April 9, 2013

The Middle: It Is Safe Here

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. -Thomas Merton

I was thinking the other day about how my life has changed, and how I now strive  to live sort of in the middle... or in balance. I no longer enjoy the extreme highs or lows. I would rather let things be and not intervine if I don't need to. It keeps me sober, one day at a time!
When I was drinking, I lived in the absolute extremes! There was no balance! My motto was -Work hard, and party hard!-  Most of the time, I either loved everything or hated it all. There was no second chances or trying again The more chaotic my insides felt, the more drama I got involved in, and the more I tried to impose my control on everything. I was never, ever satisfied with anything, and if I was, it was very temporary. I was never actually happy with just the way things were, there was always more that I could do. Nothing was just good enough.

As we redouble our efforts at control, and continue to fails our suffering becomes acute and constant. We have not once sought to be one in the family, to be a friend among friends, to be a worker among workers, to be a useful member of society. Always we tried to struggle to the top of the heap, or to hide underneath it! - AA 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, Step 4, pg. 53.

This quote is so true for me, I have never just tried to be a useful member of society, I was always trying to get to the top or hide underneath! I was always trying to control something or someone. But when I was learning how to stay sober, I realized that all that drama made it really hard to live and be happy, and stay sober at the same time. It just become too much work to constantly have to control everything around me. I had to change it. I had to find happiness; I didn't get sober to be miserable after all!

My life now doesn't have huge highs or lows anymore, I sort of coast in the middle. This is a place where I feel comfortable and relaxed, and I have no need to control anything. Here are the few things I do to help me stay in the middle:

I practice letting go.
I practice Living in Now  
I don't bother with things that I have
no control over.
I approach each day with no expectations.
I am grateful for everything I have today.
I am OK in the middle.

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