Saturday, August 29, 2009

Identify Distorted Thought Patterns...

The kindest form of life management is to recognize the truth about yourself. It's the discovery of self which enables meaningful interactions with others. At first glance this statement seems pretty easy to accept until we are forced to apply it to an area of our lives that's at some sort of standstill.

The standstills are in fact places where recovery is desperately needed. They also happen to be the places where resistance is subconsciously or consciously stronger than ever.

Why is this?

It's incredibly revealing, painful, disturbing and regretful to look at the totality of our lives. To make matters worse, not many of us were raised to "do endings well" so rather than face the possibility of confrontation, we learn to internalize what's wrong, & second guess ourselves. This leads to mistrust of self and the world around us & a lifetime supply of ego and pride which provides a false satisfaction that keeps us UNdelightfully STUCK!

So we go through life with a limp that diminishes our courage to fight our battles alone.

After getting past the negative self talk & the ramblings of my ego which rationalized the counterproductive behavior, I came to the realization that I tend to internalize things. After I identified my need, the next step was to identify the last several times I did things differently, leaving my thoughts and inner voices intact. These were the discoveries:

1) I didn't internalize the situation when I spoke up for myself.
2) I didn't internalize the thoughts as long when I quickly shifted my thought toward something else.
3) I didn't internalize the situation and thoughts when I read affirming thoughts previously created by myself when the world seemed a o.k.
4) I didn't internalize when I spent time with people who were affirming, yet honest with me. Essentially when I felt they had my best interest at heart, I was free to share more of myself authentically.
5) I didn't internalize information when I would read, memorize & meditate upon scriptures.

Now its your turn to identify an area of need & list the discoveries when you noticed life was somehow different. Even in the midst of the storm, or biggest setback, you noticed calm waters.

So with my list in hand, I played the movie in my mind by recalling the three areas of my life, most in need of this sort of change. They were professionally, emotionally and relationally.

Since these three areas were going in 3 different directions, synergy was required if recovery was my ultimate goal. Synergy occurs when two or more things are working together (muscles or drugs for example) to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects.

The tools I had in my possession could assure change as long as I became increasingly mindful of the ways I people please, exercising the choice to say no as well as share "what's true for me" without second guessing myself. Although setbacks and mistakes were certain, now I could endure past the past and anticipate the result: reclaiming the free-spirit nature I never knew.

This is a journey that I've discovered is life long, meandering and is getting a little easier on some days, less easier on others, yet all the while well worth it. I also have noticed that I'm better at expressing my viewpoint, than I was even weeks ago.
Literally, every day in every way, I am getting better and better.

And so can you! Share your journey to inspire me and countless others.

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