“When I think about the world today. Like most parents and grandparents, I have concerns about my kid’s and grandchildren’s future—some days it manifests as fear. But I also enjoy my time with them, which doesn’t include worry. We can love and still be fearful. But I am truly not in fear when spending time with my kids and grandkids. I’m in a place of love then. Simply living in the moment.”
I’m not religious. But I do ask for signs that something created life and the universe for a reason when I need too.
They may not come right away, and some signs are more subtle than others. But they sustain me in times when my old enemy fear shows up, and causes unhappiness in my life.
Some say there isn’t a god of any kind. Maybe god is the wrong word to use. If all the signs I’ve received in my sobriety so far tell me anything, it’s to keep trying to believe in more than just this world. Doing so has helped me to love myself, which is a miracle considering how I felt about myself when I was drinking.
Despite the occasional fears I have. I’m no longer a frightened little boy inside. I believe in myself and I know things will be all right, even when they’re not. Because I know I can be all right even when I’m not. It may take what some people call prayer on some days. But I know I can eventually stop feeling worried and afraid and return to my former state of happiness.
Actually, my happiness never fully goes away, because I’m happy with who I am.
Being happy with who I am also sustains me in times when my old enemy fear shows up. And perhaps that is an even bigger miracle, considering who I was when I was drinking.
Some say there isn’t a god of any kind. Maybe god is the wrong word to use.
If all the signs I’ve received in my sobriety so far have proven anything, it’s that I have the ability to create my happiness.
I just need a little help now and then.
To grow is to move away from what we already know in search of something new. Something better. To grow is to face our fears of the unknown, while trying to maintain faith that we’re doing what is needed to feel better about ourselves. Love ourselves. Growth is change. A change in our thinking and our emotional well-being. When we are emotionally well, we see life differently. We see ourselves differently. We know we have grown and will continue to do so. We know we are better than we were before.
To grow is to become happy with who we are and to continue to love ourselves, even when we do things we don’t like ourselves for. We know we can change our behaviors and improve on who we are. We know our continuous striving for growth will never stop, and we don’t want it to. Our fears are more diminished. Our faith is stronger. We know we can keep moving away from what we already know with the promise of better things to come, even in times when the unknown scares us.
“Fear can be our friend, or it can be our enemy. It just depends on how we handle it. Reassuring self-talk is my go to method to help me feel better whenever I’m fearful, and I often find comfort in talking with others about how I’m feeling. But hope and belief is an important part of overcoming our fears.
We can experience worry and anxiety when we feel afraid, especially if we find it hard to turn our hope that things will be OK, into belief that they will. But along with hope and belief, I’ve found that prayer can also play a part in overcoming our fears. I don’t always get the things I pray for. But it has never let me down when it comes to eventually believing everything will be all right.
Call it belief or call it faith; it doesn’t matter much to me. All of the things I mentioned helps me to believe in myself more. And a little more in something that created life and the universe for a reason.
Call it belief or call it Faith. It doesn’t really matter much to me. I just know that prayer, people, hope, and self-talk has always helped me with my fears during difficult times and to become a stronger person than I was before.”
“I’ve heard it said that a lot of the emotional pain we experience in life is caused by having too much ego, but this isn’t always true. Our egos are necessary to help us love ourselves and feel good about who we are. Not loving ourselves and not feeling good about who we are can also cause us emotional pain. But this is due to fear and insecurity, and not having enough ego.”
Because of my fears and insecurities, I can remember feeling less than for a good part of my life and it was one of the reasons why I liked to drink so much. When I was drunk I could be whoever I wanted to be, and act however I wanted to act, without feeling the way I did when I was sober. This was only a temporary fix, though, and it would take several years of sobriety and a lot of growth before I became more secure and confident in myself.
Becoming more secure and self-confident helped me to stop feeling less than, and as I continued to grow, I would eventually love myself enough to be happy with who I was. But it would be the realization that we’re actually not all equal and that, in fact, some people are better than us that would help me see how much I had grown.
I should probably explain this with a story.
When I was younger I never liked losing at anything, and I actually got mad when I did. Getting angry when I lost at something continued into my adulthood and I hated even losing a simple card game. Much of this stemmed from the fact that I had to believe I was better than someone else to feel good about myself, and although drinking helped me feel that way, the reality was that it also prevented me from growing up emotionally. I basically remained the same fearful and insecure person I was when I started drinking at sixteen. Like many people who begin drinking and taking drugs at a young age it stunted my emotional growth. And even with all the life experiences I had over the years, by the time I finally stopped drinking at the age of thirty-six, I hadn’t matured much emotionally.
This lack of emotional maturity was also responsible for other negative emotions I felt. (Worry, sadness, and even self-pity were a common part of my life.) But make no mistake about it, my fears and insecurities were at the heart of these emotions and, as I said, the reason for feeling less than. However, as I kept growing, so did the love I felt for myself and others, and I eventually no longer needed to be better than someone else.
It was at this point in my sobriety that I knew I had reached a level of growth that I never experienced before, which was quite gratifying for me considering my past, and it made me feel even better about myself.
When we are able to take a look at ourselves with confidence and love for who we are, it no longer bothers us that some people are smarter than we are, more skillful at their jobs than us, or more talented at things like singing, acting, and playing sports. And there are also those who are funnier than us. (Even though I pride myself on being a funny guy, I know people who are funnier than me, and I love it).
Besides the things I just mentioned, certain factors can play a huge role in how equal we are to someone else.
Statistics show that who our parents are and where we’re born have a lot to do with how successful we become, and despite the rich problem child we occasionally hear about being born into a wealthy family with social status certainly gives many people an advantage in life. The trick is to not let others make us feel like we’re less than simply because they have more money or some perceived social status, or even if they have a higher education and a title of some kind. This takes a lot of growth on our part, and we may need help overcoming any fears and insecurities we have, but I know it can be done.
Perhaps death, which I call the great equalizer, is the only thing that truly makes us equal in the end. (Although it should be noted that even in death some people get more attention and have bigger funerals than others.)
But maybe it is in what we call death that we are recreated as spirits or souls and find that there really is something that created life and the universe for a reason, and that this creator loves us all equally.
“Self-confidence isn’t built by thinking we have all the answers in life. It’s built by admitting we don’t have all the answers, and not being afraid to ask for help in finding the ones we need.”