"Keep your eyes fixed on where you're going." Shouted Mr. Gray, an old cowboy who was trying to teach me to ride my horse, Bo.
He would say this over and over again because, I was easily distracted. "If you keep your eyes fixed on your destination, he will head in that direction." He said.
But, how will he know where my eyes are fixed, I wondered. Mr. Gray continued as if knowing my question, " He can feel a fly on his back. He will feel the slightest shift in your weight as you look around."
I began to learn that he was right. If I looked down at my feet, or looked at something to my left or right, he became distracted.
Today, Lucy, my little long haired dachshund, and I were out for our morning walk. She was wandering more than usual, and I was wondering why she seemed so distracted. Just as I began to think about why, the memory of those riding lessons came to mind. So, I fixed my gaze on the path that I intended to walk, and like magic, Lucy straightened her path.
St. Francis of Assisi is attributed to the quote,
"Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary, use words."
I began to understand how to preach the gospel, without opening my mouth through my twelve-step program. I had to mind my own business--clean my own house, first. I cannot force anyone to follow my lead. But if I examine my motives carefully and am purposefully seeking to follow the will of God, by attraction, others may follow.
If I have my gaze fixed on the will of my 'power which is greater than myself--God', then my weight will stop shifting in all sorts of conflicting directions. It will be clear that there is confidence in where I am going.
We went to a family funeral last weekend. It was a hotbed of distraction. There have been disagreements. There is division to the point of some family members refusing to speak to others even in a place where a family should come together.
It was so stressful that when I got home, I got physically sick. Those family systems can be toxic. It gets confusing. How do you honor your parents if they try to force you to go against all that you believe in?
It is no wonder why we self medicate.
I was so grateful to come home. It is where I can slow it all down. I can call on the Serenity Prayer and work on discernment. Then, I try to do what I need to do to take care of myself...Today. That is all that I need to figure out.
Prayer and meditation are wonderful gifts. I can pray for guidance and through meditation, I listen. God's grace floods my mind with all sorts of ideas and thoughts to help me understand; thoughts to remind me to stop looking around.
"Fix your eyes" I can almost hear Him say. And so today, that is where I will place my focus.
Addiction gave me these tools. I would not have them if it had not been for the difficult journey of addiction. Out of difficulty, there is blessing. Always.
I'm praying for 'the Henry's' in my life and yours.