Pilar: Recovery Is One Day at a Time

A woman shares her story of recovering from alcohol use as well as some inspirational quotes that help her with her recovery.

Words to Live by

(Posted in the blog If The Truth Be Told, January 28, 2014)

Hello everyone, as I seem to be on a roll with words, today I thought I’d share with you some inspiring ones, mostly sayings and slogans I have learned from my travels. Some gleaned from attending Al-Anon meetings from one city to the next where I have been fortunate to visit. Admittedly, I’m learning all the time how so many of these phrases make a difference in my life. I’ve also been reading Liz Gilbert’s book Eat, Pray, Love for the second time, if only to visit Bali (where my son was lucky to have been a few months ago) once again and witness what seems to be a “true romance” in progress. I’m living vicariously through the author who is such an inspiration since my life has been a cloistered three months in Leland, North Carolina, living without wheels but focused on writing, which isn’t a bad thing. I’m just due for a change.

What moved me to manifest these inspiring sayings and share them was my latest sojourn into the world of relationships. With our computers capable of video phone calls using Skype, it’s easy to get connected with someone on the other side of the world. Alas, it was a fruitless endeavor, and the saying that popped into my head when he expressed he wasn’t looking for a partnership was “man’s rejection is God’s protection.” With these words along with a combination of being so far away and the fact I’ve been through some of the most difficult emotional times lately, my resiliency to rejection has grown tremendously. Happy to say my heart is intact and I’m ready for the next chapter. I love myself so much now, the awareness of how God wants the “best” for me is so easily applicable to my life. I have truly become a very strong woman.

Another great saying I learned at a meeting was fear is “Forgetting Everything is All Right.” Fear is something we all have made bedfellows of and don’t need it in our lives one iota. Courage I think is its counterpart and I am using that modus operandi instead. When I was living in Texas, I saw this saying on a bathroom wall at a place in Austin, Texas called “For the Love of Christy” where people could come and grieve and heal from losing a loved one too soon. It said, “Fear knocked on the door, love answered, no one was there.” So with love and courage, I am determined to face the next 20-30 years of life (if I live that long) on this most challenging earth as one loving and brave wahine (woman in Hawaiian).

“One day at a time” is used in all 12-step programs and even though it may be an old and dusty bumper sticker slogan, I noticed this really works for me especially when I choose to stay in the moment. And continue to stay in the moment because as we all know these moments pass so quickly. Speaking of time passing quickly, with the awareness time stands still for no one, I now have really committed to my favorite saying, “what people think of me is none of my business.” I do know there is a whole book with this title but this awareness comes with age and as I have aged, and with grace I might add, I love the idea of not giving a hoot what anyone thinks of me. It’s why I was able to put out two books and live my nun’s life with relative feelings of security. I may not have a partner or coterie of friends but I have a sisterhood of lovely ladies I can count on for love and support. It’s a sad day when we allow ourselves to be manipulated by others, when we are riddled with so much concern as to what others think of us. Wayne Dyer’s saying I gleaned from a church sign in Florida, “be independent of other’s good opinions,” is something I use every morning as I journal in my morning pages. Such a theme of self-confidence has occurred you wouldn’t believe (said with a Jewish accent.)

Here’s a good one, “worrying is like paying interest on a loan you didn’t even take out.” I certainly can embrace this one. My mother worried incessantly; her favorite thing to do was to grill me when I was going through a big change: “What are you going to do now?” So when my mind was spinning around with a stable of negative thoughts when things were tough, I would have this mantra bouncing around, “What am I going to do now?” Over and over again, worrying as if I was taking a bath in it. Over the last 44 years, I’ve been willing to allow this spiritual practice of Subud with its purifying latihan to purge me of my demons, past mistakes along with the ones of my ancestors. And with this practice it made all I absorbed when attending the hundreds of Al-Anon meetings real to me; you can say I have come a long way. As I read once, “I know God only gives me what I can handle, but I wish he didn’t trust me so much.” I wouldn’t wish my last two to three months on my worst enemy, but ironically, I have come out the other side with such a sense of my connection with my highest power. Honestly, I’m not pulling your leg. It’s like there is no separation from my hand and the air it moves in. It is all God’s power. I’m also very grateful I have enough latihan experience to find the quiet place within and feel what God wants me to do now. Well, most of the time. I have worked on developing and trusting my inner barometer and it has finally become my trusted ally.

I’ll leave you with just one more of my recent faves; it’s actually the last line of a poem called “Body & Souls”: “to stay young, to save the world, break the mirror.” Our souls, which I’ve heard are eternal, have no age, no time restraints, so just live in the moment, love yourselves, because you are all loving, lovable and splendid (Courage to Change). God bless!

Last Updated: 12/18/2015