Time Waster

You may find you spend hours each day, or lie awake at night, worrying about your situation. You may torture yourself worrying where a certain person is and with whom.

You may go over and over the past, reminding yourself of the pain, or recounting every detail in an episode or project you have on-going, projecting a problem before it appears. Living this way is addictive for many – it’s called OBSESSION. There are all kinds of obsessive fixations, using WORK as the only way to feel good about oneself is one example, needing peoples approval is another or continuously thinking you are right is not an obvious fixation, but we all know someone who refuses to be wrong. In fact they are obsessively RIGHT.

An athlete can be obsessed about winning but this may not be an unhealthy fixation because the obsession holds a positive destination. Worrying about a friends health holds no purpose at all except to show them that you care at the cost of losing your own marbles. ” I was worried sick “, what’s the point of that? A total time waster. Showing you care holds many a stance, and can often be a subconscious game of manipulation and control. Caring for a sick friend healthily can mean just being available, or telling it like it is, tough love if required. I was told in my early days of recovery by a woman who genuinely cared for me, enough to say ” stop whining looking for sympathy “. It wont work. If that’s what you want look in the dictionary between shit and syphilis, that’s where you will find sympathy, and she was not wrong.

But Obsession does serve a purpose, even if it gives an illusion of power and control over life. Some people even see worry as an essential task and a visible sign of consideration. Scheming revenge, planning punishment and holding onto pain and resentment is a full time career for some people we know. The purpose of obsession is to be worn out by it, in final surrender of this futile practice. Letting go is not natural to the serial wounded. Fear of loss of control and the rise of omnipotence delivers compulsive behaviour, because the ego insists you ” do something ” rather than feel helpless, yet helplessness is the path to forgiveness and peace. Victimhood of the past or present moment stops you from solving the past or present moment simply because we have been trained to fight and struggle. Even the first sentence of Scott Peck’s THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED says ” Life is difficult”. It goes on to further : This is the great truth, one of the greatest truths ( The first of the “Four Noble Truths” which Buddha taught was ” Life is suffering “. ) Peck goes on to say : It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact of life is difficult no longer matters. And worrying about it – even less.

So the purpose of obsession is to transcend it.

Rehab will tell you that you can’t get well until you realise how sick you are. To paraphrase Peck : Once you let go of the problem, you find solution, which is why we need to let go of obsessional time-wasting demands that serve no purpose at all – like worry. Pecks conclusion to life as a series of problems is DISCIPLINE. Not the cold shower treatment or a scarcity diet but simply the simple adage that ” discipline is the basic set of tools we require to solve life’s problems. Without discipline we can solve nothing. With only some discipline we can solve only some problems. With total discipline we can solve all problems “. Discipline simply means “to focus”.

In order to run the race of our life many think we need to be tarnished with an obsession, the obsession to get in the driving seat to tackle the Life Road head on, driving like a lunatic until we crash. It may be a minor scrape or a complete turnaround of the vehicle, no matter, the fact is that you have survived the journey to eventually become a back seat driver. Never to get in the front seat again.This is the magnificent obsession, the one to hold and cherish as a spiritual athlete, no longer needing to be in charge of the steering wheel. Yes we need to do footwork, which includes trust, but the destination is irrelevant.

Marianne Williamson wrote in her book A RETURN TO LOVE : ” Gods plan works, yours doesn’t “. This is why it’s wise to focus on the moment and not a goal in 5 years time.  It doesn’t stop me creating goals, it’s good to focus on a project, but it does stop me worrying about the destination. When I look back over the mind blowing moments of my life they were never of MY creation – a phone call, a social connection, an opportunity all ” came my way ” while I was doing something else. On one level I created it, but only because I was willing to receive without demand.

My favourite lesson in A Course In Miracles is “I will stand back and let Him lead the way”.

Him” can be any spiritual energy you choose, I choose Haidakhan Babaji as my Master influence, my business manager, my mentor. He drives, I sit and witness the journey free of worry, free of timespan and free of anxiety. But it does require discipline to banish the ego and its mischief to avoid spiritual demand. This is the real work.


Open Your Eyes To Happiness

Like poverty happiness is relative, so create your own scale. I used to think that ” loving too much ” was intimacy & true happiness until I found drugs further up the ladder. Now drug free for a few decades and then some, HAPPINESS is whatever I choose it to be, like the freedom to make mistakes without beating myself up afterwards, freedom to make clearer choices and waking up on clean sheets without a hangover or comedown makes me very happy, I can tell you. Small things count.

They say that RESENTMENT kills the container it’s kept in, and my fuselage was well corroded when I was in a coma of drug use all those years ago – counting up all the things I did for people and the people that gave nothing back.

Maybe you think this :  I will be happy WHEN I get a new job, flatmate, partner and lose weight.

A Course In Miracles states that ” everything is temporary “, and once you get that notion and accept that happiness can’t be captured, freedom arrives quickly, as freedom is intrinsically linked to happiness. Freedom to be who you are, to be authentic without editing, to be open about lifestyle and character defects.

Losing past and present resentments is a key to Happiness. What works to anyone’s advantage is to write down 5 resentments about past or present, and be prepared to drop the hurts that burn inside. The Great Escape of drink and drugs are great tools to employ relaxation, release and realizations, long may that continue, but not so hot when the returning resentments capture your happiness and take you back to prison camp. I heard someone say that they drank to drown their sorrows then their sorrows learn’t to swim. Well, it was true for me.

