As difficult as it may be today, do your best to enjoy each moment like a little kid. But please remember that there is a difference between being child-like and being childish.

“For me, life is better because my soul has been able to wake up from the hypnotized mind and shed off the human conditioning. Seeing the truth behind the lies I had bought into. To see beyond the personal identity that I have put on myself. the self-centered worldview. To see that the core of who we really are is love. Giving and receiving love even when it is inconvenient.

All that blocks it from happening is the fear that I am unacceptable. That you are unworthy of love too. So I let these childish thoughts go.  And when that happens it’s the essence of what I understand as peace. It is about receiving and being present to the moment, to the now, without judgment, analysis, or critique, without my ego deciding whether I like it or not.

So now I really don’t take these thoughts about myself so seriously. But when they come forward it is just an indication of something that I don’t fully understand- yet.

And then I let it go and just enjoy the moment. 

I take in all that the situation, the moment, the event offers, without judging, eliminating, or labeling anything up or down, good or bad. It’s slowly becoming a pure and positive gaze, unattached to outcome. It is being present to all around me and the result is like seeing the world with a new pair of glasses.”

Both Eastern and Western spiritual traditions hint at a permanent, irreversible shift at the core of selfhood and in the perception that flows out from this new identity. The former sense of self dissolves, and in its place there arises a capacity to live a flowing, unboundaried life in which the person becomes “oned” with God and oned with one’s neighbor. This is likely what Jesus Christ was referring to when asked. “What is the greatest commandment of God?”

He said, “Teacher, which command in the law is the most important?”

Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and most important command. And the second command is like the first: ‘Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself.’ All of the law and the writings of the prophets take their meaning from these two commands.”

Once there is a shift from seeking God to seeing God, all of the difficult instructions in the bible no longer are a challenge. They become just what you do: because you want to do them. What you want and what God desires are the same.

Try to remember what it was like growing up and the times that you had your times of rebellion. Eventually you learned by experience that what your parents wanted you to do was really in your best interest. You do them now willingly. Well, maybe not always. If that’s you remember that its been a process of learning. If you still are struggling, make a choice to let go of what is causing the resistance to enjoying each moment by just pausing and focusing on what is happening now. Like a child. Children don’t concern themselves about the past or worry about the future. They just enjoy.

Attitude of Gratitude, Hope Versus Expectations

Step 5: Hope Versus Expectation

What is the difference between hope and an expectation? Expectation is founded in ego and Hope is a product of Humility.

Long ago, without even knowing it, I started building my masks as a matter of survival. It was a result of me having the ability to read people, and situations, and then showing you the mask I thought would best serve me in the moment so I could get by. It worked pretty well too. The problem was that it worked well enough that I adopted it as a valuable skill set. When I was aware of myself acting this way, it seemed like it was working but upon consideration now, somewhere along the way, I forgot who I really was. Actually, I didn’t want to remember. No, I couldn’t show the world any aspect of the real me because the world surely wouldn’t like me, because I didn’t like me. So I kept the appropriate mask on for as long as possible; Hiding the hideous monster that I believed was within. The trouble was that the characters I portrayed became a dominate part of me. So many masks were worn that I was virtually a troop of entertainers. The freak I believed that I was actually became a self fulfilling prophecy. I was feeling worthless due to misjudging my value in the first place.

The trouble was that I could never feel like I fit in without wearing a costume, and performing some kind of act. It wasn’t until my inventory was shared that I realized that, and the consequences of being that way too. Now I have a choice to believe that I am acceptable just being myself. I can now be alone, or with others, and be at peace.

There is no denying that this step is humbling. It produces an understanding of who we really are, and is the first action step toward becoming who we may just really be. This new found humility is the beginning of removing the need for the barriers that we have built up over the years to protect ourselves from being hurt. And as we develop genuine humility, then our self-esteem becomes more and more unshakable.

You really do have the power to turn your wounds and worries into wisdom; you just have to do something about them! So perhaps your worst battle has been between what you know and what you feel. If that’s true, you have to accept what has happened and use what you’ve learned to step forward. Knowing, recognizing and accepting your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness’s of other people. So everything you’ve ever experienced has given you what’s needed for dealing with everything you have yet to experience! Realize this and you will have begun to set yourself free.

Attitude of Gratitude, We Are No Longer Victims

Step 10: We Are No Longer Victims

Every time you were convinced you couldn’t go on, you did. 

Someone once said that life was a lot like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as we go along.

While the goal of doing the 12 Steps is to develop compassion and achieve forgiveness, acceptance and love, it should also be our objective to accept reality and hold people accountable for their behavior. Additionally, we should also hold ourselves accountable for our own behavior while at the same time have compassion and understanding for ourselves.

The Point Is: By Working These Steps We Are No Longer Victims or Victimizers.

When we now proclaim powerlessness, we are not claiming irresponsibility. We merely stating that we have no power to control others, what they do, what they did, or what they might do. We’re stating that we are now willing to end an ineffective life based on prideful willpower and the need to control. And we’re beginning a spiritual, mental, and emotional journey in which we take responsibility for ourselves each and every day.

This phase of development is about learning more about who we really are and how we fit into the world by reviewing our character assets and liabilities at a deeper level than ever before. Observing patterns in your behavior and challenging what is perceived as normal. Studying human nature and seeing how it applies to yourself. And repeatedly testing new ideas.

As you practice this Step, over time you will agree to living in a way that is beneficial for yourself, and for others too. You may not grow to love everyone but you will no longer want to harm anyone. Including yourself.