8 Questions to Stay on Track
From the Sober Times Newsletter
1) Who am I recovering for? If it’s for the spouse, job, court, a cause, or friend/associate I may be missing the mark and have to re-think or redo the whole thing. Experience teaches that sobriety only works, or keeps working, when we do it for ourselves.
2) What am I resisting? Wherever I find resistance that is where the opportunity for the most growth is. If I am not sure of what I am resisting I just listen to my heart, actually my gut, because when it clenches that’s where the opportunity for the most growth lies.
3) What is the lesson here? I need to remain the student. As soon as I begin to think I’m the teacher I get in trouble. When I just do my work, and do it well, and leave the teaching to God I am most happy and others may benefit from my efforts.
4) What am I not doing that needs to be done? In not doing I may be lacking the “action” part of the program. “Faith without works is dead.” All the knowledge and insight in the world are useless without action. Action is an “absolute” for us in recovery. We have blind spots, even after double-digit years of sobriety, that block us from taking action. We may require a firm but loving person to help us out with this.
5) Am I losing my energy to this? We pay a price for every negative thought we express, or entertain. It’s measured in decreased energy, heightened depressions, indifference, anxiety disorders, insomnia, headaches, high blood pressure, chronic, sometimes serious health problems. We may believe otherwise, but we have to reach the place in sobriety where anger, frustration, worry, and criticism have no place in our daily experience. Until we do, we are losing energy, diluting our focus, and rendering ourselves vulnerable to incoming negative energy that results in negative outcomes.
6) Whom am I giving my power to? This is one of my favorites . . . Is it God? If it is I will surely get God’s Power Back. My power is basically my actions and where my thoughts focus or repeat; that’s where I am investing my energy. For example, holding on to something I need to let go of is giving my power away; holding resentments, not letting go of attachments, (aka addictions) is giving my power away; reacting to another person’s complaints or criticism or negative behaviors is giving my power away to that person; trying to control others or the outcome of my efforts (or non efforts/non-action) or dealing with them, is giving my power away to that person or thing. The subtle and secret fact is when I don’t react, I GROW. Are you “Willing to Grow?”
7) Who’s in control? Control is a big issue for most of us in sobriety, especially when we feel we don’t have it. We want to feel in control. However, many things in life are not within our control. So who’s driving the bus? May I suggest that there is a step beyond control? It transcends egotistical and e bondage to the illusion of control. If we recognize that ultimately we are NOT in control, that we are always subject to a Higher Authority, and if we acknowledge that Higher Power, we can get free from the need to always be IN control. I’d rather turn it over to a loving God and then accept what he brings than to waste my time and effort on trying to produce desired effects.
8) Am I at peace with myself? As I have said before, being at peace with myself is when I can look at an issue, person, or problem and feel no subtle or sudden surge of energy/emotion. Being at peace is having closure. It’s also about integrity, and feeling certain that I am not touched by or swayed by another person or thing. What do you need to do to be at peace with yourself?
My thought life is HUGE! I never knew that w/ Gods help, I could learn to take my thoughts captive. I discovered this a few years back when I was falsely accused of something by someone. I kept morbidly reflecting on it and playing and replaying the tape. I googled up “taking thoughts captive” and came w/ a little chart. (It is no longer out there) But I took the chart and added to it. On one side I wrote Godly Thoughts: True, honest, pure, just, love, good rapport, virtuous, praise, peace, joy, patience, and kindness. On the opposite side I wrote The Devils thoughts, or enemy, or wrong, etc. and wrote in: lies, negativity, dishonesty, deception, secretive, controller, manipulative, gossip, unclean, sinful, idolatry, filthy, hatred, jealousy, victimized, distrusting, comparison of others, self righteous, questioning God, suspicious of others, ugly, self hatred, hardness of heart, unloving, slander, judgement, criticism, filthy communication, blasphemy, wrath, anger, malice, lying, cowardly, prideful, unthankful, complaining, unbelieving, impatient, and selfishness. I am sure there are a lot more out there for either side, but when i was done, I laminated it and hung it up in my kitchen so when I wash dishes I can look it over and make sure my thought life is falling in step w/ the correct side. 🙂
What a great idea! I’d love to see a copy of your list. April D.