Have you ever felt like everything was cool, there weren't really any major negatives going on in your life yet it still felt like it was raining inside?
That's me today: Look into my eyes and you'll notice that it's raining in here...OK, I can hear everyone say it now "Thom's lost his mind for sure this time! What does he mean, it's raining inside?!".
Just that...it feels a bit stormy inside of me today, unpredictable, vague...things seem a bit uncertain: just like a rainstorm.
Rainstorms are funny things because they can be both a positive and negative experience...often simultaneously. To a drought stricken area a severe thunderstorm that does some property damage to some houses/businesses yet brings crop saving rain is both a positive and negative. It is up to the folks involved to decide for themselves which way to think and feel about that. usually based on whether they have personally suffered a positive or negative side effect of the storm.
So I feel unsettled inside..why? Am I in trouble and just don't know it yet? Or am I just going through the normal emotional ups/downs that people go through everyday of their lives.
When I first sobered up, situations like this...not understanding or being used to HAVING feelings/emotions used to really mess me up. I had always just drank or doped instead of dealing with my feelings. Take that stuff away and I was totally lost...I didn't know how to feel or how to act like a human being anymore. I had been a PRETENDER for so long...
Slowly but surely, as I stayed sober longer and longer...I sought to follow certain spiritual principles in life and I've spoken of them here before: Humility, service to others, honesty. Getting beaten down, nearly to death had convinced me without reservation that I could not figure this out on my own. I needed help, any help I could get and right now!
So people who cared about me and therapists at the hospital pointed me to support groups where I could meet others who were going through similar things. And those were the folks who told me how they had stayed sober following those certain spiritual principles. They began to show me how by their example...
I have always considered my true spiritual journey, the one that has recently lead me to accept Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior has having begun right then and there, the day I stopped fighting and surrendered to the fact that I could NOT do this on my own, that I needed help. Even though it took nearly 5 years to get to that point where I committed my life to GOD.
Where am I going with this? Well as I spent more and more time clean/sober I did begin to get used to having feelings again. It sounds corny but it's true: I was getting to know myself, really for the first time in my life! And I was in my mid 40's! It was often a very awkward process and in all honesty it can still feel somewhat awkward today some times...
It was a slow often heart wrenching process...I had a great deal of physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual wreckage to clear up and deal with. There were MANY times along the way that I wanted to just quit, that it seemed impossible to me that I could do this. That is when I first started to pray, though I didn't really know who I was praying to...I just called him GOD and left it at that. And the funny thing is I found enough peace, strength and energy to persevere...
It just took time, time sharing my uncertainties, fears, anger, doubts and such with friends who cared about me. It took time going through the list of my character defects to identify those things that were really impacting me negatively. It took time sharing those defects with another trusted friend then going back to the folks that I hurt and doing my very honest best to make amends for the damage I had done.
As I continued through this process and this process continues to this day...my life started to come together. it made more sense...I slowly but surely learned that some days, like today for example I may not always feel super wonderful inside, even though there aren't any OBVIOUS issues going on in my life.
That of course doesn't mean that perhaps there is something I have overlooked. Because even though I try to stay connected to where my thoughts/feelings are at...I definitely can miss stuff. That is another area where I rely on prayer and meditation to help me center and focus myself. I often just pray for perspective to understand what GOD's will is for me today. It's really that simple...
And for me, this process has worked. I have no idea if it would work for anyone else on the planet and I'm not suggesting or telling anyone to "Do What I do And What I say". No....no way. But I do think and believe that there is something of value for every living soul in having an active spiritual life and connection with your Creator. That is simply my opinion.
All I can really talk about is what has worked for me and countless others that I see and speak with every day. It really is a cool thing because I used to think it was all BULLSHIT. I used to think ANY spiritual thing was MAN MADE and therefore FLAWED.
All I can honestly say today is that I found that to be untrue. Do those things, those negative things like hypocrisy exist in Christianity...certainly, but they are NOT the norm like I thought they were and I've had my BS detector out and running since I started this spiritual journey..haha!
So after all that...why is it raining inside Thom this morning? I believe it is a normal, subtle meloncholy feeling I get once in awhile as a result of staying in the present and dealing with life on life's terms. I have people in my life today that I am concerned about. Yes, I worry about the choices they make, they are hurting themselves and I want to help them.
Yet I can't live their life for them and I certainly cannot make them do things don't want to do. Nor do I want to do that...I have my hands full with my own life.
The bottom line is I'm sad and concerned. And instead of suppressing those emotions I let the out aand I feel their full effect. And yes...it makes things a bit gloomy inside BUT...and this is a big BUT:
Today I don't interpret those rainy days inside as a negative thing that will hurt me...no, it just is my way of knowing that I care about my friends. I care and also realize that alone, I am powerless to help them but I believe there is HOPE today, for anyone no matter what their deal is. If there was HOPE for me, in my most desperate place at that most desperate time...well there is hope I believe for ANYONE!