Sunday, October 26, 2008

Growth, Optimism, Faith, and Home Group

Today's Each Day a New Beginning reading was on the subject of tough times and how they are always about growth:

We seldom have the foresight to understand the worth, the ultimate value of a particular circumstance at its beginning. But hindsight offers us clarity. It's good to reflect on the many circumstances that failed to thrill us; in all cases we can now see why we needed them. As our trust in God and the goodness of all experiences grow, we'll more quickly respond with gladness when the situations are fresh. No experience is meant for harm. We are coming to understand that, even though on occasion we forget.

Practicing gratitude will help us more fully appreciate what has been offered us. Being grateful influences our attitude; it softens our harsh exterior and takes the threat out of most new situations.

If I greet the day, glad to be alive, I will be gladdened by all the experiences in store for me. Each is making a necessary contribution to my wholeness.

This past year in a half has definitely "failed to thrill" me. This reading says that this difficult time in my sobriety has not been "meant for harm." Practicing gratitude will help me to see the experience that way.

I haven't felt any "growth" lately and I recognize that part of that is about me not wanting to feel it. I want to be down on myself because I am ashamed about being forced to resign from a job and about failing a class. I'm afraid that if I do feel optimistic, I will get complacent again. I don't want that to happen. I thought the experience of being asked to resign was awful enough to pop me out of my work patterns (laziness, self-centeredness, resignation to boredom). My experience working at the treatment center proved that it was not enough. And my experience during this hiatus from work has done the same. I still like to procrastinate and to do what I want to do when I want to do it.

I have always been an optimistic person. Being afraid to be hopeful is unnatural for me. And today I recognized that optimism is just another word for faith. When I suppress my optimism, I discard faith. It is important that I have faith that my higher power can do for me what I cannot do myself.

It feels like I should give myself permission to be optimistic about my ability to change. It's difficult to be supportive of others when I can't be supportive -- more accurately, I won't be supportive -- of myself.

Today I give myself permission to feel optimistic again. The difference is that I will not be irrationally optimistic; I will be cautiously optimistic, looking for ways to change my behavior to match my higher power's will for me.

I went to my home group this morning. Yesterday I wondered whether I should go at all, with all this stuff going on with my KindaSponsor™. But my higher power wanted me to go... so I went. I talked about the stuff above and was glad to see my friends and KindaSponsor™.

I just put a roast in our crock pot... My first time making a roast. Can't wait to try it in about 7.5 hours.

Thanks for listening -- JO

1 thoughts:

Anonymous October 26, 2008 at 12:00 PM  

Always a pleasure to hear you share :)