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Monday, August 29, 2016
"Focus on the  Good"

Gratitude List
- sooo extremely grateful for my sweet little girls
- grateful that hubby is a calm man
- grateful for knowledge
- grateful for a check that came in early and is going to help us financially
- grateful for Philippians 4:8

We did so many things this morning and it's only 7am.  I started the morning preschool and oh my goodness, it's tiring.  Haha!  I can do this though and it will be soooo worth it!  Next is our nature walk, which is just as much for me as it is for them.  

Let's dig into some passages.

ODAT
How many of my frustrations and disappointments come from expecting too much! It is good to set our standards high, but only if we are prepared to accept, with unperturbed serenity, results that fall short of what we expect.
We expect more of the alcoholic than a sick, confused human can deliver. Once he is sober, we expect a complete transformation. Above all, we make too great demands on ourselves.
Today's Reminder 
Let me learn to settle for less than I wish were possible, and be willing to accept it and appreciate it. I will not expect too much from anyone, not even of myself. Contentment comes from accepting gratefully the good that comes to us, and not from raging at life because it is not better. This wholesome attitude is by no means resignation, but a realistic acceptance. 
"What you have may seem small; you desire so much more. See children thrusting their hands into a narrow-necked jar, striving to pull out the sweets. If they fill the hand, they cannot pull it out and then they fall to tears. When they let go a few, they can draw out the rest. You, too, let your desire go; covet not too much. . ." (Epictetus)

**Phew!  Well, that was some food for thought!!  We are taught not to settle.  We are taught settling is a bad thing.......... Here is what I'm thinking.  Settling is something we need to do all day, every day to be able to appreciate our efforts.  That does not mean our efforts should go away or our boundaries should go away.  That does not mean we are not capable of great things or worthy of great things.  It means, we net to get rid of those planned resentments (expectations) and try and put ourselves out there bravely, knowing we will be happy with what we accomplish, even if it's not the highest of our secret hopes.  This passage says that it's ok to set our standards high.  I think that is in terms of reinforcement with boundaries.  
I was very disappointed yesterday because hubby didn't meet my expectations.  We received a check in the mail (a couple months earlier than expected) for $2700.  It was a settlement check from a company i worked for years ago.  Very much out of the blue.  I was trying not to be too excited, but thinking of places the money could go.  Then last night, hubby told me he didn't have money for rent next month.  He had told me previously (he doesn't remember this), but he had told me that he could cover next month if I could cover ___, ___ and ___.  Well, plans changed and he just didn't tell me.  So, I spent my money on _____ and we wouldn't have had money for rent.  So..... pretty much all of the check is going to rent.  I'm like the little kid with the hand in the narrow-necked jar.  I should be so so grateful that this check came just in time to save the day.  But, I"m resentful because of my expectation.  And YES, we need to figure out this  money thing.  But, how nice it would have been if I could have just given a Hallelulah for the money and been grateful it filled the lapse for hubby's mistake.  Instead, we got into a humongous fight and he ended up sleeping in the garage.  It was gross.  That hasn't happened in awhile.  Money is such an issue for us and for a lot of people with bipolar disorder (and just, in general, actually).  Anyways, not happy about the argument, but grateful in some changes that I saw in how we fight.  Oooh and hubby went to his first telephone SA meeting yesterday.  I felt super super inspired to start doing al anon meetings again, as well. 

Passage 2
Since childhood I have been nagged by those moments when I said or did something that brought pain to another person. These are ugly memories that I never believed would go away. With Step Eight, however, I discover a means to release myself from unrelenting guilt.
This Step says to make a list of all people I have harmed and to become willing to make amends to them all. Finally, I can put down in words all the memories and all the pain. When I see them written in front of me, they seem almost unmanageable, and I feel hopeful about freeing myself from their weight as I become willing to make amends. I need not take any further action at this point. All I am concerned with now is the harm I have caused others, the guilt I have brought on myself, and the desire to do what I can to clear it all away.
Today's Reminder 
Guilt is a burden that keeps me from giving myself fully and freely to the present. I can begin to rid my mind of guilt by quietly admitting where and when I have done wrong to people, including myself. 
"Al-Anon has shown me another way of living, and I like it. Life can either be a burden and a chore or a challenge and a joy. One day at a time I can meet the challenges of life head-on instead of head-down." As We Understood . . .

**Oh, I love this one so much.  It makes me look forward to Step 8 and want to get there ASAP.


Passage 3
In those early days of detaching with love from my mother meant setting limits on our face-to-face contact. For more than a year, our only communication was through notes sent by mail and gifts dropped off without seeing one another. This is what I needed for recovery at the time.
Today my mother and I have an honest and loving relationship based on mutual respect for each other's boundaries. When we speak, I keep the focus on myself and share my experience, strength, and hope rather than telling her what to do. My recovery has become healthier and stronger, as has my relationship with my mother. This is the miracle of Al-Anon in my life.
Thought for the Day
Detachment helps me set limits and untangle myself from the other people in my life.
"Choosing to set boundaries and create wellness for ourselves is our primary responsibility . . ." From Survival to Recovery, p. 204

Slogans for Today: Serenity prayer

4 comments:

  1. Yay for the check saving the day! Definitely a tender mercy from God.

    I still have confusions over expectations.

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    1. Was your class on expectations Saturday or was that detachment? Or am I totally off? I feel like I have a decent understanding of expectations, if you ever want to chat (or message) it out.

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  2. p.s. Reminds me of another verse in Philippians 4. The end of verse 11 says, "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content" (KJV). Mixed feelings about this one, lol.

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    1. Love that verse! That's what it's all about, lol. Being content whatever state you are in. I def. want to be that zen person.

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