Taking a dump.
Originally uploaded by Aaron Van Dike | www.aaronvandike.com |
"When we have no territory to defend, God rushes in to where God always was. This is a paradox we understand only as we embrace life fully."
~ Jason Shulman
The meat of this seed passage goes on to say: "How can you choose to let go without giving up your own integrity? How can you stand up for yourself and still remain open to all possiblities?" Jason closes this by reminding us that we simply are not defending our own existence and that, if we consciously choose to do this, it will become our own, private holy day.
I know that when I am in a place of defensiveness or resistance and am not letting go, I literally "hold" it in my body in some way. Reading this passage this morning and then having it milling around my being for the day, I became increasingly aware that I was experiencing tremendous pain and constipation. There was stuff in me that just wouldn't come out ! That is, until I went to an AA Big Book meeting tonight and could feel more deeply the places in which I defend and where I don't let go, as it pertains to self will and trusting my Higher Power -- God. Waking up to some insights during this meeting, prompted me driving home speedily because what was "blocked" inside was getting ready to explode ! It was the sweetest (and perhaps smelliest) release -- HOLY crap.
I understood tonight during this meeting that my self will is just as insidious, if not more so, than my alcoholic drinking was. It not only finds me trying to manipulate and control my circumstances, but I also, as Jason points out in the passage, defend myself multiple times daily, which is an act of repeatedly claiming a place for myself or my actions which involves taking my will back.
So I did what Jason suggested which was to name each time I caught myself in the act of defending. Here's the score card from today's match of K versus the world:
- Defending my busy schedule to a friend who wanted to make plans
- Defending my ability to know what is best for my dog with someone who had a different opinion about her care
- Defending my side of the sidewalk when someone with 2 large dogs had to squeeze by me and my little dog
- Defending my choice for a topic today in a group when members wanted to discuss something else
- Defending my position about what was best for a client when a person in authority had a different perspective
- Defending my reasons for why I hadn't been at this particular Monday night Big Book when a member began to playfully tease me
As I ran through this list during and after tonight's meeting, I relaxed into letting go (and then REALLY let go in the toilet once home !) The idea that, in each scenario that transpired today, I could still in some cases claim a stance AND I did not have to do so in order to defend my existence. As an example, with the friend who was like a pitbull trying to find an opening in my schedule for us to possibly get together and me defending at every entry way, I could have simply replied: "It feels like you are really missing spending time together. My schedule is what it is for today. I would love to make a plan with you in the coming week."
It is incredibly exhausting to have a day filled with defending and explaining and claiming and taking one's will back. Not all of my days are like this and thankfully, I am awake and open to noticing when I am holding on and need to let go.
It's one of my favorite slogans in AA: "Let go and Let God". This is Step 3 -- as the speaker said tonight -- the "feel good" step. When you practice it, you feel good. I really get it.
And, after my bathroom spiritual awakening, I feel much better having lightened the "load" .