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  • Erik Frederickson

I believe it's normal and healthy to expect good things?


Deep down I think most people expect good for themselves, until the world throws some bad stuff their way. I think that we should always be believing for good coming our way, but I think that hope for good can begin to drift when we experience enough bad.

Is there a way to change this? My experience has tells me, yes.

I feel it’s safe to say that most people coming out of addiction and into recovery have struggled with hosting a controlling mentality.


I certainly did. Because I experienced so much bad in my life, I thought the only way to bring good out of a situation was if I some how controlled the outcome to my favor.

Addiction driven mentalities don’t just warp the psyche (soul and spirit), but it also leaves a lingering residue in our thinking and actions. One of the joys of my recovery has been learning how to live in a space of expecting good things to happen as a result of my hard work, but learning to lose the expectation of how I think these good things have to happen.

Expectation is a deceitful acquaintance that masquerades as a friend.

Imagine a friend whose goal is to continually trick you into thinking that things should always go the way you think they should go. And while this phony friend tricks you they ingrain an intensely counterproductive mode of operation into your psyche called the “victim mentality.”

This is what the fake friend called expectation does to us.

By the time someone has allowed expectation to sink its teeth into their mind there is a good chance that the roots of entitlement have also sunk deep. This divisive stance then brings us a false sense of superiority and as a result the finger pointing and accusing others of our problems is a byproduct, ultimately positioning oneself for isolation and unhealthy relationships.

So you may be asking, how then do we go about expecting good things? I’m glad you asked.

I believe living in expectancy is the answer, and there is a vast difference between expectation and expectancy.

Expectancy is a quiet and humble confidence in knowing that if I do my part, God will do His part in bringing about my success. Expectancy is when you go into a situation expecting to gain from it one way or another, but not having to control how that happens.

Expectation is fueled by pride. Expectation is saying that I know best, I know exactly how this should work out, and if it doesn’t someone is to blame.

Expectancy is fueled by knowing that the best is coming my way, but when I try to manipulate how that comes about I shrink my world down to my size instead of the graceful and expansive world God has for me.

Expectancy is a healthy faith of knowing that good is my portion and I will put in my hard work in relationships, personal life, and career and I will do everything I can to celebrate others success and help them achieve it in the process. I have experienced more good then I could have imagined as I grow in this mode of operation.


Check out this 2 min video for more clarity on this topic.

Out of this reality, I have an expectancy that all the good God has planned for my life will become my reality.

But if I slip back into the controlling way of expectation I can quickly become blind from all the endless possibilities where good can come to me, and be released through me.

The freeing way of life found in expectancy drives me to receive more than I could ever ask, think, or imagine. I get to enter situations knowing that good is coming my way, but without creating an expectation of how that has to happen.

So...


Are you living in expectation?

Or are you living in expectancy?


_____________


If you or a loved one are having trouble getting or staying clean and sober, let's talk. We coach people from all over the world into healthy and sustainable recovery. Recovery is worth it, and WE DO RECOVER!

Sign up for 7 days of FREE online Recovery coaching HERE


Contact us for Recovery Coaching or Speaking info@recoveringreality.com



Recently I was on a walk with my two and three year old boys. Our family walks have been limited the last two months, partially because of Ohio's bad weather, but mostly out of respect for our nation's response to the COVID pandemic.


My boys have sat by the door crying on days because they want to be free and run around the near by park, but caution tape is draped across the playground. Even on days when we did decide to stroll the neighborhood, some neighbors won't go with 10 ft of people.


A few days ago we had some decent weather so we decided to walk around the block and let our boys be boys and run around. As we were making our way through the neighborhood we were coming up on a house where a mother, father and their 3 yr boy were out front playing.


As the boy saw my two boys joy filled his face. What happened next was amazing.


This particular house had small American flags planted all over the front yard in celebration of Memorial Day. This young boy pulled two flags out of the ground and ran to my boys holding the two small symbols of freedom.


The mother of course asked, "Is it OK for my son to get close to your boys." We said, "Of course!" So the neighbor boy approached and gave my sons the symbolic gifts of freedom. All three of them then stood and awkwardly looked at each other wanting to play and be friends.


The mother of the neighbor boy said that her son has also stood at the door crying on occasion, wanting to be a child and be outside running around. As we were just about to continue our family walk I witnessed something that nearly made me cry.


The neighbor boy's mother told her son that it was time to go inside, before he obeyed his mom he stopped and looked at his mother. He asked, "Can I hug them?" His mother quickly responded with, "It's probably not a good idea." My wife and I both replied, "If it's OK with you, it's OK with us."


The boy walked to my sons, who were perfect strangers moments ago, and with wide open arms embraced his new friends as tight as he could. My sons were all for it and an external display of the hearts cry for love and human connection was had right there on the sidewalk of rural Midwest America.


Some may be thinking, "That's irresponsible! What about social distancing?" Let's talk about what this isolation and stay at home order has done as the solution, shall we?


A group of California doctors have said that their region as seen more suicide deaths during this lock down then COVID deaths. The state of Tennessee reported that in one week they saw more suicide deaths then COVID deaths.


It's about now that the peanut gallery begins throwing comments like this out, "But this virus is deadly and killing so many!"


The county of San Diego recently reported that their number of 194 COVID deaths, is actually only 6. The CDC also admitted to sending out COVID test kits contaminated with the actual virus. The CDC recently stated that the fatality rate is .26% and 13 times lower then the initial WHO claim.


The state of Colorado dropped its death count by 300 after a lawsuit. This list could go on and on with dozens of similar articles.


With so many questions circulating, it seems clear that the impact of our response to COVID has been far more deadly then COVID. Some areas have seen an domestic violence increase of over 50% during the lock down. The amount of people starving to death during our response to this pandemic has likely doubled.


