Thursday, 23 February 2017

What Dov does when he's bored

by Dov (See all authors)

For most people, there is nothing bad about a little quiet time, as long we are not sitting in our brains. Thinking is often stupid and dangerous for many of us, especially when the good old 'religious' wheels start to turn and "constant vigilance, watch out, don't think about your bris kodesh or naked people, chas vesholom, not at all!", etc, etc... gevalt. The same self-obsessive thing we all did when we were still teenagers. It didn't work too well then, did it?

So if you relate, then I'd share things I like to do whenever I am bored (which now that I am, BH, in 12 steps recovery for a while, happens only very rarely).

I like to call a relative or a friend I have been avoiding talking with and just share a while, be real, listen actively, and get off the phone feeling like I am adding to their life in some small but real way.

I like to read Alcoholics Anonymous Member Stories in the back half of the book with a cup of hot coffee or chocolate. And let things go on from there... it usually sets my mind straight far better than any mussar, chassidus, etc., etc. will, and I become much more ready and willing to spend quiet time with my G-d, or to be available - I mean really available - to the people in my life.

I like to walk around the house and choose something that by doing it I am likely to make some contribution to someone else's day or evening, like clean something up or fix something - the point is getting used to doing things with the positive outcomes in mind from start to finish. A 'derech eretz l'shem yichud' kind of awareness. It's part of growing up, for me.

The key for me is this: Anything that feels like a burden or adds to my burden will not help me. So my intention and motive are most important, here.

Real recovery, I am told, is about allowing G-d to change my motives in living day by day, not my behavior. If I do what I can to change my behavior and work the steps, G-d will change my motives. (Funny, how before I surrendered and got into recovery, 99% of what I did was trying to change my motivations...as though I could do that myself! The arrogance of it is amazing, really. Thank G-d I do not carry that false burden any longer, one day at a time.)