"Keeping My Peace"
We all have challenges we face on a daily basis whether it is work, family, romantic relationships, friendship, or financial issues. For me, keeping peace in my heart and in my mind is essential to navigating all of these avenues of life. However, sometimes maintaining the peace in my head is very challenging.
A few weeks ago, I was not in a peaceful state of mind. I allowed the world to take my peace. That was a difficult place for me, as I had not been in that level of darkness in over ten years. Thankfully, I had tools to bring me out of the darkness. None-the-less, the brief amount of darkness that I felt propelled me into realizing that I needed to work on learning to keep peace even in the darkest of times.
During the times of light, when everything is going well in my life, I don’t need to lean on the tools of recovery as hard, and I forget the power that the tools hold. Reiterating the First Step of CoDependents anonymous seems easy at times when all is well. “We admitted we were powerless over others—that our lives had become unmanageable.” But when issues arise, and I begin to feel a dip in my life happening, and I go to the first step, it’s not as easy to trust and believe that the step actually works.
I stare at step one, and I can’t seem to get over the fact that I’m “…powerless over others…” I think to myself, there must be something that I can do—but that’s the codependence in me—believing I can change the ideals of others.
Step two during the dark times proves just as difficult. “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” During the sane times, or what I call the time of rainbows and lollipops, step two is easy. It’s during the times of turmoil, the times where I am not at peace where this step is the most difficult. But at the same time, it is at these times of despair where I need this step the most in order to stay in, retain, or get back in peace. I have to remember that there is a power greater than me that can indeed restore me to sanity.
Step three, to me, seems equivalent to the 5th component to the stages of grieving—acceptance. I’ve went through denial, I struggled through the anger, I wrestled with bargaining. Now, there isn’t anything else I can do except—accept. Acceptance doesn’t mean I agree with the situation, or with people, or even with God’s decision. It means I’ve turned my life over to the care of God. It means I will live in peace, and I will let go and let God.
In the past, times of peace in my heart and head were not sustainable because I lacked conviction due to my codependence. My codependence forced me into isolation due to fear. Fear prohibited me from choosing healthy relationships, and even more frustrating, it kept me from sustaining those relationships that were healthy.
In The Twelve Traditions of Co-Dependents Anonymous tradition 3 states “The only requirement for membership in CoDA is a desire for healthy and loving relationships.” I like to think that statement in itself has everything to do with peace. The need to have peace in one’s life while still having relationships.
Whatever resource I use, one of my biggest goals in life is to learn to live in peace no matter what type of turmoil is happening around me.
Peace doesn’t just happen. I have to work at it. If I want healthy and loving relationships, I have to work hard at it. Fortunately, I have the tools, I have the steps, I have my Higher Power, and I have my CoDA friends to help me along in the journey to sustaining peace.
Resa G – 11/26/16
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