Moving Past Resentments in Sobriety

“Moving past resentments in sobriety” and “I promise you a life of joy and wonderment” were the search phrases that jumped out at me this morning. They go hand-in-hand, one follows after the other. When you get past your resentments, there IS a world of joy and wonderment out there.

In recovery circles, it is a well-known fact that resentment is the number one reason people drink. Interestingly, the CDC cited that in 2011 in the US, there were 11.8 million substance abusers. Wow. Assume that most of them have resentments, and that’s a lot of resentment flying around out there!

I found it possible in sobriety to get past my resentment I had held tightly for 38 years. It was against my parents for things that happened while I was growing up. I was very angry and bitter, but didn’t show it. I kept it all inside, bottled up. But when I drank, it came out, often big-time. in the form of rage or huge despair and wailing with grief from my losses.

My life became one of victimhood, living life as the victim, and “poor me,” “you’d drink, too, if you suffered what I did.” I was consumed by self-pity. Before sobriety, while I was still drinking, I had no clue that there was a way out of this nightmare. I had no ability to see that I was creating my own misery through the fueling of my resentment against the folks.

I was creating my own misery by failing to take responsibility for my own feelings, to heal from the grief and hurt. That took some time in sobriety to discover that it was my responsibility to do so. And, I had a choice to continue being bitter or to work myself free of the chains that were binding me. Ahhhhh, a choice… Sobriety led me down the path to freedom when it helped me realize I always have a choice in everything I do. We all do. Yes, even you.

What I found after I worked through my resentments, has been great joy and wonder at the world around me… the physical world and all Her wonders, as well as the people in the world, and all of their wonders. I learned to have greater kindness and tolerance for others… great compassion. The more I practiced those things, the more wondrous things became in what the person revealed to me about themselves, what they shared with me, how they treated me. Closer bonds have been established. It has been true joy and wonderment.

So how can you get from your resentment to that joy and wonder about which I speak? It’s a process… a process of looking at your wounds and feelings, and identifying where that keeps you stuck in present day. It’s about using that process to look with new eyes at the resentment and the person whom you resent, until you are able to reach forgiveness.

This is a process I guide people through in my one-on-one coaching.  If you want to experience joy and wonderment in your life, you may be interested in learning more. Go to “Coaching” under the “Services” tab. We can work on that resentment that is keeping you from joy and wonder, and you can experience more peace during this holiday season.

I was indignant about looking at my “stuff.” After all, I was justified! I WAS a victim. That’s a fact. But there came a time in sobriety when I realized I just couldn’t carry my bitterness any more. It was affecting my ability to get to true sobriety, emotional sobriety. What I discovered was forgiveness and that helped me to find joy and wonder, peace and freedom.

How about you? How do you work through your resentments in sobriety? Have you reached joy and wonderment in your life?

 

 

 

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Experiencing Awe and Wonder in Sobriety

Moments of Wonder

Ah, I am back from the computer’s little vacation. I hope you are enjoying the new look of my website… The forgiveness article is yet to come, and I appreciate your patience.

In our pursuit of sobriety, serenity, and peace, living a life filled with awe and wonder will get us closer to our desired goal. It will lighten our heart, and delight our being.

All it takes is a decision to look at every little thing around us and find awe and wonder in it. For example… the star in the photograph to the left. I did not see that when I snapped the photo, nor did I see it for about nine months after that.

Then one day, I had all my gate photographs leaning up against the wall, and I was standing back, looking at them. I looked at this photo and saw the star, beaming at me from across the room.

I stopped in amazement! In that moment, I was struck with awe and wonder. Hence, the title for the image.

Since that time, I made the resolve to notice the small things around me. I do this every day, and every day, I notice something that strikes me with awe, and I feel wonder at the creation I am observing. It can be an object or another person, but I always find something about which to be in awe and wonder. It just comes naturally now

We can all do this. As I said, it takes a decision, and then it takes slowing down each day to notice the world around us. If we start with something like a flower, we will notice its delicacy, its beauty, and we will be touched with awe and wonder. When we are, our sobriety softens and we find our way to serenity and peace. We will find that we are useful to others because we are often inspiring to them. 

Today, take the time to make the decision to look at the world around you more closely than you currently do. Make the decision to see it with awe and wonder.  Don’t you feel lighter, filled with awe and wonder? If you do this, it will help your sobriety and your journey to serenity and peace.

 

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Have Joy, Wonder, and Peace When You Live Your Dream

Moments of Wonder

The exciting news is that once you have gone through the process I have been blogging about, you will find joy, wonder, and peace. This is especially true when you are following your dream.

You can make the conscious choice to experience joy and wonder, and when you do, you will know peace. Let’s consider wonder first.

Promise of Peace

If you approach everything as if it is a gift, an amazing creation, you will begin to see the world with eyes of wonder. Everything will seem to be a miracle in its creation.

Consider the image Moments of Wonder, above and to the left. I took that photo in February 2004, and it wasn’t until November of that year that I noticed the star. Now it is all I see. And in the moment I noticed it, I was filled with wonder. Hence, its title.

