My Truth

Grateful

I recently did a questionnaire that puts in order 24 character strengths. I went into the questionnaire not knowing the names of the strengths.

I was not surprised by my top 5. They are: gratitude, appreciation of beauty and excellence, kindness and generosity, capacity to love and be loved and spiritually, sense of purpose and faith.

We often think and talk about our character defects and not character strengths. So doing this work gives me some great incite into who I am and how I am showing up in the world. The other cool thing is the other strengths can be worked on and improved and moved up the list.

Something I can only contribute to recovery, is having an attitude of gratitude. There have been times in my life that I have felt unworthy. Ungrateful. And not seeing the gifts there are from trials, hard days and even conflict. Over the last couple of years, I have developed a very strong sense of gratitude. So I was not surprised that this is my top strength.

According to The Positivity Project gratitude’s parent virtue is transcendence and this strength allow people to rise above their troubles and find meaning in the larger universe. Gratitude is sometimes resisted due to not wanting to experience a sense of indebtedness. However, gratitude is less about feeling indebted and more about being aware of the consideration, kindness and generosity of others.

I am approaching my 4 year of working a recovery program, Celebrate Recovery (CR) I’m giving my testimony at two different CR’s in the next few weeks. Tonight I am reflective of who I was walking in the doors of CR for the first time and who I am today AND JUST HOW FAR I HAVE COME.

And I find myself just so grateful.

Grateful for where I was. Grateful for those who came along side me. I am grateful for those who stuck with me and for those who walked away. I am grateful for the work I’ve done to find myself. I am grateful for friendships that are not like any other I have ever had. I am grateful for making my recovery a priority for the last 4 years.

I am grateful that I can admit that I am powerless. I do not have it all together. I do not have to try and control all of it. I am not responsible for all of it. I am not that powerful and it’s not my job.

I am grateful that my higher power loves me. That I matter to Him and that He wants to have a relationship with me. That He works all things together for my greater good.

I am grateful that I make the decision everyday to turn my life and my will over to the care of God.

I am grateful for fearless inventories. And identify my part and see character defects because I will grow from this information.

I am grateful for being able to admit to God, to myself and to someone I trust, my wrong doings.

I am grateful that I am a work in progress and am ready to have God remove my defects of character.

I am grateful that I can humbly ask Him to remove my shortcomings.

I am grateful for identifying those that I have harmed and become willing to make amends with them.

I am grateful for making direct amends when ever possible except when to do so would injure them or others.

I am grateful for continuing to take personal inventory and promptly admit when I am wrong.

I am grateful for prayer and meditation. Praying for knowledge of His will for my life and the power to carry that out.

And I am grateful for getting to carry this message to others and practicing these principles in all of my affairs.

I am grateful for the 12 steps and learning how to apply them to me and my pain and hurts.

I am perfectly imperfect and grateful.

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes

If nothing changes, nothing changes. BUT if something changes and you stick with it….EVERYTHING changes!

I know first hand how that works. In many parts of my life.

If I continued to relate to someone with codependency, that relationship will stay dysfunctional.

If I continued to not have boundaries with someone, I will continue to be run over and feel unheard.

If I continued to be in denial about my health, I would continue to on the path to put myself of a health risk.

I recently read ….Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change. By Tony Robbins. It’s so true.

Change can be scary. What’s going to happen to me when I get healthy….less dependent….more assertive….speak the truth in love…..forgive them…..take off my mask….forgive myself…..will people like me….will I even like me?

Well let me say when I stepped out of denial with my health because my pain of staying the same was greater than my pain of change. And I made real changes. And stuck to them for the last 5 months, EVERYTHING had changed. I have now lost 47 pounds. My blood sugar and pressure are back in normal ranges. I have more energy. I am no longer in physical pain daily. I am happier. I am more confident.

As far as if others will like me…..I don’t care. It no longer matters to me if others like me or not. I don’t need to know. It’s actually none of my business. The right people will not only like me, they will love me.

And to answer the do I like me question….I love who I am becoming. I finally feel like I am becoming who I was always meant to be. I love serving others in a ministry that walks along side others who are in pain from life. And they have reached that tipping point of staying the same is more painful than pain of change.

Together we work the 12 steps. They are designed to take actions to achieve the goals of recovery – reconciliation with God, with yourself, with others and then serving and giving back….that’s how it works.

And then together we learn the Celebrate Recovery principals to develop new attitudes – attitudes of humility, vulnerability, honesty and gratitude….that’s why it works.

I love being perfectly imperfect. I make mistakes. And then I can correct them. It’s not a success only Journey. And when I fail, I can get back up. Failing just means I’m trying and not standing still.

If nothing changes, nothing changes but if something changes and you stick with it, everything changes!

