Step 2 Part 3: Ideas, emotions and attitudes from my addiction.
I’m not the biggest fan of looking backward and am at peace with my past today. However, my sponsor asked me to complete a full page on this part and I am doing as I am suggested to do because she knows better how to stay sober than I do.
I will still premise this by saying that I DO NOT REGRET NOR WOULD I CHANGE ANY of my past mistakes because they made me the person I am today and God put me through my trials in life for His Reasons.
I was selfish, self centered, and self seeking in my addiction even when I thought I was not. Using drugs/alcohol while being a parent even if it was after they were asleep was/is not healthy or being a good parent/example for my children. I put my needs above M’s and while he stayed with me sober since before I met him I was toxic for his sobriety and life and thank God he stuck by me but I was selfish in allowing him to. I put my parents/family/friends through hell with worry and no matter what they did as a result I am to responsible for causing them pain.
I experienced psychosis because of using and at one point thought Jesus was tugging at my “Earthly belongings” including my clothes to remove them and so I did and proceeded to walk naked down the sidewalk during rush hour traffic believing I was going to walk to my grandmothers miles and miles away. *Thankfully the EMTs picked me up about a mile down the road. And took me to get the help I needed. I was fully drug/alcohol free but experiencing psychosis from using/trauma I had just gone through.*
I believed I was a functioning addict/alcoholic because for the longest time I had everything I needed in life while in my addiction and it was only taken away when people realized after I’d already quit on my own.
I didn’t have a connection/relationship with my HP no matter how hard I tried to get spiritually fit while a dry drunk for 5 years and using here and there something was blocking that. Now I know it was the using/drinking that was the block.
The “pink cloud” and believing I was the second coming of Christ (aided by a toxic party trying to use me for her gain) or on the Truman Show.
What I was looking for in my using/drinking I’ve found in sobriety. Pretty crazy but its amazing.
Step 2 Part 4: Opposites of step 2 part 3’s emotions, attitudes and ideas:
Positives. Love everyone anyways, always. Look for the positives. Reframing negative thinking/thoughts comes naturally now. Self love – putting God first, myself second thus first, and my family third thus first. Thy will, not mine, be done. Letting my HP guide me/direct me what the next right decision/action is.
I only have control over my actions, reactions, and thoughts, no one or anything else in this world or my life. I choose to be happy and serene.
Time takes time and I’ve got time even thought it isn’t always comfortable to be patient especially for things I did/do not and my daughters did/do not deserve. I’ve come to realize they are only kids for 18 short years and I already got to experience and enjoy the majority of those years with them everyday and mostly just the three of us. Right now they’re seeing the other adults in their lives for what they are and I never have to say anything negative about these people to them like they do to my daughters about me. I raised my girls in their most formative years with love and teaching them self love and knowing they can NEVER disappoint or upset me with them. So even if it takes ANOTHER 2 years to see them (which God willing it won’t) our bond is strong enough to withstand and always has been. They know I love and miss them and think of them every single day. And God is protecting them while I can’t right now. Choosing to be patient and try to wait for change was my way of protecting them from having to hear lies and awful things and fights about/over my by their other adults so that my girls could have better childhoods for it.
My past – every aspect good/bad/indifferent – and each day’s happenings are in God’s hands and needed/happened/are happening for His Reasons and I have no regrets or resentments or pain from anything today. The lessons He needed me to learn I’ve learned and I know my part in even the stuff I wasn’t the “offending party/bad guy” in and today I know my side of the street is clean and I’m doing my part and listening to and talking to God is legitimate now.
Even when something upsets me today I am still full of serenity and peace because God is directing me. And I can see and understand other people’s side/POV/perspective even when/if I don’t agree and have empathy and compassion for them and be understanding and helpful. I love everyone and judge no one. And its genuine and real in a way I can’t describe with words. My HP is real. No stupid pink cloud BS that is liable to pop and send me back down the rabbit hole or foggy brain or uncertainty this time.
I never have to/want to use or drink or be codependent/dependent on anything/anyone and so long as I continue to depend on and talk to my HP daily, regularly and follow His direction I will be okay.
