Monday, April 21, 2008

Let Go

Yesterday at an Al-Anon meeting, we talked about "Letting Go." There was a lot of great discussion about how we become "mired" (my word) in the past.

After some reflection and a little reading I came up with a couple of more thoughts. Hopefully these thoughts are a lot more clear than the thoughts I threw out at the meeting.

We all have old habits and old thoughts that are not working for us. They have become so ingrained in us, that they are automatic - like a reflex. First we have to recognize that thought pattern. Once we recognize it, stay in touch with it and see where it pops up during the course of the day. See what triggers this thought. Is is a response to some accusation (real or imagined)? Is is fear? Is it a reaction to a form of anger or non-acceptance?

Typically, we lock onto a belief. We discard other beliefs (usually from other people) that may contradict our belief, which allows us to be "right" - rather than "accurate." There is a huge difference in being right versus being accurate. Right is the ego wanting not to be destroyed. Being accurate is what really is . . . as much as that is possible.

I must examine my thoughts objectively - to see which ones support me in where I want to go, and what I want to become. And discard the ones that are holding me in my older self.


Syd said...

Those old character defects of mine have been around for a long time. It takes work, prayer and a willingness to let go of them. Some will be with me forever. And that's because we aren't perfect. But I am humbly ask God to remove my defects. And work on them.

Anonymous said...

I am guilty as charged.... I have always had a huge issue with being "right".

I now believe it is nothing short of a defense mechanism. I am working this issue very hard, and find myself "catching" it before I react a certain way, or say a certain thing. I agree it really doesn't have anything to do with who is right. Seeing it, hearing it from an "accurate" point of view is sometimes humbling, and at times freeing to me as well.


Anonymous said...

I agree with Kevin. A lot of humilty to being "accurate" and surrendering "being right" and I too believe it is my defensive mechanism.

I too will ask God to remove my defects and ask his help to minimize my flaws humilbily

Catherine said...

I haven't done Step 4 yet, but here's a preliminary offering:
* I understand what's really going on.
* It wasn't my fault and here's a long list about why.
* These aren't excuses, they're real reasons.
* I know I do but he's worse.
* I'm busy.
* And I'm right, too, KevinB!
* I do care what everyone thinks of me.

This is the kind of junk that I think and sometimes say during altercations with my qualifier. So let-go-able! Although it has worked, when I can remember, to just interrupt myself and ask if I really care.

And it's not just the past or present concerns that I can practice letting go of: I have to let go of the future, too, and just let it happen rather than trying to get exactly what I want.

Anonymous said...

Yes, YES! Kevin and Catherine - I caught myself mid-sentence yesterday. Some friends were telling us about a great place for a picnic. I immediately said, "My spouse doesn't like picnics." (Spouse is currently almost not drinking and seems to be dropping most of the horrible old ways.)

Today he arranged to go on said picnic - He's moving forward and I'm not! (Part of that particular problem is my absolute lack of trust in him .... too many disappointments, got to keep up the protective shield.)

And as for the future .... MUST relax and go with the flow - not sit tensely waiting for my unsaid plans to go up in smoke!