2nd Edition, Revised Material

Are More People Waking Up?

You don’t have to be an alcoholic to be “sick and tired of being sick and tired."
~ Donald L. O’Dell

Whether it’s anger, resentment, disappointment, not-getting-my-share, guilt, rationalization, vulnerability, worry, or apprehension, behind each of these feelings is FEAR.

If I could impress upon each of us one exercise that could begin to liberate us, I would suggest we train ourselves (through repetition} to say to ourselves: “Behind this emotion is FEAR.

If I could impress upon each of us one exercise that could begin to liberate us, I would suggest we train ourselves (through repetition} to say to ourselves: “Behind this emotion is FEAR. Instead of attacking or blaming someone or something “out there” for “making me feel this way,” I will ask myself: ‘What am I fearful of? What’s really going on? Why am I frightened?” Trying to teach myself this, with the help of friends in AA and ACIM, is where I am right now – and have been for a year or so. Sometimes it’s difficult to focus my mind on what’s truly happening within me. I want to blame. I want to rationalize my feelings of [whatever] as being fully justified. I want to convince myself – and God? – that it’s normal and understandable to feel this way.

When operating from my ego, I am always on the alert. I am watching for – and expecting – an attack from “out there.” To relax and go with the flow means I’m allowing myself to be very vulnerable and I will be taken advantage of. Others are also wary of me, fearful that I will take something from them or take more than my share and they will suffer. Because I believe they’re wary, I must be wary. I must always keep my defenses up and be prepared to strike when their defenses are down. It’s a constant mental/emotional boxing match. One small slip-up and – BAM! – I’ve been had. They won. I lost.

That style of living is really, really, tiring. It’s exhausting. To live from my egoic mind, which I thought was normal, forces me to live in a constant state of fight-or-flight. My body and my hormones are running constantly at full-speed. I am in a continual state of stress – and my physical health will reflect that. Living like this is abnormal!

Toward the end of my drinking, I had to have alcohol in my system 24 hours a day in order to feel normal. Every 4 hours or so, day or night, without a drink would bring on cramps, sweats, and shaking. It was withdrawal, although I didn’t know that at the time. All the while it never dawned on me that to live like that was very, very abnormal. When I was truly sick and tired of being sick and tired, I finally gave up – saying to my kitchen counter, “I can’t go on like this. I can’t do this anymore.” That very honest confession over 25 years ago was the beginning of my journey to sobriety, health, and my current spiritual development.

If I am tired of living the way I’ve been living, the only change I need to make is to be willing to allow the Holy spirit to move me from a perception of lack, worry, anger, resentment and that fundamental, onerous belief that I always must be prepared to ward off the dangers of the dog-eat-dog world I believe we live in. If I am willing, the Holy Spirit will gently move me to a perception of Love/Acceptance/Oneness which will bring me the peace the Christ promised: “Peace is my parting gift to you, my own peace, such as the world [of ego] cannot give. Set your troubled hearts at rest, and banish your fears….” (John, 14: 27) This has happened to me. It can happen for you, too.

That’s what I want. That’s why I look for the fear that lies behind the faces of all my varying negative emotions. And my fear is always there.

Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening. As always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.

Blessings, Don
April 11, 2024

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