Saturday, February 2, 2008

motives revisited

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

In my last entry, I was trying to grapple with what makes a reality and kinda failed at it. What gives me my perceptions of truth? Just what do I base living my life on?

In the not so distant past, I used to base my reality on my perceptions. My brain was telling me that I was alone. That the world and all in it did not care about me. I was depressed, anxious, fearful, and used excessive amounts of alcohol to cope with it all. My best thinking, at that time, took me into a dark lonely cave.

Much has happened since then. I no longer obsess about drinking, about porning. I have been clean and sober for about 22 months. I have a much richer understanding of who I am and what I can become if I keep on this journey towards God.

I still struggle with fear. What creates this fear within me? My thoughts. Someone asked the question, "What would happen if we believed that what we see is determined by the thoughts in our mind"? Do I need to live in this fearful place?

The second line of the Serenity Prayer ask for the courage to change the things I can. What can I change? Only me. That is the only control I have. Can I change my thinking and thus change my perception of reality? Yes I can. Since I have come into 12 step programs, all that has changed in my world is my thinking. My circumstances are still the same (there is considerably less chaos though). My family and friends are the same (but somehow they have become wiser). My job is the same. I do have a new group of loving supportive friends in AA as well that help show me when my thinking becomes a stinking.

I am tempted to believe that I am upset because of what other people do or because of circumstance and events which seem beyond my control. I may experience being upset as some form of anger, jealousy, resentment or depression. Actually, all of these feelings represent some form of fear that I am experiencing. When I recognize that I always have the choice between being fearful or experiencing Love by extending Love to others, I need no longer be upset for any reason.
Jamposky, Gerald (1979), Love is Letting Go of Fear, pg 73, Celestial Arts

The courage to change the way I think. To stop trusting in myself, to trust in my Higher Power, and in the love and support of others. Not to base my reality on negativity, but on God.

One day at a time.


johno said...

the steps do not eliminate fear ENTIRELY, we just become willing to let go of the fear so that it doesnt drive our actions.

Have you spoken with your sponsor about your fears? Are they rational or irrational?

Are they paranoia or real?

Depending on which, we need an internal or maybe an external change.

Fear will always pop, your attitude to it needs changing, as with many things, we need often need a Higher Power, steps, experience strength and hope of others who walk the path before us, to provide us with that Power we are lacking.

Anonymous said...

In working the steps I have been able to let go of a lot of my fears of the unknown, what is gonna happen now sort of thing,in believing in a Power greater than myself. Now most of my fear is simply ego based. Fear of being wrong or not liked, of being humbled, making an ass out of myself, finding out I'm not as perfect as I thought I was. Knowing this makes me look at what I am afraid of and asking myself, honestly, why? Thats where my sponsor comes in. The answer is usually because I think it's all about me (ego). God reveals these things to us when it is time for us to work on them. After we work on them, it is still in his time that these "defects of character" are removed. Not in ours. Keep doing what you are doing and the answers will come. God Bless.

dAAve said...

Nothing wrong with trusting your thinking, but it won't hurt to run it by an objective person from time to time. Recovery gives us the ability to think on our own feet.

indistinct said...

johno, I have spoken at length with my sponsor over the problems of fears. My fears are based on projecting past events onto the future, reliving them over and over. The change needed is internal. To trust in God's vision for today and for the future. Not my vision. My sponsor tells me everytime we met that time takes time. That the serenity I seek will come only if I spend time doing the work. Only if I loose the expectations of quick change. To trust in my Higher Power to do the work. Thanks for sharing.

dirtydishes, I agree. When I did my fear inventory, it was all about me. poor poor me. It became all so clear. Thanks for pointing out that these "defects of character" are removed in God's time, not when I want them to. We are blessed to be in this program together, thanks for sharing.

Thanks Daave, I've learned that to go out with my thinking without checked the thoughts out with someone else can invite chaos back into my life. It can no longer be just me trusting me. It's about trusting in the wisdom of my sponsor, my home group, my family, my co-workers, my blogging friends. It's about us. Thanks for sharing.