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I’m sorry, I’m a huge Marvin Gaye fan, and we’re gonna talk about love for while on the blog.  

THE MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP YOU CAN HAVE IN SOBRIETY IS THE RELATIONSHIP YOU HAVE WITH YOURSELF.

Even as I write that sentence, everything in my brain sort of swells against it.  At first glance, it’s exactly the opposite of what the program, the world, and my parents taught me.  When I say it out loud, it makes me a little nervous.  I feel like I need to loosen the proverbial collar around my neck.  I’m already hearing the dissenters screaming: What about others? What about service? What about God?

THE MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP YOU CAN HAVE IN SOBRIETY IS THE RELATIONSHIP YOU HAVE WITH YOURSELF.

Even as I write it and say it, and feel a little uncomfortable with it, yet I know know know that it is true. The knowing sits inside me in this core place that I call my gut. And over many years, and many experiences, I have learned and am learning to trust it.  There’s a lot involved in that. I love that the Big Book warns that we might initially have all sorts of crazy ideas about our intuition.  Trusting your gut is about getting very very quiet. When you get there, you’ll know. If you’re not sure yet, sit still and wait.

There is nothing more important than that you, sober friend, find a way to experience and maintain a connection with the source of all things which is already within you.  You can call that God if you want to. But you don’t need to go to any church to find it.  It might appear slow and steady, a gentle thrumming, when you’re 17 or 18 minutes into a long run.  It might show up as the sun breaks over the hills after a stretch of long wintery gray days. It can be as subtle as the flickering of a hair on your arm.  But eventually, if you make this your life’s work, you will know when you’re in it.  Because when you are connected to your source, you will be in perfect peace with everything as it is.  And that feeling is what we should all (I include myself in it) be breathing for, working towards, acting on, living in, and making decisions from.  You see, there is never a reason to be bored. We always have work to do.

I’m grinding my teeth a little as I write this. It’s an autonomic response to the way I feel about these words.  That means it (the response) is functioning primarily below the level of my consciousness…or in plain English, it means my body feels a little physically stressed right now.

I like lists. Sometimes I just string words together to see how they look, how they sound (I know…weird.) How about these words: Money, power, love, family, sex, respect, achievement, ambition, success.  Our relationship with these things (and anything!) can never be in alignment unless our relationship with ourself is properly aligned first. You know what out of alignment looks like?  It looks like a garage door that refuses to close because the very sensitive laser sensors that control it are wacked. Welcome to my yesterday.  See?  It doesn’t work when things are out of alignment. What that looks like in my life is a bad attitude. Fear, depression, anxiety, panic, judgement, lethargy, ambivalence, impatience.  And the one common denominator is that it never feels good. ANYTHING THAT DOESN’T FEEL GOOD TO ME INDICATES TO ME THAT SOMETHING IS OUT OF ALIGNMENT.

How you feel about it (whatever it is) is the most important thing. Get clear and quiet. Separate from your attachment to the job, the relationship, the income, the approval of others. Once you begin to practice separating from your attachment you will have this oddly interesting experience of sort of watching yourself move through your life.  You will be able to look at the choices you make as an outside observer. Your motives for things will become more clear.

I’m going to spend some time on this blog talking about self-love and self-loathing, and I’m not really sure how many blog posts that will take. I’m going to do it kind of the way I write a fear list. I’m going to write until there’s just nothing left to say.  Because love and loathing are these intricate, subtle and complex parts of sobriety.  It’s not something I can just just whip up a quick post on and be done with.  Getting from loathing to love? It takes a major investment, a willingness to go to any length. It will require that you open the closet doors and pull out the bull shit. It is a warrior’s journey and it’s the thing you start to do in your sobriety when everything that used to work to change the way you feel, doesn’t work anymore.  The main event is not reaching some preconceived destination. It’s how we feel moment by moment as we journey there.

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