Every day we face a new set of challenges. If we allow it to happen, we can quickly become overwhelmed. This often occurs because we are unable to say no to people. After years of self-centered behavior, many recovering people feel they need to make up for lost time. Whenever they are called upon for help, they immediately say yes. The problem with this approach is that it can cause us to overload our circuits. As we attempt to squeeze more and more into the day, we begin to see some of our old behaviors returning. Before we know it, we have lost our serenity and are full of fear, anger and resentment. What also happens is that as we fill up our day with so many commitments, we begin to neglect our program. We end up skipping meetings and failing to call our sponsor because we have spread ourselves too thin. Part of sobriety is maintaining a healthy balance between service and self-care.
Sometimes we even need to say no to ourselves. Perhaps we need to stay home when we’re feeling tired and read a book instead of going to the gym for a late night workout.
Personal Reflection: How close are you to overwhelm today?
Being a child of the 1960’s I had a particular view of living a spiritual life. Truly spiritual people were only eating healthy organic foods. It went without saying that they were vegetarian. Daily meditation was of course part of their regimen. A strict yoga practice along with tai chi provided added benefit. Many of them were adherents to Buddhism or esoteric systems.
There are people in the program who do fit the above description. It is also possible for the rest of us to practice a spiritual life. Having full schedules, we make a yoga class whenever we can. We attempt to eat as well as possible given our budget and time constraints. When we fall short of our idealized goal, we are kind and accepting with ourselves. Our definition of spirituality has broadened as well. It has come to include being honest in all of our dealings. Being of service to others is also a very high spiritual act. Making time for self care feeds and replenishes our soul. Perhaps most importantly we focus on maintaining a connection to our Higher Power. Without that, everything else is just window dressing.
Personal Reflection: How do I walk the spiritual path?