So our troubles, are basically of our own making pg 62

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So our troubles, are basically of our own making pg 62

Postby Dan2000 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:38 pm

Hi All

People are disturbed by their opinion of what happens, not by the happening itself...think about that... The world has no fixed reality. It is our belief system that determines how we think about the world. We interpret the world through the lens of our beliefs.
So when we get frustrated or upset or aggravated, let us not blame others, but attribute it, to our own beliefs or judgement about what has happened. Most of our opinions are fear based and that fear is usually based on self ….. (self-centeredness)

The person who knows no better will blame their own bad condition on others. The person who is beginning to learn the truth, will lay fault upon himself. The wise person will neither blame himself, nor others.

***If you are of the opinion that you have been harmed in some way, then you have been harmed. But in the same circumstances, if you are in opinion that you have not been harmed, then indeed, you have not been harmed. In both cases it is your belief that makes the situation what it is. Control your beliefs and you control your world. Put in another way, there is no fixed external reality, only what you believe external reality to be.
Remember in all we do, it's Progress,not perfection.
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Re: So our troubles, are basically of our own making pg 62

Postby positrac » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:15 am

Ok; a little edgy in some areas and yet I agree it is my beliefs, and my ego to some degree that could keep me from being humble and thus finger pointing.

On another point had this post been printed and circulated around or country prior to Tuesday I wonder the outcome. No need to reply because my point didn't relate to alcoholism and or the character defects of alcoholics like myself.

I had a situation happen to me the a while back and it was regarding social beliefs in a specific culture: Italians and they are my family on the "other side" Wife and I visited them for the very first time and food and wine are part of the social experience and that is good unless you are a drunk like me! My beliefs are if I don't drink; then I don't get drunk and my life is manageable to a better degree. So the food was no issue as I like to eat and maybe a little much at times. But being heavy is not against the law yet! Now the vino was a different story because it caused a real pissing contest of sorts because they felt offended I wouldn't even pinky taste! So we had a large gathering of relatives and so some of them liked to get tight and cool because it not my thing.

But since I've been back it has been like crickets on social media and I kind of feel that because I wasn't a "team player" then I am not really accepted???? Maybe be my grey matter over thinking stuff. I had to stand my ground because I have been sober a really long time and shoot me because I can't risk the urges and or taunting by others so I can join in.
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Re: So our troubles, are basically of our own making pg 62

Postby Brock » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:40 am

Dan2000 wrote: The wise person will neither blame himself, nor others.


Thanks for the post and topic Dan, this is heavy stuff, I love it.

I have met people in AA who would say this is overthinking the program, and others who say it’s part of the instruction in step 11, developing our spirituality, I agree with them. When we start trying to live this non dual conscious way, in which nothing is necessarily good nor bad, instead of the way we have lived our whole lives, laying blame and seeing everything as good or bad. My experience is a great increase in serenity is found, and every spiritual book I have read, makes this same point.

Most don’t like ‘bible talk’ here, and I agree, especially made up stories like Adam and Eve. But this business about them and original sin, eating some apple, if we read it actually says they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and that’s the ‘sin’ they passed to us. Our job is to try to get away from that original sin, and stop labeling everything good or evil.

Thanks again for a thought provoking post, even that fellow Shakespeare said - “Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
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Re: So our troubles, are basically of our own making pg 62

Postby PaigeB » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:36 pm

The person who knows no better will blame their own bad condition on others. The person who is beginning to learn the truth, will lay fault upon himself. The wise person will neither blame himself, nor others.

Wow - this is SOOO right where I am at... beginning to learn the truth, will lay fault upon himself...

I am completing my 8th Step exercises. NO WAY do I suggest that anyone take this long or overthink this much when contemplating the harms I have done. It seemed so much easier for me to forgive others - IF I found harm beyond what was merely harm perceived by me and not real in any sense. Now it is my turn in the barrel and it seems like every defect of character I found I have used against someone as I plowed through life. STILL, even knowing in my head that my faults are magnified in my mind and my actual harms are not all that - but a different reality that I must find - a true reality I must whittle down to before I can do amends.

