Counselor Carl describes 8 essential elements for any plan for recovery from addiction, alcoholism, and drug abuse. He stresses that having a solid plan for recovery significantly increases the chances of success. 5 minutes
If you’ve ever carried a full backpack, armful of grocery bags, or heavy package to mail, you know the relief that comes when you release your burden. Your muscles relax, your arms tingle, and you can catch your breath.
If you’ve ever been carrying a heavy load and someone came along to help lighten it, you know the kind of gratitude you feel for such assistance.
God provides us with the same kind of relief each day. From the laundry list of cares and concerns we continually seem to carry to the new items we’ll add today, he can lift them all.
We don’t have to strain, strive, and struggle alone. In his power, sovereignty, and wisdom, he knows the leverage points that will help us life our part of the burden. As Jesus also reminds us, it’s light and easy to carry.
Today, res in the knowledge that God bears your burdens.
CHALLENGE: Email a friend or loved one and offer to help them deal with a burden currently weighing them down.
I want to take a moment and tell you about my friend. My friend is very unusual. That’s because my friend is a woman.
Now, before you laugh, let me explain. I’ve never had a female friend. I would like to be able to say that one of the longer term relationships I had involved friendship. I thought that once. But I don’t any longer.
Most of the women in my life were pursued by me. They were pursued for companionship and sex. In my 20’s all the women in my life were sexual conquests. I hate to use that term, but I was spastically promiscuous. I thought my answers lie with women and booze.
Boy was I wrong! Neither of those approaches to life got me anywhere. It got me heartache, loneliness, despair, confusion, jail, and on and on and on. The hole in my gut had to be filled by ME. No woman or no drug or substance was going to do that for me. Ironically, it was booze and a woman that finally landed me in jail and into recovery.
I’d like to clarify something: I do have feelings for my friend. I am physically attracted to her. However, she has taught me how to be a friend. She has taught me that it IS possible for a man to be friends with a woman. I suppose you can say I landed in the “Friend Zone” haha! I think I still have one foot out, but I digress.
Some of you are probably shaking your heads going “No shit” men can be friends with a woman. Well, I was either to afraid to try it, or I didn’t believe it. Don’t get me wrong, I have feelings for my friend. We had started out flirting. Me more than her. That’s because I liked her. But here’s this major distinction: she expressed how important it was for us to be friends. I was like “UGH.” I was like what the fuck happened?
Well, dear readers, what happened was that I almost bolted (twice) because I wasn’t sure I wanted any part of this friendship thing. But we had been interacting for a bit when this came about. I really liked this girl. I really enjoyed being around her. But now she was saying we had to be just friends. I was torn and emotionally distraught. But it came to me the next day (each time), I valued her presence in my life more than I valued being macho-get-the-girl-man. So I stuck around. And she let me!
She could have easily said this isn’t worth it. She could have just said she was all set. But she stood by me. And that’s what she has been doing from the word go. And she has taught me so much about myself, about her, and about true friendship. I do sometimes push the envelope from friendship to romance, but she does maintain vigilance, I’ll give her that haha!
Look, I used to be a creature of habit when it came to meeting women. I just learned what worked and what didn’t. I played games. I used my words. I used my sex. I didn’t do it maliciously, I just thought that was the best way to the end zone.
I’ve had several long term relationships that all had their merits. They just didn’t last. For two reasons: I always ended up with woman who were opposite, as in opposites attract (that’s a future post I have just decided) and MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY: none of them were ever my friend.
I could never talk about anything with them. I couldn’t have a bad day or there was emotional annihilation. I always felt I had to be a certain way. One girlfriend would get bullshit if I didn’t like all her fucking Facebook posts. Very few of them had their own friends to go out with. I could never just be myself. It was always, let’s go out to dinner. Yes, once or twice a couple women went fishing with me, but they didn’t enjoy it. I’m not blaming them, trust me, you all know I am no angel.
But I got off track. My friend is not only tremendously honest, she is extremely non-judgmental. I can be myself with her. She doesn’t just require disclosures from me, she shares her own. When I take risks, she doesn’t run from me, she takes her own. She shows interest in what’s happening in my life. She’s always has a kind word. We can talk about anything together. And do it for hours, day in and day out.
She is the kind of woman you could spend the rest of your life with and KNOW it was the best decision you ever made. She is funny, smart, beautiful, talented in many ways. She is insightful and creative.
She is a woman warrior, a survivor. She is funny. She is caring and kind. She is open-minded about many things. She is entertaining and interesting. I trust her. I respect her. I admire her for reasons she knows.
As a result of our friendship, I have changed. I have changed for the better. I catch myself if I am being generic. I don’t write things to her just to write them. I don’t act inappropriately. I don’t say things to her because they look or sound good. I don’t treat her like a sex object. I don’t write her romance or sexual poetry just because I know that she will love it.
I don’t pressure her for emotional returns. I guess I really don’t do anything I used to do with other women. And I have her to thank for that. She has actually shown me how to be a better person. I consider her my best friend, not just any friend.
Take a moment out of your day, and acknowledge one of your good friends. Oh my are they so few and far between. Thank you for being a tremendous human being, and a great friend!
I do still try to sneak some stuff in there once in awhile though, heh heh.
These are the ultimate precious gifts of meditation, yet people are initially drawn to meditation for many different reasons. Some begin meditating because of a doctor’s recommendation, seeking the health benefits of lowered blood pressure, stress reduction, and restful sleep. Others come to meditation seeking relief from the fearful, angry, or painful thoughts that constantly flood their mind. Still others come to meditation to find greater self-understanding, to increase their intuitive powers, or to improve their ability to concentrate.
It is accurate to say that the purpose of meditation depends on the meditator – but it is also true that anyone who meditates regularly receives profound benefits on all of these levels – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Going Beyond For Focus And Balance