Loving Without Leaning
from a spiritual point of view
30. Substance Use Issues
Visualize a plate of food. Six hours
after the meal the food will have been converted into parts of the body or for
instant energy. What we ingest becomes part of our body for even a short time,
and influences our thinking and actions that follow by its effect on our state
of mind. This is lesson 30 in the series "Conquering Codependency - Loving
Meditation for Reflection
Sit in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed with a journal to write in by your side. Close your eyes and begin even and regular breathing, such as counts 1, 2 breathe in; counts 3, 4 breathe out; counts 1, 2 breathe in and continue this pattern for a minute. Then let go of the counting and continue the even rhythmic breathing while reflecting on these thoughts:
If we consume substances that our body cannot assimilate usefully, including excess alcohol, drugs, or too much food, the body-mind organism is thrown off its natural harmonious chemical balance - a built-in safeguard system alerting us to change our ways, or suffer further.
Some adverse reactions
- Conflict from the inability to relate logically in relationships;
- Loss of desire to resolve daily or backlogged issues and problems;
- Aches and pains that are not from injuries;
- Agitation; lack of vitality;
- Feelings of sluggishness in digestion, circulation, respiration.
Why do we take in that which upsets our natural balance? Perhaps because we are unaware of the natural results of our actions. We may think a certain substance will put us in a state of altered consciousness, and that this altering will make us feel right, because we were not feeling right beforehand.
A serious question for the codependent to one abusing substances
Is it the best choice to cover up for a dear one, or pave the way for continued dependent use, knowing their system will be put out of balance again and again?
Finish your meditation with a deep breath in and out. Then write any insights in your journal for action now and future review.
Codependency Recovery Prayer
May I summon strength and courage
To end my actions of accepting
And justifying substance dependence in my loved one
Through remembering that our relationship
And their body will thus continue to be unbalanced.
31. Will Power
Setting goals and then fulfilling them on time develops will power. This is lesson 31 in the series "Conquering Codependency - Loving Without Leaning" looking at aspects of codependency from a spiritual point of view.
Meditation for Reflection
Sit in a quiet place, hands folded in your lap or palms placed face up or face down on your thighs. Close your eyes and begin even, regular breathing such as counts 1, 2 breathe in; counts 3, 4 breathe out; counts 1, 2 breathe in and continue this rhythmic pattern while contemplating these thoughts -
We are happiest and feel best about ourselves when we are fulfilling the needs of daily living in a positive way, doing something creative, and having loving relationships.
When we exert our will power for the most conscious good, we take positive command of our life.
By forming the habit of will power to exert control over impulses - we become masters of our destiny.
The usefulness of controlling our mind means that we can remain easeful in seeming difficulties - that through using positive clear thinking and acting for the most conscious good, a workable solution to any problem is created.
We assume positive control over our mind by using will power to affirm and carry out the best for all in each moment.
Finish your meditation with a deep breath in and out, and write down any new insights in your journal as a plan of action and for later review.
Will Power Prayer
May I substitute positive for negative thoughts
And positive for self-destructive actions
By energetically using will power
To gain self-mastery.
32. Implementing Change
The better we understand ourselves and follow our conscience, the more conscious control we have in our lives. This is lesson 32 in the series "Conquering Codependency - Loving Without Leaning" looking at aspects of codependency from a spiritual point of view.
It is a prudent to make positive decisions and implement positive changes to replace harmful habits.
Here is a helpful 3-part process to help you on your self improvement plan to a more positive and healthier self:
1. Consider all possibilities.
2. Discriminate to decide which choice is for the highest good of the situation.
3. Integrate the choice into daily living.
Meditation for Reflection
Find a quiet place to sit and begin by doing a minute of even, regular breathing, such as count 1 breathe in; count 2 breathe out; count 1 breathe in; count 2 breathe out and continue the rhythmic pattern.
At the end of your period of reflection take time to write out new insights in your journal for action and later review. Now, reflect on the following thoughts:
Each step of the way we are making better and better choices, leading to better reactions right down the line in our life.
After considering options, we discriminate by looking over the choices carefully, then deciding what is best for us now and in the long run.
Upgrading our habits improves our lives, and inspires change in others.
Implementing Change Prayer
May I make changes
To live a healthier life
Replacing harmful habits
With better and better choices.
