From the BlogMeet Ron

Thanks to Chuck D.

Vulnerability
 
Some of us may have made a decision that no one was ever going to hurt us again. We may automatically go on “feelings freeze mode” when faced with emotional pain. Or, we may terminate a relationship the first time we feel hurt. Hurt feelings are a part of life, relationships, and recovery. It is understandable that we don’t want to feel any more pain. Many of us have had more than our share, in fact, at some time in our life, we may have been overwhelmed, crushed, or stopped in our tracks by the amount of pain we felt. We may not have had the resources to cope with our pain or take care of ourselves.
That was yesterday. Today, we don’t have to be so frightened of pain. It does not have to overwhelm us. We are becoming strong enough to deal with hurt feelings. And we don’t have to become martyrs, claiming that hurt feelings and suffering are all there is to life.
We need only allow ourselves to feel vulnerable enough to feel hurt, when that’s appropriate, and take responsibility for our feelings, behaviors, and what we need to do to take care of ourselves. We don’t have to analyze or justify our feelings. We need to feel them, and try not to let them control our behavior.
Maybe our pain is showing us we need to set a boundary; maybe it’s showing us we’re going in a wrong direction; maybe it’s triggering a deep healing process.
It’s okay to feel hurt; it’s okay to cry; it’s okay to heal; it’s okay to move on to the next feeling, when it’s time. Our willingness and capacity to feel joy will eventually match our willingness and capacity to feel hurt.
Being in recovery does not mean immunity from pain; it means learning to take loving care of ourselves when we are in pain.
 
Today, I will not strike out at those who cause me pain. I will feel my emotions and take responsibility for them. I will accept hurt feelings as part of being in relationships. l am willing to surrender to the pain as well as the joy in life.
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Letting go to save our lives
 
I crouched in the doorway of the airplane, next to my skydiving coach. I held on to the doorway with my right hand for balance. With my left hand, I firmly grasped my coach’s gripper, a padded piece of cloth on his jumpsuit.
It was up to me to give the count. “Ready,” I hollered. “Set…”
I backed up and took another breath. “Ready, set…”
I heard a snicker. “Get out of the plane,” someone hollered.
“Go.”
I released my grip on the door, closed my eyes, and dived headfirst into the air– with my left hand firmly attached to my jump master’s gripper. We wobbled around for a moment. The plan was, we would turn to face each other in the air, I would grab his other shoulder grip, get my balance, then I’d release him.
He turned to face me. I grabbed his other grip. Now I was falling stable and holding on with both hands. He nodded, giving me my cue to let go.
I shook my head, carefully, so as not to lose my balance.
He looked confused, then nodded again.
I shook my head again, clinging more tightly.
I looked at my altimeter. Six thousand feet. Thank God. It was almost time to pull. I released my grips. I just let go. Obviously, I couldn’t safely pull my rip cord while I was hanging on to him.
It was time to save my own life.
My coach backed away.
I signaled, then pulled my rip cord. My parachute made that sweet whooshing sound, the one I had come to identify as the sound it makes when it opens correctly and fills with air, slowing my fall into a float.
Wow! I thought. This is really fun!
Sometimes we’re so scared, all we can think to do is hang on. Hanging on in this case was a silly illusion. We we’re both falling through the air. Holding on to a relationship that’s not working, a negative self-image, a job that isn’t working, moments and times that have passed, or emotions such as fear and hurt can be a silly illusion,too.
To save our own lives, sometimes we have to let go first.
 
God, show me what I need to let go of, and when it’s time to do that.

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In wildness is the preservation of the world. 
–Henry David. Thoreau
 
Nature confronts us with its beauty in a flower or a furry animal. The awesomeness of nature is in a lightning bolt or a majestic mountain. Every variety of tree has its own uniquely textured bark. Each annual ring in a tree trunk is a natural record of the growing conditions in each year it grew. These things remind us we are not in charge, and we are moved by the experience.
This wildness is everywhere around us, and we are renewed by it when we interact with it. At night, in the city, we look up and see the ancient moon. When we live with a pet, it reminds us we are creatures too. We are part of this larger whole. We don’t just appreciate nature – we are nature. When we open our eyes and learn to be a part of it, it renews and lifts our spirits.
 
Today, I will notice my relationship with the sun and moon, with the plants and animals in my world.

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