way a fourth step looks in the book. I ve always felt that

in Help Wanted Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:30 am
by wangmin • 219 Posts | 2191 Points

Honesty is the best policy. It is the heart and foundation of change. It is the tool for discovering our nature. The twelve step philosophy operates on the tenet that our actions are the result of our nature. Finding out what our true natures are is the first step on the road to change. Honesty is the key if we are going to take an inventory. The big book says we examine the stock in trade. We will want to have a good picture of where this inventory resides. If we can picture our heads as an enormous warehouse it will help. We want to look at what is stored on the shelves of our brains and if its not serving us get rid of it. The shelves are stacked with ideas. The brains warehouse is so vast that to think we ll clean it up in a few days is just not realistic. What we re after are those items that threaten our immediate future. Those ideas that got us to the place we re at now should go Devin McCourty Salute to Service Jersey , don t you think? These are life threatening and need to be dealt with now. If this wasn t true there would be no pressing need to dive headlong in to this type of rigorous self examination. I have long said in meetings and in talking with individuals that for every addict there is a window of opportunity. It may be that the brain is experiencing a form of shock. Maybe it s exhaustion. Whatever it is no one can say how long it will last. It is within this window we have the opportunity to look at ourselves. The inventory format makes it very simple to locate those things that otherwise would never come into view. We make lists on paper so we can look at them from a better point of view. This point of view concept will become all important to us as we go along, it will become one of our greatest assets. We write down our resentments. An example of a resentment is: (1) I hate him because he stole my girlfriend (2) it makes me feel rage, shame, sadness and fear (3) I want to hurt them, some how harm them (4) I get withdrawn, loud, spiteful, more distrusting of people and life (5) My self image is at stake. My happiness is threatened. My security is threatened. This looks a little different than the way a fourth step looks in the book. I ve always felt that something was missing from the example in the book. This is how I wrote my inventory. It s what worked for me. Pay close attention to item five. Here is the key to discovering the nature of a person who carries this type of resentment. Its not he stealing the girlfriend that caused the anger. Loosing a girlfriend could result in pain from loss of intimacy, could result in loneliness, maybe an examination of motives and people. Probably result in taking a closer look at oneself. Maybe one would realize that sexual attraction clouds our judgments. A healthy result to this ordeal would be (1) you go through it (2) make adjustments in the romance department (3) do something different next time. This would be the behavior of a person with a realistic image of himself. So we see that the difference in nature is the key. We also start to see how the nature and self image may be synonymous. Looking at a resentment broken down this way we notice that something is always being threatened. In this case, if not all, its an image. Images are created by people. They are not universally alike. We create them from ideas and we do this, for the most part, unconsciously. This particular image is dependent on other people for its emotional state. This person has an unrealistic self image. Why not say dysfunctional? The description or definition we commonly use for dysfunctional simply looks at functionality from a societal system perspective. In that system, not all unrealistic images are dysfunctional. In fact some of the most unrealistic self images are the best functioning with respect to societal success. But lets stick to how this is unrealistic. Our subject has identified himself as a victim: they make me this way. The problem with this victim idea, which always manifests as self pity, is that it is constructed on the unreal. First it s assumed that it s possible for others to make us feel a certain way, which is a fantasy. Feelings are not caused by them , they re caused by thoughts. Feelings come from thoughts, thoughts stem from those ideas that run in our brains like automatic guidance systems. In order to change our nature we must understand its cause. This is where the vast amount of people drop out. Another group will mouth acceptance but never deal with the dependency issue. These ones will live in one degree of emotional turmoil or another for the rest of their lives. Riding this emotional roller coaster is very painful. It s also completely unnecessary. This failure to deal with the nature causes all relapse. If you have never made an inventory of this type, this is a good place to stop and get a pencil and paper. Doesn t matter what your particular case is. It s beneficial for anyone who breathes air. Honesty provides the means to see the symptoms of our nature. We start to gain understanding of our nature by looking at the symptoms. Honesty allows us to see them. Honesty allows us to admit to them. More honesty lets us accept responsibility for them. This can be seen as a great unburdening. Unburdening because from now on we don t have to deal with the idea that emotions are coming at us from outside; people, situations, the weather and so on. The principle of honesty is making it possible to get what is most likely our first clear unprejudiced look at ourselves. We only need deal with our brain because that s where all things of this nature come from. Being convinced of this is what s needed to make the rest of the program work. Once accepted the only decision we have to make is, do I like this or not. No longer must we try and adjust the world. We cease fighting anyone or anything . The practice for changing is this: whenever I feel an emotion (symptom) arise that is triggered by an outside condition I say, my brain is think.

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