KevinFL wrote:my trouble here is that i dont know what belief or idea that may be, and i didnt get exactly how to "work it backwards" out of what you are saying. how do i know what it is that i need to abandon or turn over?
Kevin - let me share what two people very close to me told me when I asked the same question.
The first one said "You ask too many questions".
The second one said "Some people spend their entire life trying to answer that question."
It took me almost 12 years to get the answer you're seeking when it involved "relationships" with women.
So what and why I'm saying this is to prepare you to hear something you might not want to hear. And your "answer" might not come to you today, this week, this month, this year, or this decade. But if you have a relationship with a Power greater than yourself, and you are willing to "seek to improve" that relationship, I'm pretty sure you'll find some Direction.
What I can share with you is only what has been told to me. I've already told you two things I didn't want to hear, but they were part of the "solution" for me.
Another thing I can share is what I was told early on my path of spirituality. They told me "Whatever answers you need, you already have inside of you."
I can pick out something in your last post that might be sending you in a direction opposite of what you're seeking. Remember what I said about "thinkng outside of the box"?
Let me quote you:
KevinFL wrote:how do i know what it is that i need to abandon or turn over?
To begin to "work it backwards", if it were me, I'd have to start by "forgetting". Your first response to "working it backwards" was "working it forward". Your response suggests to me that you are looking at the "problem" from the "outside looking in". Step 4 teaches me to look at the "problem" from the "inside looking out".
You are asking "What do I need to let go of?" which looks like you're focused on the "external" - the "thing" you need to let go of.
The book says it this way: "So our troubles, we think, are of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he ususally doesn't think so."
A way to think "internally" might be to ask "What am I holding on to that is an old idea that is an obstacle to the free flow of grace" in whatever area there is a problem. In other words the problem is not an external thing "What do I need to let go of" - the "problem" is "Paul" (I'm using my name because the MODS don't like me using other people to make a point - use your imagination here)."Paul" is holding on to an old idea that came from within Paul - a "Paulism" - it is a part of Paul not an external thing.
So whatever "it" is that needs to change belongs to you, personally, "the man inside". "It" can be an old idea, a false belief, an irrational fear, but whatever "it" is has "arisen" out of "[your]self". That means it was not there as "a neutral, unbiased fact" to start with - "it" came from within and hung itself on your living room wall, so to speak, with your permission. It came to life and developed a life of its own that was totally apart from "reality".
This is hard stuff because it forces me to focus on things within me where I come up inadequate. These are things that are "bigger than life" within me - my "monsters under the bed".
Now I'll share my personal experience with this issue. The problem was the guilt, shame, and remorse that I carried with me for 12 years for betraying my wife. While I was drinking (I went back out after 6 years sober), I got involved with another woman. I ended up divorcing my wife and abandoning our family. I carried that with me into sobriety for years.
Whenever I thought about "realtionships" with women, I'd call up the past and remember that I ruined a good marriage and broke an "innocent victim's" heart who loved me. I also broke the hearts of my children. I did make amends and still do them today. She forgave me. God forgave me.
But early on - while still drinking, those memories "arose" and "took on a life of their own" and turned into a "Paulism" - a false belief. That belief was "I runied a perfctly good relationship with a good woman who truly loved me with all her heart. I don't deserve another chance. I ruined it once - I'll probably ruin it again".
Over time, as those memories faded, and as I made amends the "Paulism" evolved into a deeper, more profound, "Paulism" - sort of a "Paulism on steroids." My "old idea" evolved into "I am not worthy of any woman's love."
How and why? Because although my wife forgave me and accepted amends, and God forgave me, I never stopped to forgive myself. I held on to an a old idea and it took on a very destructive life of its own that lasted 12 years. It all happened at the unconscious level. Each time I tried get involved with another woman, I couldn't escape that deep-seated uneasiness of the guilt, shame, and remorse, but I no longer knew or understood what it was or where it was coming from. I went through the 12 steps and had a spiritual awakening, and I was "transformed" into another man who would never do the same thing again to someone he loved.
So the old idea became buried. The only reason I knew it was there was through "working it backwards". There was spiritual progress everywhere else except relationships. I just kept praying and asking God question on top of question. Then one day, a beautiful girl shows up in my life, and I look into her eyes when we're having dinner one night, and she doesn't take her eyes off of me. I was the center of her world - I knew it this wasn't ego. I knew she had love for me.
I went home that night, and I cried it seems for hours. I knew as an "outside neitral fact" that the girl had loving feelings for me. I could not deny it because I had seen the look in her eyes before from other girls that loved me in the past. I couldn't hold on to that "Paulism" any more. I realized that it was an old idea, a "false belief" that I was not worthy of another woman's love. The idea was proven wrong. I cried so long because I realized that for 12 years I never forgave myself or let go of the old idea. I never lived life the way it could have been lived. It was a hurt knowing that I could have had relationships that could grow spiritually, but I denied them to myself. So my "Normandy" was being "asleep at the wheel" for 12 years.
It's not like that today, Kevin. I have a lady that I love and she loves me. Yeah it took a while. But God's "answer" to me was to live each day, one day at a time, wiht no focus on "find the one" who would be the right one forever more - and no focus on the one that got away. Do what I do each day and learn that love with a woman only comes in 24-hour increments - not in lifetimes of yesterdays or tomorrows.