Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wednesday, 7/8/09 - "LOOKING INSIDE"


"Who looks outside, dreams;
who looks inside, awakes."
- Carl Jung

Before I found Alcoholics Anonymous, much of my life was spent in a dream state full of wishing and hoping - wishing things were different than they were (I was perpetually discontented though I didn't realize it) and hoping things would be better (though I had no real idea what I wanted changed). Living in a dream is not conducive to being in touch with reality and being out of touch with reality is sometimes labeled insanity.

I was the heroine, the damsel in distress in all of my own dreams and I was always the victim searching for the perpetrators of my troubles. My focus was always outside myself, looking for the cause of my problems and unhappiness. If my mother and father were different, things would be better. If my boyfriends would stop leaving I would be happy, life would straighten out and I could live happily ever after. I know today that I did not know what needed to straighten out. I just knew things felt crooked.

Later, I married an alcoholic (though I didn't know it) so it was easy to look outside myself again to see the cause of all my unhappiness. It was always his fault. It never occurred to me to look inside myself, to see what I was thinking, feeling, or doing. Even after I began to see psychiatrists, counselors, and psychologists, I was unable to see inside.

By the time I was 39 and at the bottom of the pit of alcoholic despair, my dream existence had turned into a full scale nightmare from which I could not wake up. I lived in a world of insanity I couldn't escape.

Then the miracle of recovery through Alcoholics Anonymous happened. I found sobriety and the 12 steps. As I began to understand the AA program, take the steps, follow the suggestions and encouragement of a sponsor, and attend meetings, I began to look inside of rather than outside myself for the solution to my problems. I WOKE UP. I had been asleep for a very long time so it was difficult and took time. I came to realize that the solution to my problems was God and that it was only deep down inside of me that He could be found.

So - that is why I look inside. The more I focus on what needs to change in me and ask God to help me, the more awake I become. No more nightmares for me - just the pure exhilarating air and sunshine of a fully awake me.

Thank you AA, thank you God,
Prayer Girl


Tall Karen said...

It all sounds so simple the way you write it here. I still have some nightmare days...but they used to be months and years.

Ever knowing the relief I will get by looking at myself, I still try to wrangle my way out of it. I think I will always need a sponsor to make sure I'm looking the right way...inside. Great post, thanks.

Andrew said...

Yes Anna, the process of taking responsibility and always looking within is what it is all about for me just now.

I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I would experience, and I decide upon the goals I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me I have asked for, and have received as I have asked.

From memory, text, A Course in Miracles.

Zanejabbers said...

Hey there PG, I always hated it when boyfriends left also. I keep dreaming my 1973 Buick Centurion has been stolen. I bought that car new and kept it 10 years. Cars are supposed to represent our bodies in our dreams. Ain't nobody gonna steal this body. Enjoyed the read.

Kay said...

I love how much you are familiar with your own self, it is very encouraging and admirable...not to mention a great constant reminder!

Steve E. said...

From this:

"I lived in a world of insanity I couldn't escape."

To this:

the "...sunshine of a fully awake me."

Is there any doubt that God is in charge?

Shadow said...

...and sometimes the answers you find outside, you don't want to face...

Lou said...

It's a never ending journey, but so rewarding.

Gin said...

I see that trait in my husband. He is always looking for the outside source of happiness. If he could only get away, get another boat, save a little more money, etc. etc. I always tell him that until he finds that happiness on the inside nothing on the outside will do. He will ALWAYS be looking for more.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

I see me in you, a similar process of thought and action, and I see God in you, the reflection of something more precious than air and water, the Spirit of agelessness that never dissipates.

Thank you for reflecting both human and God, it all seems so familiar and beautiful!

Mama Zen said...

I really needed this today. I needed to be reminded that I can't make anyone respond to a wake up call unless they are ready.

Atiyanna said...

This reminds me of a line from "The Charge of the Goddess", it reads "for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without."

Just Be Real said...

"The more awake you become" how awesome is that. When God is the center. Thanks for sharing PG.