Last month, in my initial blog post, I shared how my relationships were frustrating and I was abandoning my True Self over and over again. Today I get to fill you in on what I have needed to work on first, prior to addressing my relationship with myself and others. It is a work in progress, as I am still working on rewiring these neural pathways.
First and foremost, I needed to connect with my spirituality and build my relationship with G-d - essentially something bigger than myself. Prior to my recovery journey, spirituality was not part of my life. I needed to build a foundation where I felt secure, safe, and trusting in this world. I needed to know I was unconditionally loved, accepted, and therefore worthy. I needed to know what the Truth was, and I needed permission from a trusted source (G-d) that it was okay to put myself first, have boundaries, and be my True Self. These Truths have become the “rule book” that I refer to whenever I need to remind myself and Limby of what the Truth is.
I didn’t plan for it to be this way. I stumbled upon spirituality. I never thought that my DNRS journey would become a spiritual journey. I remained on the spiritual path because it felt right, brought me comfort, and it offered me the Truths I had been seeking. It all has started to come together and fall into place recently.
When I began my DNRS journey, I began meditating for the first time in my life. I found myself feeling like I was connecting to something I wasn’t used to being connected with. It felt a bit foreign yet, at the same time, it felt deeply familiar. Now I know I was connecting to my soul - the essence of my being. It was my inner light. The light that I thought had gone out. But there it was.
I then branched out from meditating at home to meditating in the shrine at the Ramakrishna Monastery near my house. My soul felt at peace there. This place was my refuge and had everything my soul craved - even a monastery dog named Sadhu (which means “wise man”). Sadhu and I became good friends. I also became acquainted with two of the monks (swamis) there, and after speaking with them, I felt drawn to learning and experiencing more.
So, on Wednesday nights I attended the meditation, arati/vespers, and library lectures. In some of the lectures we read and discussed The Bhagavad Gita. I learned a lot from the lessons in this parable. While spiritual texts like these are layered with meaning, one theme in the Gita I recognized immediately was the struggle of whether or not to choose oneself and one’s path in life, even if it may affect others. In this wise spiritual text, G-d tells the main character, Arjuna, that his job is to follow his path, no matter what. This was a new concept for me and helped me to let go of any guilt (pop) I had for putting my healing path/myself above all else, even if it affected others. I now had G-d’s permission.
I also began attending the Sunday spiritual talks at the monastery. This introduced me to more of what I came to call the “Spiritual Truths of the Universe”. These spiritual talks spoke of Truths like G-d, detachment, a higher self, following one’s path, letting go, and unconditional love. These Truths resonated with me. I began questioning my old way of thinking. I saw that it was filled with false/distorted beliefs, and hearing these Sunday talks helped plant the seeds and pave the way for my new belief system.
One lecture I attended stood out to me. It spoke of the journey to becoming one’s highest self. It was likened to climbing a ladder. Each time we take a step to climb higher, one hand must let go of the rung below to reach the next higher rung. Each time we reach for something higher, we let go of what no longer serves us, and we must remain trusting and unattached in order to let go. Profound!
Then something I had no control over happened. I was 1 ½ years into my DNRS journey and there was a family crisis. I was struggling, and our family rabbi asked me if I was familiar with a concept central to 12-step programs - the one about letting go and letting G-d. He explained the concept to me: that we are in charge of our moment-to-moment choices but we cannot control the outcomes. We hand that part over to the only one who has the power to control outcomes: G-d. I thought, “You mean I am not responsible for everything, everyone, and every outcome? Everyone has their own journey?” This was more proof of the idea that I was introduced to in the Bhagavad Gita - that everyone must follow their own path, no matter what. It was the most freeing, grounding, relieving, and comforting thought I had had in days, perhaps in my whole life, as I began to accept that this could really be a thing.
I became curious about the notion of “letting go and letting G-d” and checked out a couple of 12-step programs. I settled on one that suited me and began to learn. Ironically, I just completed my third step about 2 weeks ago. This step is about turning one’s life and will over to the care of G-d. Working this step has helped me see where I still need to grow and let go of control. I see where there is covert control happening, and without the deep introspection I’ve been doing through my step work, would have gone unnoticed. Awareness is a beautiful thing. It is the first step to change.
I am still learning and growing. I continue to ground, center, connect to my True Self, and find security through my relationship with and connection to something bigger than me. And to let go, and let G-d over and over again.
To recap, here’s what I’ve learned so far. Believing in something bigger than myself has allowed me to:
Trust that the world is a safe place. I know there is something greater than myself out there that orchestrates everything in the universe I can both see and not see.
Know that I am unconditionally loved and accepted, a worthy human being, and enough as I am.
Know that G-d and the universe have my back.
Count on G-d to create order in what seems like chaos. There is a great deal of order and purpose in the universe and knowing this helps me to see the bigger picture - that I and everything else was put on this earth to live out some greater purpose.
Feel deeply that G-d created me with the intent for me to be uniquely me. I matter; therefore, it is ok to be me! And I have a distinct place in this world.
Let go of trying to control “all the things” and just let G-d orchestrate what he needs to, both in my life and in other people’s lives. I work on this every day.
Know what my rights are as a human being through this new “rule book”. Knowing my rights gives me permission to be a separate, boundaried Self.
I genuinely hope this is helpful to someone else out there. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my experiences with you, and look forward to sharing my next installment here on the Rewiring Your Wellness website. Until next time, my fellow warriors...
I searched for G-d and found only myself. I searched for myself and found only G-d.