My Higher Power (HP) started off as a waterfall/or mountain. Today 03-13-2023 and for the last short while (a couple years now) my HP is my best friend, Father, confidant, mentor, and I often refer to Him as TED but call Him God as well. I am a daughter of God and I’m finally letting him take the wheel in the car of my life.
He is NOT the “feared” God of religion. He is all love and I finally am able to really hear His guidance daily in my life because I’m asking for it and talking to him. I’m genuinely asking numerous times a day/whenever needing to make a decision I’m even a little unsure about for direction and “Thy will, not mine, be done.” And He guides me. And today since I am clean/sober I can hear/listen to His guidance and not question or wonder if I am fooling myself like I have done in the past.
I feel God’s love flowing through me and directing me to people who need Him and where I can be helpful. God gives me the purpose I’ve been searching for and the serenity and peace to be with myself and fully love/know/respect myself today.
My God is all powerful and all knowing and nothing happens in my life by mistake. My God will not/does not give me more than I can/am able to handle. Every aspect of my past happened for God’s Reasons and I am no longer resentful or upset or feel any negativity or obsess over my past mistakes/life lessons/failures/embarrassments nor do I blame anyone/anything/God for any hurts/betrayals/other people’s unkind choices/my fuckups/anything from my past and I can fully see the role I played in every aspect of my shortcomings/missteps/negative situations/life and forgive all those who have harmed/hurt me/my daughters and even see their possible good intentions/motives even when the outcome proved otherwise in the end.
My HP is kindness, acceptance, tolerance, and understanding. He does not judge me or anyone and neither do/should I because we are all the sons and daughters of God. My HP is not religious but he understands and appreciates the good intentions of religion and doesn’t care how we heal just wants to heal all His children through us.
Step 2 Part 2: What my God is not?
To blame. To give me material things. In control of my choices, actions, and behaviors. Going to do the work for me. To be feared/fear. A joke or copout or lie or a maybe. Going to force me or chase me (but He will always be there). Judgmental or unforgiving. Religion or religious.
Before I got a sponsor or at least started actively working with her I knew enough about the program of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)- of which I am a member and for me I have no issue breaking anonymity but I will ALWAYS respect the anonymity of others in the program -to get started working my steps right out of the gate. So I made a gratitude list (as I have done many times when I feel my life is unmanageable/I need to settle my brain and thinking down). I think sharing my step work can/may be able to show another person how simple the “design for living” in AA is and hopefully somewhere/someday (or not) someone suffering can see there is a way out.
So without further ado my GRATITUDE LIST 03/07/2023 (9 days into my sobriety this time around):
*Usually folks say to do a list of 5 which is what I’ve usually done/do but if you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten I’ve heard so I did 10 in order of importance in my life*
My Higher Power, I call him Ted/God and having a REAL relationship with him today.
Me, ALIVE, SANE, SOBER, WILLING
My kiddos health and happiness and knowing and trusting my HP is protecting my girls while they’re fathers continue to “hide them” from me going on 2 years yesterday. My son being born amazingly perfect and super smart and him having the dad that he does who is number 4.
M’s love and understanding and support and unconditionally loving me anyway even when I thought he didn’t care/was indifferent. Him continuing to have faith and support my crazy ass while I was a dry drunk for 5 years (in meetings not working a program) and still getting high on dry goods (drugs) while he stayed sober since before I met him.
My dad and my lil brother for almost always loving me anyway and supporting me through it all.
AA and the fellowship, my chosen family, and the new friends I’m meeting and the old friends who never gave up on me.
Forgiving myself and loving myself unconditionally always. And knowing my human fallibility and being okay with my mistakes.
Knowing I’m worthwhile and respecting myself fully and creating healthy boundaries in my life today.
Learning to get boundaries.
Life and living life on life’s (God’s) terms today. Turning my will over to the God of my understanding each morning and letting He who has all power have all power direct my life today, knowing He’s got me.
We only have control over ourselves, our thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions. What anyone thinks, feels, says about me is none of my business or my issue. People hurt people because they’re hurting. You could slap me in the face today and I will smile and tell you to have a good day.
