suit up and show up

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image credit...mariano vivanco

Courage of the Spiritual Warrior

The courage that makes for a good soldier also makes for a good Spiritual Warrior, but the intent becomes completely different. A soldier has courage to face a challenge that may bring physical harm. The Spiritual warrior has the courage to question challenge his or her own beliefs. By challenging our own beliefs we can dissolve the lies that cause our suffering. To challenge our own beliefs requires courage because it means the end of our illusion of safety. When other people challenge our own beliefs we are usually quick to defend. We defend them even if they cause us to suffer. As a warrior we learn not to defend what we believe, and then to challenge those very beliefs ourselves. In this way we are able to sort out the truth from illusions.

so this month has seen me start back at the gym with cardio classes at least 3x per week, a new 2night counseling gig at an agency where i was already working 1 evening per week, began supporting a new meeting 1x per week, and the details for the long awaited recovery rally bubble up daily like a fresh bottle of pellegrino newly opened.

i relentlessly insist that all of this is within my scope, without really taking the time to assess what the cost of this responsibility, but the cost involves my peace of mind and my serenity. additionally, my good friend is preparing to shake loose this mortal coil, and i am not very present for him. he isolates and redirects and avoids. there is a part of me that feels helpless. i know he is struggling and i have little idea how to relieve this. i spend some time, but as is my way, i remind myself i am not doing enough nor am i doing it right. underneath it all is this childhood belief that my love isn’t enough.
yesterday, one of my workmates repeatedly placed papers from the printer on top of other papers on my desk. i became perturbed and defensive. i  acted out. i am still prickly and on defense. i scrapped with a board member today about an issue of little import, who needs to be happy, when i should be right? just like a pitbull latches on to its adversary- clenching hard, shaking rigorously, and doing anything to avoid letting go, i covet mistrust and sulking with staunch insanity. who needs a horror movie when i have my own behavior?
how, after all these years of personal growth  work and letting go of ego, do i find myself drowning in a tumult of human weakness? i have not wanted to write about this for fear of being exposed like the emperor wearing his celebrated and ridiculed nudie outfit.
but i do know that i can’t pretend that these character defects that are taking root dandelions in summer aren’t real. they are. i am affected by my life and the situations around me. i don’t react as graciously as i would like. it is my first response to think the worst. to run. to separate.  and this is what i have found myself doing this week.  doing what i always do.
 making things for me to then undo…

The old line says, “Suit up and show up.” That action is so important that I like to think of it as my motto. I can choose each day to suit up and show up, or not.

4 thoughts on “suit up and show up

    Jeremiah Andrews said:
    August 31, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Character defects are something we work on every day. They don't all just disappear at once, on the first pass through the steps. That is why we must be mindful of the steps in our daily lives and to maintain that connection with our higher powers to help us deal with those moments when we loose it and act out.

    It's not a shame to admit you battle these defects, at least you recognize them and can work them out in time. Sobriety is a lifelong journey that is never totally completed. We are always “Recovering.”

    I think you wrote about Emotional Sobriety at some point – in the past. Maybe you need to revisit the stories about such topic. There is a great grapevine book called “Emotional Sobriety 1 and 2. I have them both and I read them periodically when I feel the serpent rear its ugly head.

    The good thing about getting sober is that we learn how we feel and we learn how to mitigate that feeling properly, soberly.

    As for your friend, I told you once and twice that being “present” is the most important gift we can give another, be it in person, or attentively listening to someone speak or within a conversation.

    If you are feeling less than or that you have not done enough, and these feelings are coming from within, then maybe you need to stop and go spend time with him before he leaves this world. You might not get another chance to do that if you are stuck in your head.

    Nothing guarantees our sobriety like comprehensive work with another alcoholic and/or addict. Read your Big Book from the first page to the last AGAIN. Maybe you need to step up your prayer and meditation to help you deal with these emotional blips on your radar.

    You know all these suggestions, but I typed them out so you can see them. Take it easy and don't overwork yourself. You are your own worst critic, I've said this to you before so be gentle with yourself.

    You are in my thoughts and so is your friend.



    rod rushing said:
    August 31, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    strange as it may sound, i believe i am becoming more comfortable in my own skin. it has taken these years to really see how i am and what i want to work on. surrendering to being “average” and letting my humanity be okay has taken patience- on my part and on the people who care for me.

    as usual- journaling about my shortcomings really takes the teeth out of their bite.

    happy recovery month jeremy


    Joe Michelli said:
    September 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    My guiding quote below, regarding the courage and determination it takes to work the hardest game of all, changing yourself… this is a tough read!

    “To possess the right to the name of “man,” one must be one. And to be such, one must first of all, with an indefatigable persistence and an unquenchable impulse of desire, issuing from all the separate independent parts constituting one's entire common presence, that is to say, with a desire issuing simultaneously from thought, feeling and organic instinct, work on an all-round knowledge of oneself-at the same time struggling unceasingly with one's subjective weaknesses-and then afterwards, taking one's stand upon the results thus obtained by one's consciousness alone, concerning the defects in ones, established subjectivity as well as the elucidated means for the possibility of combating them, strive for their eradication without mercy towards oneself.”
    -G. I Gurdjieff
    Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson (Third Book p. 399)


    rod rushing said:
    September 12, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    hey joe-

    it seems as if you might know me a little:)
    the truth for me is that i have avoided knowing myself for very many years- only the last decade have i begun to invoke this courage for self-reflection- and even then i have been mostly reluctant to look very deeply.
    more often than i like to acknowledge, i return to the 10 year old boy i was when i started to feel shame. this is when i have to remember i am not that boy any longer- only the pencil marks remain…


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