I am choosing to ask the God of my understanding to help me be open to all the persons like myself who are getting free of their hopelessness.
“Being constantly on guard against the future is exhausting, but it does have the advantage of directing your attention away from the present. Since the past and the future are ideas in our minds we can insist that the past and the future are exactly as we see them. The trouble with the present is that it has the habit of suggesting that my ideas may not be entirely right.”
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
To live now takes more courage, on some days more than on others. What I need to do is to attempt to live right now. The living in the present will make it possible for me to gradually learn some new truths about life and myself. This opening myself up to the present moment will give me the opportunity to hear how I can live with hope and serenity.
No longer do I have to choose to live in the encapsulated and isolated prison of my own fears and prejudice about the past and the future. The past is always full of hurt and unexpected anger. The future never seems to be without its colossal fears and “what if’s.” Now is the time to accept the fact that I want to change the way I think, act and believe. Right now I am wanting a change and am willing to face the challenges that making changes bring. To do this is called living.
The Third Step tells me that I have made a decision to turn my mind and my will over to the care of God as I understand him. This is the freedom that I am looking for. This is the source of my strength today, namely, these healing Twelve Steps. Granted that I have to clean house and admit that I have unknowingly constructed my own depression (See Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition)
I will make a decision. This is the first step in getting free. I make a decision to choose freedom over the security of isolation and a life that is lived in the past.
SOURCE: (c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. (1999) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. January 7. Pages 4-5.
(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications.Louisville.
“Today is all that we have. Don’t let dwelling on yesterday’s hurts and fears or about tomorrow, rob you of peace today. Contrary to what you might have thought — you are responsible for how you think and feel..”
Many of us in the program, no matter what our compulsion happens to be, prefer living in the past and/ or the next day. We have a difficult time living through each day–it’s too risky to have to feel the pain of the moment. But we know that the pain of the present needs to be felt if we are to reduce the lifelong misery which is ours unless we face the enemy and deal with it. It is a promise of the program that we hand over and let God deal with us in God’s time and in God’s own way. We know that God, with our assistance and work, our life can be straightened out. Like the old Russian saying. “Pray, but keep rowing to shore”
Now that we have learnt how to take care of ourselves and our recovery, we now believe that we are responsible for finding our way out of depression. We can blame our sadness on our genes, hormones or a chemical imbalance. All this finger pointing can’t prevent us from having to take full responsibility for finding and using that map which points the way out of the darkness of depression. Since we have been involved in the 12 Step program of recovery we continue to learn the “how” of working our way out of sadness in the context of the fellowship of the group.
The best way to live today is to be fully conscious of the present moment and create that strong desire to be part of it. Let’s not live in yesterday –the rent can kill you.
How often do I spend time in tomorrow and so miss the joy of today? I think one of the more serious occupations (aren’t they all serious?) of the depressed is just to sit and think, and think some more about how bad life is and what awful people they are. The self-bashing makes one’s ability to change even more difficult, as continued depressive ruminations promote a great sense of unworthiness and confusion. We feel that we have no control over what happens in our life. Actually we are not so sure that we should care. Everything seems hopeless. Living in yesterday is to pay some high price rent –and when you’re done paying the rent, you still have nothing to show for it.
I have to live in the here and now –I can’t run and hide in the unknown of tomorrow or disappear into the gloomy fog of yesterday.”
Where do you plan to live today?
Sources: Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 37-39.
Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.