33. Being Substance-Free
A benefit of being substance-free is we are able to look for resolves to conflict from a balanced state of introspection and analyses, and then choose the option that harms no one.
This is lesson 33 in the series "Conquering Codependency - Loving Without Leaning" looking at aspects of codependency from a spiritual point of view.
Meditation for Reflection
Sit in a quiet and private place and close your eyes. Begin some even and regular breathing such as breathe in counts 1, 2; breathe out counts 1, 2; breathe in counts 1, 2 and continue the rhythmic pattern without actually saying the counts. After a minute begin reflecting on the following thoughts:
When not under the influence of harmful or excess substances we have quality time to include new and better habits such as a favorite exercise or hobby, time with family and friends and more.
A big benefit of being substance-free is that our new positive attitude replaces negative thoughts and actions. And, the more we replace negative with positive thoughts, especially in our 'self-talk' the more we actually manifest a positive personality.
It feels a lot better to live in a bright and positive state of mind, than the downer of being negative - negative self image and self-destructive actions, which are not good for our physical or overall health by any stretch of the imagination.
Finish your meditation by writing any new insights in your journal for use now and future review.
Substance-free affirmation to repeat aften during the day:
“Positive attitudes and upgraded habits allow happiness to flourish in my life.”
In life, our parents are with us
awhile, our children are with us awhile, and all the while we're with
This is lesson 34 in the series "Conquering Codependency - Loving Without Leaning" looking at aspects of codependency from a spiritual point of view.
Meditation for Reflection
Sit quietly for a moment, close your eyes and begin even and regular breathing, such as count 1, breathe in; count 2, breathe out; count 1, breathe in; and continue this rhythmic pattern without actually saying the words. Now begin reflecting on these thoughts:
Caring about and being cared about is a grand circle of energy. Whoever we're with is part of our life in the moment - to be cared about.
When energies are lovingly exchanged, we feel connection and wholeness all around - that circle of lovingness, spiraling 'round and round', rising by the power of care, including more and more people, as a swirling wind uplifts and grows upon itself.
We can be as the wind picking up those who need caring thoughts or our time for awhile, and then release them, to then share their recharged battery of energy with others. And all the while we're swirling in others' lives, we, too, are picked up, given support as needed.
The more positive our attitudes and actions become in practice, the more others practice their lovingness on us. Cause and effect.
To finish your meditation take time to write your new insights in your journal for action now and future review.
As I go through life
In the many forms of relationship
May I give love in a caring way
And be kind without clinging.
35. How Giving Is Receiving
Giving through kindness and caring feels good. Here are some thoughts for contemplation on how to feel good without depending on others to make us happy.
This is lesson 35 in the series "Conquering Codependency - Loving Without Leaning" looking at aspects of codependency from a spiritual point of view.
Meditation for Reflection
Sit in a comfortable location, perhaps on a cushion in front of your meditation table or on a bench outdoors. Do some even and regular breathing to calm the mind and body. After a minute go on to contemplating these thoughts -
How is giving receiving? While we have caring thoughts and act with care, we fade the boundaries of self-centeredness.
We become like a jar full of delicious candy, which can give more enjoyment full, than if it only contained one little piece.
The more people that we include in our candy jar of sharing and caring, the fuller our awareness of happiness becomes, and the less we feel emptiness in our lives.
We receive as we give our time and energy with care. We receive a sense of satisfaction and increased energy.
Example: As electricity flows through a magnet the magnet becomes stronger. When our attitudes and actions are caring, we are using the flowing universal energy, which grows in us - expanding our consciousness till our actions are spontaneously caring.
Giving and Receiving Fully Prayer
“May I discover
That while giving time and energy lovingly
I receive a charge divine
Sparking me with vibrancy, happiness
To finish your meditation take a deep breath, then take a few minutes to write in your journal any new insights about kindness bringing happiness.
36. Our Interdependent World
Life experiences show us that we are interdependent - not totally independent. All our comings and goings, and interactions with one another and the world make up the flow of events in our lives.
This is lesson 36 in the series "Conquering Codependency - Loving Without Leaning" looking at aspects of codependency from a spiritual point of view.
A simple example of our interdependence is the workplace - we each contribute our time and energy - in return receiving money to buy what we need.
In relationships it feels joyful to move and experience beyond the boundaries of yesterday. In the merging of the moment, in present reality, we give up our self-centeredness in favor of becoming consciously entwined in more.
