You know how it is.
There is only so much talking about benzos and benzo withdrawal you can handle and you disappear for a while–from blogs, forums, Facebook pages, etc.
I realized that it may have looked that my relationship with God had waned and I didn’t want to write about Him anymore. Quite the opposite! I am learning more and more every day about the why, when, how and what of this life, benzo recovery included.
Why Are People Talking About Mindfulness?
I was thinking the other day about someone I knew who was really into “mindfulness”. If you’re not familiar with it, it has to do with being in the present moment, not trying to force change, not think about the future–to just BE HERE and accept this minute as it is.
It’s not a new concept. God invented mindfulness, but it’s not about being present with yourself (which personally I think is brutally hard to do in benzo withdrawal), but instead being present with Him. Brother Lawrence, a 17th century monk, coined the phrase “Practicing the Presence of God”.
He was right in saying that it is a practice. It’s a discipline. But it’s one that we can ALL do.
Think about it this way: do you just go through your day and try to endure, maybe praying to God at some point and even doing Bible study and singing praise music?
Do you know that you can do ALL of that, and still not be practicing the presence of God?
So What Does It Look Like?
My recovery experience began to change the minute I realized that I could invite God into every minute of my day.
You know that your brain can multi-task; that you can be talking to someone and be thinking of something totally different and doing something at the same time? It’s the same with practicing the presence of God. I literally have a running conversation going on with God all day long, no matter what I’m doing.
“There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it.”
And it does take practice. It’s very much like any other discipline. You have to teach your brain to be active in communicating with God, not just passive. You don’t just roll through your day and have experiences–you literally share every moment with God.
For example, when I wake up in the morning and I’m confused or have DR or adrenaline, I immediately start talking to God in my head or out loud. I bring truth into my situation by thanking God for giving me another day, that His mercies are new every morning, that perception is not reality, that He never leaves me, that this is a light and momentary trouble, that no weapon formed against me can prosper…yada, yada, yada.
Then I get up and talk with Him about His word. Then as I’m talking to my husband getting ready for work, I’m at the same time talking to God in my head thanking Him for another day of life for my husband, that he is well, that he has work.
When I’m able to take the dog for a walk and I’m disoriented and can’t focus my eyes well, I still say “God, these trees are so beautiful. Thank you so much for them. I love seeing birds that remind me that you care for me more than these creatures, and you provide for me just like you provide for them.”
Don’t Overdo It
When you don’t have good GABA/glutamate balance, your brain is racing anyway. So you have to restrain yourself sometimes, or at least I do. When it seems like I’m doing way too much talking in my head and I’m getting confused, that’s when I know to slow it down and listen.
Sometimes I will just sit on the porch and just let the sun shine on my face and say “Thank You God”.
No matter what you’re going through, you need to remember that you were created for relationship with God. NOTHING can change that, nothing can separate you from His love. Since He is the One who loves you more than anyone, and you’re spending eternity with Him if Jesus is your chosen Savior, doesn’t it make sense to spend more time being present with Him than with Facebook, or forums, or even this blog?
Well….maybe you can practice His presence AND still come here and read 🙂
May God bless you with a greater ability to sense His presence and communicate throughout the day with Him.