Enough 'ME'

on Wednesday, 16 September 2015. Posted in 12 Step Attitude

Don't think so much. Especially about yourself.

What? But how?!

This sounds like a very, very tall order for an addict, or for someone who is kinda young, or for someone who is naturally highly self-aware and jam-packed with feelings pretty much all the time. You (and many of us) have all these qualities. Ouch. We are experts at "focus-inward", and typically only focus outward when it's all about what we are getting - or not getting - from the other person.

Shockingly, the typical prescription for this problem is to start getting more and more used to thinking about others, for the rest of our lives. "Others" means anyone not attached to my own "desire / feeling / awareness" thing (some call that "thing" the ego). That list includes God (of course), your family, your friends, co-workers, people you walk by in the street, etc; basically anyone with a will of their own (... not yours). So far so good?

Being apart from others -  even in / especially in a room full of people - is our typical state. But for sobriety and sanity to grow, it's got to change. In real life, this means doing things that make us a part of, rather than apart from. But how? By being more religious or becoming better? Not really.

Just check these practical applications out and see if you think they would be good daily exercises for your own "focus-outward" muscles:

  • Praying primarily for others in general, rather than for me (except in real emergencies)
  • Actually functioning (even in small ways) as part of a group.
  • Accomplishing things that are not for me.
  • Having a nice, long conversation with anyone and making 99% of the topic them, rather than me.
  • Being good to ourselves because we don't want to (going to a meeting, exercising, taking a shower, cleaning up the house, making a friend, etc.)

Get the idea?

The main thing for success in this, is not allowing yourself to get bogged down by anyone (that includes you) in wrestling about philosophy, motivations, the existence of altruism, or whatever else seems to really matter. It's all nice, but an addict can't afford it. Our eye must remain on the prize, which is: Going outward rather than inward. Period.

Try it. Don't think about it. And don't talk about it much, either. Thinking differently - even really hard - will not generally get us to be any different on the inside. We live in where doing changes us, and it even changes the way we think and are on the inside.

After we do this for a while, our lives become wildly interesting and less predictable, too! (It is actually rather boring to think about myself all the time, you know!) We can also get sober and stay sober more easily this way.

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