"Whenever you take an adversarial attitude towards something you give it power." Dr. Christiane Northrup
The first step of just about any 12 step program wants us to admit that we are powerless. For many, whether in New Thought or not, powerlessness is simply not something that is done.
New Thought teaches us that we have power over our thoughts and beliefs and emotions, and that what we think tends to manifest in our lives.
For others, powerlessness signifies some type of weakness. How many times has the average alcoholic heard someone tell him that if he were stronger he could control his drinking?
The reality is, we do have a lot of power, but it is misplaced power. We give power to the substance. We give power to people in our lives. We give our power up to all sorts of things: possessions, jobs, busyness. And I would venture to say that if we really stopped to take a look at what we give our power to, it would be a love/hate relationship. We love the temporary escape the subtance provides, but hate the consequences. We love all our possessions, but it really complicates lives. They say busyness is a status symbol, but how come we are so tired all the time?
So we move through life living out of congruence with our true values, giving power to something we really don't believe in, because we think there is no other way. And in the case of substance abuse, we can't fight it, because we've given all our power to it.
Eventually there comes a time when something has to give. Something has to change.
So we go to a 12 step program and it tells us the first thing we must do is declare our powerlessness. This goes against everything we've ever been taught, and goes against most societal value systems. It also goes against New Thought teachings. And because of these values and teachings, we instead create an adversarial relationship with whatever it is we are having problems with. Instead of helping, this simply gives it more power and takes more away from us.
So now we find ourselves between a rock and a hard place.
What's a person to do then?
I advocate a different way of looking at the first step. In my book, I've reworded it to say, "We admitted we were ready for a change in our lives."
If you find yourself unhappy, overwhelmed, consistently worried, experiencing stress related health problems, or unable to accomplish what you wish in your life, you may be ready to admit that a change is necessary. The good news is that you get to decide what to change to!
In the next blog post, I will speak to this in more detail. You can sign up to receive notification of new posts at the right if you are on a computer and at the bottom if you are on a device such as phone or iPad. You can purchase the book here: http://karenlinsley.com/?page_id=1174#!/A-New-Thought-Journey-Through-the-12-Steps-book/p/70971359/category=0