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You Already Are

During a recent conversation with my best friend Greg, he said to me, “But you already are.” That was a light bulb moment for me. One of many I’ve experienced during our conversations. “But you already are.”

What are you searching for? You already are. That which you seek, you already are. What are you trying to achieve? What are you trying to become?

It seems I’ve spent a great deal of my life trying to become not really realizing that I already am. 

My need to become and over achieve has been both good and bad. It all stems back to my need for validation that started in my early childhood. As a result of my gay lifestyle, I always felt a need to prove myself because my lifestyle was seen as abnormal, a disease, a demon, and something totally unacceptable by society. Being gay was seen as less than. Therefore, I felt as if I needed to show everyone that I wasn’t less than by achieving great things in my life.  

I always felt I had to work a little harder to show that I wasn’t abnormal. 

This drive to achieve and become has taken up much of my mental space. I am finally starting to ask myself, who am I becoming for? Who am I achieving for? 

What’s the secret to happiness? What’s the secret to contentment? What’s the secret to being in the moment and knowing that you already are? 

The answer lies between your ears.  

Our mind can be our worst enemy or our best friend. Knowing you have the power to choose can be life changing to the degree you actually believe it. I admit, I struggle with believing that I already am. I struggle with believing that I am enough. I’ve been in this life for 58 years and have been trying to work out its riddle for about 50 of those years. 

I recently went back and looked in my high school senior memory book where I found that I had written down my future goals. My goals at that time were to become a registered nurse and a professional piano player for an infamous gospel group. I achieved both. Nothing wrong with achieving but it’s also important to pause and appreciate what you already are in this very moment. 

I feel I have spent so much time looking into the future that I often missed what was right in front of me at any given moment. 

Although I achieved the goals I set for myself in my high school memory book, it wasn’t enough. It’s never enough. I still find myself always trying to be. Putting a lot of pressure on myself as opposed to just stopping to appreciate what I already am. 

I also find that I am always trying to change something instead of being okay with what is. In the winter, I find myself saying, “I’ll be so glad when summer gets here.” In the summer I say, “OMG, this heat.” “I can’t wait until winter.” Always trying to change the time. At work I find myself rushing the time saying, “I can’t wait until 7pm.” Always looking ahead missing the now. Missing the moment. Never completely satisfied. 

Be where you are. When your mind starts to drift and dwell on what you should be doing, bring it back to what you are doing right now. When the mind starts to wander off with thoughts about what you should be, bring it back to what you already are and give thanks for that. 

The lesson for me in all of this is learning more about unbecoming as opposed to becoming. I am learning that there is no need to actually become because I already am. I give thanks for that. I am working on unbecoming all the things others have told me that I am and I believed them. You are enough. Believe it.

Make sure to check out my latest book on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1735975702. Also make sure to enter your email address on this site to receive my monthly free articles straight to your inbox. As always, I look forward to your thoughts and feedback. Your love and support is deeply appreciated.

Blessings,

Vince

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Pain and Suffering: Stop Running

My book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1735975702

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Open Relationship: Could It Be Right For You?

Open Relationship. Is it right for you and your partner/spouse? I have seen a huge increase in the number of my readers who are contacting me to talk about this very issue so I decided to write about it. 

Growing up, it was absolutely unheard of to have anything but a monogamous relationship. Or at least that is what was taught in the church and by society, while at the same time infidelity was rampant both in the church and in society. Is monogamy realistic? 

Let me first start by being clear that I do not believe there is a right or wrong when it comes to relationships? No judgement. It is whatever works for the people involved in the relationship and not for others to decide or judge. 

I tried monogamous relationships. I have been in them most of my life because I believed it was the right thing to do. The rise of divorce and infidelity led me to ponder this issue.  Are we perhaps trying to put ourselves in this little box that once again society and religion has told us we belong in? 

You meet that special one, get married, have 2 kids, the house with the white picket fence and you live happily ever after. Sounds beautiful but the research is showing that it doesn’t work for many. Again, not being judgmental but instead just thinking outside the box. That box that we’ve been put in. 

There are many different types of relationships. There are monogamous relationships, polyamorous relationships, open relationships and more. Open is defined by the people involved. It is important to have a conversation so both are on the same page with what open actually means. Again, no right or wrong. 

I am currently in an open relationship. It is my first and has turned out to be my best. There seems to be a huge tendency for people to say they are in a monogamous relationship while at the same time lying, cheating, being deceitful, and harboring secrets. How healthy is that? In my opinion, it is much healthier to be honest and have the open conversations without judgment. Why would one choose to cheat, lie, and harbor secrets as opposed to an open honest conversation and relationship? 

People evolve and change which can make relationships challenging. You must be able to have the conversations as you evolve without fear of judgment from your partner or fear of losing them. I know for me, I stayed in a “monogamous” relationship out of fear of losing my partner. I instead cheated, lied, and hid things from him. Ultimately that ended the relationship. 