I am learning self forgiveness in this exercise, but not before I do the work of paring down my egoistic 'bad-person" ideas. It has been a struggle for that part of me that wants to be the Best of the Bad. But this struggle is my journey and it really has produced an inner Knowing that I am NOT the Belle of the Brawl. Sometimes these days I feel like a raw newcomer again! But then I reel (real) myself in and remember that I too am worthy of forgiveness.

Show me the Truth about myself. Grant me the Wisdom to know the difference. (Heavy on the Wisdom please.) :wink:

Thanks for the topic.
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Re: So our troubles, are basically of our own making pg 62

Postby anand » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:56 pm

Yes!!! So well said. That duality that stems from our sense of individual self and how a situation starring that self is somehow good or bad. It is not real. Of course easier said than done when you are facing a day (or days) when nothing goes your way. Loss of jobs, annoyances, broken shoelaces, accidents, technology frustrations , ad infinitum can all add up and break you. We do have to be careful that were not just being gracious on accepting challenges as it mentions pn pg. 61 because deep down inside we are still believing that something is happening "to me" or "because of me." And that something is invariably artificially judged as either "good" or "bad."

While it is very tricky to navigate and even transcend, i do think that even though mentioned as part of step 3 so much of it os part of steps 10 and 11. Mainly because it requires practice to not fall for that duality trap. And in my experience, it'll get you even when you think you're working a good program. Even our very effective practice of gratitude lists can trick us into judging things as good (and therefore creating bad). Who is grateful? And for what?

Awesome topic! Literally saved me for being deeply saddened and annoyed at stuff that may not actually be going on. AA \m/!




Brock wrote:
Dan2000 wrote: The wise person will neither blame himself, nor others.


Thanks for the post and topic Dan, this is heavy stuff, I love it.

I have met people in AA who would say this is overthinking the program, and others who say it’s part of the instruction in step 11, developing our spirituality, I agree with them. When we start trying to live this non dual conscious way, in which nothing is necessarily good nor bad, instead of the way we have lived our whole lives, laying blame and seeing everything as good or bad. My experience is a great increase in serenity is found, and every spiritual book I have read, makes this same point.

Most don’t like ‘bible talk’ here, and I agree, especially made up stories like Adam and Eve. But this business about them and original sin, eating some apple, if we read it actually says they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and that’s the ‘sin’ they passed to us. Our job is to try to get away from that original sin, and stop labeling everything good or evil.

Thanks again for a thought provoking post, even that fellow Shakespeare said - “Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
Hi, I'm Anand and I'm an Alcoholic. And have been since 7/14/2003. Thank you for being here.
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Re: So our troubles, are basically of our own making pg 62

Postby tomsteve » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:22 am

Dan2000 wrote:People are disturbed by their opinion of what happens, not by the happening itself.

in many circumstances but not always.
i was young in recovery and a woman with many years in recovery showed up the day after her teen child committed suicide. i think she was disturbed by the happening itself and not her opinion of what was happening.
i was diagnosed stage 3 melanoma about a year in. i think i was disturbed by the happening itself and not my opinion of what was happening.

then theres when my shoelace breaks. my opinion of whats happening is the world is ending. :shock: :lol:

this truly is a simple program. i think dr bob summed it up good in his farewell talk:

There are two or three things that flashed into my mind on which it would be fitting to lay a little emphasis. One is the simplicity of our program. Let's not louse it all up with Freudian complexes and things that are interesting to the scientific mind, but have very little to do with our actual A.A. work. Our Twelve Steps, when simmered down to the last, resolve themselves into the words “love” and “service.” We understand what love is, and we understand what service is. So let's bear those two things in mind.
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Re: So our troubles, are basically of our own making pg 62