The number of Americans unemployed is now over 36 million. More then 100,000 small businesses have closed for good, all of this for a virus that has less then a .20% death rate, that's if you even contract it.


Kids little league seasons canceled, public pools closed for the summer, and graduation ceremonies canceled. And those that struggle with drug and alcohol addiction have been relapsing and overdosing at sky rocketing rates.


Still think the lock down was a good idea?



As my two sons embraced a fellow child on the sidewalk of our neighborhood something dawned on me. In the same way that kids need to play with each other, they need to have relationships, they need to run around, and they need love and attention, so do us adults.


We need love. We need someone that will listen and laugh with us. We need to listen to others and bear their burdens. These are basic human needs, and this lock down has revealed that we need these basics nearly as much as oxygen.


I believe we can build healthier communities after this pandemic, but will we remember what we missed and learned during this time?


Will we seek to be united, or will we continue to find ways to divide?


The ripple affects of this lock down will linger in our society's mental health for years to come. But what if we could speed up the healing by making the main thing the main thing again?


The little neighborhood boy that ran to my two boys showed me so much about the human heart that day.


This boy wasn't concerned about what we thought of him, he was more concerned with connection and relationship. His first thought was freedom as ran towards us bearing gifts. He wanted relationship and he needed interaction. He just wanted to hug his friends.


I believe we can speed up the healing process this nation needs by doing what this boy did.


_____________


If you or a loved one are having trouble getting or staying clean and sober, let's talk. We coach people from all over the world into healthy and sustainable recovery. Recovery is worth it, and WE DO RECOVER!


Sign up for 7 days of FREE online Recovery coaching HERE


Contact us for Recovery Coaching or Speaking info@recoveringreality.com




  • Erik Frederickson

Anyone in early recovery will tell you that at times their feelings can be intensely overwhelming. Years of active addiction can have the mind, body, and spirit feeling like it’s been short-circuited.


Depletion of natural serotonin, a draining of the needed daily vitamins that keep us running at optimal levels, and a warped perspective are just a few components of the problem. Good news is that these can all be restored, but it doesn’t happen overnight.


Add to that the dark spiritual reality that people struggling with addiction have subjected themselves to, and it can at times feel like hurricane force winds raging within. But there is hope!


Millions of people, and 1 in 10 Americans, are living free and healed from addiction. A good part of healthy recovery is found in learning how to be in charge of our feelings, rather then our feelings being in charge of us.


Feelings are meant to be simple indicators of how the internal engine is running. Picture your emotions being like the lights on the dashboard that show what needs your attention under the hood.


Feelings are wonderful slaves, but terrible masters. Feelings (or emotions) are rarely a perfectly painted picture of reality, but they can be a pinpoint GPS of the area within us that is in need of some love and attention.

“...emotions are absolutely core to basic human functionality. We need them to operate and perform in the world, as well as interact with other people,” says Tor Wager, Director of the cognitive and effective neuroscience laboratory at the University of Colorado at Boulder, in an article about human emotions.


I remember being 100% clueless to this reality during my 13 years of active addiction. Even in my first year or so of recovery, it took work and intentionality to go from my emotions governing me to me governing my emotions.


Now over 11 years into my recovery from a deadly drug and alcohol addiction I’m not perfect, but I’ve been able to live in peace and health in regards to my emotional well being.



Here are 4 simple tips to build your emotional skill set and IQ



1- Get a mentor, sponsor, coach, therapist, etc...


You need help. If you haven’t been able to fix the problem on your own, chances are you need some feedback and correction from someone that possesses the skill set to get you out of that unhealthy cycle.


It is smart to get connected to someone that lives in a place of healthy recovery and humble yourself and take direction. “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein


2- Honest Journaling


A Harvard study showed that writing lowers stress and anxiety, and even eases the effects of trauma. It’s like popping the top on a can of soda that has been shaken.

Honesty is a BIG key to this tool.


I recall times where I wrote for hours. Still to this day I start everyday writing about what God is speaking, how I'm feeling, my part in my current situations, and what I can do to bring positive change. This action step is a very healthy tool that when put to use can be like a weapon against stress, anxiety, and depression.

3- Prayer


God is not the author of worry and confusion. Emotions are normal and you will always feel them. We were created to experience emotions. But we were also created to be the boss of our emotions, not our emotions being the boss of us.

Ask God for help! Many studies have been done and it is proven that prayer lowers blood pressure, stress, and can bring healing in various ways. 1 Peter 5:7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. (NLT) Relationship and constant connection with God is our lifeline in recovery.


Just like we need a mentor, we need spiritual help even more. General prayer will get general answers, specific prayer will get specific answers. Ask for help and be specific. I’ve always been able to tell the people that spend time praying, it goes hand and hand with being able to be in charge of your feelings.


4- Play the tape all the way through.


When I learned to pause and see the bigger picture of where that surfacing emotion was trying to take me, I was able to decide whether I wanted to take that ride or not.


For more simple, practical, and powerful insights into this topic check out this podcast from The Recovering Reality Podcast - "Understanding "Triggers" - 15 mins


A feeling starts with a thought, how you respond to that thought will determine if that feeling is taking you somewhere productive or unproductive. You are in charge of you, and you have the power to decide whether you will be in charge of you...or if your emotions will be in charge of you.


A balanced and healthy emotional life starts with us.


________


If you or a loved one are having trouble getting or staying clean and sober, let's talk. We coach people from all over the world into healthy and sustainable recovery. Recovery is worth it, and WE DO RECOVER!


Sign up for 7 days of FREE online Recovery coaching HERE


Contact us for Recovery Coaching or Speaking info@recoveringreality.com



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