An open relationship is not a license to be careless or disrespectful to the one you love. Maintaining respect is essential. Neither myself nor my partner actively go out looking for sex with others but we are both adult enough to realize that it could happen on a rare occasion. For us, it is about no judgement. We do not feel the need to talk about it if it does happen. We just have an understanding between us with parameters that are good for us. 

Sex does not equal love. Just because I have that rare occasion when sex may occur with another, does not mean I am in love with them. I am in love with my partner and have full trust in his love for me. Could it perhaps be lack of trust and insecurity that causes one to suppress their normal desires or act on them in secrecy? Could it be tradition that keeps one in a “monogamous” relationship? Could it possibly be fear that your partner will fall in love with the person he has sex with? Are any of these good reasons to remain monogamous? 

Sex has many different purposes. It is obviously used for procreation but it is also used for pleasure. Sex can be a spiritual experience when shared with the one you love. It is a way to bring the two of you closer together. 

If monogamy is for you and it is working with no secrets, lies or cheating, then it is a beautiful thing. Having said that, open relationships and polyamorous relationships are also beautiful. The main question to ask yourself is, are you totally happy in your relationship? Can you get everything you need from one person? What type of relationship do you desire? What type of relationship best suits your ideas? 

I chose honesty. I chose healthy conversations. I chose unconditional love without judgment. I chose to be my authentic self.  I chose an open relationship. 

Whatever type of relationship you choose to be in, remember there is no right or wrong. Let us end the judgment of others who choose a different type of relationship than us. 

Much love,

Vince

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Hi, I’m Vince. I am a Author, Critical Care Registered Nurse and Speaker. Welcome to my site. On this site you will be provided inspirational, educational, motivational and thought provoking articles. It is my mission to have this information help you achieve Optimal Health which includes your  Physical HealthSpiritual Health, and Mental Health. My ultimate goal is to create change and stimulate self-healing. I would love to have your support by entering your email address on this site to receive my monthly articles. I look forward to your feedback.

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Recovery and Sobriety: Is There A Difference?

By Jeff Vickers: Guest Blogger

When I was in 3rdgrade, I was already reading newspapers. I found at an early age that I loved reading. More specifically, I love learning. Reading was and still is, one of the ways I love to learn. 

In addition to reading, I’m fond of language. Not “learning foreign languages,” but the proper use of language, in general. I’m of the belief that words are powerful. So, when I hear the misuse of language, I tend to make corrections where I see fit.

Hello, my name is Jeff. I’m a recovery addict, enjoying a life of sobriety.

Unfortunately, many still believe “sobriety,” and “recovery” are interchangeable terms. Being a sober enthusiast, who loves the proper use of language, has led to me respectfully correct this common misnomer.

What is Recovery?
Recovery is returning to a state of health, or well-being. It is the path we take to regain what we lost, when we became addicts. It’s the road that leads to a sober life.

What is recovery regarding our physical well-being? According to Yale Medicine, “It is the process of change through which individuals improve their health.” From a medical standpoint, if you’re in recovery, you are on your way back to a healthy state of being. So, every time I say that I am a “recovering” addict, I am claiming a state of perpetual well-being.

We can also look at it from another perspective. 

When we “recover” something, we are retrieving it. Let’s use data as an example, for instance. When we lose the password to our email account, what do we do? We try to “recover” our password.

When we sign into our Gmail account, Google uses precautions just in case we forget our password. They set up measures to ensure that we aren’t locked out of our account. We set up security questions. And we’re asked for a “recovery” email address. We’re even asked for a “recovery” phone number. “Recovery,” in this instance, is used to retrieve lost information.

By using both definitions, we can conclude that: recovery is the process we go through to retrieve the health we lost due to addiction.

So, when I introduce myself as a “recovering addict,” I am essentially reclaiming the health I lost. Spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health.

What is Sobriety?
Some believe being sober means not using drugs or drinking. This couldn’t be further from the truth. This is the definition of abstinence. 

However, sobriety is the lifestyle a recovering addict seeks. Being sober is making conscientious decisions that reflect a life of wellness. 

If I am seeking wellness, this will be reflected in all areas of my life: spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, and socially. 

My new relationship with drugs is just a part of that “wellness perspective.” 

Common questions a sober person may ask themselves are:

  1. How am I feeding myself spiritually?
  2. What subjects am I learning about?
  3. What am I doing to ensure healthy emotions?
  4. Am I taking care of my body?
  5. Are my social activities healthy for me?
  6. Do I have substantive relationships?

The answers to these questions are seen in the life choices of a sober person. Not partaking in a drink, is just one of those kinds of choices.

Like a patient who receives a successful transplant, the sober person has another chance at life. Both have conquered a malady. Now, full of vigor and optimism, both will seek to live as healthy as possible. 

When you are sober, your life pivots. A sober person is a transformed person. They are no longer who they were. So, it is impossible to live, as they did.

A life of sobriety is a life where healthy choices are paramount.