Everyone is going through their own shit that we know little/nothing about. Try to remember that when a person hurts/attacks/is rude to you, that’s their issue don’t take it to heart.
However if you’re called an asshole once a day, it’s not you, if you’re being called an asshole multiple times a day it’s you that’s the asshole. No not always but I think you get it.
Strive to be better than yesterday even just the tiniest bit and you’ll be amazed how your life will change.
Be patient with yourself it doesn’t happen overnight or without action and being honest with yourself. And by no means am I trying to say it’s easy but it’s definitely worth the effort, uncomfortableness, and willingness.
Be kind and love all the assholes anyway- you don’t know their story it’s not always your business to anyway and doesn’t matter- do what only you can do and control : be kind, love em anyways, let God take care of the rest!
I hope everyone has a stellar day and helps the healing by just doing others simple kindnesses.
One piece of advice: DON’T WATCH THE NEWS. “They” choose what to show/manipulate us with through the media and this continues to divide us. We need the police – BOYCOTT AND DEFUND THE MEDIA!!
So don’t mind my mistake of thinking step 2 to this in-creation design to a life program was a multi-parter rather this step is the correct one for that aspect but I’m going to try to keep it all in one blog post since I’ve been busy with my crazy life and haven’t gotten to posting in longer than I had meant for.
sTEP 3 is putting this taking control of our thoughts idea into action. I’m not going to lie or sugarcoat it and say that this is by any means easy or a quick fix because it is not! But like anything in like the more we put in the better we get out of things I do believe and have seen work in my life. Also, my anxiety and insomnia nagged my life for the better half of it until I implemented this reprogramming of my thinking and the last handful of years since have been wonderfully free of unnecessary anxiety and I sleep soundly and wholly whenever I want to (like during the day I can nap! and if I want to sleep early I can!!!) and my life is still not easy or where I want it to be. I say “unnecessary” anxiety because anxiety is a necessity to getting things done to an extent and without any I at least became lazy and lacked any and all motivation and I’ve found many a medication regimen that has cured me of anxiety but in turn took away any drive for life and personality that I love about myself with it. We need to have a normal workable amount of anxiety to keep us doing things that need doing just not to the point of overwhelming us and causing us to lose sleep (ie being unable to sleep due to) over. And also I am being clear on the fact that my life still has its shitshow moments or months but I can fully enjoy life while dealing with these things because that is just part of life it isn’t always going to be roses and rainbows or trust the many an addicted millionaire it wouldn’t be as wonderful as we think it would be. We need to have issues to overcome and be able to cope and find happiness within ourselves to not allow those issues to take away from. But alas I digress, which is how I do more often than not and often times comes some brilliant thoughts in doing so so bear with me, or better yet learn with me and teach me what I’m missing too, please!
So this isn’t the hardest part of getting control of my thinking but it was/is the most time-consuming and took the longest of everything else to not just grasp and put into action but then to create a habit and in turn unconsciously or subconsciously do eventually out of. I never realized how negatively I thought and how often I judged people without even realizing I was doing so more often than not until I took on this total overhaul in my thinking. James Allen drives home that everything begins with my thinking and what I allow myself to think is what I allow my life to be and thus my choice and responsibility. THAT challenged me and my lackadaisical way of attempting to overcome my anxiety up until this point in my life. And that my dad had brought this book to my attention very meaningfully having me really take it in – he’d been on me the past few years about taking responsibility for my actions and my life but this really drilled it home. No more excuses! Thank you James Allen for really making clear that I was only harming myself with them anyway!
Part A of Step 3 – Reframing Negative Thoughts
Amongst my research on human thinking and probing into my own thought processes and just day to day thinking I learned that it isn’t just me when it comes to thinking negatively being a more natural and regular way of thinking. Majority of people think more negatively than positively and for whatever reason it has become the more natural way of thinking and this isn’t even going into our judgmental natures as human beings. I doubt that it was always this way and it isn’t everyone by any means that thinks negatively over positively as a majority and what comes more naturally but nowadays it seems to be. So be understanding with yourself as we delve into changing this in this step and don’t get down on yourself if it takes a few go rounds to get this mastered. Also, it takes doing more work inward in the 4th step and beyond, for me at least and I think many will relate, to fully master thinking positive instead of negative as a majority and without consciously doing so which is how we will start by purposefully reframing our thinking.
