I remember waking up in the early dawn days with my boxer at my side wondering what the day would bring…I was always so hopeful.
But I knew, that time would bring me nothing.
I never fully admitted this to myself. I kept my hope and kept praying, and worked diligently on my mindset, but truth be told, there was no action in my life that was going to save me from me.
I used to sit on this one particular part of my couch and read…searching for life’s answers, wondering as countless days, hours, minutes strolled by all around me and wondering what I was secretly going to do to actually change my situation.
I felt so hopeful and hopeless.
At that point in time in my life, I wasn’t even capable of understanding what my situation was, and dare I say that sometimes I still don’t.
But what I do know now is…that that is perfectly okay, even normal…and that all I have to do is be “willing,” to start a new beginning. I don’t have to know all the answers to begin to change my life entirely. I simply must want to change.
Awareness is the first step to the catalyst of change. But action…is the deal maker or breaker. And what you do or where you go from deciding to change, and where it leads to is or is not the actual success. It’s not what you did, it’s what you do now.
Changing from the Inside~ Out…
My main difference in becoming more awake, alive, and living a life full of meaning comes from something much greater than myself…and I have learned through personal experience and practice, that my Higher Power, when asked for His intervention will handle the rest.
All of the rest. And that is what allows me to grow, to let go, and to find peace, love and light that is in this world and all around me if I choose to see it and live each day with purpose. I live in the life of gratitude, in serving others, and in maintaining my sobriety, my program, my daily reprieve.
Living One Day at a Time…
Acceptance. There are no more “forevers.” It is always just for today…
Time…has no boundaries in this fashion. It becomes nearly illogical. To find God, we live in the now. And that is where true growth and change lives. And at the height of my journey that is where I aim to be as much as possible.
Huge breakthroughs, miracles, monumental seasons can banish old tides when we stay present and count our blessings, and it can also come crashing like new waves into your life when you finally learn to let go…and let God. Your Higher Power. Your universal truth. Your inner light. Your spiritual being. And I hope and pray you find this, because it is serenity. Bless you!
To keep things light, I have included a picture of my dead herb I found this morning on my kitchen floor, showcasing for all to see that THYME is nothing but a mind trick. Anything can happen. At ANY TIME.
For me…this is the most simplistic and doable spread I’ve ever allowed myself.
And for me…this was one of the most memorable moments I’ve had since the loss of my grandmother, since the absence of my mother and father, and since my growing abundance of my small family that surrounds me right now that I’ve ever had.
This moment is to be planted and harvested—it is to be stored; because it’s the first of its kind that will remind me of how I once did something that went against an old behavior.
Today—I am new.
New traditions and new happiness happen when we allow ourselves the freedom to embark on new adventures and opportunities in our lives. Growth, though sometimes painful and often difficult, allow us to see new beginnings, new possibilities, and new ways of life like never before.
That’s a very good thing.
In fact, sometimes, it is the light at the end of a long tunnel. The mat in front of the doorstep, the caring call from a new friend or neighbor, a memory of times past when we were together that reminds us of what life is really all about—love.
And how that looks for you today, even if it’s different than yesterday, is something that can never die. Love endures forever. And that is a foundational truth.
Love. Short and sweet, is all we need.
If you are full of it today, consider sharing it. Love. More than food, love can be felt and it can be shared sometimes by simply being present.
When I first met my husband, I remember, talking non-stop. It’s something I’ve always done, but I used to be quite a chatterbox, probably not allowing others to get much more than a word in…I was young, and my beef was always with others instead of the reality of the situation—that I, in most cases was the actual problem.
I remember him telling me once, “Jeanna…you just need to just—lower your expectations—!
A man of few words, I still remember this…and what (probably) came afterwards towards him was a tidal wave a defense mechanisms, all that defended my stance and character defects in feeling as though I’d been stunned, shunned, and insulted to the highest degree.
It wouldn’t be until years later that this conversation would rear its head again, and this time it came at a point in time (when I was much older and in recovery), that I was willing to listen.
“Lowering your expectations,” even now sounds so defeatist to me. But when I really think about it, it’s truly just a ploy to help us understand how to get rid of that “all or nothing” thinking—that slight nudge we all have towards “perfectionism.”
“Progress not perfection,” they say…but what does that even mean, and how does that slogan even apply to all aspects of our journey when it comes to lowering our expectations.
For me, I realize now, that lowering my expectations does NOT mean lowering my standards, changing my values, or lowering the bar in the creation of my goals.
It does; however, mean, that I sometimes expect more out of others and situations that are even possible and THAT is what sets me up for failure and the awful feelings of disappointment and despair…and when I feel let down by others it can sometimes feel like I’m unloved, taken for granted, or that I’m on some type of “no fly” list.
So I’ve learned to lean in to what “lowering expectations” means for others and so far I’ve learned that it’s actually a very healthy way of defeating the “all or nothing” mentality.
Sometimes we wait for that perfect moment or person to come along in our lives in order to make a decision. Honest mistake, but one in which the all or nothing approach loves best…
Our minds tell us that we should be validated and emotionally invested and supported by others in order to be successful but in reality, that’s only looking for trouble. Lowering our expectations of others means we no longer need their emotional validation in order for us to be successful.
Lowering expectations can also mean:
-a realistic and achievable viewpoint
-being relevant and helpful
-making things doable
-preparation for long term success
-ensuring our success by making responsible and mature choices
-being forgiving of others and oneself
So instead of carrying the stigma of negative consequences that “lowering expectations” used to have for me, I’ve flipped the script; today I instill my own best practices which include lowering my expectations and heightening realistic outcomes.