My journey to serenity continues…

Ps parts of this post is inspired by a Celebrate Recovery lesson. You will find the most amazing people there. To find a meeting near you, go the Celebrate Recovery website.

My Truth

Dear Hurting Soul…

Dear Hurting Soul –

This letter is for you. You who love an addict (no matter what they are addicted to) and your life is out of control and you are wondering how this became your life. 

I see you. 
I know your pain. 
And I was you. 

Please know that you are not alone. 
Please know that you are not crazy. 
And please know life doesn’t have to be like this. 

You may be lying or hiding things from the addict or from your friends. You may feel overly responsible for the addicts actions or lack there of. You may be doing more than your share. You may be tired from this dance of fixing and taking care of the addict. You may be checking their phone to see what is going on. You may even be pissed off about broken promises. You may be hurting that you are not being heard. Or you may even be hurting that your addict is choosing their vise over you. You may feel all or some of these things. 

Can they change? Maybe. But right now, it’s not about them, it’s about you. I know, I get it, that feels really strange to have this about you. After all, you are not the addict. 

Hmmm or are you? The chaos that happens when the dance starts. The drama of it all. Feeling needed. 
When I went to my first meeting, I was shocked that we were supposed to talk about ourselves and not the addict. ‘I just want to fix him’, I remember thinking. What am I supposed to do to to help him? 

It’s not about them. It’s about you. 

You need support and your friends can’t help you with this. And to find a group to help you navigate this. And you need to find the right group for you! 

I went to one group for several weeks. I didn’t really click with them. That group, at that time of day happened to have a lot of parents of addicts. I couldn’t exactly relate to them and I didn’t feel like they were relating to me. But someone told me to go for 6 weeks and I would get to meet more people and get an idea of what that group was about. 

I’d recommend that if your schedule allows try different times for different groups. Don’t let one meeting make a decision for you. Meetings are made up with people and different nights or times can have completely different dynamics. 

I think I went for 5 or 6 weeks and felt it was not the right group for me. And I found the current group I’m with. And I love this group. 

If you are like me, you likely have looked up online where meeting are and the times. I did several times before I decided to go. 

Crossing those doors for the first time is scary. You don’t know anyone. You don’t know what to expect. You don’t know if you will be judged. 

You can do this because you are worth it. It’s time to stop the madness and choose you! Yep, now is the time.  Right here. Right now. Choose you! Choose peace. Choose to do something different and to stop the crazy dance. 

I know you are hurting and scared. I know you are because I was. 

But I promise, once you find the right group, you will find your people. And they will love on you and take your hand and say let’s do this together. 

You will find hope.
You will find people that understand 
And you will find an amazing healing journey to healing that soul of yours. 

Choose you! You are sooooooo worth it. 

Your journey starts now. 

My journey to serenity continues….

PS if you have gone to a few meetings and not sure what to do next, I’d recommend a post from last year that you may enjoy Just Start Rowing

My Truth

Judging Others…

One thing I have learned first hand from 12 step recovery meeting rooms has to do with judgment. 

While I was spinning out of control on the codependency/addict merry go round, others didn’t understand what was going on and why I was acting like a crazy person. 

I’d ask for advise (while knowing what I should do) but frozen in being able to take action to change what was going on. And the merry go round went around and around and around again. In some ways it felt safer to do what you know. 

I felt like a crazy person. I didn’t understand what was going on. How did this become my life?

Part of codependency is about what others may think of me if they knew what was going on.  So I would take care of things and make it easier for others. I’d paint the picture of it not being THAT bad. Why? Because I didn’t want to be judged in a negative way or for those around me that I cared about to be judged. The shame I felt that if everyone knew, they would be disappointed in me somehow. Because I was disappointed in myself. 

But then I had to DO something and DO something different because I did not want to spin around one more time. With a ton of work and willingness, my heart started to heal and things started to make sense and more connections were made and my heart healed a little bit more.  

For me when I first started to go to meetings, I felt a lot of things but being judged was not one of them. As I heard others stories and where they were, I didn’t for a second judge them. I felt compassion and empathy and just wanted to love them along their journey. 

What a beautiful gift to share with others in recovery who also at one point may have felt shame for their behavior. Being in a space of not being judged. Being in a safe place to share the darkest of their days. Learning to heal and grow and learning to trust yourself and others around you again. Beautiful thing for sure. 

In the Book of Matthew 7: 2-5 it says this about being judgemental…...Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?’ 

Wowzers, pretty clear. Why do people do that? Because it’s easy. It’s easy to point out others flaws or sins and not look at yourself and owning your part. 

Reminds me of recovery sayings like….

Stay in your own lane.
Keep your side the street clean.
Keep your spoon in your own bowl.