It goes like this I wake up in the morning and within my waking moments I have an overwhelming amount of thoughts I came to find out, I don’t so much anymore but sometimes I forget to slow them down and at least now they’re mostly positive versus befores onslaught of negativity as soon as I would arise. And it isn’t just big ideas or negative self talk but little things like “my feet hurt” or “my guy didn’t kiss me goodbye before he left for work” [which usually after getting flustered over this thought I’d eventually find out he did but I didn’t fully wake up to remember him doing so so it was a really pointless negative thought and path I’d grumble down frequently] and often things we worry about flood during the first waking moments to start are days off on a very frustrating foot and then it just would seem to pile on as the day progressed. In reality it did because negative thinking attracts more negative thinking and negative thoughts turn into negative actions and attitudes and that does not invite for positivity around me as I embark on the day, quite the opposite. By lunchtime I’ve started to build up a resentment against my man who come to find out had actually kissed and hugged my half awake self AGAIN that morning! Just that thought every morning for about two weeks I had to stop and reframe consciously and I may be giving myself too much credit that one has crept back around from time to time too and I have to overcome it again but that is where this starts. For me the first time working on reframing my thoughts I took a good two months of starting and forgetting and starting again until I finally started creating a habit of doing so and then a few months of still consciously reminding myself often but then subconsciously starting to really see a difference in my thinking becoming more positive out the gate and negative thoughts seeming to reframe themselves when they’d start to crop in. I still have times when I backslide but every time it is just that much easier and faster to get back to the habit and not having to consciously stop and reframe my negative thoughts because I don’t let them get as overwhelming as they used to be in frequency or amount but also because I prefer this way of living with a positive mindset and getting to choose to be happy no matter what.
It is pretty simple of an idea and putting it into practice just takes desire and discipline and not getting down on yourself when you forget to or back slide into negative thinking instead just starting at that point that you realize what you’re doing and stop that next negative thought. I mean literally consciously STOP the first negative thought that comes into your brain big or small doesn’t matter STOP THAT THOUGHT. Maybe you’re thinking as I often did “this isn’t going to work” so lets take that one and while you are stopping this thought focus just on it and weirdly those pestering incessant thoughts can’t get in until you lose focus so now take this negative thought and reframe it into something positive: “giving this idea a try definitely can’t hurt me and even if it isn’t some big life changer I could benefit from thinking more positively” or simply “let’s give something new a try!” However you see this thought being flipped on its head will make sense in your life reword/rework it to fit and then let it go. Now as you do this you’ll notice that that positive thought you reworked it into is followed by more positive thoughts and ideas but at first there often will follow more pessimism or negative refractory thinking. As often as you can each thought you can stop and reframe do so and the next one after that. It sounds tedious and it can be but this will pay off and the more often you practice like anything else in life the better and easier and more second nature it will become. So that is what we do with the basic negative thinking and thoughts that we have on our day to days but even more impacting and difficult to annihilate from our way of thinking is judgmental thinking. . .
Part B of Step 3 – Taking on Judgmental Thinking
So I’m going against what I’d thought to do earlier and going to post this so its not overwhelming and just start working on consciously reframing your thinking and next post we will tackle reframing judgmental thoughts and tackling the more introspective aspect of judgmental thinking.
Like me this idea is a work in progress and I would love to hear any of your ideas or critiques! Have a stellar day and help me spread positivity one kind act at a time, please and thanks a million!!
For thirty-something years I 100% believed I had no control over my constantly-whirring mind and not for nothing – I felt I’d tried everything (therapy, recovery programs, meditation, exercise, hypnosis, melatonin, sleeping pills prescription and otc, teas, journal writing, alcohol, marijuana, harder drugs, reading, exhaustion, sauna/heat therapy/exhaustion, etc et al) and nothing seemed to work. And since I live a life of unabashed honesty (now) I will admit that I didn’t put forth the necessary effort needed for any of those attempts to be fruitful; I do believe that all of the other methods I’ve tried have benefits that aid in what I finally found to work for me… Plus the more mental health help and positive resources and tools I’ve got/I can get the better!
