Thursday, January 8, 2009


Progress, thy name is peace.  I never thought this could really happen.  Fully expected it to be a massive failure of my worst character flaws.  But the more I practice a mindset of keeping myself even, peaceful, detached, and focused, the more I can see it actually working in my life.  I used to pray to my God to make D better, to help me fix our financial woes, to drop a magic bomb of happiness into my life and just overall make everything ok.  Many, many times...most times...I walked away frustrated.  Found another reason to stop believing and give up on the idea of improvement.  

A few weeks ago, I decided to start focusing on myself.  To really make an effort to let go of my problems.  For the first time, I prayed not for him or me to be fixed, but for help to just let go.  I am not good at letting go, but I asked anyway.  And for the past month, I have been doing pretty well and feeling much more at peace with everything.  And so I tried praying for help to begin--even to begin--letting go of my insecurities.  Of my worry of what everyone else thinks.  Of my finances.   Again, I wasn't sure what to expect...I didn't expect the same, almost magical transformation that I have heard others talk about, for sure.  But then unexpected money arrived.  A government stimulus check has given us the prospect of getting out of our debt much, much sooner than we could have hoped for and my student loan money arrived just on the day that all of the bills were due.  I did not have to worry about it.  I had not worried about it.  And it turned out more than just alright.  

Working on myself, I set a goal this week to try worrying even just the tiniest bit less what people thought of me.  Sitting with a study partner the other day, I received a compliment about my outfit.  At first, I was excited, but then I worried--this was just the sort of thing I wanted to avoid, wasn't it?  To base feeling good about myself simply on what someone else had said?  But then I realized that it was ok to feel good about a compliment--because I already felt great about how I looked that day.  I had not been worried that no one would like it, or would judge me because my pants were too short, or some such of my ridiculous insecure brain crap.  Granted, it's not much...but the recognition sure felt good.  

Today, I drove with D to his PO appointment.  We talked about how things had been going lately--for both of us.  I shared my previous two experiences, and how I felt like recently I have been much more at peace with the world.  Things that may have upset me have been--well, less upsetting than they might have been.  I have been much more steady in my mood.  I told him how I felt like my prayers were working, and how focusing on myself and not what other people thought was my goal.  He, surprised, shared that he had been working on the same thing, and agreed that he felt like he has had a much easier time--having fewer urges and temptations, things that used to make him angry at work were now just taken in stride.  Arguments that we had had were discussed, talked out, and resolved calmly and with respect for the other's point of view.  

I feel like even when things have been frustrating lately, I am discovering a deeper meaning of peace in my day to day life.  I have, for the past few weeks, been on a much more even keel.  Rather than riding the roller coaster, things have begun flattening out--the highs perhaps not so high, but the lows certainly not taking me nearly so low.  And really, that's about all I can ask for.  

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