Emotional Sobriety

A friend sent me the letter below by Bill Wilson.  I found it to be so insightful I wanted to post it on my blog.  In my observations it continues to be a big missing link not only with people in recovery programs but in the general public.

This is the substance of a revealing letter which Bill Wilson wrote several years ago to a close friend who also had troubles with depression. The letter appeared in the “Grapevine” January, 1953.

EMOTIONAL SOBRIETY

“I think that many oldsters who have put our AA “booze cure” to severe but successful tests still find they often lack emotional sobriety. Perhaps they will be the spearhead for the next major development in AA, the development of much more real maturity and balance (which is to say, humility) in our relations with ourselves, with our fellows, and with God.

Those adolescent urges that so many of us have for top approval, perfect security, and perfect romance, urges quite appropriate to age seventeen, prove to be an impossible way of life when we are at age forty-seven and fifty-seven.

Since AA began, I´ve taken immense wallops in all these areas because of my failure to grow up emotionally and spiritually. My God, how painful it is to keep demanding the impossible, and how very painful to discover, finally, that all along we have had the cart before the horse. Then comes the final agony of seeing how awfully wrong we have been, but still finding ourselves unable to get off the emotional merry-go-round.

How to translate a right mental conviction into a right emotional result, and so into easy, happy and good living. Well, that´s not only the neurotic´s problem, it´s the problem of life itself for all of us who have got to the point of real willingness to hew to right principles in all of our affairs.

Even then, as we hew away, peace and joy may still elude us. That´s the place so many of us AA oldsters have come to. And it´s a hell of a spot, literally. How shall our unconscious, from which so many of our fears, compulsions and phony aspirations still stream, be brought into line with what we actually believe, know and want! How to convince our dumb, raging and hidden ‘Mr. Hyde‘ becomes our main task.

I´ve recently come to believe that this can be achieved. I believe so because I begin to see many benighted ones, folks like you and me, commencing to get results. Last autumn, depression, having no really rational cause at all, almost took me to the cleaners. I began to be scared that I was in for another long chronic spell. Considering the grief I´ve had with depressions, it wasn´t a bright prospect.

I kept asking myself “Why can´t the twelve steps work to release depression?” By the hour, I stared at the St. Francis Prayer … “it´s better to comfort than to be comforted.” Here was the formula, all right, but why didn´t it work?

Suddenly, I realized what the matter was. My basic flaw had always been dependence, almost absolute dependence, on people or circumstances to supply me with prestige, security, and the like. Failing to get these things according to my perfectionist dreams and specifications, I had fought for them. And when defeat came, so did my depression.

There wasn´t a chance of making the outgoing love of St. Francis a workable and joyous way of life until these fatal and almost absolute dependencies were cut away.

Because I had over the years undergone a little spiritual development, the absolute quality of these frightful dependencies had never before been so starkly revealed. Reinforced by what grace I could secure in prayer, I found I had to exert every ounce of will and action to cut off these faulty emotional dependencies upon people, upon AA, indeed upon any act of circumstance whatsoever.

Then only could I be free to love as Francis did. Emotional and instinctual satisfactions, I saw, were really the extra dividends of having love, offering love, and expressing love appropriate to each relation of life.

Plainly, I could not avail myself to God´s love until I was able to offer it back to Him by loving others as He would have me. And I couldn´t possibly do that so long as I was victimized by false dependencies.

For my dependence meant demand, a demand for the possession and control of the people and the conditions surrounding me.

While those words “absolute dependence” may look like a gimmick, they were the ones that helped to trigger my release into my present degree of stability and quietness of mind, qualities which I am now trying to consolidate by offering love to others regardless of the return to me.

This seems to be the primary healing circuit: an outgoing love of God´s creation and His people, by means of which we avail ourselves of His love for us. It is most clear that the real current can´t flow until our paralyzing dependencies are broken, and broken at depth. Only then can we possibly have a glimmer of what adult love really is.

If we examine every disturbance we have, great or small, we will find at the root of it some unhealthy dependence and its consequent demand. Let us, with God´s help, continually surrender these hobbling demands. Then we can be set free to live and love: we may then be able to gain emotional sobriety.

Of course, I haven´t offered you a really new idea — only a gimmick that has started to unhook several of my own hexes´ at depth. Nowadays, my brain no longer races compulsively in either elation, grandiosity or depression. I have been given a quiet place in bright sunshine.”

