MONKEY MIND

images-9.14.51-AMJeff and I were talking about “monkey mind,” a Buddhist term meaning, “unsettled, restless, confused.” It is when our minds become chaotic as our thoughts jump from problem to problem.

This journal entry, written ten years ago, is an example of my unsettled mind: I’m not doing well. In fact, my heart feels torn into pieces. It’s 4:24 am, and sleep is not my friend tonight. My mind races with all my problems and I ache for someone to make them all go away. Pretty unrealistic, huh? I need to find my own peace. Dear Lord, I am so confused and I feel all alone. What do I do?

My reflection: For me, fear has always been an especially noisy monkey. The demons seemed to come out at night and torment me. In the dark, as I lay alone, I felt totally helpless and confused. My mind raced with imaginings of all the things that could go wrong. I had to find strength in myself and in my God, my higher power.

Today’s Promise to consider: I’m deeply grateful Jeff is good today, but I also acknowledge that monkey mind still continues to afflict me often during the night and sometimes during the day. Today, I will make an active effort to do something constructive when the demons find me. I’ll write or run. I will meditate. I will pray.

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pat nichols
pat nichols
8 years ago

What would be my purpose in life if not to save my son?

I had no other purpose and fear provided me the fuel to continue my destructive reasoning.

I became sicker than my son. My marriage suffered greatly. I lost clients and friends. People did not want to be around me. I became very depressed, then suicidal.

On one of my darkest days I left my office and walked to a nearby park and sat on a bench and began to cry. I looked up and screamed out to God that if He was still here then make Himself known to me. I will do whatever you ask of me I said. Please help me! I repeated that plea over and over again.

God did reveal himself to me on that day 14 1/2 years ago. I have kept my word to God. My life was given back to me.

I freely gave my fear to God.

God can be trusted.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  pat nichols

Pat,

Not only can He be trusted…He can take it.
Who better knows the pain of watching your child suffer?

Jane
Jane
8 years ago

I could have written what both Pat and Libby experienced. The universal pain of parents of addicted children. Scream, cry, angry, lost, sick, depressed etc. it was a horrible time. I learned somehow to give my fear to God because I don’t live in fear anymore either

Thank you both for sharing. Pat your writing is powerful as Libby said
Love
Jane

JOY
JOY
8 years ago

Fear. Jane and Pat, you inspire me so. I am not there. My son got his parole yesterday and goes to half way house next week. He has been ten months in and clean. Fear was replaced with relief for a while. i knew where he was . Knew he was safe. I am grateful for his sobriety and his parole and for how he sounds when we talk. We know now one day -maybe one hour at a time. I try to give my Fear to God. But I’m not there. I know I have work to do. I love this story :

“Once there was a young warrior. Her teacher told her that she had to do battle with fear. She didn’t want to do that. It seemed too aggressive; it was scary; it seemed unfriendly. But the teacher said she had to do it and gave her the instructions for the battle. The day arrived. The student warrior stood on one side, and fear stood on the other. The warrior was feeling very small, and fear was looking big and wrathful. They both had their weapons. The young warrior roused herself and went toward fear, prostrated three times, and asked, “May I have permission to go into battle with you?” Fear said, “Thank you for showing me so much respect that you ask permission.” Then the young warrior said, “How can I defeat you?” Fear replied, “My weapons are that I talk fast, and I get very close to your face. Then you get completely unnerved, and you do whatever I say. If you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. You can listen to me, and you can have respect for me. You can even be convinced by me. But if you don’t do what I say, I have no power.” In that way, the student warrior learned how to defeat fear. ”
― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Yes, I will meditate and I will NOT “do” as fear says. I will not fret but live as much as I can in right now.

Thank you friends and for your generous words Libby. Courage in sharing always. Please pray for me my son our family as I pray for yours. I love my sons so. I am so close to feeling my youngest might be back from this disease but I am so very very scared. My oldest son still suffers in other ways. Let us meet and conquer our fears .

Sue
Sue
8 years ago

I hate the nights. They are the hardest time for me. I think its because it is so quiet and I have nothing to do but think, worry and cry. My fears take over and hours later I’m still trying to settle my mind.

I have been putting off going to bed tonight because I don’t want to face the dark again so I chose to visit this site and I am so glad I did. The story you posted Joy is so true. I have given fear power for so long it has become the norm for me. Tonight I will try to take back the controls and hopefully sleep a little. As for tomorrow….I’ll try to remind myself that I hold the keys and when I feel weak I will hand them over to my higher power for safe keeping.

Sue

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago

Such powerful posts. I lived in fear for so many years, I can’t count them all. When my son died from an overdose, I had the biggest nervous breakdown of my life. I didn’t sleep for 8 days, nor did I eat. I finally prayed to my God to give me the strength to get through this. I got through it and I’m good.

I’ve heard that God doesn’t give you anymore than you can handle. I think that’s kind of reversed. If you pray to God with sincerity, he will help you get through your crisis.

God Bless you all,
Barbara

JOY
JOY
8 years ago

Sue, yes the nights. Something about darkness and not doing I guess. I like that image of you holding the keys. I think I will find a new keychain and put a key on it and call it key to courage. ?? Hold it often when I am afraid. Pray. Thanks Barbara — you are one who really knows how fear hurts us and that no amount of worry will change outcomes- all relies on the choices they make. Thanks for your sharing. Always. I’m feeling so vulnerable right now- not a victim -but vulnerable –trying to muster up warrior courage again — and it is like life knows when to throw more little poison arrows. So, I came here,felt surrounded by ones who know the journey and feel ready to stand in the truth I have. Thanks all.