Saturday, June 23, 2007


I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

D.H. Lawrence

I felt out of sorts this morning. I don't know whether it was from the stress of the last few days that brought on the feelings but I was not in a good place. I felt totally dissatisfied with myself and depressed. I talked to my sponsor at length about how I was perceiving things, and he suggested that I try meditation. He said to light a candle and stare at the candle trying to rid my mind of all problems and thoughts. He also suggested that I get outside and do something. So I did both of these things, going for a ride into town and walking around among the throngs of people and lighting a candle late this afternoon and just listening to the sound of my breathing.

I also read about some very basic ideas on self confidence that can help me get away from self pity:

-Open your heart to someone (Step Five) and through trusting you will build self-confidence. If I cannot accept myself as being human, how can I ever accept and trust others? If I cannot accept and trust others, how can I respect and love them? If I cannot respect and love others, how can they respect and love me?

-Keep a positive attitude about people and situations.

-Be compassionate towards others

-Accept that life is not perfect and neither am I. If I let the fear of making mistakes control my life, I could not do anything at all but lead a completely useless life.

-Give up unrealistic expectations of myself and others

-Take action in order to improve. Self-confidence comes from being challenged to one's limits, meeting them and then setting new limits

-Remember that the dark times don't last and will go away

-Maintain a sense of humor and don't take myself too seriously

-Make a positive commitment that I can keep

Spirituality is going beyond our self and self-interested focusing, it requires courage, independence, faith in our own potential as a human being.

I also found the following to be so profound and beautiful:

" Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain,
but for the heart to conquer it.
Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved,
but for the patience to win my freedom."

"May I become at all times, both now and forever
A protector for those without protection
A guide for those who have lost their way
A ship for those with oceans to cross
A bridge for those with rivers to cross
A sanctuary for those in danger
A lamp for those without light
A place of refuge for those who lack shelter
And a servant to all in need."
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama


  1. Sounds like you have a good sponsor. Hang in there Syd.

  2. Hi Syd - - - Very profound posting here. I especially like the Dalai Lama's comment which parallels the AA and Al-Anon 11th Step Prayer - also known as the St. Francis Prayer.
    "Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred - let me sow love. Where there is injury - pardon. Where there is doubt - faith. Where there is despair - hope. Where there is darkness - light. And where there is sadness - joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled -- as to console. To be understood - as to understand. To be loved - as to love, for, It is in giving - that we receive. It is in pardoning - that we are pardoned. IT is in dying - that we are born to eternal life."

    You are on a good path, Syd. Keep on keeping on! Love, Anonymous #1

  3. It seems like your work out on the water has given you a lot to contemplate. In the long run, I think you are going to turn all of it into a positive experience. I don't think feeling unbalanced for a period of time is a problem. No one is going to feel serene 100% of the time. Life is not about being on even keel all the time. Someone in AA once said that being like that is just being flatlined, and we don't go into recovery to be flatlined.

    Anyway, I love this post. I think I am a little bit of a wild thing. I'm not prone to self-pity, definitely an optimist to the end. That DH Lawrence was something, though, being able to read the thoughts of small birds. I bet he had no emotional problems whatsoever.

  4. Great post. Firstly, your sponsor sounds great. I would have said some kind of step 11 too probably. Hey what do I know, but this is my theory. I think you are what I call 'sensitive' and have a tendency to be a bit 'open' and need to learn how to be 'closed' when you have no choice but to be around (what I call) toxic people. Ideally you would be 'closed' as a default and only be 'open' in safe places where there is a reasonably good atmosphere. In the 'mind body spirit' school, the term for this is 'psychic protection' and there are quite a few books on it. My personal favorite techniques? Green Tara Mantra. Prayer. Vetiver and Juniper essential oils as directed by Patricia Davis. White sage smudge stick very occasionally. Meetings and 'constant thought of others'. Actually I have !! Loads of things I can do, but those are my main ones. I have HAD to learn how to insulate myself from other peoples bad ? moods over the years. It doesn't work perfectly, but it reduces the discomfort when it is unavoidable to be around dodgy people. If I am in close proximity to pretty disturbed people I can 'absorb' some of that ? stuff, and it can take me 24hrs or so to shake it off. It just depends on the person. I had to go to a cemetery the other day and I am still feeling a bit drained by that. It looked SO pretty I forgot to use my Green Tara Mantra!! Doh! Now I am pooped! So now I need EXTRA rest. Bummer! I haven't done proper posts on protection but I have a green Tara post under the label protection.

    Yeah ditto anon. Yeah I LOVE the St. Francis Prayer. It is an AA suggested 'route' into step 11, and so was one of the first prayers I really sat down and thought about. And used of course. And (surprise surprise!) mirrors the teachings of the Dalai Lama's 'mission statement'. I find so many times that the very finest teachers I stumble across mirror the AA doctrine.

  5. Some very important thoughts and words to live by. It is interesting that you touched on the very things that I, myself am learning in my class at the college. The chapter I am currently studying is about enabling and codependent behaviors and how as a result of growing up and/or living with an alcoholic how our thinking can be distorted without us even realizing it. I know I am a product of such thinking and I think you are too. It is actually very difficult studying this particular chapter because I can see some of the behaviors in myself. I am seriously considering writing a post just on these two issues. Have a great day, Syd. May it be full of peace.

  6. Hi Syd! First time here and I'll be back. First of all, you seem to have a good sponsor and be able to listen. Just wanted to share one real blessing that's come to me from working the Steps. I think of it as connecting with my inner Popeye (you old enough to know Popeye?) in that, through the Steps I've come to accept and even rejoice in the fact that I AM WHAT I AM!! The Steps have given me the gift of great curiosity about my own life. I get up in the morning, grab God by the hand and see what today will bring.

    Please, keep us posted. And have an e-hug!

  7. Lovely post Syd, thankyou. Lots of stuff I havent seen before

  8. You are doing great Syd! Your sponsor does sound like one who is on the ball. I find it difficult to be around very angry people too, but am learning to not take it personally, and to walk away when I can.
    Love and HUGS!

  9. funks happen, and thank God we have this program, and our friends and sponsors, to help guide us
    It will pass... and I am glad you took his suggestions

  10. my best action out of self pity is to be of service to someone. I usually call a newcomer--they always have it worse than me then I get happier about where I'm at rather than spirling downward.

    And yeah, 11th Step prayer--wow

  11. ..sometimes a good old fashion cry can release tension. I cried a bit lately (when no one was home). I felt better.

    Sometimes it is just the change of weather or internally changes that bring on different moods too.

    Or maybe genetics.. My father was diagnosis with Acute Depression.. (and I heard my grandfather was very MOODY on that side-he died before I was born) maybe I have some of their BAD GENES. :)

    Nature/Nurture thing. You can pick up Depression traits by being around people that are depressed too.

    I know I have to remember all the good things when I'm out of sorts.. and know that it is useless to spiral down and get more depressed and out of sorts.

    It works. I think it works because I never took medications. I learned to deal with my feelings and how to use Power Of Will to avoid getting totally Depressed and Out of Sorts.

    You sound like you have a very wise sponsor.. lucky you. :) And you are doing FABULOUS.


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