I'm so grateful we found one another and I strongly believe God led us to one another as well. I am not a religious person, but I am very spiritual and I belive in a higher power, a higher energy that makes the sun come up every day. It's our job to tap into that energy that exists within ourselves. We all posess the energy to make the sun come up in our lives every day. Tapping into that energy inside us is something we will help each other do by working the steps and supporting one another.
I agree that we will never quite be the same after what we have been through, but I believe in looking at the positive of what we learned. To me, I know that had I not experienced what I did, I would never be this in touch with myself at this age. Now, I'm not saying I'm some enlightened guru or soothsayer. LOL Not by any means, but I can tell you I am so much happier and content with myself and my life as a result of what this struggle has taught me. I know I would not be at this point had certain events in my life not forced me to look deep inside myself for strength.
One thing I learned is that every day is a gift and every day I wake up, I have a choice. A choice about whether I want to tap into my positive energy or wallow in my negative energy. As I've said before, I do not believe life is about what happens to us, but rather how we respond to it that matters. Happiness is a choice we all have. However, before we can tap into it, we must process what we've been through and be honest with ourselves. It is our hope that the 6 steps will enable all of us to do this.
If you ask me, being here is the first step in achieving this enlightenment. Being honest with ourselves is critical. Too many people live in the dark and deny their reality. Lying to ourselves only causes more pain. We cannot avoid pain, anger, fear or regret. We must feel these feelings, confront them and process them before we can truly move on. No one who is lying to themselves is living in the light of consciousness. Enlightenment is what we all seek, but in order to achieve this, we must be honest with ourselves about our situation and the part we played or are playing in it.
Being here and working the steps will allow you to answer these questions so that you may live in the moment and experience happiness. Buddha defines enlightenment as the "end of suffering." The whole idea of Zen is to be so utterly and completely present in the now that no suffering can survive within you.
The more we deny our reality and lie to ourselves, the deeper we put ourselves in the dark. Unfortunately, this is how many of us learned how to get through the tough times. We've used lying and denial as a coping mechanism. What we fail to realize is that the very method that got us through the tough times is now what is killing us inside.
No more! No mas, I say! We are done lying to ourselves. We owe it to ourselves to be honest and truthful for it is the only way to find happiness and serenity.
As I've mentioned before, I truly believe that all of our anxiety comes from worrying about the future or regretting the past. When we accept what we can and cannot control, stop lying to ourselves about our situation and begin living in the moment, we finally start to live in a state of consciousness that will bring us happiness. It's that simple. It may sound complicated, but it's not. We will help each other bring about this enlightenment by helping one another work the steps.
The steps will bring us out of the darkness, or what Eckhart Tolle refers to as the "pain body" for those of you who read "The Power of Now." Tolle refers to the false self (which we know is the narcissists's only functioning self) as the "pain body." Remember, our true self is who we are when we feel most in touch with ourselves. The false self is used by narcissists as a way to cover up their true feelings. The false self is inhibited and fearful. Once formed and functioning, the false self stifles the growth of the true self. The more developed one's false self becomes, the more nonexistent the true self becomes. As a result of our relationship with a narcissist, we learned how to engage the false self, didn't we? Oh, we learned all too well how to utilize the false self. We had to at a certain point in order to survive, right? We were brainwashed and refused to believe that the person we felI madly in love with was a fraud and an abuser. That's understandable. Do not beat yourself up for this. No one wants to admit that the man of their dreams is a monster in disguise. I know I lied to myself for several years before I finally got honest about my marriage.
To live in denial and avoidance is horribly toxic. Others may have lied to us for years, but to lie to ourselves is no longer acceptable. It's no way to live. You can't run from yourself, avoid your feelings or deny your reality for any longer. It only leads to pain and suffering. You owe it to yourself to come clean and be honest with yourself about your reality.
Tolle says: "The pain body is actually afraid of the light of consciousness. Its survival is dependent on your unconscious fear of facing the pain that lives in you.
As mentioned, I believe all negativity is caused by too much focus on the past or future. Worry and anxiety are caused by too much future focus and not enough presence. Being stuck in the past, either feeling resentful or guilty, is a result of too much past and not enough presence. By focusing on the past or future and denying the reality of your present, you remain stuck in the "pain-body." I can personally tell you that identification with your mind causes thought to be compulsive. This mental noise prevnts you from finding the realm of inner stillness inside you that is necessary to achieve enlightenment.
What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger, right? This has certainly been the case for me. I finally surrendered. What did I surrender? My ego. I stopped lying to myself that everything was ok. I dropped all inner resistance and started being honest with myself.
I have learned and strongly believe that it's not what happens to us that matters in life, but how we respond to it that determines our overall happiness and success. I feel a sense of inner peace now that I never knew was possible. As I mentioned, I am certain I would not have gotten to this point so early in my life had I not experienced what I did.
We believe the six steps will allow us to face the pain that lives within in us so that we may process our feelings and get to the point where we can truly live in the moment and appreciate life again. We have so much to be grateful for and we often forget that in the midst of our pain. That's ok, but we just need to remind ourselves that every day we have a choice. A choice to be happy or a choice to remain in the dark.
There's no magic pill or chant, as Betty always says so eloquently, but we do have a choice. We have a choice every day to be honest with ourselves and tap into our positive energy - our innate potential - or continue to live in the darkness. I seek the light and know that if you stay true to yourself and your feelings, you will find the clarity you need to live your life to its fullest. You deserve nothing less! xoxo