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The person I was - would always need to use.

This traditional saying reminds us how easily - our personal vulnerabilities set us up for relapse.

I had to get myself out of the way - is another phrase - reminding us of the importance of personal change to recovery.

Personality is a mixture of inherited traits and learned habit.

It is shaped by the relations and events of our life.

We think that we stay the same - but we are changing all the time.

And there is nothing about personality that we cannot rise above.

We believe that things should be one way. Then something happens - and it shows us things are a different way.

If we are at all responsive to life - then something has to change.

Our beliefs about the way things are supposed to be - are changed by the way things are.

The stuff inside us and the world around us - are like two sides to the same coin.

We express our selves - and the people and things around us are affected.

But the people and things around us - also affect us on the inside.

Inside and outside are two sides to the same coin - interacting and changing all of the time.

And it is in this moment - right now - that we have opportunity for choice - opportunity to influence our direction of change.

Ways of Change

We choose to go an easy way - that makes us feel best right now.

Or we choose to go a better way - that takes us where we want to go.

Sometimes the easy and better ways are the same. But mostly they are not.

We choose to eat what tastes good right now - something that fills an empty space.

Or we choose to eat what is healthy - and that will build our strength.

We act out in anger - allowing the feeling to control us.

Or we rise above the pressure of the moment - and grow in our ability to understand the feeling.

The things that we do have the greatest impact on the way that we feel.

Steal something today - and feel the guilt of a thief.

Steal every day for two weeks - and feel the shame of being a thief.

Conduct yourself with honesty today - and feel your shoulders relax.

Conduct yourself with honesty every day - one day at a time - and feel the honor of recovery enter in to your life.

Do things the same way today - and increase the grip of habit on your life.

Do something differently today - and learn about the feelings that are released from beneath.

The things that we say and do may impact on the people around us.

But the things that we say and do will certainly impact on us - changing us one bit at a time as we go about our day.

Everything that we say and do - and every choice that we make - leaves us more or less ruled by our usual ways - more or less controlled by our feeling - pushed and pulled about - or allowed to rise above.

The things that we hold in our head will also have huge impact on our lives.

Beliefs - Assumptions - Expectations - The things that we say to our self in our own mind.

These shape the way that we see the world - the way that we interact with others - and the course of our life.

Wander aimlessly within your own mind - and it is likely that you will do so also in your life.

Expect the least - and it is likely what you will find.

Occupy your mind with the worst of the past - and increase the grip of anger, guilt and shame on your life.

Use your mind to let go - to settle your self - and heal a bit from the past.

A game we play is to neglect the stuff on our mind - to ignore or disregard it.

But the stuff in our mind will express itself in our life - regardless of whether we know it or not.

Notice the stuff on your mind. Question it.

Is this doing me any good right now? Does this have anything to do with today? Or is this left over stuff from the past - the same stuff that I’ve heard a thousand times before - within my own mind?

Learn to let go of the stuff in your head.

Use self talk, meditation and prayer - to settle your mind - to shape its thoughts - and to exercise it abilities.

Take the opportunity of this moment - to choose the stuff on your mind.

And in doing so - take this opportunity to change your self - a little bit - right now.

In Summary

We think that we stay the same. But we are changing all the time.

It is the things that we say and do - that most impact on the way that we feel.

It is the stuff that we hold in our mind - that shapes the world in which we live.

And it is choices that we make right now - that determine the direction of our change.