Stop ‘shoulding’ on yourself

When I’m ‘pissed’ about something, one of the first things out of my mouth is, “That shouldn’t have happened!”

 When I’m ‘ticked off’ with someone, one of the first things out of my mouth is, “They shouldn’t have…!”

 When I’m feeling bad about myself, one of the first things out of my mouth is, “I shouldn’t have…!”

 There’s a reason why I keep ‘shoulding’ on others; I’m trying to place blame on someone else for what happened to me.  The reason I’m hurting is someone else’s fault.  The reason I’m having a bad day is someone else’s fault.  The reason I’m mad at you is a result of what you did to me.  It’s your fault.  And you shouldn’t have done it!

 We all do it.  We all blame others for the way we feel.  We even blame others for our own mistakes.  How many times have you heard someone say, “You made me do it!”  Or have you ever heard yourself saying, “If you’d just kept your mouth shut, we wouldn’t be in this mess!”  This is playing the blame game.

 But what we don’t realize is: what it’s doing to us.  Blaming others for the way we feel robs us of our joy, and steals our enthusiasm.  Blaming others keeps us from seeing our part in all of it, and prevents us from accepting any responsibility.

 Blaming ourselves is really just self pity in a different form.  What we’re really saying is, “Poor me.”  And although we don’t realize it, what we’re saying to others is, “Please feel sorry for me – I’m really not such a bad person.”

 The stories we create by our own thoughts is a result of resisting ‘what is.’  By saying, ‘You shouldn’t have done that,’ is making a judgment.  What you’re really saying is, “That shouldn’t have happened.”  But it did. 

 ‘I shouldn’t have…’ is blaming yourself.  That’s nonsense!  All you’re really doing is heaping a ton of blame on yourself.  This keeps you stuck, and prevents you from moving forward.  Blaming yourself stops you from accepting responsibility for you own life. 

 This is your life.  No one else can take responsibility for it.  Only you can, so…

 Stop ‘shoulding’ on yourself!

Let God be your ‘Source’

Who is your Higher Power?  Someone who is bigger?  Stronger?  Smarter?  Wiser? 

 I call my Higher Power ‘God.’  I’ve come to define God as the Creator – the Universal Mind behind the created order. 

 It has been said that God is Love.  I believe this goes way beyond our concept of “warm and fuzzy.”  This divine Love is the creative Desire that brought our world into being.  Love is the energy that fills the universe because Creative Love is the reason it is there in the first place.

 But you may say, “This world is not full of love.  This world is a scary place where I feel insecure and afraid to face the new day.”  Even though you may feel this way, your belief is not based on truth. 

 If you are going to let go, you are going to need to believe that God exists, that God is Love, and that God – your Higher Power – is the one who brought this world into being. 

 And it seems reasonable to also accept the fact that this universe is a friendly place – created in Love.  Your Higher Power is indeed your Source.  And you need to let go, and let God be your Source!

 If you’ve done step three of the 12 Step program, you have given yourself over to the care of God.  In other words, you have made a conscious decision to let God meet your needs.

 No longer are you going to take what you think you need.  That’s how you got into addiction in the first place.  Instead, you have decided to let God take care of you.  This is what the spiritual awakening is all about – making a shift in our perspective by letting God take the rightful place as the Source of all you need and want.

 You were created in Love, and you need this Love.  Addiction will only cut you off from the Source of Love.  Continually letting go and letting God will keep you connected to the One who has what you need.

 Let God be your Source.

Let go of your attachments

I want to talk about the heart, your heart.  It’s at the center of your being where all things that are authentically ‘you’ lay hidden. The ‘heart’ is your emotional core where you will find your truest desires. 

 Desire that becomes attached to other things, people or places kidnaps the heart and takes it to a place called addiction.  And when your heart is held captive by false desires, it is cut off from its Source; it cannot receive Love’s power.

 These attachments are merely substitutes for the real thing.  What we really want is Love.  But growing attached to alcohol, sex, or money (to name a few) leaves us wanting more. 

 And this growing need is insatiable.  The more we ‘use’ the stronger the impulse to ‘use’ becomes.  Desire that has attached itself to a substitute – a replacement for the real thing – doesn’t want to let go.  Why is this so? 

 Part of letting go may seem difficult – or even impossible – when it’s a full-blown addiction.  The fear factor prevents us from doing what seems like emotional suicide.

 But if you’re going to regain your sanity you need to realize that your attachments are holding you back, cutting you off from your Source.

 You won’t know what freedom is like until you decide to let go of your attachment.  Just like a space capsule from the early days of space exploration, reentering the earth’s atmosphere was a fiery ordeal.  Communication with others will be cut off for a short while, until you have fully returned.

 This ‘free-fall’ is a scary thing.  But it’s necessary if you are going to become reconnected with your Source.  But first you must let go…

Let go of your limitations

I’ll never forget the day I learned to windsurf.  It was a beautiful day – the warm sun sparkling across the surface of the lake.  A gentle breeze beckoned me to try it again.

So far, I’d been unsuccessful in my attempts to stay on the board long enough to see if it was possible.  Every time I fell into the lake I would crawl back up, grab the sail and try again.

 I would get really exhausted after about an hour of the same routine – into the water, out of the water, on to the board… into the water, out of the water, on to the board… repeating it over and over.

 What a wonderful day it was when I finally realized what I was doing.  Struggling with the wind – trying to get it to cooperate – wasn’t working for me.  But something ‘clicked’ that day, and I found myself – with the wind in my sail – flying across the lake!

 I discovered how to harness the power of the wind.  No longer did this mighty force seem like an intolerable bully; I now felt empowered to fly.  I had simply learned to let go.

 Letting go spiritually felt the same way.  When I learned to surrender to the power of God, I found I could do things I never thought possible.

 One of them, of course, was freedom from my addiction.  Regaining my sanity.

 Occasionally, I suffer from a lapse of memory.  Old habits die hard when you’re dealing with an addiction that’s been around for over thirty years.  But I now have the power to choose:  Am I going to resist, or simply let go and let God?