Ironically, one of the happiest periods for me was 1994-96 just before the arrival of combination therapy for those HIV Positive. I worked soley with people living and dying from AIDS, as it was then, all with CD4 counts below 10. A healthy person has over a thousand. I took one guy to Turkey with a CD4 of 2, he was determined to have a holiday before he died. He was so happy to have made it ( and he lasted another 3 years with combination therapy ). Another wanted to be wheeled in a wheelchair to see David Hockney’s Mr & Mrs Ossie Clark & Percy at the Tate Gallery for the last time, while another decided to die on crisp white French linen so off we went to Peter Jones with cash in hand. Humour in times of darkness is an essential breeder of joy. With these guys I assisted them to complete their life, releasing resentments before they passed into light but anyone can lift the luggage they hold without the threat of death, though I do accept that fear is a great motivator. Try being motivated by joy instead.

For me happiness is a pile of freshly ironed and folded shirts. I get great satisfaction from that. Babaji said Karma Yoga (work) breeds happiness. Happiness is knowing that you have cleared the wreckage of the past. Happiness is turning the phone off. Happiness is being silent in a persons arms. Write your own list each day as an antidote to losing the plot and start running your life with a new set of rules to fuel happy thinking. You can get this through therapy, coaching or flicking through inspirational or self -help books. But deciding not to bother with the exercises mentioned is likely to end in a half-measured result.

In Rehabs like the Priory for a 6 week stay, people often do 16 hours a day of individual writing, group sessions, individual counseling and emotional management including the suggestion to LET GO OF CONTROL. Just think about how your sense of happiness is determined by the behavior of other people. Learning to detach from fixing others, pleasing others and then fixing and pleasing yourself is perhaps the ultimate shift in contentment and codependency recovery.

David Weeks scientific study, the first on the subject of Eccentrics, found them to be the happiest people and they live longer purely because they gave up taking notice of what people thought of them. Happy people are happy from within – not unhappy to be without the latest label. So remember that you don’t have to have a fit body to workout from the INSIDE, and once you start to focus on solutions you will realize that a perfect waist is not the key to a perfect life. Happiness is there for the taking if you open your eyes to seek it.

Love & pain & the whole damn thing

” In the quest for wholeness, paradox is at every turn. It is true that we cannot realise our wholeness as long as we deny any fragment of ourselves. If we seek to avoid fear or pain or sadness, we will simultaneously block the love and joy and laughter from our awareness. That pain, fear or sadness contains great stores of energy, which can be released for potent creative and constructive use only after it is consciously felt and thus allowed to integrate. A truly healthy person, one who has power over themselves and their own life, is courageous enough to become willing to experience whatever life has in store. “

I read these words by Christina Thomas in 1989 when I was once again in liver failure, back in hospital and losing the plot. Christina is a Rebirther and student of A Course In Miracles ( ACIM ) and since Rebirthing Breathwork had halted progression of chronic active Hepatitis B for me, I was eager to enter the unknown to seek solution. I was in emotional turmoil, a close friend had been murdered the year before, the loss of people around me dying from Aids was approaching 50 people and there was no cure for my Hep B condition. I felt slain in more ways than one, yet I had stayed stopped from smoking, drinking and drugging for 7 years, so something was working. I had halted relationships as all I attracted was people who thought I was brave, and did nothing to meet my emotional needs or just smothered me with their own fear of me dying. The only relationship I was interested in was within my body and the spiritual strength to survive it.

Recognising my wholeness – warts n all – was my saviour. I may have felt damaged but knew that feelings weren’t facts – the body is only casement for the soul. It was at this point that I found, was given, or came across the affirmation ” God is my business Manager “.

Having had good instruction since 1982 in 12 Step Programme Recovery work I had blown away all the religious cobwebs associated with ” god stuff “. Thankfully I was not brought up a catholic or another dominating religion, so I could free spirit ” my god “. In the end I chose Babaji who entered my life in 1988, reading about Leonard Orr, Sondra Ray and Rebirthing Breathwork. That sat with me well and I have not altered this vision over 20 years later.

One of the lessons in ACIM is ” I will stand back and let him lead the way ” and when you are on deaths door that feels apt, in my experience. The big problem occurs when we have recovered, when the creative mind is once again alert to ego demands like making up for lost time. These days I am no longer dazed by circumstance but amazed by results. When I focus on MY part in the great jigsaw of life, all is well. In order to develop ongoing recovery one learns to face everything rather than sweep under the carpet of fear. This sense of wholeness is as refreshing as completing a whole bunch of paperwork for the accountant or finally clearing out that cupboard. It is a paradox that in order to accept my wholeness I need to accept my flaws – the loves, the pains and the whole damn thing. This is true spiritual embrace, a detox of the ego.

You may want to consider today how you ask for help and who you turn to and whether self punishment is still part of your inner curriculum. Self punishment is simply suicide compared to the pains that life throws at us. At least with life pains we can learn. Just think how fast the last two years have passed. Two years ago recession was feared, the worst since the depression. In retrospect we have all learnt something from this period of global cutback including the harsh reality that we have more than we need around us – should we seek it – that old habits can be changed and that confronting the worst, the death of something actually breeds life, energy and hope.