Sunday, 11 August 2013
When I think angry, jealous, resentful thoughts, I feel bad. I am presented with many opportunities to think angry, jealous, resentful thoughts—as I go through the day, I notice things around me; if I then judge those things (by comparing them to how I want things to be), I will become angry.
When I am going through the day, I can tell when I am judging, or being angry, jealous, or resentful. I have a choice. I can continue to think about those things, or I can think about something else.
I have a plan for the day. At any point during the day I know what I am supposed to be doing. When I spot that I am angry, jealous, or resentful, this means I have left the moment. I am not concentrating on what I am supposed to be focusing on. I ask God to bring me back to the moment, and I drop my vision of how I think everything ought to be. I concentrate on where I am and what I am doing.
I sometimes find it helpful to write a list of what is my business and what is not my business.
In my recovery, I have learned I have to stop moaning about how bad I feel when I am the one punishing myself by letting myself get carried away with negative thinking. To feel better, I have to decide I want peace above all else and that there are certain things I cannot think about without consequences. My number one priority then becomes to turn my thoughts to the present, to how I can be useful, and to consider things like gratitude, trust, and faith. I read spiritual books to fill my head with positive ideas.
I have had to stop complaining and start changing, and the hard work had to be done by me. I had to stop doing obsessive inventory when what was needed was change. I was drawn to inventory, because it meant I could continue to focus on me. That has never worked. Step Four is not the only Step. There are also Steps Six and Seven.
I now know what my character defects are: I think negative things then want to avoid the emotional consequences. I then act on those consequences and on selfish desires, which are designed to alleviate them. Instead, I need to think about God, and gratitude, and deliberately fill my heart with love; then, I need to absorb myself in action.
I have had to be absolutely brutal about not permitting negative thinking. I have had to take responsibility. I have had to develop sometimes blind trust in God, regardless of whether I believe in God in that moment. The only reason to be resentful is because I think I need to have my own way as I do not trust God. Full stop. That is it. End of inventory. Then I have to change.