Monday, January 14, 2008

Al-Anon; Self Esteem - Constructive vs Destructive Behavior Patterns

Here is the diagram I created for my Al-Anon meeting this week. Let me see if I can explain it.

First, if we look at the top of the diagram, there is Judgement of Others. This I believe is one of the roots of destructive behavior. We judge others. We judge our spouse. We look for their faults and short comings.

And their is of course, Judgement of Ourselves.

The next destructive behavior is Comparison to Others. Comparison that someone received more than us, someone is more popular, someone is smarter, prettier, etc. We then begin to feel bad.

We then begin to feel bad about ourselves - and then we look for Blame. We blame others. It is not our fault. And we are blaming and criticizing.

Criticizing gets us "Righteous" - that is of course, self-righteous. We get our anger through these destructive behaviors. All of these affect our Self-Esteem and Self-Acceptance in a big way. Maybe not right away - but they are destroyers of our ability to function properly.

After all this, we begin to build resentment. Resentment is the biggest destroyer of all. Resentment is anger harbored in us under the surface - for a long time.

What if we could eliminate Judgement of Others and Comparison to Others from our lives? Try this. Work at it. You will be astounded to hear yourself think compare and judge. If you can catch yourself judging and evaluating and comparing yourself of and to others, you will begin to feel peace and serenity.

If you can catch yourself EARLY in the process and STOP IT, you can substitute it with another thought pattern.

In fact, you can substitute these destructive patterns of behavior with the behaviors like;

Compassion, Courtesy and Courage

Look at this chart again. See how these types of behaviors can be life altering? Can you imagine a life of Peace and Serenity? This I believe can be one of the keys to achieving Peace and Serenity.

Look at the right hand side of the chart. As soon as we start with the destructive behaviors, we are out of control. We are actually contributing to the chaos in our lives.

When we act out of positive constructive behaviors, we actually gain more control, and have more control over our own feelings and emotions.

I hope this makes sense. And I hope you can use this in your life.


PS - of course it is hard. But daily practice makes us better.


nanceelee said...

I'm glad your meeting went well, I have enjoyed reading and reviewing your posts as you were getting ready to speak.

Stay strong, stay sweet--it is the best way I know to feel serenity.

skip said...

I too am glad your meeting went well on Saturday, reading this post I can see the value in what you had to say and how applicable it is every day.
You previous post was also very therapeutic for me.
I am some-one who chose to stay married and miserable(I struggled constantly with this decision, and still I live with the guilt for the huge impact it has had on my children!!!), and now my husband is again attempting to stay sober. This time however, it feels different. This is his third time at AA, but this time he is actually participating in the program and not just being present at meetings.
It has been 5 months since his last drink, and life has changed dramatically. He is actually a nice person again, he is proving to be mostly reliable and trustworthy (although I do not know whether he will ever regain the trust or respect of our son who remins very angry at him). I actually like being with him, which shocks me, I never thought I would feel that way again. It is still hard, and sobriety carries with it a whole host of different problems to overcome, but for the most part, life is much nicer.
Reading your post reminded me of how life used to be, and makes me even more thankful for my life today.
Thank you.

Syd said...

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Anonymous said...

Joe, may I share you diagram with my group? I relate to it so much and I it would help many of us.

I didnt know how to use the choose an identity, so here is my email: