Sometimes certain ideologies and clinical approaches become the norm without anyone actually questioning there effectiveness, and when it comes to recovery from drugs and alcohol this point seems to be even more of a reality.
Let's just think through this...
We know that what we agree with in our thinking we grant that thought life to play out through our words and actions. "As a man thinks so is he," it says in Proverbs 23:7. In other words, what I fill my mind with is naturally going to fuel my actions.
For more understanding on this simple topic check out this video from our "The 5 Pillars of Recovery" online coaching course.
One of the struggles I personally had when I came into 12 step programs in early recovery (over 11 yrs ago) was constantly being told that I was always going to have "stinking thinking." I was told that my mind is not a safe neighborhood to be in alone, and all sorts other self defeating statements.
I would agree that if someone's life has considerable issues they are going to need some help in changing their thinking and habits, and early on in that process the mind can be like a dark comic book at times. But it can go away, and it can go away for good.
The starting place for the change is believing it actually can go away, and an entirely new reality can come about in its place.
Just think about it. Why would I approach the process of changing my life with the preconceived notion that I can only change a little?
When I hear people talk about "stress management," or "anger management," I have an obvious question...
Why on earth would you want to learn to manage your stress or anger? Wouldn't you want it gone?
Just because you haven't experienced the true freedom from these debilitating character defects does not mean that true freedom isn't available. Moving towards transformation and healing with the mental agreement that you'll never really be completely free, but hoping you can just learn to manage it, is like trying to lose 50 lbs but believing that you can only lose 20 lbs. And if you work real hard you'll learn to manage the other 30 lbs of extra weight.
Trying to manage my issues is like cooking dinner and saving seats at the table for anger, stress, and bitterness. Why? Why would I deliberately want to keep debilitating ways of thinking and acting close to me?
All that being said, the question moving forward is, "How do you actually get rid of these defects for good?"
Check out this quick podcast for a more expansive view on this topic, and how to begin getting past this mindset and mode of operation.
Here are a few simple tips to begin to get past this trap of trying to keep you anger and stress around by managing it.
The obvious first step is to begin to believe that the anger and stress can leave for good. If that's hard for you, it's OK, it was for me and has been for many others.
1- Find someone that used to struggle with the issue you're struggling with that is now free from it, and ask for help. Some good places to look would be 12 step meetings or church.
2- Someone told me in early recovery to find someone that has what I want in life and do what they did to get it. When I found that person, or those people, that had the peace, confidence, joy, and healthy demeanor I then did what they did to get to that place. I can't expect different results if I'm not willing to take different actions.
3- The most important part to this transformation? Ask God to bring this freedom about in your life, and be sure to add this important part to that prayer...
After asking God to do what only He can do, ask Him what you need to do to position yourself correctly so He can bring about His purposes of freedom in your life.
You can be free from unwanted stress and anger.
I speak from experience, you don't have to manage those defects. You can evict them.
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