Thursday, 11 February 2016

The power problem

In principle, I have power over my thoughts. As a result, I have power over my actions, my words, my feelings, my internal life, and to some extent my external life.

In principle, you have power over your thoughts and, as a result, your actions, your words, your feelings, your internal life, and to some extent your external life.

I have some power to affect your thoughts, and thus the rest.

You have some power to affect my thoughts, and thus the rest.

I can affect your thoughts only with your permission, however.

You can affect my thoughts only with my permission, however.

When I recognise who has power over what and act accordingly, my life is harmonious. When I do not, my life is disorderly, hence unmanageable.

In the disorder of Al-Anonism, Step One manifests in four ways:

[In all cases, for thoughts read thoughts, actions, words, feelings, internal life, and to some extent external life.]

1. Denying my power over my thoughts


When spiritual sickness blocks my power over my thoughts: unmanageability (distress and disorder) follows.

2. Denying my powerlessness over others' thoughts


When I try to control others' thoughts: unmanageability (distress and disorder) follows.

3. Denying others' power over their thoughts


When I feel responsible for others' thoughts: unmanageability (distress and disorder) follows.

4. Denying others' powerlessness over my thoughts


When I hold others responsible for my thoughts: unmanageability (distress and disorder) follows.

Exercise

On four sheets of paper, write:
  • Examples of powerlessness over my own thoughts.
  • Examples of powerlessness over others' thoughts: where I try to control what I cannot control.
  • Examples of powerlessness over others' thoughts: where I feel responsible for what I cannot control.
  • Examples of others' powerlessness over my thoughts: where I hold others responsible my for thoughts.
In each case write also how that makes my life unmanageable (gives rise to distress and disorder).
 
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Proceed to Step Two.

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