Recently while having lunch with a fellow recovering person, he mentioned that it doesn't matter what we think but HOW we think. That took a few minutes, hours and day to soak in. Wow! "How!"
So the process is what needs attention and not necessarily the bottom line or what. Best example would be in the BB where it urges me to have a "code" of "love and tolerance". That is a process not a conclusion. It means that I had to and now have to begin to quit judging others in life. I need to focus my attention on the only thing that I can really have any affect on, me. This at times was not and is not terribly easy to do. I certainly grew up with many prejudices that I did not know were even in place.
I found myself beginning to "think, think, think" before I allowed myself to make decisions about people, places or things. I needed to change that instantaneous process I had created of everything in life is wrong except me. As recovery allowed me to move along in life I began to feel better about me and absolutely about others. The thinking process, "how" was changing ever so slowly. There were days or even weeks that I had mental setbacks. Deep brooding or unnecessary anger towards someone. That I know now was and is all fear based. Something is wrong with me. I then have to "root out the cause and condition" that is making me fearful. Repeated annual 4th step inventories and sharing with a sponsor began to have a tremendous effect on my thinking.
The vast changes I needed to make in my thinking did not really come about until long into my recovery time. Somewhere around my 20th year in the recovery process. At that time I was so focused on me and what I thought my new primary problem was, I had driven myself to a major crossroads in life. I was trying very hard to be cognitive of "how" I was thinking but the bottom line was excruciating. I had come to the conclusion that my situation in life had to change but couldn't rationally figure out "how". After 6 months of outside professional therapy by a wonderful person, I was able to see that my thinking process was valid and for once in my life I had indeed been able to ascertain that there were things, very scary things I needed to do for me and no one else.
The individuality of recovery became so apparent to me at this time. My sponsor had kept cautioning me that the answers I was seeking and the process I was trying to instill in myself may not always be the answer for others. Good training for the future. Many sponsee's since then have had the benefit of his counsel and of my intense counseling efforts. I learned a lot about me and my thinking process of "how I think". Today I know that I was at that time www.unity.orgin a "take action or succumb to this illness" state of life.
I made a major change in my life and and at nearly the same time was led to a spiritual philosophy of living that was so dynamic and uplifting that I was truly as the second step says; "...reborn". In my new found life I was to find nearly everything I had ever wanted in life. A new way of thinking was the most profound. Every spiritual axiom that I had tried to incorporate into my life from the "program" began to appear in my life.
Now nearly 20 more years and a number of life changing moments later, I was mildly stunned by my friends remark of; "not what I think but how". It almost seems absurdly simple that if I change my thinking process I will indeed change my life. I think this is exactly what Dr Wayne Dyer wrote a book about. The spiritual philosophy of Unity, www.unity.org has enabled me to utilize my basic life process given to me by the 12 step programs and expand those basic principles far beyond anything I had known. The basic beliefs of Unity which enhance all the spiritual growth I enjoy today are:
2. We are spiritual beings, created in God’s image. The spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good.
3. We create our life experiences through our way of thinking.
4. There is power in affirmative prayer, which we believe increases our connection to God.
5. Knowledge of these spiritual principles is not enough. We must live them.
Am I finished in life studying myself, my motives, my desires? I hope not. Even with all the efforts I have put in to better myself through my thinking, my ego from the subconscious still wins battles. I trust this means this is a life long process. I do know that by my adjusting "how" I think, I have every chance of changing "what" I think. That seems to be the bottom line.
I have a picture on the wall near the desk that is of a beautiful although very creative image of a large cat. The picture is by the artist "Nedobeck". His inscription for this cat reads;
If I can always be aware of "how" I think as opposed to "what" I think, then I think there is a chance that I can live One Day At A Time as; "...mostly just me!". Of course I am aware that "what" I think will usually always give me a clue that "how" I think has become invalid or no good. Oh oh, sounds like another process to write about later. I am beginning to understand what my old timers meant when they used to ask me to; "check my brains at the door."
Love and Light,
aka ezduzit777 on Twitter