Sunday, January 25, 2009

in this moment

One day at a time.

That slogan appears to be the staple food in my AA diet. Other wise know as "staying in the moment", or how they like to say at the treatment centre I attended, "stayin' in your shoes."

When I'm sharing my experience and hope with another individual, I often suggest how when I stop projecting the past upon the future my life becomes a bit more manageable. I admit I don't do this well but the benefit's have been much less loss of sleep due to worry.

Eckart Tolle, in his book "The Power of Now" suggests observing our own thoughts as a tool in learning to stay in the moment. Not judging them or trying to change them, just paying attention to them. So I thought I would give that a try last week and discovered that I am a worry wart. Surprise? World's most active imagination.

Some one was an hour late one day last week. Someone who in addict, who is struggling in a relationship. When the person finally showed up, I had already imagined them dead, having killed themselves in my mind. I am embarrassed to report that I was scared, worried, fearful, and totally trapped. A sponsee had called me during this time and I had a hard time focusing on what they were trying to tell my, my mind going else where the whole time. Why all this fear? Using past experience and projecting them on current events to forecast a dark and gloomy future that, judging by the emotions I was feeling, must have been truth. I could watch it begin and even thought I knew where it was going, I seemed powerless to stop it. I ended up in that place where I never want to go. Shazaam, there I was.

This need to worry played out a few times last week. I worried over people close to me. Worried about myself connected with what's going on at work, threats of layoffs and closures due to the collapsing economy around us. I worried about sponsee's and if I was doing the right thing to help them. I felt anxious over my blog, seemingly unable to find anything to write about. I felt fearful around God, if I had the correct beliefs, if my choice of a Higher Power was going to end up with me in deep shit after I die.

When I stepped back and took the role of observer of my own thoughts, I was surprised by how much I still worry. How much fear I still carry through out the day. I had been thinking it was so much better than it was before.

It is better. At least in levels of intensity and length. I used to worry about something for days. Lay awake all night with that rat gnawing away at my entrails. I am learning to let go and let God.

I just want to end this with something that Eckhart Tolle writes:

As long as the egoic mind is running your life, you cannot truly be at ease; you cannot be at peace or fulfilled except for brief intervals when you obtained what you wanted, when a craving has just been fulfilled. Since the ego is a derived sense of self, it needs to identify with external things. It needs to be both defended and fed constantly. The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, personal and family history, belief systems, and often also political, nationalistic, racial, religious, and other collective identifications. None of these is you. (The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle)

Photo Credit: O'mages


Annette said...

Well, I'm glad to know I'm alone in my struggles.:o) And isn't the whole ego concept like a light bulb moment?! It is for me...every single time I am shocked at the reminder that its not all about me!

Shadow said...

í'm glad you posted this. this is EXACTLY what i do too. i've written a book by the time whatever should have happened, happens. and mostly, needlessly. if you get a handle on how to control this, pleeeeez give me a shout......

Lou said...

Funny, I consider it improvement also when I only worry for a few hours instead of a few days.
It is a hard reaction (habit?) to break.

Indigo said...

I'm constantly finding myself less than. On those moments when someone puts me on a pedestal, inadvertly those same people without knowing it, knock me off that pedestal. So in my sobriety, I've come to keep low expectations of people and myself. I'm genuinely surprised when it turns the corner to something more, if it doesn't - I'm ok where I am...

In this case fear and humility go hand in hand. No one person will have the same results. Yet it's hard not to projection our own feelings into the equation. (Hugs)Indigo