My girl pinched my hips to see if I still exist.
~The Fugees, Ready or Not
We have emphasized willingness as being indispensable. Are we now ready to let God remove from us all the things which we have admitted are objectionable? Can He now take them all, every one? If we still cling to something we will not let go, we ask God to help us be willing.
~Big Book, p. 76
I noticed that my face was hurting yesterday. Not from any accident or dental pain, although I did recently get some cavities filled.
No, I realized that my face hurt because I was smiling so much.
Several times in the recent weeks I have thought, I am so grateful for what my life is right now. Not living in the future or rehashing the past, I have had real moments of living in the present gratitude which is always a miracle for someone like me. I feel like asking someone to pinch me, because I still remember all too vividly what it used to be like.
Before I got sober a little over 9 years ago I was suicidal, my only friends were my cats, & I could only exist at all if I had alcohol in my system for most of the time.
Then I miraculously found myself in an AA meeting, a big book was given to me, I got a sponsor, & I started to deal with all of the emotional baggage I had been running away from for so long. If you’ve been to meetings you may have heard the line in one form or another: If you were like me you would have drank too.
When I lost that both great & horrible numbing agent, alcohol, I was overwhelmed by all of the resentments & emotions I had. Lately I’ve been going through all of this old stuff again, its been really hard to dig up past relationships, those warped ones, when I thought that I had already gotten to a good place about them around working the steps.
You hear in the rooms that as you keep reworking the steps, things get deeper, & more layers are pulled off. Ouch, right? Layers under layers under layers. Too be rigorously honest, I don’t really feel like getting to deep, once the layers start getting pulled up, all sorts of weird emotions pop up. Tears rush to my eyes while I’m doing dishes, & I don’t know why I’m sad at first.
My favorite AA saying, one of the first ones I heard when I got sober was, it takes what it takes. It’s taken what it’s taken to get me where I am now. It’ll probably take a little more to keep me both sober & change my emotional & spiritual state. The question I have to ask myself is, am I ready? Am I ready to change?
It’s a hard question as I can probably skate by for a good while in my sobriety without being so open hearted. I will feel much safer if I keep these scary emotions locked down below all those layers. I can isolate, not do the step work, be alone. I can be safe or I can change.
I’m currently choosing to do the work & to feel all the feelings. I don’t know if it will be the same tomorrow, I only can account for today. My sponsorship group is working steps 6, were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character, & the work I did on my 4th & 5th this go around has seeped into this particular step. Old pain I thought I had dealt with just keeps coming up. Its interwoven into my defects. I created survival mechanisms which just aren’t attractive to me as they used to be, although I still sometimes find them pretty attractive.
It’s kind of like the end of my drinking. I’m not ready to let go of the bottle, but I really hate it at the same time.
My only hope is that quote at the top of this post, if I’m still not willing, I just keep asking my HP for the willingness. And of course I can’t minimize the results. I’m very sure the only reason I feel like I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life directly correlates to how I’m working my program right now. That’s pretty strong incentive to keep at it. I want those sore smile muscles!
In yoga news, I’ve reached the end of a six week theme of working through the chakras for my classes. It’s been uncomfortable. Subtle body stuff has never been my strong suit when I teach, I feel much more comfortable teaching to alignment or theming classes around a body part. Experiencing chakra work can bring up a lot of stuff too, I think that focusing on these during so much intense step work has really helped facilitate the whole onion peeling deal.
& even though I’ve been uncomfortable, there are so many facets to yoga that I feel like I do need to explore & push myself. I go through stages where I feel like the best yoga teacher ever (!), & then others when I feel like the absolute worst & am really hard on myself. I have a steady schedule too, the free Summer classes are 2 weeks in.
All that to say, I think I need a little break, & serendipitously I leave for Spain next Monday. I was sharing at a meeting last night that all of the downtime, getting out of my normal schedule, is really terrifying to me. I think it is also just what I need right now. Next post or couple posts will probably be filled with pictures of Spain.
As I experience deeper contentment, my heart prays for all those out there still struggling. Asking today what I can do for the (wo)man who is still sick.
& wishing so much inner contentment for you all.