And So…
At some point in my addictive life, a catalyst occurred. Once that happened, I stepped onto the road of recovery, the road to healing. 

This “healing” is of a spiritual nature. I believe my spiritual malady is what affected my self-image. This negative self-image is what led to my drug addiction.

Recovery, then, is the road to healing which leads to self-realization. This is the road that leads to sobriety. Sobriety, then, is the life lived by those who seek to become better versions of themselves.

I am on a constant quest to become a better me. I wish you the same.

Jeff Vickers

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Jeff Vickers is a content writer, copywriter, and new author.

After a 30-year battle with addiction, Jeff was transformed by embracing the power of recovery. A self-proclaimed, “sober enthusiast,” his passion is helping people grow in their sobriety. 

After becoming fascinated by the power of recovery mottos, Jeff looked for books on the subject. Finding none, he decided to write one himself. The result is a series entitled, “Sober Slogans.” The first book of the series, “Recovery Mottos We Love,” will be released soon.

Jeff loves to write wearing his favorite Star Wars pajamas, while listening to Damien Escobar. When he is not writing, Jeff spends time binging on old episodes of “Shark Tank,” with his partner, Sara.

Aside from being excited about the release of his first book, Jeff says, “I’m about to get my first puppy! He is a beautiful, spotted pit bull.” 

He is currently working on the second book of the series, “Sober Slogans.”

Keep in touch with Jeff here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/soberslogans
Instagram: @sober_slogans
Email: soberslogans@gmail.com

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What Are You Attached To?

Attachments. Are they healthy? I have become attached to many things in my life including family, friends, jobs, personal possessions, and past experiences just to name a few. Are attachments bad? Not necessarily. In this article we will look at healthy attachments and unhealthy attachments. 

Why do we become attached? There is nothing wrong with attachments that are healthy such as attachment to our spirit. It is also normal to feel a sense of attachment to our close friends, partners/spouses, and families. Having said that, the most important attachment is to our spirit. It is essential to stay connected and attached to spirit. Spirit is always speaking but we are seldom listening because we become detached and distracted by the external environment. 

According to the Buddhist teachings, attachment leads to suffering. When we become attached to someone or something, we tend to suffer when we lose it. 

Some attachments are actually essential for growth and evolution. It is however important to evaluate our attachments in an effort to release the attachments that do not serve our better good. Release the attachments that do not contribute to our overall optimal health spiritually, mentally, and physically.  

In reflecting back on the attachments in my life, I have given some thought to which ones were healthy and which ones not so much. I have also given some thought to the lessons I’ve learned in the unhealthy attachments. I have found myself with unhealthy attachments to romantic relationships, friendships, and relationships with family as well as unhealthy attachments to my possessions, thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and my past. 

At times I have also found myself attached to emotions such as fear, worry, anger, jealousy, sadness and a feeling of unworthiness. I became acutely aware of the need to let go of the attachments to my negative past experiences as they were tied to the negative emotions. Emotions are the end product of experiences. Therefore, when I would re-live those past experiences, I would also re-live the emotions attached to those experiences. Essentially, I was living in the past. I was experiencing an unhealthy attachment to my past. 

Attachments to my beliefs and thoughts were another area I identified as unhealthy for me. I was very attached to what others had taught me was right and what was wrong. Those beliefs and thoughts often flowed through me in the form of judgment, perceptions, opinions, and feelings about the world around me and about the people around me. I was attached to the ideas and beliefs taught to me by the church and society. This unhealthy attachment created unhealthy feelings of judgment and separation. Judgement for those who did not subscribe to the same belief system.  

Why do we stay connected to unhealthy attachments? I stayed connected to my belief system out of fear. Fear of what the church had taught me. Fear that I would go to “hell” if I did not stay attached to their belief. I have stayed attached to unhealthy relationships out of fear. Fear of being alone. Fear of hurting the other party. Fear of leaving my comfort zone. Worry over what others would think. 

I have found that the more I stay attached to spirit, the less likely I am to remain connected to unhealthy attachments. Spirit will guide you away from the unhealthy attachments if you are connected and choose to follow its guidance. 

Have you ever thought about the attachments in your life? Are they healthy attachments that contribute to your peace and growth or are they unhealthy attachments that leave you feeling unworthy, less than, unhappy, and fearful. It is important to keep our attachments healthy in an effort to remain balanced and in optimal health. Attachment to external things and possessions sets you up for disappointment. It is my intention to release my attachment to the external and focus more on the attachment to my internal. 

When we release our attachment to the external, we no longer are bothered by the external. It becomes less important what others say and think. Material things become much less important. That new car, back yard swimming pool, new dress, or new pair of shoes become less important. 

Become detached from the negative thoughts that lie to you. Become detached from others that drain you. Become detached from the need to always have something new. 

Become attached to spirit. Become attached to awareness. Awareness of all the beauty and creation around you. Become attached to gratitude. Become attached to love and kindness toward ALL mankind. 

Blessings,

Vince