This is kind of a special day for me. It was one year ago today that I began writing my daily blog. I had already been writing about my daily spiritual principle each day for a few months at that point, but decided a more formal format would make archiving those writings easier. That was my mom’s idea. She is absolutely the best mom!
The blogging app I use tracks all sorts of data. In fact, that’s the only way I knew that today was the one year anniversary of my blog. The app told me I had blogged for 365 consecutive days yesterday. It tells me daily the number of people reading my blog. It even tells the countries in which they live.
The app also tracks “Likes,” “Followers,” and comments. That’s where I have learned to tread lightly. It can easily switch from trivial information to a daily ego boost. Likewise, if numbers are low, it can feel like a punch to the gut.
Doesn’t anyone care about today’s profound observation on open-mindedness?
At such times I have learned to check my motives. Am I writing to impress? Am I writing to gather “likes” or “followers?” Am I being driven by ego, or simply driven to work on my recovery?
On these occasions, I find myself taking a step back. Time for an attitude check. Time to assess your ego Kent. Time for a dose of humility.
As an addict, I must always be aware of my tendency to draw positive feelings from some thing outside of myself. It’s not only drugs that are at issue here. Even positive things can, if left unchecked, feed my disease.
So, checking the app for stats has become sort of a barometer of how I’m doing on the inside. When I find myself obsessing over “likes,” compulsively checking the app over and over again, it provides a great opportunity for a check-up. “What’s wrong Kent? Why are you depending on this to make you feel good about yourself?”
The other interesting thing I have discovered over the past year is that my writing serves as a great source of meditation. A time of mindful reflection on how a principle may apply in my life. An opportunity for me to listen for the voice of my Higher Power.
No, I don’t hear an audible voice. Instead, I find that my writing takes on a direction that was not originally intended. Most often it goes like this:
“Oh boy, I drew ‘Humility!’ I’m going to write about how so-and-so needs to practice some humility in his life! Won’t this be fun!!!”
I may even get a few paragraphs into writing before that voice makes itself heard. “Um, Kent… you are being unspiritual here. A real ass even. Better start over.”
So, over time I have learned to listen for that voice before I begin writing. I always write these blogs on my iPhone, so my thumbs definitely appreciate extra mindfulness. They only have so many words in them per day, and if I waste any, they will remind me throughout the day that they don’t appreciate being abused!
My writing does make me more mindful as I go through my day too. I reflect on my spiritual principles more often than I did before I started writing. Also, when something funny happens in my life, I can laugh a little, realizing it will definitely become part of a blog. You know, like that time I discovered I was smearing butt cream on my face every day. Now that sort of stuff helps keep me humble!
Most of all, I hope my writing reflects my gratitude. Gratitude for this new way of life I have found in recovery. Gratitude for family and friends who show me regularly what love really looks like. Gratitude for a new and vibrant relationship with God. Gratitude for strong coffee, and a balcony with a great view.
A wise brother in recovery recently told me that each of us needs our “thing” in life. That special something that gets us up in the mornings. That great motivator.
I guess I’m extra blessed. I have several such “things.” Writing is one of them. It gives me a daily boost, reminding me of the new life I have found through Narcotics Anonymous. A life free from drugs. A life based on spiritual principles. A life worth living.
Have a remarkable day!