In the moment… for weeks

Today I really need to remain in the moment.  I need to remain in the moment for the next week and a half.  I have a lot on the go, and the noise in my head is vying for my attention.  It seems to want me to get bogged down, distracted, and rendered ineffective.  The noise wants me to medicate with some form of distraction, rather than work through the pain and complexity.

As I see it, I have two choices….

1. Go along with the unrecovered part of my thinking, which the gravity of my of old habits of thought, is pulling me toward…. Or…

2. Live in the moment by drawing from the resources around me and within me.

I’m going to go with option 2.

I am in the midst of a lot of change.  My wife is away with the kids for another week or so.  I am running parts of our business that I don’t normally run, but am covering for her.  In addition, I am busy at my regular job, doing extra hours covering others on holiday.

Furthermore, my elderly father is needing help.  And there are other extra obligations I am trying to fulfill as well that are drawing on my strength and attention.

So it is time to draw on my resources, rather than surrender to the pressures.  I must live in the moment, and not let pressures of today, regrets of the past, and fears of the future prevail.  Some of my resources are…

1. God as I understand Him teaches… “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”.  This was written over 2000 years ago in the midst of Roman oppression.  Where following belief systems other than what the establishment condoned, could result in death.  So pretty sage and practical advice given in circumstances that really made it a life or death reality.

2. God as I understand Him also teaches me to ask for, my “… daily bread”.  I need to remind myself that he does not as for tomorrow’s or yesterday’s bread.  But rather TODAY’s.  This guidance is from a direct quote of God as I understand Him.  Ought I not take it realistically to heart?

3. One of my favourite authors, Dale Carnegie, who has helped millions of people improve their lives through improved habits of thought and behaviour teaches in his book, “Stop Worrying and Start Living”, dedicates a chapter a teaching of co-founder of John Hopkins Hospital, Sir William Osler, who is also considered by many as ‘The Father of Modern Medicine’, (and a fellow Canadian 🙂 ).  Sir William (Bill to his friends), is quoted as having, “… lived in day-tight compartments”.  This man of great accomplishment obviously concurred with the notion of making today, just for today.  Again, a tremendous endorsement for this practice.

4. And of course, those of us familiar with 12 Step communities are well-acquainted with the encouragement to live, “Just for Today”.  Sage advice that is a key practice to helping millions of us get and remain sober by this system for over 75 years.

5. And lastly (for now), one of my favourite mentors and teachers of success, Tom Hopkins, who knows first-hand the impacts of having an alcoholic in his life, has been a veteran of many of life’s challenges, and shares a faith in God as we both understand him, incorporates a daily perspective in his “Rules for a Perfect Day”:

Just for today…

  • I will try to live and delight in the reality of being alive. My past is forever gone, my future an uncertainty, so I will be happy and thankful for each moment.

 

  • I will not allow negative input into my mind…happiness is a choice and I choose to be happy. 

 

  • I will be thankful to God for my health, my loved ones, my business, and my country. I will also be thankful for any pain in crisis that helps me grow because God has said, be thankful in all things.

 

  • I will take care of my body, realizing the importance of the words moderation and balance, knowing that as I bring my flesh under control, how much easier it will be to control my will and my actions.

 

  • I will treat everyone I meet today the way I would like to be treated. I will strive to have them like themselves better when they’re with me.

 

  • I will avoid gossip, jealousy, and negative thinking. Most people don’t think about what they think about. Today, I will make a conscious effort to hold loving and beautiful thoughts in my mind.

 

  • I will write down my priorities; thinking of my loved ones and my responsibilities. I may not get everything done, but I will do the most productive thing possible at every given moment.

 

  • I will strive to humble myself before others, controlling my ego and making other people feel important.

 

  • I will spend time in study, learning how to better serve my fellow man. I know my growth in all areas is in direct proportion to the service I give to others.

 

  • I will not take rejection personally. I am first and foremost in the people business and, thus, realize they can only reject my proposal and not me. I will keep on keepin’ on.

I will pop by more regularly during the next week or so.  And visit many of my blog buddies.  You have all been inspirations and supports to me.  I hope I can share the same with you… even, perpahs especially, at a time when I am feeling challenged to stay focused and positive.

Ciao.

