I am having a very emotional day. It is important for me to tell you this because in sharing how I feel inside, I provide a bit of therapy for myself and remind some of you (or even one of you) that frustrating, emotional days are a part of life that make the good times good.
We all know for certain that when we were drinking or using (eating, gambling, etc) we didn’t have emotional days per se. Well, that may not be totally true. I know I had emotional periods of time but those were rather fleeting. Or perhaps there were emotional jags that were more “poor me; everyone hates me; no one loves me”; you know, the usual pity party stuff of which we became expert!
If you have been reading my most recent articles, you will note a Step Three pattern. There seems to be so much going on in my life at this time, most of which I have no control. I know I don’t. I honestly am not trying to control any of these issues. I believe in turning my will and life over to the care of God. I believe and say the Third Step prayer and the Serenity Prayer. I use my God box. I am praying. I am meditating. I am affirming that I am a child of God and that He loves me, will protect me and that I am living in His favor and grace. Lastly, I am able to help and guide others with all of the above.
But guess what? Today it is absolutely not working for me. This is one of those days when I feel rather lost. I know deep in my heart and soul that I will be okay. For today, though, I need (yes, need) to feel weepy and allow myself the “luxury” of feeling a bit of self-pity. There are many men and women that I know who even after a long period in recovery, fear that they will take a drink or use a drug when they have a bad day. If I felt this way for more than a day or two, I would believe the same of me. But taking a drink is honestly not the first thing I think of when I have a bad day. My concern is that I am not spiritually fit and that if I don’t get my act together, perhaps I will take a drink later on down the road. Being uncomfortable with myself and feeling frustrated with my progress is what I most dislike.
There has to be something else I can do; another tool I can grab out of the toolbox. As I sit in my therapist’s office (and I already had the appointment), I was searching for something to read. None of the magazines held any interest. I began rummaging through my purse not quite sure what I was searching for. Lo and behold I pulled out a copy of “The Golden Key” by Emmet Fox!
My sponsor had given me this beautiful pamphlet-like book and I had forgotten about it for a very long time. About two weeks ago I was looking for something in my desk and I found it. I guess I had forgotten I had put it in my purse. If you are not familiar with “The Golden Key”, it is a simple concept. Basically, it says that when you have thoughts of a person, situation, a trouble of any kind big or small, you “Stop thinking about the difficulty, whatever it is, and think about God instead”.
When you even encounter a difficult situation or a difficult person you “Golden Key” them. This is done by replacing the situation or the person with thoughts of God. You can say anything at all that appeals to you. Some examples given are: “There is no power but God; or I am a child of God; God is love. God is guiding me now; God is with me”. There are no limits to what you can say as this is your own personal prayer.
So, you might be thinking, “Didn’t you already try this? You said you tried to do everything possible (prayer, meditation, etc.) and nothing worked. What’s so new about this?” Well, it isn’t really new, is it? The point is that something I had forgotten, something tangible to read and something I could immediately practice came to me when I most needed it. I began to Golden Key everything and everyone that was running around in my monkey mind and it did not surprise me, nor should it surprise you that I was able to emotionally detach from all of my difficulties. Once again God did for me what I could not do for myself.
The issues that made me so crazy with emotion are not over; not even close. But I also realized that although I knew I could not control certain things, I was looking for God to fix it all and fix it NOW! Patience, as we know, is a virtue and one I practice and practice and probably will for all of my days.
If there is a message here for any of you, especially newcomers to recovery, know that having a bad day is pretty normal. I think that when we are in recovery we are sometimes in fear of those bad days because we think since we are sober, they are a thing of the past. The difference between then and now is that we have so many ways to handle situations. When we feel we have exhausted everything we know, God continues to manifest Himself to us even if it is as simple as something called “The Golden Key.”
Namaste’. May you walk your journey in peace and harmony.
“The Golden Key” by Emmet Fox, DeVorss Publications
Like Grateful Recovery on Facebook. Kathy L. is the author of "The Intervention Book" in print, e-book, and audio.