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Temptation is an Opportunity


"Temptation is an opportunity to make a choice." Bruce

Very recently I was criticized by a close family member for an action I had taken. For several hours over two days my mind whirled with anger and resentment. I filled my mind with arguments and challenges with that person. These thoughts progressed to images of a physical altercation in which, of course, I won the fight. I blamed him for my upset stomach.

All of this was taking place in my mind. I invested hours of my time and emotion to this "temptation" to be right, to be the winner, to teach him a lesson.

In Yoga, we practice, svadhyaya, self study. In the 12 Step Program, we practice taking personal inventory in steps 4 and 10. In step 10 we continue to take personal inventory and when we are wrong, promptly admit it. In this situation, my promptness occurred over a matter of hours and days. However, in recent weeks, I have been practicing mantra due to a suggestion from one of my guides. In this practice, my mind felt like a ping pong ball, bouncing back and forth between anger and mantra, resentment and mantra, on and on and on.........

There is good news: my mantra slowly sank in, drifting from my thick skull to my tender heart. I realized that this is the practice of Yoga, this is the practice of recovery. I was given an opportunity to make a choice. Forgiveness was not sent to me in a bow tied package, it was offered in an opportunity to forgive both myself and the family member. When I was practicing my addiction, the choice would have been automatic. Blame, medicate with my addiction, blame, medicate, blame, medicate.......

Right now I will praise life. I will express gratitude for this opportunity to exercise my sobriety. I will rest in the humble hope that the work of recovery, the practice of Yoga, and the Grace of God will always bring me beside restful waters.


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