When our self-boundaries blend into the weavings of others' lives we feel joy. As interwoven threads in a tapestry, we form a picture, rich in color and detail that we do not enjoy while lying as separate spools of thread in a sewing box.
Find a quiet place to sit with your journal. To begin, practice a few rounds of even breathing. Counts 1, 2 breathe in; counts 3, 4 breathe out; counts 1, 2 breathe in and continue.
Write a list of ways you are interdependent in your life. Reflect how in so many ways we give and take in our daily life and relationships. Now, pick a virtue to practice daily, such as kindness.
Alongside kindness high on the list of virtues that make a difference in the experience of life is forgiveness - forgiveness of the wrongs done to you, forgiving yourself for your own trespasses, forgiving yourself for holding negative thoughts about anyone now or in the past.
At a later date when you pick up your journal, note how your chosen virtue has improved the quality of your life and relationships.
Finish your journaling meditation with a deep breath and a few moments of silence.
37. Let Your Light Shine
We radiate at various strengths, depending on how well we are acting on the guidance of our conscience. Our conscience lets us know what is right for us in each moment - it is our personal guidance system.
This is lesson 37 in the series "Conquering Codependency - Loving Without Leaning" looking at aspects of codependency from a spiritual point of view.
All the uplifting practices we use with our mind and body to regain and maintain peacefulness and ease are for the purpose of clearing the mist that is lying between our everyday waking consciousness and our conscience.
Some uplifting and cleansing practices include:
- Clean diet - free of harmful substances;
- Physical exercise - aerobic (walking, biking, swimming, jogging), hatha yoga, tai chi;
- Prayer, meditation, mindfulness, reflection, affirmations;
- Positive attitude;
- Virtues such as caring, sharing, kindness, compassion.
Sit in your favorite place on a cushion or chair; breathe in an even pattern such as 2 counts in and 2 counts out. After a minute let go of your conscious counting but continue the pattern. Close your eyes and reflect on these thoughts -
The cleansing practices allow our light-strength to be naturally increased - as when a globe of light shines brighter after being dusted. As we increase in our capacity to shine, we experience love more profoundly and abundantly.
If we can experience more love by shining at 150 watts, why stay at 40 watts? Caring and sharing to the best of our ability each moment does the process of going from dim to shining brightly.
Every one of our loving acts opens our consciousness a little more, till we eventually feel connected and comfortable in lovingness. This state of lovingness is like feeling ourselves as a limitless self-effulgent sun - our energized love warming our own body and radiating upon all the creation through our caring actions.
Let Your Light Shine Prayer
May I shine brightly today
And brighter tomorrow
Becoming aware of the Light I once knew.
Finish your meditation with a deep breath and go on with peace in your heart and the intention to let your light shine ever more brightly.
now is our starting place from which to go forward with compassion.
Adopting a positive outlook and in-look means accepting the moment as it is and knowing that the next moment can be better because of a positive attitude.
This is lesson 38 in the series "Conquering Codependency - Loving Without Leaning" looking at aspects of codependency from a spiritual point of view.
Developing compassion meditation
Choose a quiet place for your meditation. Sit on a cushion on the floor, back straight, hands folded in lap or face up or face down on your thighs. Or, sit up straight in a chair, hands folded in lap. Close your eyes and begin rounds of regular breathing such as: breathe in 2 counts; breathe out 2 counts; breathe in 2 counts and continue this rhythm without actually saying the counts while you contemplate on the following thoughts.
By acting for the common good we develop caring love. We benefit ourselves by acting with compassion, because our mind stays peaceful; our body energized.
To develop caring love, adopt a positive attitude with the task at hand. A positive mental attitude energizes our body for action.
Follow the 'golden rule'. Act in the best interest of the situation in the same way you would ideally want to be treated in a similar circumstance.
May I remember that
Taking time to develop caring love
Rewards me with feelings of joy while acting.
And, may I remember that
Compassion for myself while becoming more loving
Develops my capacity to experience consciousness
Ever more fully.
Finish your contemplative meditation by taking a deep breath in and slowly releasing it. Open your eyes. Write in your meditation journal any new insights that have come to you. Plan on reviewing your journal pages occasionally to see how you are progressing.
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page created June 23, 2009; updated March 10, 2015