Inspirations Instilled by Intellectuals I 💕
Also, alongside As A Man ThinkethJames Allenhas a plethora of written works that I have found even more wisdom in. The link when you click James Allen here or ^^up there^^ in the previous sentence takes you to his daily meditations and morning and evening reflections from the books he wrote of a year of each (one or the other is actually a compilation of his work put together by his wife after his death but all written by him prior to the end of his life).
Another couple of great authors to read and follow that are of this generation and also write blogs as well as books are: Mark Manson author of his self titled blog markmanson.net and a handful of best selling titles including The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck. ((I just purchased Will the autobiography/memoirs of Will Smith which Mark co-wrote with the superstar and am super excited to see what those two phenomenal brains and introspective personalities put together. Especially after reading <listening to> Green Lights by Matthew McConaughey and having my socks knocked off by the absolutely topnotch quality of his narrative making me not want it to end, I can’t even imagine what Mark and Will have in store for us!!)) & Alfred Jameswhose blogPocket Mindfulnesshas saved my spiralling mind on more than a handful of occasions; it’s as though he’s in my head because the needed post is always right there when I go to his page.
And to be clear these guys do not know of my existence so I’m not pushing anything for monetary or other value or affiliation; I’m just telling you what works for me to live happily even when my life’s a shit show.
Walk With Me Working It; Choosing Happiness IRL(in real life)
Here’s the reality of this step guide situation – I’m giving you the method that worked and works for me day in and day out and after a few years of fine-tuning the nuances and sharpening my toolkit I feel I have it about 50% 100% dialed in for public consumption LOLOL (laughing obnoxiously & lovingly out loud).
“He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.”
But as the world turns and feeling that even in it’s roughest draft of an idea that getting this concept out to any and everyone now and with the help of my Higher Power and folks looking to enhance positive thinking and choose to be happy and give this way a try we will fine tune it to embrace everyone’s quirks and needs along the way. Or more likely, at least in the short term, broaden my track to incorporate all levels of abilities and capabilities.
So without further ado, and putting aside my wavering confidence in what I do know works because I am working it!, Step 2 on our path to simple happiness and choosing so, sounds straightforward enough …. ONWARD to how to start thinking thoughtfully.
I’ve got you!
As described and repeated ad nauseam by Mr. James Allen in my personal Thought Life Bible or as he titled As A Man Thinketh our life starts and ends with our thoughts. The thoughts we think create the actions we do, the reactions we have, and the inaction we avoid; all we do begins with the thinking going on in our head.
After 3 decades of living with my constant, nonstop and oft overwhelming thoughts dancing, sprinting, sometimes spiraling around my brain I could not longer honestly claim that I was not able to control my thinking, that I was victim to my thoughts; Mr James Allen, *fist shaking in mock frustration with the messenger of what has always been while I’ve unhappily been unaware of the fact within my control* annihilated my excuses and victimhood <which was something I wasn’t aware I was not only playing into but was holding fast to because then I wasn’t responsible and I couldn’t change anything…right?! oh but how incredibly wrong I was! and sans first growing pains of disdain at having to own my shit, I am forever grateful that I was wrong; whenever you’re ready to accept ownership of your life we’ll be over here on the other side waiting with open, understanding arms but no pressure this is a “at-your-own-comfort” pace and so long as you’re making an effort to better yourself a little bit each day or whatever measure works for you then you’re making progress toward self-awareness, acceptance and ultimately unconditional self love of a variety that gives you the choice of happiness in any and all circumstances> and in doing so the incorrect beliefs of lifelong uncontrollable anxiety and insoluble insomnia ever pervaded by my anxiety’s acuteness and all the hunkering down I’d done in acceptance of such a miserable existence ruled by unhappy, unkind, unhelpful, repetitive, mocking and negative thoughts more often than the opposite variety had been for naught.
