What was and what is. 

Sometimes it is the small things that remind me how difficult my life was.

The other morning my husband was getting ready for work and he thanked me for making his breakfast and lunch (I do this most days. I like to cook and I always bring my own lunch, so I make his too). He thanks me often. And it feels nice that he notices and acknowledges something I do for him. But on the days he doesn’t thank me I don’t feel unnoticed or resentful. I make his lunch because I want to. No string attached.

But…..it made me think back to when I was still drinking and very unhappy.

If he had thanked me for making his lunch then, I would probably have immediately felt attacked. Was this a backhanded criticism? Was he insinuating the other day I made lunch he didn’t appreciate it? Why couldn’t he see how much I do? I am so hard done by, under appreciated, invisible. Life is unfair. Spiral into anger, resentment and self pity. I must have been pretty hard to live with. And I really thought I had it together. Yikes.

Yes. It’s was that simple. A small comment could push me pretty far. Because I was already living in a place of fear of criticism, worry my true self, that I loathed and criticized was showing. All over an offhand remark.

It helps me to remember that. Because today I know my inner self was just crying for some love and self compassion. That I was never going to find peace from others applause or recognition. It all had to come from me. My motives need to be free from string. 

In the Bhagavad Gita this is karma yoga. The willingness to take action without any expectation of the results. To labour and have someone else enjoy the fruits. To give without any thought of getting something in return.

This concept was completely foreign until I quit drinking and started looking for a different way to live with my life long anxiety. Yogic philosophy puts in word what I need. It helps me understand how to live gently.

I try hard to live is way. It’s not easy…and I slide back into approval seeking (or, more noticeably) criticism avoiding. But that’s why yoga is a lifelong practice. I’m sure I will have many opportunities to let go of attachment. And it’s worth it, because it is one way to reduce future suffering.

Stillness and peace.

Anne

21 thoughts on “What was and what is. 

  1. “In the Bhagavad Gita this is karma yoga. The willingness to take action without any expectation of the results. To labour and have someone else enjoy the fruits. To give without any thought of getting something in return.” Just beautiful.

  2. Letting go of attachment. I find it wonderful how sobriety brings similar or the same subjects to everybody. 🙂 The other day in a moment of desperation I found a door out of attachment. Ha! Ran back straight inside. Scary stufft out there. 🙂 Thinking I’m gonna need some practicing being able to let go. 🙂 Maybe I should (there is that word again) go back to my yoga practice and meditation. There will be a parade when I do. 😉
    xx, Feeling

  3. Hi Anne!
    I think we need to hear/read the lessons again and again.
    And each day, I forget something I learned and need to be reminded of it.
    Your post reminds me to keep detaching from what my body can do or not do.
    I keep hanging on to trying to make my body do the hard yoga, but it can’t.
    When I let that go, I am so much happier.
    xo
    Wendy

  4. Absolutely Anne ! Sobriety had to come from me, I didn’t do it for anyone else or because I “should”. Shifting that perspective has made a big difference in so many other areas of my life, even ,as you say, just accepting thanks without overthinking it.

    1. It took me a long time to go from resentment to self compassion. I didn’t even believe it was possible.
      Brene Brown’s book, the gifts of imperfection, helped me a lot.
      Take care.
      Anne

  5. Sitting here reading at 4:00 am and feeling greatly inspired after reading your post! I think in its simplest form, doing something for someone else without expecting anything in return comes down to the act of being kind. And being kind to ourselves first is always a good start! 😘

  6. “Emotional Sobriety” is what I call it…it is SO HARD. And you’re right, it requires the same observation and practice that sobriety from any addiction does. And self compassion is one of the hardest emotions to be sober in, but it does all stem from there that’s for sure, our ability to be compassionate or non-reactive towards others.

  7. I can relate, as I’m in the early stages of sobriety, I worry about factors outside of my control and they eat at my inner peace. As time goes by, I’m finding I’m okay, it’s what’s inside of me that matters. I’ve got a long road to travel before I’m even close to where you are, but I hope to be there some day. Great post!

  8. Excellent example of staying vigilant. It’s always the small (not the big) things that catch me napping on life and mental illness as well. Glad you are here to shine a light on it for all to see.

  9. thank you for sharing the yogic philosophy – it’s so pertinent. I do the same for my family every morning and could completely relate to how a compliment could be perceived from those two different perspectives.

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