To me this is a total relief. I used to think I was unhappy because of circumstances. I am never unhappy because of anything external, anything anyone says or does. When I am unhappy, it is only ever because of my mental reaction to the circumstance in question.
It FEELS as though I am going straight from external trigger to internal emotion. What the Steps have done (particularly Step Ten ... "continue to WATCH" (84:2)) is sensitise me to the THINKING that bridges the stimulus and the emotion. No bridge of self-centred thinking ... no negative emotional reaction.
The idea that the problem centres in my mind (23:1) relates not just to the phenomenon that a drink will periodically seem like a good idea to me despite the years of experience that it is not (which is why I need something greater than my mind to keep me sober. Knowledge fails!)
This idea is universal. If you say a terrible thing to me, I can be upset only if I take it in, form an opinion, accord it significance, extrapolate future events, draw conclusions ... All of these are mental activities. Every piece of suffering thus created is SELF-inflicted. Every time I recall it and feel sore, it is me recalling it, not you repeating it.
This is the SELF-imposed crisis it talks about on page 52.
My troubles (my disturbance) are of my own making (62:1), whatever the circumstances.
If my troubles are of your making, boy, do I have a big job ahead of me. If my troubles are of my making, boy is there hope!
Knowing that I am not the solution to my own problems ought to be a relief.
The solution is ALWAYS God. The only things I lack are direction and power, and my experience tells me I cannot consistently produce direction and power from my own mind.
God is eternally, universally available.
But, to find God, I have to be willing to dis-identify with my own thinking. Being 'abjectly faithful to the God of Reason' (54:1) is the only major block ... Start questioning my ideas (on the basis that, judging by the evidence, they do not work) (52:3), and my cathedral to despair starts to tumble.
And what shows up is the huge, huge sky.