Ask the Author: Question & Response
I am a 48 year old woman, who although is not new to the twelve step recovery program, has found myself remaining “stuck” in a place in my mind that has not allowed me to move forward. I found this site this morning. By no means do I do believe it to be an accident. My question is this: What short meditation or phrase might you recommend to say upon awakening each day, in order to retrain the thought process toward a more positive day and fulfilling life, and to stay in the present moment and release the past?
– Kathy, Louisiana, USA
That feeling of being “stuck in a place in my mind” comes from bringing the past into the present moment. You bring the past into the present, creating a future like your past. In this state, the present is not experienced as the gift that it is, but as past patterns that are being repeated, a mental treadmill that does not move you forward and takes you nowhere you desire to be. When you experience people, places and things with stress, judgment, frustration and condemnation, you are simply reacting to your external environment through your past learned behaviors. Stress, judgment, frustration, condemnation and any other “negative/non-loving” responses are learned reactions and not natural to your true expression.
All people, places and things are God’s gifts to you. All people, places and things assist you in seeing where, through your own thoughts and perceptions, you are taking yourself. All people, places and things simply act as external mirrors of your own thoughts. And it is the thoughts that you entertain that you end up experiencing. If during your day, you experience judgmental and negative thinking, stress, frustration and/or anger, remember that you are replacing your past learned behaviors for the present moment. Do not judge yourself for doing so. Each time, simply strive to catch yourself sooner, then substitute the past learned behavior(s) with what you truly desire to experience, the present moment. The present moment always allows you to begin anew, to choose once again, to feel peace where you once thought it was unattainable. This is God’s gift to you.
Since our strongest reactions during the day are usually directed at other people, a good phrase to use upon awakening that will assist you in staying in the present moment is:
“When I meet people, let me remember it is a holy encounter. As I see them, I will see myself. As I treat them, I will treat myself. As I think of them, I will think of myself.”
Every person you meet is a gift presented to you by God. Every person is a gift because they are assisting you in becoming aware of the thoughts and feelings that you are supporting and carrying within. They help you bring to the surface what is within, allowing light and understanding to shine upon your internal state.
If you experience stress, judgment, frustration and/or condemnation toward a brother or sister, these thoughts and feelings do not come from what that person is doing, but from your reactions to what that person is doing. And your reactions are simply past learned behaviors that are used by the ego to cloud over the present moment; thus not allowing you to experience the true opportunity that is being gifted – to obtain peace where you once thought it was unobtainable.
Every person you meet is a mirror of you. What you offer that person – you will experience yourself. When you get angry at someone, doesn’t that same anger boil your own blood? When you judge or criticize someone else, doesn’t some type of regret or sadness always follow? When you argue with anyone, regardless of how right you think you are, doesn’t the weight of that action stay with you and affect the rest of your day and night? Remember that you and your brother are one, and as you see him, you will see yourself; and as you treat him, you will treat yourself.
Do you truly desire peace, a more positive day and a fulfilling life? Then that is what you must offer your brother and sister. When you do, know that you are in the present moment. For in the present moment, every loving thought is true, and everything else is simply an appeal for help and healing, regardless of the form it takes.
Another short phrase that has been very useful to me, and one I still use during the day when I catch myself beginning to judge someone is: “This is the Christ in front of me.” Whether it’s a man or a woman, an older person or a young child, regardless of what the person looks like, says or does – whenever I feel judgment beginning to surface, I look at the person and quietly say to myself: “This is the Christ in front of me.” Immediately, my energy shifts. Sometimes, if I need even more help, I visualize Christ’s face upon the person’s face, and again, I feel my energy shifting to a more compassionate and loving vibration. This is your brothers’ and sisters’ true gift to you, the opportunity to experience love, compassion, peace and fulfillment where you once thought they were not possible. When you acknowledge this truth, your sacred connection to them will be solidified. You will once again see your brothers and sisters as God sees us. And as you realign your thinking with that of God, a whole new level of peace and satisfaction will be experienced. You will then become an example to your brothers and sisters of the truth within us all, and they will look at you and recognize the truth inside them.
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