"We will intuitively
know how to handle situations which used to
baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us
what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They
are being fulfilled among us â€” sometimes quickly, sometimes
slowly. They will always materialize if we work
~ page 84, Alcoholics Anonymous
Sometims quckly. Sometimes slowly. Most often, for me? Inrementally!
One of my thoughts that I would constantly use to clobber myself was: "I'm just not getting this fast enough! I need to change now! I can't wait! I need to recover faster! Why aren't I making ANY progress?"
Then, my sponsor would gently remind me... "Your problems didn't happen over-night, and the solution most often doesn't happen over-night either." He said "You've spent years creating some of these problems -- and, it's unrealistic to expect them to vanish over-night." Often, he would follow through with something like, "Did you drink today?" And, I'd reply, "Of course not!" Then, he'd say "Well. I call that progress. How about you?" I could see his point... but more than once my response was... "but, but, but, but..." this or that!
Then, he'd come off with a question like: "Are you aware of how the inside of an asshole communicates with the outside world?" "Butt, butt, butt... do you want to appear like an asshole communicating with the outside world? If not -- then, I suggest you get off your buts!"
He went on to say, "For me, my changes have been incremental. Very slowly. Often, painfully slow. However, over time, the changes did materialise -- as long as I was working for them. That's the only thing you're expected to do. To work for them. And, as long as you're working for them, these things shall pass. Sometimes quickly. Sometimes slowly. Most often -- incrementally."
He said, "you look at the big things that you see happening in life -- and, you don't consider the slow, painful, and incremental days, weeks, months, and sometimes years of little tiny details, that led them to becoming a big thing."
I then, discovered, by observation, that I often referred to the "ANY" as my judgement of the facts of my reality. My life-thinking was governed by "ALL or NOTHING" -- "ANY or NONE" -- "SUCCESS or FAILURE". Black and white. Right or wrong. No colors. No shades of gray. Perfection or nothing. Progress, especially if it was miniscule -- was not a reality of moving forward, it was still my evidence that proved nothing at ALL!
I began to keep a little pocket notebook, and each time I noticed that I was using my "ALL or NOTHING" thinking... or the "ANY or NOTHING" thinking.... I would write it down in my little notebook.
When a time was convenient and I could relax, I'd go over my notes. And, as I'd go over my notes, I'd ask myself questions like: "Dallas, you said that you were totally broke" ... "did you have any money at all?" And, my answer would invariable be: "Yes. I did have SOME money..." So, the conclusion was: "I was wrong. I wasn't "totally broke" and I wasn't even "broke"... because I did have SOME money. (Just not enough of it!)
I discovered a number of areas in my life where I was doing the same thing. When someone would say something that would turn out to be wrong... I would have a frequent tendency to conclude, "That person lied to me! They're ALWAYS lieing to me!!!"
Then, I'd ask myself "ALWAYS?"
And, I'd follow it up with: "Have they EVER told me the truth?" If they had told me just one simple tiny truth... then, I was wrong about it... they were not ALWAYS being dishonest with me.
As I began to take the effort to notice these small things that I was saying to myself... and trying to work towards changing them... I began to see larger changes in my life. I was finally able to see that I REALLY WAS making SOME progress! I wasn't ALL bad... because of some little things. And, life was not ALL bad... because of the tiny or the large things! There was ALWAYS -- something.... that was good!
Once I began to change a little bit, and became able to see the little bits of good... I began to see more of the good.
I learned that in my little world... the things that I would think about... seemed to be automatically manifesting themselves in my life. When my focus was on the negative... and the ALL or NOTHING... I would manifest more negativity and experience more of the nothing! And, the nothing... would slowly grow into big somethings... that I didn't like!
Then, I discovered another little trick to add to my tiny bag of "Magic Tricks for Living"... it was: "Keep my mind focused on what I want and off of what I don't want... and I'll automatically end up with more of what I want!" Simple. Easy. Something small, that I could work on. Something small that I could do... that eventually began to change "One Thought At A Time" in my thinking! And, as my thinking changed... my world began to express and demonstrate the change!