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How to avoid reality shock

January 5, 2014

Don’t forget to take your dose of spirituality before every helping of reality.

Especially on days when returning to heaps of the real world after a long term break from routine and responsibility.  Or every Monday.

Emotional responses to the world around me are what tend to run how I act, react and will always be received.  If I wake up on Monday morning and see the world as a dark and dreary burden in which I must toil endlessly without change and proper validation I am not only listening to the wrong voices, I am creating a fictional and very unnecessary waste of everyone’s time (especially my own.)

So let’s start there.

What do you do when you wake up for routine?  What is it that makes your routine anything less than a continued opportunity for learning, growth, passion, happiness, accomplishment, service, fellowship and recovery?  Whoa:  wait…. recovery?  You are probably wondering why this would pertain to anyone outside of those who require recovery from “something.”   Let’s look at this with a twist of optimism and a dash of the positive: why does one need to be broken to enjoy the benefits of a spiritual recovery?  I, for one, have a program of recovery for reasons that I can only (now) see as blessings that brought me to solutions and beautiful ways to live life rather than let life take you over.  I have sat in meetings with others struck with the simplicity of my recovery and perplexed that what I have discovered (and will continue to learn) could not be as easy for someone who is just looking for some life tools to grasp as well.  Sometimes the world around us is tough.. not always, but, let’s face it, life is sometimes an obstacle course.  Why do we need to stumble and hurt ourselves (or others?) before we change the direction to a better one?  I think everyone could use a bit of recovery no matter what the symptoms may be.

And what of service?  I have lived long enough to know that working through my life for validation and reward, although not a sin, will tend to eventually stifle the quality of happiness even if the rewards are coming in.  When I am doing something without the need or goal of reward I always (without fail) find myself in a much more spiritual, complacent and rewarding place.  Granted, a job is arguably something that one does do for the goal of a paycheck, some benefits and a title… but if I lose sight that what I am doing IS a service, I am going to fall deep into a trap of discontentment and wake up on Monday (and most other) mornings wondering when I am going to get recognized, validated or paid a whole lot more.  Again, these are not evil goals at all unless I am using them as my sole motivation for the job or my happiness.

Lastly there is passion for growth.  Do I like what I am doing?  If not, am I not forgetting that I have the choice to find something else to do?  Sure… easier said than done in today’s reality where many are confronted with, but if reality is closing me in to tight spaces only based on my fear of what I will lose or what won’t be gained, or of people and economic security, I have to stop and examine how I can make the changes I crave to happen within myself rather than waiting for the things outside myself to change.  When I do that I grow resentful and impatient because I am blaming everything outside of myself.  This never works out well.

So how will I handle the shock of reality as it happens this week?  I’ll hope to do it as I’ve done my best to handle everything else.  Faith in the result, staying out of the need to control said result, hope in the future, remembering not to react and always be of service.

And perhaps if that doesn’t work when the alarm goes off at 5:25 am, I will say a prayer and then come in to this blog post and remind myself as many times as it takes.  Or I could always:

Stop. Smile. Breathe.

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