Chaz

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About Chaz

Husband, father, brother, son, friend. Sober member of AA. Grateful for the life God gave me and for the happy struggle of recovery.
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9 Responses to In the moment… for weeks

  1. Caddo Veil says:

    Oh, Sweet Nephew–I’m so glad to see you! I’ve missed you–please know I’m holding you tight in my heart and lifting you up in Big prayers to our BIG God. You’re just wonderful, so don’t forget it. And thanks for the great reminders–I need them too! God bless you abundantly–love, Auntie Caddo

    • Chaz says:

      Thanks Auntie Caddo. I appreciate the encouragement. I have been negligent in staying connected to my communities. I have become a bit of an island lately and minimized the importance of community and fellowship. Remnants of pride can jump in and tell us we can do things on our own, when clearly we are communal creatures. I have let busy-ness superscede my own emotional health… not a good idea.

      Thanks for being part of one of my communities. You will see me around more frequently.

      Ciao.

      Chaz

  2. jeremiahandrews says:

    Wow, you sure take a round about route to get to the point of a very simple lesson… Stay in your day. If you take one day at a time and stay away from tomorrow your work and your abilities will be used properly on a day to day basis. Stay in your day was one of the very first lessons I learned in sobriety and it took me 18 months to learn how to do that.

    Stay out of your head and do the next right thing.

    Jeremy

    • Chaz says:

      LOL….. thanks Jeremy…. yes, I can meander quite a bit in making my points 🙂

      I suppose this reveals complexity of the deep and tangled roots of my unrecovered parts of my thinking. For me, it has taken years to achieve a functioning level of thinking and livng a day at a time. My head really works me over, especially upon waking in the morning. Mornings are when all my negativities tend to consolidate.

      Pre-recovery, I had stark suicidal thoughts most mornings. Which often resulted in days in bed. Falling back into sleep to escape the black thoughts that overtook my mind.

      Recovery for me has largely been an unshackling of these kinds of thoughts and what I allow them to do to me. I used to let them come in and beat me up any time they wanted. If they knocked, I unknowingly let them in and asked them to make themselves at home. Then wondered why I was so depressed and emotionally paralyzed so often.

      I think it is clear that since I need such a long list of supportive evidence to make my case for thinking on a one-day-at-a-time basis, that I may be falling back into the abyss of these old thinking patterns. I have allowed them to gain some strength back and use it against me.

      One reason I blog is because it gives me opportunity to formalize thoughts, then discscuss, re-read, and refine them by gaining perspectives from others. Much needed perspectives, as my own thinking only ever got me to where I was when I was spiralling down in my alcoholic thinking and behaving. But by borrowing the perspectives of others, I was able to make progress. Some of the borrowed persepctives I then kept for my own. Others, I set aside for now as either I was not ready for them, or I could not see their usefulness…. yet anyway.

      So my long list above is the amunition I am using to fire back at old thinking that is trying to make an advance on ground it previously lost. The beauty is it works. I feel better and am functioning better already.

      Thanks for your perspectives as always Jer.

      Chaz

  3. Debbie says:

    This is so good for me too, Chaz. And I’m cheering for you as you stay in the day , with Jesus!

    • Chaz says:

      Thanks Debbie.

      The longer I live and the more I go through, the more I find relevance in what I once felt were the over-quoted teachings of Jesus Christ.

      The problem could have been the context in which I heard them. Specifically in church cultures in which I felt little connection. Perhaps I was among people who I felt were unrealistic and irrelevant in how they lived. Not sure really. Probably not even worth figuring out.

      All I meant so say is the very same scriptures that once seemed tired have become lifeblood to me. Perhaps I have found a context in which they have relevance to me. Perhaps I was left with so few options on how to live successfully, that I finally got desperate enough to try them on my problems like depression, anxiety, and addiction.

      And in turn, depression, anxiety, and addiction are the very challenges that have helped prove the validity of what Jesus Christ taught. They gave me relevant context. They became the proving grounds for me.

      Then I discovered leaders like Dale Carnegie, Tom Hopkins, and the founders of AA were able to apply these principles too and get amazing results. This gives even more relevance to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Even people who do not believe in him have found benefit in his teachings. Wow.

      Yet for me, I think it is clear that I need to continue to grow in these teachings. To not do so means backsliding into old thinking and behaving. It may be different for others. But I need to be responsible for my own part in my own growth. And if this means continuing to learn and re-learn, then so be it.

      So here I am re-learning. In doing so, I believe I am becoming stronger.

      Thanks for the encouragement and fellowship Debbie!

      Ciao.

      Chaz

  4. Debby says:

    Good choice and good words your share. Seems I keep coming across things about being “present”. Must be God wanting to get my attention. Thanks, Chaz. You’re following the right teachers!

  5. Debbie says:

    Chaz –
    It’s always great to see you out and about and doing what you do so well – reminding us of what’s pure and true.
    Keeping you (and your traveling family) in my prayers,
    Debbie

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