Today I want to talk about the first step.
They say in meetings that it is the only one that needs to be done perfectly. And yet it seems to be the most difficult one. And not just for New Thought folks but for everyone. If you are a New Thought person, then you know what the objection is. That one word: powerless. We are taught in New Thought that we are most definitely not powerless. Others object because they simply don't want to stop the old way of living, and still others object because they are too afraid of the unknown to let go of the known.
I've seen people use these very objections and allow themselves to be dragged into a pit of non-recovering toxicity that never fails to shock me.
So today I want to present another way to view the first step. I think if viewed in this way some of the objections might be removed, hopefully all of them and you will enter into a new way of being that is more wonderful than you can imagine.
When an addiction doesn't work anymore, it's like a door has closed. And if we don't listen and learn when one door closes, others begin to close. Try and open a door that has closed. Try and drink successfully. Try and control and manipulate members of your family. Continue to enable loved ones to be the worst example they can be. How is that working? The truth is, it doesn't. It has never worked and never will. A door is firmly shut. And to continue to try and reopen it means you stay in a hallway of uncertainty and dissatisfaction and misery and denial of who and what you were meant to be in this world.
Drinking, or thinking about drinking, is to keep facing the door. Attempts to control or manipulate or enable mean you are still facing the door. It just keeps you in the hallway.
What the first step can do is allow you to turn away from the door. Say goodbye to the old behavior, turn your attention away from it and toward something different and more productive. Do your inner work, grieve properly the loss of an old friend, and move into a new way of living with courage and enthusiasm.
I was a New Thought person when I got into recovery. I looked at that word powerless and thought, "no. I'm not powerless. But I don't want to drink anymore. So what do I do now?" And I turned away from that door and began to look for new ones. The new ones showed up as promised. I began a new way of living that was somewhat clumsy and inelegant at first, but I kept looking forward and have never looked back at that firmly closed door. I don't miss my old way of life, nor do I regret it.
It isn't about missing and regretting and hanging onto the old way of life. It is about embracing a new way. It is about turning your thoughts from the old and towards the new. It is about letting go of that which does not work, and then healing, and then facing the new doors with an air of excited expectancy.
As Parker J. Palmer say, turn away from the door.
You can puchase the book A New Thought Journey through the 12 Steps on Amazon in either print or e-version.
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