Tonya,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  Jan 2nd was my birthday.  I am now a big six-oh and am very
pleased to tell you that things just keep getting better and better as you
age.

It sounds like you have already done a lot with your life.  You have given
life to a son (a true miracle), have a stable relationship (a miracle these
days) and are now smart enough to know what's good for you and what isn't.
That knowledge doesn't make actually doing the right thing any easier, but
it does give you an inner strength that can help you through the worst of
times.

It's a trite saying, but a true one:  'Today is the first day of the rest of
your life'.  You can do ANYTHING you want.  Changes in habits are not
gradual things.  They happen in an instant.  You might say like computers
they are binary.  You either do them or you don't.  As far as WANTING to do
them, or CRAVING to do them - loss of those feelings are gradual.  But the
good news on those is they get better everyday.

I sincerely wish you a Happy New Year, Happy Birthday, and most of all a
Happy Rest-Of-Your-Life...

...Bill!

Tonya Cruz <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
  The following is an entry in my Zen Journey blog that I would like to
share
with you all. I wrote this as part of my Birthday Cleansing Ritual.

Cleansing my soul 
Ok so it is January 6th my birthday was over 2 minutes ago. I turned 35 and
feel so damn depressed because I have not done anything with my life. My
biggest accomplishment is having a beautiful son and a stable relationship.
Tonight my brother grabbed the garbage can and said "just another year of
garbage" that really hurt me and has got me to thinking how f.... Up I have
made things for myself. I have been an alcoholic, a cocaine addict, a (b...)
and a lazy-ass. I make excuses for everything and pretend all is good when
it isn't. I am battling a cocaine demon that just feels like he is gonna win
this battle. I am trying to make peace with my self and put my issues in the
past. I feel like I have failed so many people, especially my mom.
As a Buddhist I should not cling to these feelings, but right now I can't
help it. My heart and soul are heavy with sadness and sorrow, full of
regrets and dismay. I don't know how to rid myself of the guilt, the pain,
the anger, and the regret. How do I forgive myself and let it go? 
I want to use all the experienceI I have gained as a stepping stone to a
better life. I hope that at 35 I can let the past go and send it away
forever. I can't look to a better tomorrow if I keep crying about yesterday.

Please, Lord Buddha I ask that you guide me on this new journey and help me
avoid the temptations that can mess things up for me.

Thanks for letting me share




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