Postby Brock » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:17 am

tomsteve wrote: this truly is a simple program. i think dr bob summed it up good in his farewell talk:

Fair enough, as I said in my first post, “I have met people in AA who would say this is overthinking the program...” And when Dr. Bob said, - “Let's not louse it all up with Freudian complexes and things that are interesting to the scientific mind...” We are not talking about those things, what we are speaking of is connected to the well known AA principle of ‘acceptance,’ the answer to all my troubles etc. If with my usual dualistic thinking, I immediately judge everything good or bad, and look to lay blame somewhere, I don’t have much chance of accepting when ‘bad’ happens, far less thinking like the example given in the book - “I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment...Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's world by mistake.”

An example – Two of us in separate cars driving along at night in pouring rain, we both get a flat tire. Now this is not a good thing and can be called bad, but one gets out of his car probably cussing and trying to lay blame, blasted tire just my luck, I bet pep boys screwed it up, or someone left nails where I park, could be my wife she never checks the tires, grumbling and cussing. The other calmly gets his thoughts together, gets out and fixes the tire, without looking to blame someone. Both change their tires while getting soaking wet then drive off, one still fuming, the other at relative peace, any bets on who is more likely to stop at the bar on the way home?

Or the lady in the example given, whose child unfortunately committed suicide, when you say - “i think she was disturbed by the happening itself and not her opinion of what was happening.” Yes true, but her opinion on what happened and why, if it went to laying blame on this one or that, especially herself, could have her reaching for the bottle.
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Re: So our troubles, are basically of our own making pg 62

Postby PaigeB » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:56 pm

It is an instinct to judge and we will never fully "get over" it. This instinct goes back to caveman days...

Fire GOOD!
Fire BAD!

The first meat ever cooked was because of a forest fire - Good or bad?
The first "camp" fire might have been the beginning of civilized society - Bad or good?
The great San Francisco Fire of 1906 was caused by an earthquake - BAD? but who's to blame?

Humans HAVE to make the determination/judgement/discernment whether fire is good or bad. Its Survival Baby! :evil:
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Re: So our troubles, are basically of our own making pg 62

Postby Theo50 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:35 pm

Dan2000 wrote:Hi All

People are disturbed by their opinion of what happens, not by the happening itself...think about that... The world has no fixed reality. It is our belief system that determines how we think about the world. We interpret the world through the lens of our beliefs.
...snip...


I will add my comments as I feel this is a big issue about why I feel there is a lack of the "simplicity" of the AA program.
Statement like the above are just generalized "feel good" statements and don't address the extremes.
Regarding the latest psychopath that open fired on a crowd of people, I believe that the individuals in that crowd had every right to be disturbed by what was happening in their immediate reality at that moment and not about their opinion of good and bad.

Nothing simple here to see. Reality is not simple and cannot be made simple.

Sorry for my rant, but I cannot make sense of tragedies like this and I find that the last thing that makes sense to me is the "everything happens for a reason" statement. (another "feel good" statement)

...just another challenging sober day...
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Re: So our troubles, are basically of our own making pg 62

Postby Theo50 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:42 pm

When an infant is born into this world, does it cry because of what is happening to it or because its belief system has been disturbed?
We can be disturbed when our survival instincts are not met or are threatened. A baby will cry when it is hungry, not because it has formed an opinion based on its belief system that it is hungry. We are all born with instincts that are extremely self-centered. We have to be taught or "reprogrammed" to not act upon these instincts.
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Re: So our troubles, are basically of our own making pg 62

Postby Layne » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:09 am

An old Chinese farmer had a mare that broke through the fence and ran away. When his neighbors learned of it, they came to the farmer and said, "What bad luck this is. You don't have a horse during planting season." The farmer listened and then replied, "Bad luck, good luck. Who knows?"

A few days later, the mare returned with two stallions. When the neighbors learned of it, they visited the farmer. "You are now a rich man. What good fortune this is," they said. The farmer listened and again replied, "Good fortune, bad fortune. Who knows?"