Or in Romans 3:23 you will find….’For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,’

Yeah hello, everyone has fallen short and who am I to think that my sin is less sinful than someone else’s. Or that this persons sin is so much worse on the sin scale. (Is that a thing?)  Makes me laugh to think of times I thought that about someone or a situation. Because I didn’t understand that this is not how it works. 

I would not trade my best day on the codependent/addict merry go round for my worst day off it!!! 

I think this is actually called grace. Going to a year and a half of meetings, I have learned to give grace because grace has been given to me. 

I have learned not to judge because they didn’t judge me. 

My journey to serenity continues….

My Truth

my life is telling a story…

My life is telling a story. The story is based on every decision I’ve made. Good decisions and bad ones too. 

My story tells the story about a girl who learned to cope with life by being codependent. This served her well for a while until it didn’t. As she lost herself trying to fix someone else and trying to fix the person before him and the one before him too. 

She was about to give up when she found her life to be wreck. Like a 100 car train wreck. Parts smashed and broken beyond repair. Off the track as far as the eye can see in all directions. Everything is just a mess. 

But then she made a different decision. She found a Christian based recovery group and she was reminded that God is in control and she didn’t have to try to control everything around her. 


Because of wanting and being willing to understand and let go, she no longer had to feel responsible for so many things that were out of her control in the first place. And she started to heal the parts of her heart that had hurt for so long that those parts were numb to the pain. 

She made new decisions everyday. Everyday committing to let God guide her footsteps. 

Today her life is telling a different story. This girl is seeking and listening and finding her way to the living the life my soul intended. 

 I have no idea why but this quote from Henry David Thoreau came to mind tonight. But it did so have to go with it. ‘Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them”? 

There is no more quiet desperation for me and I am singing loud and proud of this amazing story of grace and love that God is giving to me. 

Me…..this girl…..derailed and broken beyond repair…..or so I thought. Praise God for his love and kindness that is waiting for all of us. 

Continue on this journey with me, the best is yet to be. 

This girls journey to serenity continues. 
I took the picture used in this post while writing at my favorite local coffee shop. 

My Truth

had I not been there, I wouldn’t be here just a short year later. 

When I started the Step Study with a small group of women from Celebrate Recovery, one of the leaders opened with a daily meditation from The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie. It was so perfect for that night. The reading was about denial and it ended with ‘God, help me feel safe and secure enough today to accept what I need to accept’.

I try to remember to read each day from this book but I don’t always remember. Today’s reading is called Growth. It talks about when we are little we grow out of cloths or toys and as adults ‘we wonder why someone or something that was so special and important to us last year doesn’t fit the same way in our lives today’ I have started to wonder that very thing the further I get away from the choas. 

It ends with ‘Today, I will let last years toys be what they were: last years toys. I will remember them with fondness for the part they played in my life. Then, I will put them away and make room for the new’ 

I’ve shared here before and I shared last week at my Step Group that I am grateful for 2015 as the experiences as awful as they were, got to this place today. That had I not been there, I wouldn’t be here just a short year later. 

2016 has been a year of growth and understanding. A year of connecting the dots and letting go.  Year of healing my broken heart. 

  

Not long ago I was reminded of kintsugi. According to Wikipedia….’Kintsugi (‘golden joinery’), also known as Kintsukuroi (‘golden repair’),[1] is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-e technique.[2][3][4] As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.’

The broken parts of me are being healed everyday because of Gods love for me and my understanding of the 12 steps and letting go. It’s part of my story, my history. 

What I love most about being in a 12 step program is that I am learning to live an authentic life. And want more of that around me. 

My Truth, What Does The Bible Say???

Beauty in Brokenness

There have been times when I have felt broken. Defeated. Damaged. Crushed. Hurt. Sadness over the loss of hopes, dreams and what could have been. 

What I have learned during those times is that those feelings do not last forever and there are lessons to be learned. It is so very hard to remember these truths when you are middle of those feelings. 

Finding the beauty in brokenness.  

 
What does the bible say about brokenness? Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Last year highlighted my codependency nature, it was been a part of who I am as long as I can remember. Codependency is about control. Controlling the things around me. Giving up control, surrendering to God’s will has changed my life the last few months.

I could be resentful and angry about last year….I could be but I choose not to be. I choose to find the beauty in brokenness. Knowing that I am stronger today than yesterday and stronger for having been in at awful place. 

There is a song by Jon Guerra Stained Glass. he sings in part….

show me what you see
when you look at me
show me what is real
more than what i feel
we have stains, it’s true
but when your light shines through 
we all look like stained glass windows to you

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QhfpgrqgAso  

God sees me, the person that he wants me to be, stained, broken. hurt and being put back together only because of His grace and love. 

Broken is beautiful because when the pieces are back together a new better version of me is created. 

My journey to serenity continues….