Bill Wilson

Attitude is Everything

Let the Mystery Be

My insight in this morning’s contemplation is the need to surrender all.   I intend on sitting in peace of mind and to take a break from the questioning mind.

So, I will not be continuing with my blog for now.

I came across a song that expresses my current state of being.  If you decide to watch it….her face at the end of the video says it all!

Lyrics to Let the Mystery Be

Everybody’s wonderin’ what and where they all came from.
Everybody’s worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done.
But no one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me.
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.

Some say once you’re gone you’re gone forever, and some say you’re gonna come back.
Some say you rest in the arms of the Saviour if in sinful ways you lack.
Some say that they’re comin’ back in a garden, bunch of carrots and little sweet peas.
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.

Everybody’s wonderin’ what and where they all came from.
Everybody’s worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done.
But no one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me.
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.

Some say they’re goin’ to a place called Glory and I ain’t saying it ain’t a fact.
But I’ve heard that I’m on the road to purgatory and I don’t like the sound of that.
Well, I believe in love and I live my life accordingly.
But I choose to let the mystery be.

Everybody’s wonderin’ what and where they all came from.
Everybody’s worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done.
But no one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me.
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.

Lover Earth

Today I am so grateful for the sunshine, wind, birds, life….

My connection to the earth has been life long.   It has been my friend, my protector, something I could always depend upon.

I was so aware from a young age of being one with the earth.  I could feel its unconditional love.  When I allow myself to be totally present, I understand that the life that flows through me is the same life that flows through all, from the tiniest insect to the mightiest mountain.

Thank you Lover Earth.

The youtube below is so beautiful….if you watch it you might want to have a tissue at hand.

Higher Love

In taking my morning “spiritual temperature” this is my mantra for the day…

Enjoy Whitney’s version in the below youtube link….Nobody sings it better….May her soul rest in peace!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNbadNyHBSU&list=UUeWPdzkyAv27DlbdYjdAKaA&index=27&feature=plcp

Think about it, there must be higher love
Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above
Without it, life is wasted time
Look inside your heart, I’ll look inside mine

Things look so bad everywhere
In this whole world, what is fair?
We walk blind and we try to see
Falling behind in what could be

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love
Where’s that higher love, I keep thinking of?

Worlds are turning and we’re just hanging on
Facing our fear and standing out there alone
A yearning, and it’s real to me
There must be someone who’s feeling for me

Things look so bad everywhere
In this whole world, what is fair?
We walk blind and we try to see
Falling behind in what could be

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love
Where’s that higher love, I keep thinking of?

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love
I could rise above on a higher love

I will wait for it, I’m not too late for it
Until then, I’ll sing my song
To cheer the night along

I could light the night up with my soul on fire
I could make the sun shine from pure desire
Let me feel that love come over me
Let me feel how strong it could be

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love
Where’s that higher love, I keep thinking of?

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love

Higher Love lyrics
Songwriters: Winwood, Steve; Jennings, Will;

Both~And

My morning pondering brought up a review of a concept that was brought to my attention, that has proved to be beneficial in my personal growth.  The concept revolves around two seemingly simple words that hold great impact; these words are Both-And.

So many times in my life I am tempted to go into a place of judgment, a place of right and wrong.  This creates either-or thinking, which in turn sets up a win-lose situation.  We can never find peace from the position of win-lose, we will only find peace when we allow for win-win, Both-And.    

It is so easy to fall into the way of “doing”.  However in order to be in a place of “being” we must let go of judgment.  In order to truly live with a non-dualistic mind we must be willing to move into Both-And.  This brings acceptance of all.  It takes us out of black and white thinking.  It brings us out of our polarized positions and opens our minds and hearts.  This is true Unity.

I can easily fall prey to judgment of my own self, my thoughts, my feelings etc. Especially if I want to show the world what a loving and “good” person I am.  It is so easy to want to believe that we are the “good guy” in this story of life.  But in all reality we all have so-called good and bad within us.  We all have light and dark within us.  We only become One within ourselves when we embrace Both-And.  It is so important to integrate the seemingly two sides of ourselves.  If and until we do we will never have peace.  We will always be fighting against something in ourselves or seeing a fight outside of ourselves.

My prayer today is that we all find a way to move from us and them thinking to we thinking.  After all we are on this ship called Mother Earth together and none of us will get out of here alive.  We may as well relax and enjoy the ride and each other.  What affects one of us affects all of us.

So my goal today is to be kind to myself while I learn to embrace true oneness, true non-duality.  The sunny side of me along with the storms, for I am Both-And.