OVERACTIVITY and TOO MUCH EFFORT are COUNTERPRODUCTIVE to recovery.
So IF you take your recovery VERY SERIOUSLY, you will have no problem at all going to ANY LENGTHS to curb the habit of RELENTLESS SCURRYING, and WHITE KNUCKLE INTENSITY. Chill out! Please!
Some related slogans/ quotes are...
Easy does it
Easy does it, but do it!
Action not Activity.
Wear life like a loose garment, NOT a hair shirt!
Don't 'should' on yourself
You impress me when you STOP trying to impress me
Don't just DO something, sit there!
The only instant thing in AA is the coffee.
Then he did something else that was to become an A.A. classic. It all went on a little card about golf-score size. The cover read: "Middleton Group #1. Rule #62." Once the card was unfolded, a single pungent sentence leaped to the eye: "Don't take yourself too damn seriously."
Tradition 4. 12 Steps and 12 Traditions.
Trying too hard actually CREATES tension and anxiety and therefore INCREASES the distance between you and wellbeing. You can't FORCE wellbeing into existence.
Recovery needs a 'light' touch, not a STRAINED heavy handed 'wrench'!
Unskillful approaches to recovery would be:
Trying too hard
'Hamster in the wheel'
I started off very 'earnest' and now I'm much more relaxed about my pursuit of recovery. I work hard, but in a 'wearing life like a loose garment' kind of way. The balancing act you perfect is to go to ANY LENGTHS to move forwards, whilst at the same time TOTALLY ACCEPTING your current position. It's a very un-neurotic plan of growth.
Should' (toward oneself) is so judgmental and unkind. And guilt is utterly pointless. Both really poisonous to wellbeing.
'Spiritual Giants' don't DO guilt. The 'lightweights' are the ones making decisions based on guilt.
Guilt just isn't 'happy joyous and free', (p133) so it cant POSSIBLY be god's will..
I VAGUELY recall hearing this parable in a book somewhere, and I can't find it on the web, but it goes something like this..
A young man travels for miles to a remote mountain hermitage to find a Zen Master who can teach him how to become enlightened.
After much arduous and difficult traveling in the mountain range, after 10 years, the student finally sees the master contemplating under the trees. The young man is overjoyed.
He rushes over to the master, prostrates himself, and begs the master to take him on as a disciple, so that he can become enlightened.
The Zen Master says 'that depends'.
The student says. I will do whatever you ask! I will get up at 6am to do all your chores, and I will devote 10 hours of every day to sitting meditation! In addition to that I will study as many of the sutras as you see fit!
The Zen Master says 'Ah. Well in that case, it will take you ten years to become enlightened'
The young man's face falls. 'What? 10 years? But it took me 10 years to find you!
In that case, I will get up at 4am to do all your chores, and I will devote 13 hours of every day to sitting meditation! In addition to that I will study as many of the sutras as you see fit!
The Zen Master says 'Ah. Well in that case, it will take you 20 years to become enlightened'
You could call this 'right effort', but in technical terms, this Buddhist jargon refers to something else. But I like the term as it conjures up the idea of the degree of effort required
- An Irish Friend of Bill
- I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Easy does it: Wear life like a loose garment, NOT a hair shirt!
Posted by An Irish Friend of Bill
Labels: Basic principles of Recovery, Buddhism, Character Defects, For Newcomers, Parable, Self Will
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