Here’s to a new day full of endless opportunities and great things for those who choose to be part of the journey in finding joy in the adventure.
I don’t know if you know this about me or not, but I got sober on the 21st of some month in the Spring of 2020. It is now January of 2022, and according to my husband, it has been a long long time since I wrote for this blog. The truth is, I didn’t think I had it in me. I didn’t feel it…I couldn’t remember how I felt all of those mornings I woke up so early, all of those times I reminisced about my boxer, Tyson, how I felt when celebrating huge milestones, I’d never had before…nothing. I couldn’t remember.
Part of me thought…somewhere deep down inside, that I had lost it.
Maybe when we write, we lose things…what we gain is more head space perhaps, more places to put things like thoughts and worries, fears, and uncalculated thoughts. I don’t know. What I do know is…that since I’ve been trying to write this so called blog, just since I started, my husband has interrupted me twice, once for something I ignored so I don’t know what he needed, and the other was when he actually brought me my child’s homework to show me that my kid shouldn’t have missed the 1 point that he did because the teacher was wrong….
Either way, it has all made me think about that working from home stuff. The struggle. This new idea that my family and I have been working with and moving full forcibly toward, and that it is a lot nicer in our heads than it is physically speaking…at least for me. The tv is on, my husband is munching on something, my dog is snoring, and my son is watching something in the bedroom so loud it truly outweighs the noise that is out here with my husband and me. But somehow, someway I have done this before…. I used to blog quite frequently, maybe in the early morning, but nowadays there isn’t much time even in those allotted little moments. And I’m finding less and less time somehow for myself.
I started seeing my counselor again this week. It was the first time in the last handful of years that I went willingly and wanted to start therapy constructively. I was finally ready. She was blown away to see me the way I was…so mentally…I dunno. There. So, present perhaps. So ready. But I was. According to my phone app, as of today, I am 636 days sober. After the first year, I sort of stopped keeping track. It had been a very large feat. In fact, the whole entire first year was the first time, ever in my life that I had ever done anything to the degree in which I had done it…getting sober…not just for me but for my family and those around me. I had never had to work so hard before for anything. I truly felt like I was exorcising demons or something from my inner soul. It was a year of miracles, and daily struggle. But at the end of the year, it was a huge celebration. And then…. the next day came. And I realized, that my life would forever have to be one day at a time. What next? I had worked so hard that whole first year just to get to “the next day.” But once I hit a year…I don’t know. I guess I secretly expected something to happen, but it didn’t. Just like on your birthday. The next day…it ultimately comes and the next day…the cake is no longer there. You must continue to trudge, to find new goals, new happiness, new dreams, and new ambitions….and this was always something that was hard for me to do anyway. I honestly never thought though, that I would’ve lived to be 40 years old. But this year, I did. And I did soberly in fact too.
Being sober has changed my life in so many ways, but it has more so changed the way in which I view myself. I have more self-respect and I am learning slowly over time, to eraser what negative thoughts I’ve made about myself and replace them with new, interesting, and vivid new thoughts that I think about me. It has truly been a year of understanding who I am…without booze, without excuses, without having a toddler at home, without grief, without any of the old excuses I used to have in my life. I am at the heaviest weight I’ve ever been and somehow…I am at my most natural ME than ever. Like, ever in my life…. maybe even since I was a mere baby. I feel like right now, I have found my center, that I have been placed back into this body to continue a life path I might have never had had I not decided to change. And change I did.
Change I did with the help of a Higher Power. A power much greater than I could have ever been. I know you know my old blogs and the eye openers I used to write about…back when I was newly saved. Back when things for me began to take their turn…as they did. There was only one way for me to go…and it either had to be up and all the way or nothing at all. SO eventually, the cup completely overturned, and I was completely in God’s hands. He washed me off, and replanted me right back here in this place, the place where he wished me to be. And he gave me aides. People that surround me now that are here just for me to lean on and learn from. And all the negative and evil that was in my life before is gone. Completely. It was all clean slated out. And it is no longer in existence. Not as it pertains to me anyway. I no longer ask for it though either. I now know that if you are stupid enough to ask the Devil for his games, he will most definitely bring them, and bring them all he will, but I also know how God brings the wings of fire and total transformation. He saves. He has powers that are far greater than anything I’ve ever seen, and the Devil knows this…and he knows when his time is up. I know for a fact that my Higher Power removed from me things I could not have removed from myself. My defects of character they call them. My life was unmanageable and that was putting it lightly. But the truth was…I had put not only me in danger, but also at one point or another my family. And I felt the wings of angels come multiple times to intervene. Nothing can quite explain it, but the “girls” as I call them were all here. And they took care of my child and me when need be. I will forever be grateful.
I will forever know this truth is mine alone. That what I have experienced is something that I could never share here on Earth with anyone but was something my mind experienced and that alone was the most out of this world experience that I’ve ever had in my life. And that is okay. Nothing could have explained it otherwise. And that is okay. I’ve never believed in something either as I do the way I do my experiences. I know for a fact, that I did nothing. It was removed from me. I was rehabilitated as God saw fit and given new life. And truly the only way this body and mind would have ever worked concretely again, as successfully again is if a miracle like that would have happened. And it did. It shook me for a couple of years. But I processed it, and I still think about it. But I’m ready to finally move on now. Now I realize this life, this job, this body, this mind, this opportunity as it was given to me, and I know that I have a responsibility to use it for what it was given to me for, and I’ll always move forward knowing now that I have a purpose. I don’t always have to know it; I just must keep moving forward…because it is in the unknowing that the biggest possibilities can happen. “When nothing is sure, everything is possible.” Margaret Drabble
And this old writing thing? I guess I still got it.