Meditation, to some people, is a way to relax and reduce anxiety. For me and many others, it is a process that allows you to sit with your emotions and understand them. As a recovering alcoholic, I live with enormous shame and guilt for things I’ve done in the past. Each time I refuse to sit quietly and turn my TV or Ipod on instead, I’m only distracting myself from the painful thoughts and emotions that I should be dealing with.

When I sit quietly with my thoughts, I learn so much. I can’t meditate for long because it’s very painful. I am actually realizing how ignorant I was and how much harm I’ve caused to others. This is something I must go through without placing judgement on myself. This is a process of cleansing and healing. After I meditate, I say what’s called a metta prayer such as the one below:

  • May I be well, loving, and peaceful. May all beings be well, loving, and peaceful.
  • May I be attentive and gentle towards my own discomfort and suffering.
  • May I be attentive and grateful for my own joy and well-being.
  • May I move towards others freely and with openness.
  • May I receive others with sympathy and understanding.
  • May I move towards the suffering of others with peaceful and attentive confidence.
  • May I continually cultivate the ground of peace for myself and others and persist, mindful and dedicated to this work, independent of results.
  • May I know that my peace and the world’s peace are not separate;that our peace in the world is a result of our work for justice.
  • May all beings be well, happy, and peaceful.

After the painful process of sitting in meditation, this prayer helps me to have compassion for myself and for others. It is the way I heal from the pain of the past. This is my way of letting go. I also say this prayer for other people as well. Especially people that I need to forgive or people I am angry with.

Little by little, I’m learning and growing. Taking a hard, honest look at myself is humbling and that’s exactly where I need to be.

  1. NYTrader 9 years ago


    Were you always a spiritual person or is this something that helped or you learned after you started your recovery? I'm just very new to this and I'm not sure I can really take an honest look at myself just yet. Does the meditation really work? I guess what I'm asking is, was this a natural thing for you or was it a learned tool?



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  2. ccarman6276 9 years ago

    Hi Gregg,I have not always been a spiritual person. I was raised Christian, but as I grew up I ended up being agnostic for the most part. Wasn't sure what was out there and what to believe. About 3 years ago, I met someone who I admired greatly. She really seemed to have her act together. She was extremely wise and always gave me great advice. She was the one that got me into Recovery. She introduced me to meditation and it works if you stick with it. I would recommend reading a book on what's called Mindfulness Meditation. That should give you a good start. It helps you sit with your emotions and cravings, understand them better, not react to them in the usual way. It teaches you how the mind can be your ally instead of it being the enemy. You'll learn so much about yourself and in turn, you'll be able to understand others better and have more compassion. Hope this helps!

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