When you choose to see everything in wonder and awe, you will notice you are experiencing joy on a regular basis. This joy will be a feeling of delight and excitement in everything you do and experience.

Burst of Joy

I never thought I would ever in my life experience joy. For 48 years until I got sober, and then about three years of my sobriety, I was mired in bitterness and anger, hurt and pain… confusion. Then, I discovered forgiveness.

Since that point, I have been able to experience joy. It was such a new experience that I had difficulty receiving it. Today, I am in sync with my emotions and can actually be with joy.

When you are in joy and wonder, you will know peace. It is such a freeing sensation, peace is. It’s like, you see the world in a whole new light, with a deep knowingness.

Today, create wonder in your life for everything you encounter. Remember, it is a choice. When you choose this, you will experience joy, and then, you will experience peace. Give it a try and let us know how it worked for you. Follow your dream. It is the gateway to wonder, joy, and peace.

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A Life of Awe and Wonder

Moments of Wonder

In our pursuit of sobriety, serenity, and peace, living a life filled with awe and wonder will get us closer to our desired goal. It will lighten our heart, and delight our being.

All it takes is a decision to look at every little thing around us and find awe and wonder in it. For example… the star in the photograph to the left. I did not see that when I snapped the photo, nor did I see it for about nine months after that.

Then one day, I had all my gate photographs leaning up against the wall, and I was standing back, looking at them. I looked at this photo and saw the star, beaming at me from across the room.

I stopped in amazement! In that moment, I was struck with awe and wonder. Hence, the title for the image.

Since that time, I made the resolve to notice the small things around me. I do this every day, and every day, I notice something that strikes me with awe, and I feel wonder at the creation I am observing. It can be an object or another person, but I always find something about which to be in awe and wonder. 

We can all do this. As I said, it takes a decision, and then it takes slowing down each day to notice the world around us. If we start with something like a flower, we will notice its delicacy, its beauty, and we will be touched with awe and wonder. When we are, our sobriety softens and we find our way to serenity and peace. We will find that we are useful to others because we are often inspiring to them. 

Today, take the time to make the decision to look at the world around you more closely than you currently do. Make the decision to see it with awe and wonder.  Don’t you feel lighter, filled with awe and wonder? If you do this, it will help your sobriety and your journey to serenity and peace.

 

 

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Living In Awe and Wonder

Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening. Today we continue on in my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, and we come to wonder. Learning to live with awe and wonder helps a great deal in our search for our goals of continued sobriety and inner peace. 

Moments of Wonder

Moments of Wonder

“A beam of light falls upon the metal. I look with awe and wonder at the star that appears… out of nowhere.

“Do you suppose there has always been such richness, such wonder, such beauty in the world? Perhaps, it has been there all along, waiting to be noticed, to be seen with the eyes of the heart.”

When I took this photo, I did not see the star formed by the sun’s reflection on the metal. In fact, it took me several months to notice it.

It wasn’t until I stood back across the room and looked at the photo, that I saw the star. I was struck with awe and wonder in that monent. Hence, the title for this image.

There are moments of awe and wonder all around us, if we just take the time to notice and look with our heart. It takes being still for a moment, to gaze around us at all that is vast and wondrous.

When we are still, even for brief moments, we will notice the hearty flowers, growing at the side of the road. Or, we will notice the little girl, so excited about discovering sand for the first time.

In our busy and often hectic day, we forget to just pause, to notice all that is so amazing right around us, surrounding us. When we take that moment, it goes a long way to furthering our peace of mind and our ability to continue living sober.

Today, slow down long enough to notice one amazing thing around you. Do this three times a day. Then tomorrow, do it every couple of hours and the next, every hour. Continue this until you are constantly seeing your entire world with wonder. Feel the inner peace that is generated.

 

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Live with Wonder in Your Life and Be Fulfilled

To live with wonder in your life is to be filled with awe at the simple things around you. All you have to do is slow down and notice…

Moments of Wonder

Moments of Wonder

The verse asks the question if there has always been such richness, such beauty in the world. “Perhaps, it has been there all along, waiting to be noticed, to be seen with the eyes of the heart.”

The story behind this photo explains quite well the concept of noticing things around you. I took this picture in February or March of 2004, I never noticed the star, not for months.

Then, in November of that year, when I was titling all my photos, I had them lined up around the room. I was standing across the room when I noticed the star in this image.

In that moment, I was filled with wonder and awe at that star which appeared out of nowhere! Hence, the title Moments of Wonder. More to the point was that I slowed down enough to notice the star.

We tend to race around in life, ever faster and faster, trying to keep up. In that process, we miss the little things all around us; we just don’t have the time to notice them. That was me, at any rate.

I believe that when we slow down and notice the little things in our lives, we will be fulfilled, and we will begin to know more peace.

It can be as simple as noticing the beautiful, long shadows on the sidewalk that appear in the late afternoon, or the baby tears that are growing among the rocks in your yard. It can be seeing the delight on the face of a child, eager to learn, to see, and to grow.

Opportunities are all around you; there are a million things to see right within your own home. I invite you to look with eyes of newness at the simplest things and marvel over them – their presence, how their existence simplifies your life, their beauty. 

