I assure you, most people have binge watched a TV-show when they could have been at the gym. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be more active, but diagnosing ourselves as deficient when we don’t hit the mark isn’t helping matters. And it’s just not true (and it’s just not kind).
I’ve always said that the reason I’ve never tried a Krispy Kreme donut is the same reason that I have never tried cocaine - either way I’m sure to wake up three days later in a daze with white powder all over my face, wondering what the hell’s just happened. My name is Ruthie, and I’m a cake drunk.
We sometimes think that in order to succeed or fit in, we need to play only one part, while we hide or discard the rest. This sets up a tricky paradigm, where trying to be loved or acknowledged is inherently tied to disowning aspects of ourselves.
The essence of Step 3 is to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him. In short, we are asked to “turn it over.” This begs the question, “what exactly am I turning over?” And the subtext, “what are my opinions and preferences about how I would like things to go?”
We can get swept up in comparisons, looking at other’s lives from the outside and wondering why we aren’t fortunate enough to live such a rich existence. We can compare ourselves to our own desires, believing that if we were “better” we might find happiness in our dreams coming true. How do we stop the comparing and despairing to discover happiness in the present?
There is often so much clutter standing in the way of the present moment. Although the clutter is in fact happening in the present, and could be defined as “present,” in a spiritual context—the present actually resides underneath the clutter. It’s likened to the clear water that exists beneath the thin layer of scum on the surface of the pond.
So many times, when we want our lives to change, we only want things on the outside to change. But for real change to occur, we have to change. The obstacles are vehicles for change. They are necessary. They are perfect. They are not signals that you're doing something wrong, they are actually stepping-stones to your own freedom.
No matter how hard we try to convince ourselves that we shouldn’t be having a particular response—it doesn’t remove the underlying emotional experience. What it does create is a large gap between what you are telling yourself and what you are actually feeling. The dissonance between the two creates so much tension that we often end up acting in self-destructive ways.
There’s a saying that our serenity is inversely proportional to our expectations. In other words, the extent of our entitlement or need for things to look a certain way determines the extent of our unhappiness. This makes sense for the simple fact that when we focus on what we don’t have, we feel distraught and disappointed.
One of the gifts of living according to principles is that they can support us no matter what our history, our patterning, or our circumstances. They can orient us when objective realities have lost their command. Spiritual principles become the optimal navigation system.
One of the hallmarks of addiction is using substances or other behaviors to escape what you're feeling. Even in recovery, there are subtle ways that one can escape his or her experience. Perhaps you can identify yourself in these feeling-fleeing strategies...