⋅ I felt loved, when before I felt abandoned;
⋅ I felt wise, when before I felt confused;
⋅ I felt hopeful, when before I felt despair;
⋅ I felt as if I was at the start of a glorious new journey, when before I felt near death.
There is more than one way to have a spiritual awakening. For some people it will happen suddenly during one dramatic moment, a moment from which there is no turning back. For others it happens slowly. Over time, they just find themselves with a new attitude about a Higher Power and spirituality. Their closed mind becomes open and curious. They pray and they feel connected to their Higher Power. Or they act "as if" a Higher Power exists, and in time they come to believe.
Some people practice meditation to find a Higher Power. Others may read spiritual literature or talk to people about spirituality. Whatever they do, recovering love addicts must do it repetitively, and they must not give up. If they are really seeking spirituality with an open mind they will find it. If they really ask for spirituality with a humble heart, it will be given to them.
Finding spirituality is one step. Holding onto it is another. Spirituality tends to recede if left unattended. Traditionally, spirituality can be retained, and even enhanced, by keeping the channel of communication open between the provider of spirituality (God or Higher Power) and the receiver of spirituality (yourself).
To keep what you have received I recommend the spiritual disciplines that worked for me.
Get quiet and listen to God through your feelings and intuition. Do this is a place where you will not be interrupted. Yoga is a good way to meditate. Meditation is your way of listening to God.
Talk to God (out loud or in your head) as if you were talking to a close, personal friend. You may ask for something but you should end your prayer with “Thy will be done.”
God is a higher power. You are a lesser power. You know this. You are humbled by it. Allow yourself to be less than God. Do not confuse this with being less than others around you. Humility is between you and God.
Read about spirituality. Keep a journal about your spiritual thoughts. Be a student of spirituality.
Slow down. Experience and appreciate the simple things in life—nature, music, friends. Being busy is a way to avoid spirituality.
Take some time to be alone and listen to your own inner music. Putter around your nest. Go on a retreat. Let your relationships with other go for awhile while you embrace your relationship with God.
Surrender everything to God—as you understand God. You do not surrender to those around you only to your spiritual nature. To surrender you simply say, “I am ready to be guided by you. Take away my willfulness. Take away my fear. Take me and all that stands in the way of our relationship.”
Reach out to people in need and give of yourself and your resources. Do not give too much as that is codependent. Do not ignore your needs or the needs of your family. Find the middle ground. This will all come back to you. Not by those to whom you have given, but by he universe.
Find someone you can trust and confide your deepest, darkest secrets to them. You are only human and have nothing to be ashamed of. Release the shame.
Be in awe of your Higher Power. Bow your head—metaphorically or literally. Be thankful for the grace that has been freely given to you.
Be grateful! Raise your hands in joy and celebration. Sing, dance and be merry. Go out and do something fun. Be optimistic when everything is falling apart. When you are suffering make a list of all the good things that have happened to you. Gratitude is not a feeling, it is a decision you make.
Work with a mentor who is in constant contact God. This can be anyone who is spiritual. It can be in a 12-Step program. It can be someone from a religious institution. Just pick someone you can trust and who has your best interests at heart.