If you Can’t See that you Have Guilt & Shame…then you will not overcome Guilt & Shame.
The hardest part about being a believer in Jesus with all the guilt trips religion passes on to the people is to accept myself just as God made me. Imperfect. If my life is manageable then I am at peace. But I will not be perfect as long as I am in the flesh. The closer I get to perfection the more false pride and judgement rear their ugly heads. The further I get from perfect the more self destruction tries to enter then there’s the self condemnation. The solutions, believe it or not are in the 12 Steps when I include God The Father/Jesus my Higher Power in my step-work.
A life of the beat down of self requires reprogramming. Step Eleven serves well to reprogram the mind if we include positive affirmation of truth repeatedly, over and over. We must reprogram the “I am bad & wrong” into “I am a blessed and worthy child of God”.
STEP FIVE-There is a huge difference between the healthy emotional processes of steps 4 & 5 versus struggling for unattainable perfection, failing to live up to it then relentlessly beating ourselves to a pulp in our heart and mind for our guilt.
It is flawed thinking to surmise that somehow if we flog ourselves enough for our perceived imperfection THEN we will be good and acceptable to our Lord and our fellows. The pure and anointed process God has set down to relieve our guilt by confession (or fifth step as we label it in AA) works famously to relieve self-hate. The trouble is most self-haters don’t realize that it is themselves that they hate. Because of our ability to survive emotionally we put blame quickly into action. Then it becomes the world’s fault that we are miserable. Oh well….no not “oh well”, this emotional survival process that so many of us humans engage in of blinding our self-awareness is at the core of every sick murderous and violent act against mankind that we can imagine. Plainly said, blame is at the core of our worlds straying from Love.WE, THE CHILDREN OF A CREATOR ABSOLUTELY DO NOT HAVE THE INALIENABLE RIGHT TO CONDEMN OR PUNISH OURSELVES or anyone else. The decision to punish or not to punish lies in the realm of our Higher Power and the law. Furthermore it is a common and subconscious illusion that self-abuse will render us pure and perfect…probably rooted in childhood punishments. Interestingly my spiritual teacher whom was a missionary, a reverend, a grandmother, and a friend once informed me that “there is a counterfeit for every spiritual principal in existence on our Earth”. Surely our former destructive methods of cleansing ourselves by self-abuse (even when it is done subconsciously) is surely the counterfeit of the pure and enlightening act of confession or “Step Five”. And if your a religious human who prays often. Do not be fooled by merely confessing all your wrongs to God and leaving out the “human” angle. There will be little humility gained by confessing faults only to God. This keeps false pride and sick secrets snugly in place in our hearts. Confessing to a human and God are both vital to recovery.
Recovery sabotage… is very common in early recovery and happens more often than not. Let’s face it, most of us have tried and tried again to stay sober with many failed attempts. Each failure we beat our self-image to a pulp and leave our self-esteem in the gutter.
“Recovery ain’t for sissies” they say, but hey, screw that! We are not sissies! Nor are we “bad people” who make a conscious effort to hurt our loved ones and ourselves by our addictions. We are sick people trying to get well!
Therefore folks, it helps to know one of the most insidious sub-conscious sabotage techniques that our addict mind uses to keep us sick. The good IS the enemy of the best. In early recovery ninety meetings in ninety days is a must. We know that we should take this suggestion because it worked for so many people in the rooms that have multiple years sober.
Usually what happens is we get a couple weeks sobriety under our belt and we are living responsibly so we miss meetings to do some “good” thing such as…take our children to the fair because we have neglected giving them attention and time for so long. Or we might finally get a job and put that before our daily meeting. Or maybe we are finally getting some work done around the house that we have procrastinated on for years. Perhaps we are finally considering visiting our parents to tell them how good we are doing now.
These types of tasks are the only ones that can logically pull us away from meetings because we can justify that they are “good tasks” “responsible activities” and we are doing the “right thing” by putting them before our meetings. ……….NOT!
The thing is if we do not attend the ninety meetings in ninety days our new-found responsible behavior will quickly fall by the wayside. To build a truly responsible life, one of which we are no longer hurting ourselves emotionally, beating down our self-esteem and destroying our relationships we must stay sober. And to stay sober we must build a foundation in recovery by attending allot of meetings initially. Why???
To build relationships with sober friends.
To build new habits and behavior patterns.
To learn the solutions for emotional meltdowns.
To establish a knowledge of the Big Book.
To get a sponsor and work the steps.
Put it this way my sacred and lovely fellow addicts who deserve a kick-ass & wonderful life. Our brain needs a new program, it needs re-wired. Rewiring of the brain is absolutely possible and it does happen allot but it takes installing a new program and the download time for the sober program is lengthy.
The initial download for the installation of a sober brain is ninety days of daily meetings. After that you can cut down to four meetings a week if you like. Then somewhere during that four meetings a week if we work the 12 steps including a fifth step with a sponsor we will no longer view meetings and the program as a pain in the ass. Fulfillment and enlightenment will occur along with an amazing psychic change and we will take hold of the solutions to addiction by doing them.
So when we have a “good” and “responsible” task that we think is best to put before our meetings; buyer beware! It could be our addict mind cunningly and insidiously plotting our demise! After all, we are too smart to fall for missing a vital life changing meeting just so we can watch Netflix or take out the garbage.
Footnote: Bill W. said “the good is the enemy of the best” somewhere in our AA literature. I will confirm at a later date. If you have the info please post it below.
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There’s a secret place in the color of day
where ancient sacred entities play
reveal your face oh blessed king
of light and color and dancing stream
my dreams and visions you catch in the night
how is it this day I see the sight
of the great illusive “dream catcher”
Earth, gives and takes.
Sun presents water sparkling bubbles teasing air.
Thick green leaves give life.
Ant sharp sting strike back.
The desert dry hot barren it takes.
Do not test the desert father dear do not tempt snake rattles.