It’s not torture…

The fog lifts. The way becomes clear. It is with sheer joy that we realize we’re not alone. Something valuable and important was being worked out. However difficult that process, it changed us, transformed us, took us to a new place.

“Next time,” we think, “I won’t ride that extra roller coaster of emotion caused by not trusting the process. I’ll trust it all along.”

Prayer: Higher Power, help me remember that you’re not torturing me, you’re teaching me. Please show me—in a way I can understand—what you want me to learn. Help me remember that practicing the values I’m learning is the true source of joy. Guide and bless me in my pilgrimage through the year.

What Are Your Priorities?

I was working away in my cabin, trying to print out the pages I had typed into my computer. It was taking half an hour to print each page; I had one hundred pages to go. For the umpteenth time I checked my computer, checked the program, checked the printer, checked everything I knew to see why it was printing so slowly. It all seemed to be set up properly. Then I accidentally touched a control setting, one I hadn’t noticed before. It was the priority control. It was set on low. I switched it to high priority. The pages now began to print at top speed.

Priorities are important. Learning how to focus our energy according to priorities—even though we’re going with the flow—is an important part of our lives. It’s one of the powers we’re learning.

What are your priorities? Is living from your heart one of them? Are there tasks you’d like to accomplish? Skills you’d like to acquire? Is meditation, being centered, and living your life from a place of balance an area you’ve designated as critical?

Is loving yourself a priority? How important is your spiritual growth? What priority have you assigned to other areas like pleasure, having fun, feeling joy? Are your priorities set on high, medium, or low?

Look around and you’ll see your answers. Your life
as it is now reflects the priorities you have chosen
so far. If something is happening too slowly, try
switching your priority setting from low to high.

Knowledge

Learn to let yourself be guided into truth.

We will know what we need to know, when we need to know that. We don’t have to feel bad about taking our own time to reach our insights. We don’t have to force insight or awareness before it’s time.

Yes! Maybe the whole world saw a particular truth in our life, and we denied it—until we were ready to deal with it. That is our business, and our right! Our process is our own, and we will discover our truths at the right time, when we are ready, when the learning experience is complete.

The most growth-producing concept we can develop for ourselves and others is to allow ourselves to have our own process. We can give and receive support and encouragement while we go through this process. We can listen to others and say what we think. We can set boundaries and take care of ourselves, when needed. But we still give ourselves and others the right to grow at our own pace, without judgment, and with much trust that all is well and is on schedule.

When we are ready, when the time is right, and when our Higher Power is ready—we will know what we need to know.

Today, I will let myself and others have our own pace and time schedule for growth and change. I will trust that I will be empowered with insights and the tools for dealing with these insights, at the right time.

Value your dreams

I always wanted to be a writer. Long ago I talked to God about it, then asked God to bring it to pass if that dream was from Him. Or Her. Within twenty-four hours, I had my first writing assignment from a community newspaper. I got paid five dollars a story, and I’ve been writing ever since.

Sometimes, we get a vision of ourselves doing something. We might get an inkling or even have a dream where we see ourselves doing something in the future. We might get a feeling that we’re about to become pregnant. Or we might have a dream in which we see ourselves moving into a new home. We might be driving by a neighborhood one day and get a special feeling that it would be right for us to live there.

We might get a hunch about a career-oriented event.

Some people think these little hunches or dreams are our soul’s way of remembering what it came here to do.

We see a flash: a dream, vision, or special feeling of what’s coming next. Maybe your dreams about what you want and what you’d like are more important than you think.

God, show me what you want me to do and experience in life. Then give me enough consciousness to relax and see what you’re pointing out.

Activity: Have an I see page in your journal. As you go about the days ahead, pay special attention to the dreams that pop into your head. Nighttime dreams are important. It’s good to write in your journal about those, too. Often they give us clues. But what I’m talking about here are our daytime dreams and feelings—those things we think we want or can see ourselves doing. Have you buried any dreams from childhood or adulthood, things you really wanted to pursue but forgot along the way? Tell yourself it’s time to remember. Then let it go. Pay attention to what pops up into sight. Write it down, even if it’s just a sentence or two. Then let the dream go again. Don’t try to control the future. It will happen of its own accord.

Real Treasures

Life brings us to our knees. We can’t take it anymore, whatever it is. In desperation, we begin learning new values and living them in new ways, such as prayer, meditation, or service.

Or we’re desperate to reach a goal in our lives: more money, a better job, a change in ourselves. So we begin living new values in order to move closer to desirable changes.

For whatever reasons, we begin living by values that work. These values shift our lives. We begin to experience peace and joy. And some of the things we want begin to take place. The pain subsides. The relationship problem improves. We get the new job. The situation becomes better.

Then we relax our practice or attach our happiness to the outcome—the external things—forgetting that it was by living these values that we produced our joy.

Challenge: The hardest thing about values is remembering that they are the real treasures.

Trust the Unknown

Look! See how much you’ve changed. See the difference in your perspective.

Remember all those years you were so fearful, trying to peek ahead, trying to see what the future held. Remember how upset you got, how uncertain and abandoned you felt because you didn’t know the plan.

Now life has taken you to a new place, a new place for you but a place that is ancient. All along, you were not supposed to be getting the answers about what the future held. You were supposed to be learning the magical way of trust and inner guidance, learning to feel your way through, trusting and committing to your vision, your energy, your purpose, your place, each day and moment along the way. You were supposed to be learning to allow the universe to magically unfold and trust that it would. You have been learning this lesson. You have been learning it well.

See how you delight in life’s magic now, the surprises, the not knowing, the absolute trust in the universe to bring you your answers, manifest your visions, and help you when you can’t quite see. See how much you cherish your relationship to the universe, a relationship so much broader and more encompassing, so much more vital than you could ever before imagine. See how joyfully you walk your path, enjoying all the sights, opening your heart to loved ones and strangers.

See how benevolent it really is when you are not able to see ahead. Not knowing has taught you about life’s magic. It has connected you to yourself and to the universe. It has connected you to God.

Not knowing has taught you to know
more than you could ever imagine.

Be Who You Are

In recovery, we’re learning a new behavior. It’s called Be Who You Are.

For some of us, this can be frightening. What would happen if we felt what we felt, said what we wanted, became firm about our beliefs, and valued what we needed? What would happen if we let go of our camouflage of adaptation? What would happen if we owned our power to be ourselves?

Would people still like us? Would they go away? Would they become angry?

There comes a time when we become willing and ready to take that risk. To continue growing, and living with ourselves, we realize we must liberate ourselves. It becomes time to stop allowing ourselves to be so controlled by others and their expectations and be true to ourselves—regardless of the reaction of others.

Before long, we begin to understand. Some people may go away, but the relationship would have ended anyway. Some people stay and love and respect us more for taking the risk of being who we are. We begin to achieve intimacy, and relationships that work.
We discover that who we are has always been good enough. It is who we were intended to be.

Today, I will own my power to be myself.

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