Sunday, January 11, 2009

one day at a time...

how slowly things change and how fast others...

i have possibly recommended this SoF programme before, The Spirituality of Addiction and Recovery but i have played it once through today and plan to play it throughout this week & so am marking it.

having been able to work on some of my own issues in the past few months with those in recovery - be that from alcohol or drugs or sex or food or co-dependency or abuse, this has way more meaning now than when i first heard it. it was a great privilege to walk with those who have put so much work in already, to feel the humilty in that journey, and to see that when it comes down to it, it doesn't matter what destructive cycle you are trying to break or what pain healed, we are all so very alike... and so when i put the work in it's easier to be compassionate, because i remember how hard it is to get through some days and not panic...

if anything the intensive work i did on retreat in the autumn has only served to teach me that some days are so much harder than others but the better days are the one's when i put in the work. by me. for me. and with the faith that i am not alone. and so by the grace of God.

for after the intensity of retreat i let much of the daily discipline and practise slide and i have suffered for it. but today is a new day and so i am choosing to live in it.

today is a day which has not been plain sailing but in which i have taken as many little steps as i can. because so often putting in the work looks like waking somewhat fitfully but choosing to lie in the warmth of my bed as long as i can and seek rest rather than sleep as the howling wind ushers in the morning... listening to discussions on one of my favourite radio programmes to stimulate my mind while washing the dishes and making coffee... briefly braving the wet windy morning to go to the corner shop for a Sunday paper... .. listening to speaking of faith while taking a long soak in a hot lavender bath... taking time to nourish and massage winter weary skin...sending messages of good will to others...

later i will hang out over homemade food and board games with close friends and all the while through each of these tasks aiming once more to be mindful of the present - of each act i am undertaking and in doing so let go of that which invades the peace of my mind...

i don't like many Sundays. but i am liking today.

"...mindfulness is easy. it's remembering to be mindful that's hard..."

- Kevin Griffin
there is much in that SoF podcast from beginning to end that is of great worth... but it was these words in italics that really pulled me up short today... creating a moment of epiphany...


Ms. Cheever: It's a lack of trust. It's an inability to just think, 'You know what? It's going to be all right.' And, like, who was that, St. Julian?

Ms. Tippett: Julian of Norwich.

Ms. Cheever: Who said, "All will be well."

Ms. Tippett: Yes.

Ms. Cheever: "All things will be well."

Ms. Tippett: Yeah.

Ms. Cheever: It's the opposite of that. It's a kind of panic. It's, 'There's never going to be any more food.' 'There's never going to be another drink.' 'There's never going to be enough for me.' And in my experience, addiction comes out of that, that wanting, that hunger. And that's very intimate. In other words, you won't get a lot of people on the radio even copping to this stuff. And, you know, therefore, to put that into remission, or to calm it down, you have to have a faith or a system or whatever you're going to call it that's very intimate as well, because it's private, it's personal. And I think — you know, I often wonder why we live in a culture that is so blind to alcoholism and I think that's one of the reasons, it's so private, it's so personal what a person drinks or what they don't drink.

And I think that's partly also the basis, you know, of Bill's understanding of the importance of anonymity is that anonymity sort of protects that incredibly intimate private nature of addiction and, you know, the treatment for addiction, of that change of heart. You know the human heart is such a, such a private and frightening place. But I also think that it — to me, one of the greatest — I don't know what the word is — one of the greatest foundations of spirituality is what Bill called anonymity and, you know, what Christ called humility. And I'm sure that Buddha also had a name for it.


it's not dramatic, it's not exciting, it's nothing to write home about. but this is what putting the work into being well and whole looks like... "utter simplicity..."

all will be well, all will be well, and all manner of things will be well...



  1. Always appreciate your honesty here. Message I walk away with after reading is "do the work." Which I need to hear. Thanks.

  2. and the great challenge, but i suppose also can be seen as a gift, is that you wake up to a new day and have to start all over again. to *keep* doing the work...
    but so much easier said than done.

  3. and, in doing the work, to act strong (as someone wise once said). Love you, you courageous womyn. Keep on rockin'.
    FF x

  4. Anonymous10:13 am

    a lioness you are sister