Notice the small things. What happens to your perspective when you do that? Are you filled with a sense of wonder, a sense of awe? Leave us a comment and let us know what you see that brings wonder to you.

 

 

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How to Live in the Moment

Knowing how to live in the moment is a blessing and an acquired skill. At least, that has been my experience. It is a blessing because it brings peace of mind to you whose minds are always turning, fretting over the past or the future. This would be me, both in the past and all-too-often in the future…

Once you focus on what is immediately in front of you, there is no way your mind can be cluttered with worry or doubt, past or future. Sometimes, when we learn how to live in the moment, it is as simple as looking at a flower and marveling in its beauty.

Sometimes, you have a project you are working on, and simply focusing on the next task involved with your project will help you live in the moment. Become totally immersed and absorbed by each small task, one at a time, and soon you will see that you are in the moment.

In the Moment

Moments of Wonder

What you will find in these moments of present, are moments of wonder at the beauty and rightness all around you. Hence, the title of the photo to the left. I took this photo in February of 2004, and it wasn’t until November of that year that I saw this star. That was because I could not slow down and just look at what was in front of me.

In fact, I had to stand away from the image, across the room, before I saw the star, shining like a beacon. In that moment that I saw it, I was struck with wonder. Thus, this photo was easy to title…

 

 

Here are a few tips to help you learn how to live in the moment:

  •  Slow down. Stop your action, whether of your mind, body or both.
  • Pick an object upon which to focus your attention. Often, things from nature work well.
  • Consciously examine the small, intricate details of the object and marvel at their presence.
  • Recognizing that you are living that moment in the present, turn your attention to a project at hand. 
  • Determine the very next step that has to be taken. Focus on that step, and that step alone.
  • Complete that step, that task, and keep your mind on it and nothing else. If your mind strays, bring yourself back to the task in front of you.
  • Once that step is completed, choose the next step to be completed, and focus on it alone.
  • Repeat this process, again and again, focusing only on what is right in front of you to do.

Soon you will find that you are living in the moment. I say this like it is easy to do, and like I am a master at it. Heavens, no, I am not. In fact, I just got back from a family reunion at which I had a terrible time focusing on the moment, as I was so busy worrying about the future. I missed a lot because I did not focus on what was going on right in front of me. I am sad about that now. Of course, it cannot be changed, but perhaps, I can do better next time. It just takes mindfulness.

May you do well as you practice how to live in the moment and to find wonder there.

 

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See The World With Wonder

Moments of Wonder

Good morning, all! Thank you for your faithfulness as I get it together to get on a consistent blogging schedule.

Do you see the star in this picture? It took me months before I saw it, and I only saw it when I put the image against the wall and stepped back. Then, I saw it! That star which appeared… out of nowhere. I was struck with awe and wonder in that moment and, hence, the title Moments of Wonder.

Wonder is a beautiful thing, as so many things can be seen with wonder… the delicate innards of a flower, the flight of a hummingbird, a parent comforting an upset child with soothing words and actions, an older person, getting around even though difficult, the majesty of a sunset…

There is wonder everywhere, if only we take the time and are in the mindset to see things in that manner. Everything becomes a wonder, a marvel, not just the obvious things like a beautiful scene in nature.

It seems that when seeing things with wonder, our gratitude for everything increases, and joy and peace descend upon us. Our heart opens…

What are the things which lead you to see the world with wonder?

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Search of Self

search of selfSearch of self, personal inventory, looking at my part in affairs… all the same thing, perhaps. For me it is. When I became sober and first did an inventory, really looked at myself with honesty, I was scared to death that all I would see was a failure, a selfish and bad person with nothing worth mentioning.

What I have learned over the years is that we all have redeeming qualities, even me. Like the image, our minds are a swirl of ideas and thoughts and we even have our shadows… and right in the middle of it all is our heart, shining brightly, leading the way when we let it. Don’t forget to look for those positive things about yourself that are in your heart.

I talk of looking at my part in affairs… what do I mean? For me, it is looking without fear at actions or thoughts I have in response to any given situation. My part in the affair may be that I had self-serving motives, or I was fearful to speak my truth and be honest with someone. It could also be that I had a positive thought of myself instead of beating up on myself or putting myself down.

Doing a self-appraisal was a good way to simply locate myself, to define what I was feeling. It became the vehicle of my inner freedom and peace. A regular habit of looking at my part in the affairs of my life taught me how to value, respect and love myself.

The beautiful thing is that once I can value, respect and love myself, I can value, respect and love others… you! It is a joyful and peaceful place to live and I am so grateful to have found it, one step at a time.

How are you doing with valuing, respecting and loving yourself? How about others?

Thank you for joining my blog today. As you may or may not know, this blog is about my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. Each blog, I talk about the next emotion or action or principle presented in the book, determined by the title of each gate. It will be a while before we get to Moments of Wonder, where I talk about that awesome emotion. Meanwhile, if you’d like to jump ahead, I have guest blogged for Our Little Books, a little book with a big message and  you can read my thoughts on moments of wonder. It’d be fun to have you visit. Our Little Books is a great line of little, teeny books… very inspirational. Hope you can check them out…

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