My perspective was completely changed by my interpretation and understanding of the concepts and correlations involving my control over my thinking and thus my control over my life as laid out so simply and basically in As A Man Thinketh.
Thoughts >>> Actions
So now what? I got it but I was still me and my way of thinking was pretty thoroughly ingrained being how I’d done it for thirty plus years. And I wasn’t even unhappy really, looking back with my hindsight 20/20 vision I can see that I also wasn’t happy at all, not actually even though I tried to sell the idea that I was to myself even, while hiding from myself and pretending that my life was shitty because of other people’s doings and causes/unwarranted and unwanted interference which to a large extent was the truth and still is the why and the how of certain happenings and unfairness that was out of my control.
But even in those parts that I may not be to blame for the outcome I played a role somewhere that created where I was at then and factors into where I am at today. At that point in life I wanted to leave the past in the past not for the right reasons but to slam shut the ugly truths that it held about me and my mistakes/missteps/misguided choices shut tight and run fast and far to freedom from their knowing looks and murmurings of my shortcomings and failures that blared loudly even though nonexistent and just a part of my own skewed thinking and thus far negative self talk that weirdly is more natural and the normal than its counterpart of positive self affirmations.
First, I decided, I had to know what my end goal was in making any change to begin with. I figured once I had that no matter how lofty or far off it may be, I could map my way toward it with baby steps and sometimes throwing in the needed sprint when inspiration lit a fire under my tush.
My dad is a goal oriented fella and has always promoted and suggested and reminded me and my brother that the only way to achieve anything is by setting a goal to do so and writing it down. I had avoided doing so for my then thirty plus years and had always known it would be part of the simple happy life I was determined to live yet had no real idea of how to obtain and then maintain said simple happiness. So that is the first part of Thinking Thoughtfully in Step 2 : defining our desired outcome – D.O! D.O!
Defining Our Desired Outcome(s) : : Do!! Do!!
We have arrived at part A of our second step toward choosing happiness and controlling our life and circumstances instead of pandering to what happens TO me. Depending on your way of brainstorming ideas this can be done whatever way is most comfortable and workable for you to come up with the best desirable outcomes (yes plural on purpose!) for your life that you hope to actualize and can foresee your life benefiting from taking back the reigns of control and owning your life from thought to outcome.
Brainstorming techniques I find useful:
Thought Write (I’ve read it called Brain Writing recently)
whatever you’re thinking write it and don’t delete, edit, leave out anything. Write your stream of consciousness. While this may not be the best way to brainstorm goals or specific ideas it will loosen up your creative brain and get words flowing.
Word mapping/Mind mapping/Goal Mapping
Lists. Make lists of lists. Lists of ideas for each area you want to focus on making a change or putting forth more effort.
Word associations/synonyms/word breakdowns – prefix suffix/definitions
this will loosenup your rather than writing your ideas sketch/doodle/draw out what ideas come to mind. This can broaden and expand initial ideas especially for us less drawing capable bc our attempt to draw an idea may come out in such an abstract fashion as to extract different ideas from your artwork.
No matter what enjoy the process. There are no right or wrong answers or goals. This isn’t about or for anyone but you.
For more brainstorming ideas Google some variation of “list of brainstorming techniques” adding in “for goal setting” or other specificities will help get more than just the repeat copycats in your search results and since you can Google as easily as I can I’m not going to regurgitate them here.