Later that day, the farmer's only son was thrown from one of the stallions and broke his leg. When the neighbors heard about it, they came to the farmer. "It is planting season and now there is no one to help you," they said. "This is truly bad luck." The farmer listened, and once more he said, "Bad luck, good luck. Who knows?"

The very next day, the emperor's army rode into the town and conscripted the eldest son in every family. Only the farmer's son with his broken leg remained behind. Soon the neighbors arrived. Tearfully, they said, "Yours is the only son who was not taken from his family and sent to war. What good fortune this is..."
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Re: So our troubles, are basically of our own making pg 62

Postby PaigeB » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:17 am

So our troubles, are basically of our own making pg 62

We have to be taught or "reprogrammed" to not act upon these instincts.

Funny thing... in some recent reading I have been doing I read an inset called "How to Overcome Instinct" =surprised

It is in an article called Tapping Into Gratitude in the November 2018 issue of Health (v32, #9). And I can hear the groans now... Gratitude you say? Arghhhh. But the inset says, "Think of yourself as the curator (collector) of your own moments of joy... Your goal is to collect the good stuff." I have to un-make my troubles!

First, I have to accept that they are talking about "moments of joy" because Life is not all joy and if it was I would probably get drunk - that is too intense for me! Second, I note that if I want to "overcome instinct" I have some WORK to do! Groan, sigh & settle in... Work is always MY answer.

So what do I have to DO? Literally they tell us to make a Gratitude List! :lol: :lol: :lol: :|

Yup ~ here the answer has been a part of my personal program from nearly day one. I have always heard of the Gratitude List around the tables and I suppose there are many ways to do one, but keeping it simple I use A-Z. It is not easy to find a new "Q" word or "Z" word so many times there are repeats there and more than one "A" as I always have to put AA on my list. I wish I could tell you that I have filled many spiral notebooks with these lists, but I have not filled even one. I do not know anybody who has filled one. I don't think that is the goal. The GOAL is to find a new way of thinking about the world and how I view my day.

Some days I can do an A-Z "eff it" list and that is okay too I suppose. Once my sponsor told me to write down all my fears as fast as I could and just keep writing until I could write no more. I found out that the literature is right again... I have only 3 fears - That I will lose what I have, That I won't get what I need and That I won't get what I think I want. (12&12 pg 76 and 71) Maybe I will start a new topic on that!

Written exercises often simplify things for me. Groan. Sigh. Pick up pen & paper. It works IF YOU WORK it.
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Re: So our troubles, are basically of our own making pg 62

Postby Dan2000 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:04 am

Hi All
Thanks for the feedback. To put this in the simplest form: Problems need to be created, so, no judgement, no opinion, no assessment, no estimate..etc., etc., No Problem.....Now lets look at broken shoelaces and flat tires and let's not forget about people places,things and events...that should cover it all???
Anything outside of myself is beyond my control...As I learned from "the actor" in the Big Book....

This is a "simpler" way at viewing the Serenity Prayer....

God, Grant me the serenity, to accept the ONES I cannot change, The courage to change the ONE I can and the wisdom to know it's ME.


As, for me, in the beginning of my sobriety, "the wisdom to know the difference" had to be learned by going through the 12 steps, before I understood what it meant.
Remember in all we do, it's Progress,not perfection.
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Re: So our troubles, are basically of our own making pg 62

Postby TominSFHAIGHT » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:04 am

An interesting discussion. About the woman tortured by the child that died: It is perfectly normal that she should cry and mourn, but not obligatory. Just as it is normal for us to fear and struggle against death and danger. BUT, on a higher level we can see that if we had transcended our egos, we might not find such reactions necessary. Even the baby crying. Perhaps some babies cry because the mere subtle beginnings of hunger make it furious with anger, resentment, fear, who knows? And perhaps another baby just cries periodically to let Mom know there's a need to be met. Don't know how this might apply to Program, or if it does at all.
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