- Step 4 - Wasn't it because self-reliance failed us?

Step 4 - Wasn't it because self-reliance failed us?




12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.

Postby Dallas » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:12 am

I understand, Jim! I hope I didn't write in a way that gave a misunderstanding... I seem to have a knack for not writing clear enough.

Didn't mean to give an impression that I was referring to you with what I wrote. Please accept my apologies and offer of amends to go back and correct or clarify what I wrote -- if I screwed up. I admire you, I admire your understanding, your experience and your knowlege, and I admire what you do, how you do it, and I learn a lot through you!!!

Dallas
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Postby Bensober » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:45 pm

Hi All.... Been Too Long! What a "Meatie/Great-Post"!

Part of this question to me really realtes to Willow's Q.#2 "2. In what ways do you consider yourself an inadequate person"? For me (if I understand the question correctly) also can be related to seeking pleasure to avoid pain. I'm not always able to see that my alcoholic mind is avoiding or embracing reality. When it doesn't... usually later I noticed that I acted on some kind of fear when I made some kind of a flippant, egotistical, and/or arrogant response. It really is like drinking when I do this because my alcoholic mind takes over and I avoid reality like it where the plage and react to it according to my own inadequacys.
What really hit and at times still hits me hard in working through these Steps, especially in Steps 6 & 7 is that my sponsor pointed out how much of a "social retard" I was.

The reality is that I was inadequate!!! and how soooooooo.... much I needed to do some real work on building my strenghts. This made things more simple to not look at myself as inadequate but look at what I do and don't have as strenghts in a realistic way. The AA "I'm not enough" syndrome I believe comes from not owning inadequacies and doing the real work to begin building what the real strenghts are.

Not the cure...but one of my streanghts is reconizing that I don't fully understand all questions...He...He....
Love & Miss U All:-)

Ben H.
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Postby Jim W » Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:05 pm

Dallas wrote:I understand, Jim! I hope I didn't write in a way that gave a misunderstanding... I seem to have a knack for not writing clear enough.

Didn't mean to give an impression that I was referring to you with what I wrote. Please accept my apologies and offer of amends to go back and correct or clarify what I wrote -- if I screwed up. I admire you, I admire your understanding, your experience and your knowlege, and I admire what you do, how you do it, and I learn a lot through you!!!

Dallas


No problem Dallas. I understand completely that it is easy to turn this into a program of self-improvement rather than a program of self-abandonment. I've seen people that are always working on themselves in A.A. They turn the inventory process into an exercise in self-obsession.

Don P. used to say that a business that never takes inventory will go broke but a business that is always taking inventory will go broke too because it is never open for business.

Hope you had a good Thanksgiving!
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Postby Dallas » Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:10 pm

I do admit -- that I use it for self-improvement, too. As I understand this deal -- the first thing I needed to do was be rid of the self that I had. Turned around. Transformed. Cleaned house. Carry the message. Be of service. And, grow and recreate my life. If I'm going to use these principles in "all my affairs"... I need to have some affairs to practice them in. Grow in understanding & effectiveness. My gift from God has been my life -- and everything else I've had to work for. I'm pretty happy w/ the self that I have now. I better be -- it's the only one I've got! :lol:

Self-neglect and self-abuse and self-abandonement which eventually became self-hate ... were the character defects that drove me to the bottle and beyond. And, now that the old self is gone -- I want to do all that I can that's good for the new one that I got in exchange.

Dallas
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Postby Toast » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:01 am

Hi, enjoyed the recent topic.

As Shakespeare said 'its better to have self love than self loathing' :wink:
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Postby Jim W » Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:07 am

By self-abandonment I mean the emptying of the self. Getting rid of the old small-self so that room can me made for the true Self.

I've heard it said that real self love is doing what you know to be good for you.
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Postby Dallas » Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:25 pm

This is why I prefer to stay into action rather than into thinking.

Simple: if I'm thinking of doing anything w/ Self -- getting rid of, improving, etceteras -- I'm being Self-obsessed and Self-centered. I'm Self-defeating myself and self-defeating the actions I take to not be thinking about my Self.

I believe that the primary objectives of the actions of the 12 Steps is: to get my mind off of thinking about myself. If I'm not thinking about myself -- I'll automatically be having spiritual experiences. If I'm not thinking about myself -- I'll automatically get better and recover. By not focusing on myself -- I'm getting out of God's way (Life) of healing me.

Example: Let's say I'm trying to be less self-centered. If that's my focus and my objective -- what's my mind focused on? Self. :lol:

Now, let's say that my focus is on taking actions -- that will cause me to be thinking about myself less? Example: Being of service. Thinking of others. Trying to help another alcoholic that's having a tough time. Where will my mind be focused? It will be focused "Off of my Self" and the net result will be: that I'm actually be-ing less Self-centered.

This is why I don't even like discussing Self. It isn't necessary. It's like discussing my drunk-a-logs. How can discussing my drunk-a-logs help me or others? It focuses my mind on drinking -- rather than focusing my mind on Sobriety.

There is no way to discuss Self -- without being Self-ish and thinking about Self. :lol:

Action is the magic! Focus on taking actions. Focus on Do-ing. What we Do is what we Be-come.

Dallas
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Postby Dallas » Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:37 pm

"So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making.
They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an
extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually
doesn’t think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must
be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! God
makes that possible. And there often seems no way of
entirely getting rid of self without His aid
. Many of us had
moral and philosophical convictions galore, but we could
not live up to them
even though we would have liked to.
Neither could we reduce our self-centeredness much by
wishing or trying on our own power
. We had to have
God’s help.

This is the how and why of it. First of all, we had to quit
playing God. It didn’t work. Next, we decided that hereafter
in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director.
He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is the Father, and
we are His children. Most good ideas are simple, and this
concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch
through which we passed to freedom." ~pg 62 BB.

Question: "Then... HOW CAN I ACHIEVE THIS?"

Answer: "Next we launched out on a course of vigorous action...," pg 63 BB.

The thing that separates us from God and Others is: Our Actions! It isn't our thinking... or else the Fourth Step would read:
"4. Made a searching and fearless thinking inventory of ourselves."

The reason that Step 4, reads:
"4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves." Is because we want to change our conduct -- our behavior.
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Postby Dallas » Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:49 pm

The 12 Step way of changing our thinking is: by changing our actions. Changing our behavior. Changing our conduct. Changing what we're doing.

This, I believe is also the missing link in "Motivational Psychology" and "Self-Improvement Psychology."

Many of us read tons of Motivation and Self-Improvement books. We'd read the books, go take classes or workshops, where the focus was: "Change your thinking and you will change your life!"

Well... it is true... that if you change your thinking you'll change your life... but we can't "think ourselves into right thinking".

Our problems center in our mind! So, telling someone that's ill -- that has a problem that centers in their mind -- to use their problem-mind to fix it by changing their thoughts -- the problem-mind is not capable of doing this!

Instead... a bunch of drunks found the solution to the problem... But, who in the professional and sane normal world would look at what a bunch of recovered drunks are do-ing to actually achieve the objective of "changing our thinking"? :lol:
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Postby Jim W » Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:36 pm

I think that we are in agreement here Dallas, just saying the same thing in different words is all.
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12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - Step 4 - Wasn't it because self-reliance failed us?