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Figure It Out

“And when we don’t bother to figure it out, we make a choice not to grow, a choice not to recognize our own innate divinity, our own unique path.”

Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison: “Meditations from the Mat”

I wish I had a nickel for every time I said, “Ignore it and it will just go away”.

That may be true if I ignore the irritation from a mosquito bite. However, this has never held true to the irritations I encounter in personal and spiritual relationships. My choices to ignore the voice of my Higher Power, my God, have always resulted in the festering of the irritation.

I am slowly learning that the quicker I figure out the source of the irritation, the less pain I encounter in my own life, and the less pain I inflict on others around me.

In this particular writing, Mr. Gates and Ms. Kenison are encouraging readers to “take the study of scriptures seriously in order to realize the aims of yoga”. They further suggest that we move beyond them.

This particular writing is in the section of the book about sustaining practices. More specifically, they are discussing svadhyaya, the practice of self-study.

As I relate this discussion to recovery, I am drawn to the practice of sustaining my sobriety. The journey of recovery has been an ongoing practice of self-study. This adventure is peeling away the selfish mindset that obstructs my connection to my own innate divinity.

I am chuckling to myself as I think of process of peeling away. I peel off a band aid from my hairy forearm and there is a painful sting. However, there are times when I have had to blast away parts of the walls that separate me from my divinity. The pain and suffering are in direct proportion to the size of the obstruction to be removed. OUCH!!!!

As the conscious contact with my divinity, my Higher Power continues to grow, the pain of growth increases. Hmmmmmm? My conscious contact with God is evidence of my willingness to grow in love. The deeper my love, the deeper the pains of my addiction, AND the deeper the joys of my sobriety.

As I choose to sustain my sobriety and deepen loving relationships with God and the people of my fellowship, I must naturally choose to embrace the suffering and sorrow of this love. I am realizing that I am in an ongoing adventure of surrendering myself to God and others.

Does that mean that I am the source of my own suffering and pain?


In 17 years of recovery, I have learned of no magic pills or potions that sustain recovery and conscious contact with God. I am encountering a battle of wills. Odd, though. I only sense the intensity of battle with my own will. The encounter with God’s will is one of peace and joy.

In peace and joy, there is no sting or pain.

Does that mean that my continued attachment to my will is an act of self-abuse?

I say yes. My will is addictive. Addiction is self-abuse and abusive to those who love me.

This should make it quite easy to figure out. My will is a dead end choice. Here there is no growth. God’s will is a unique path to my divinity. My divinity is our divinity. Our divinity is sobriety in peace and joy.

I rest in peace and joy, beside the restful waters of our sobriety. This is truly sacred.


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