In case you aren’t one to pay attention to images (since I often am that type with all the ads constantly sneak-attacking what I’m reading so that I click them by accident!) and/or my lack of proofreading and double checking that my shared images are able to be viewed at the proper size necessary to read any text on them depending on the screen size you may be utilizing to do so and/or just to be thorough 😉 here are the goals I set and have met and/or am still working toward obtaining:
take control of my thinking
reduce/eliminate unnecessary anxiety
overcome insomnia caused by incessant thoughts
disprove mental health diagnosis (misdiagnosis)
control how I allow my emotions/feelings to affect me and my current state of happiness
regain self confidence
know my worth and act accordingly
set and stick by boundaries in all my relationships
learn to control my reactions
let go of worry/care of other peoples’ feelings and/or judgments about me
disprove the liars/lies used against me to take my daughters
stop allowing negative people and toxic relationships headspace
take responsibility for and control of my actions
own my shit 100% and forgive myself my mistakes and shortcomings
love and accept myself completely and honestly flaws, faults and fuckups included
when the courts open up with COVID ending (fingers-crossed) get my butt in there and get my daughters back home and safe
be a positive role model for my girls and show them that it’s okay to be fallible and own my mistakes so long as I try
I’d love to hear some of your goals in the comments or direct message me if you’d prefer. I based my categories around those aspects of life that are within our control, which I either hadn’t really been taught or had forgotten and subsequently fallen into feeling like a victim to my circumstances and life’s “unfair” treatment. What I’ve come to learn or remember/relearn is that the only things we have control over in life are our own thoughts (I promise it is possible!! Next part of this step is the how of it!!), our actions and reactions, our attitudes and behaviors, our mindset and perspectives, the words we use and the tone with which we use them, our amount of effort we put forth and the choices and decisions that are ours to make, and how we feel and to what degree we allow our emotions to affect our state of being.
Boohoo Me was a clever little manipulator always able to find ways to get my way and do so without upsetting the people I was stepping on to do so; it took this complete overhaul of my personality and finally meeting a man who wouldn’t cosign my bullshitting ways -plus a bit of wisdom and self introspection- to finally see the narcissistic tendencies and victim role I had played unwittingly for so long. While I wasn’t the type to harm others mainly because I didn’t want to experience the fallout that could possibly create for me I wasn’t living as the person I believed myself to be and want to be and role model I want to be for my children.
I’ve raised my daughters and will continue raising my son and my girls to accept everyone, not be judgmental and love themselves always. After going through the process of owning my life, the good the bad and the ugly and learning to control and utilize my thinking thoughtfully to be happy within myself independent of my circumstances, I now walk the walk AND talk the talk. I’m a firm believer in practicing what you preach and find “do as I say not as I do”ers an incredibly frustrating bunch especially as co-parents!
The Thought Life as I like to think of this in-the-works quasi-life program geared toward anyone wanting to live a simply happy life and have the choice to be happy despite anything life throws at them, is also inspired by AA and NA’s 12 Step programs and can go hand in hand with any of the Anonymous step programs and will have some similarities but without the focus on addiction and alcoholism (or codependency, overeating, etc et al) but rather can help anyone take back control and stop giving outside forces the power that only we should have over ourselves, and just have to choose to practice self acceptance and taking responsibility for our lives to do so.
So for step 1 in my previous blog post I gave the simple task of listening to/reading As A Man Thinketh by James Allen in it’s entirety in one sitting (preferably but so long as you read/listened to the whole book however you accomplished it is fine and works). I don’t expect that you had the same experience or epiphany that I did, although if you did too that wouldn’t surprise me as it has had a huge impact on a few people I’ve recommended it to who actually heeded my recommendation. It’s a very old book and the author is unapologetically redundant, I think with a purpose, which he succeeded in doing, in driving home his message. So did you get it?
Mr. Allen gives examples of how thought affects every aspect of our lives and of our selves. He explains best in the book’s forward:
“It is suggestive rather than explanatory, its object being to stimulate men and women to the discovery and perception of the truth that— ‘They themselves are makers of themselves.’ — by virtue of the thoughts, which they choose and encourage; that mind is the master-weaver, both of the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstance, and that, as they may have hitherto woven in ignorance and pain they may now weave in enlightenment and happiness.”
From the day I read this book my life was and is forever changed in the best of ways. Of course as is life it wasn’t simply having the knowledge of how my thoughts affect everything in my life and in themselves create my world that brought about my ability to choose happiness every day; that took action and training my thinking. Which is the third step in how I took control of my thinking and have found consistent happiness despite, and often in spite of, my circumstances. Next up, and importantly before any real work towards our goals is started we must figure out what we are striving for personally and define our desired outcomes aka D.o! D.o!
Step 1 Choose Happiness introduction to the Thought Life by way of Jame’s Allen’s As A Man Thinketh