I've been thinking.
Sometimes that gets me into trouble, but sometimes....it is highly productive.
Lately I've been thinking about how life sometimes just kicks us in the ass over and over again. Those of us who have a strong foundation of the steps under our belt can usually handle such beatings with relative ease. After all, look at where we have been, and we survived that didn't we?
But have we really handled it? Have we really moved on? And what is UP with the repeated beatings anyway? This is not some sort of "the beatings will continue until morale improves" situation! Or is it? From a New Thought perspective, the overall trend of our thinking tends to create what happens in our lives. So....if we have had a lifetime of drama and trauma, even if we have a good foundation in recovery, what is to stop that tendency from continuing to happen?
Turns out there is a lot. The appendix at the back of the AA text defines a spiritual awakening as a personality change sufficient to bring about recovery. To me, that suggests that such a personality change is possible. Inevitable if we do the work.
In New Thought we like to say that we change our thinking to change our lives, and Ernest Holmes puts it like this: "Man’s experience is the logical outcome of his inner vision; his horizon is limited to the confines of his own consciousness. Wherever this consciousness lacks a true perspective, its outward expression will lack proper harmony. This is why we are taught to be transformed by the renewing of our minds."
And there have, and continue to be, many scientific studies that say that our brain chemistry changes because of all that early trauma and drama, but that there are things we can do to change it.
I don't know about you, but when science and spirituality both say that we can effect deep and lasting change within ourselves to live happier lives, I believe it. And I believe that such deep and lasting change means we are no longer subject to the regular beatings, because something within us has declared, "I am done with that kind of life." It reminds me of a tiny little awakening I once had, when I was a kid. Someone told me that my mother was a strong woman, she could handle this. "This" being the latest dramatic trauma. And I remember thinking, "I do not want to grow up to be strong like that. I don't want to be known as the person who can handle that kind of stuff." Today, I think we can be strong...and not attract that kind of stuff into our lives, simply by doing the inner work necessary to effect deep and lasting change within us.
Then there is good old fashioned faith. I was chatting with a person recently who was lamenting that her daughter was a tweaker (addicted to methanthetamine) and she was worried because she thought no one could ever come back from that. She said she took a lot of comfort when speaking with another person who said, "I was a tweaker, and I came back." This is faith. When we haven't had the experience, but others have. We can draw on their faith.
So, faith, inner work, action, repeat. This is how we change our lives for the better.