Each ending contains a gift, but you have to accept it before it can change you.
I don’t know about you, but I am a glorious contradiction. I hate change, but at the same time, I love it. love Fridays. Friday’s are fun days and they signify that the weekend is here. They are also the end of the week.
Embrace your endings and begin to change
Take Fridays: I love Friday’s because they signify that the weekend is here. But, they are also the end of the week. Good and bad, the week is over. Fridays mark that your week is done and now the focus of your time will change.
Monday’s are the beginning of the work week for most of us, and that is where the new week and its work really hits us. We are tired from the weekend and the fog of cognitive denial has dulled our capacities just a little.
Our weeks and our days are like a microcosm of change: Start and stop, Begin and end, New and old.
Today is all that we have
Living in the moment is especially difficult when you have so much life happening around you. For me, I am trying to make sense of the endings and beginnings that the moments get lost. Perhaps this is why you and I need so much to practice some form of daily practice that pulls us back into the moment:
- 12 Step reflection
No matter the practice, it reminds you and me that today we cannot do all the living for the week. The rest of the week will need to take care of itself. All that we have is the next 24 hours.
I don’t handle change well because change can throw off routines, my usual ways of coping, my emotions and my process. I am a little better with it if I have chosen the change, but even so, change brings uncertainty, unpredictability and the unknown. But change also has the potential for new learning and new experiences.
Sometimes change is surprising, frustrating and even confusing. When life throws change our way because of health, circumstances, breakups, layoffs, job change or family issues it can throw our world into turmoil. Our tomorrows become all mixed up with our today’s.
Today is all that we have. There is a reason that recovery happens one day at a time, because when we deal with today, we have more of what it takes to deal with tomorrow.
I blow it all of the time, but I have a few things I do that help bring me back to the moment, back to recovery, back to myself:
- Get moving – Exercise brings me back to the moment, so does taking an action. Moods can come over me like dark clouds and color every thought and every intention with depression and anxiety. Thoughts become toxic. Moving in the form of exercise and productive action seems to loosen the hold of triggers, negative moods, and procrastination.
- Practice gratitude – Writing things down, identifying the points of emotion and the different points of stress in my mind help me to gain clarity. Then choosing to focus on one thing I am grateful for helps to put a positive reality back into my mind. Sometimes it is just that I am grateful for life, for breath and for the sun.
- Practice creativity – Creating takes the willingness to risk. Whether the creation is writing, painting, gardening, framing a house, cooking or leadership, each of these tasks demands a level of emotional risk and presence. Wherever you can be real and vulnerable, you are back to the moment.
- Breathe – simple and portable. The one thing you can do without any equipment and little training. But it can change your mind and your emotional life. Breathing is both a spiritual practice and a biological necessity. It is a profound experience when you combine it with a clear mind.
- Choose what occupies your mind – life can throw a lot your way. To a greater or lesser degree, everyone is in recovery. You may be in recovery from addiction, from depression or anxiety, from pain, financially, career recovery or relationship change. Whatever your recovery, if you leave your mind to fill itself, the vacuum will inevitably become filled with negativity, gossip, shame, judgment, and frustration.
I don’t believe in positive thinking because it feels more like denial than reality. But choosing good, uplifting, life-affirming content can change your inner world. A good thought can give you something to pull you forward. I use an app to record positive, affirming ideas and I regularly facebook those quotes. It’s mostly for me, but I share it with anyone who I am friends with. If you change your thoughts, you can change your life.
Embracing the gifts of your endings IS what life and recovery are all about. Embrace your Mondays, and your Fridays, and each day in between for each day will have something for your growth.
How about you? What helps your recovery? I would love to hear from you in the comments.
Keep it Real
Photo by smswaby