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Stay Grounded, Eliminate Distractions.
Sin To You
“Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish for spiritual things, whatever increases the authority of the body over the mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may seem in itself.” Susannah Wesley
Sin is anything that distracts, detracts or destroys the things we cherish most.
Learn From Others Experiences
The following is a story of how reading another person's words changed this individual's circumstances.
As I finished reading a chapter in a book that my sister in law gave me, I reflected on my present circumstances. Just yesterday I was resenting my life and circumstances I felt unlovable, with such beliefs about myself at present I interpreted everything my wife said or did as evidence that she can’t love me either. After a short argument with her, she left in deep frustration similar to my own. I sat down and read, after I read for only a few minutes, finishing one short chapter, I had a change in my mental and emotional state. Without realizing that my sudden change had any connection to reading, I went out and apologized to my wife taking responsibility for my words and behaviors. She was a little puzzled, wondering what had happened in the last 30-40 minutes. She inquired “what have you been doing? Did you make phone calls or what?”
Long story short, after reading again tonight, a chapter each from two different books I realized that my world changes when I read. I also remembered telling my recovery group approximately one year ago that I need to read some other material in conjunction with my scriptures. Recovery or school material at least once or twice a week would help me stay centered. Interesting how I rediscovered the change in heart and mind that a simple thing can do for me. Reading stimulates thought. Reading also changes the focus of my thoughts. I get a new perspective on life, I have the opportunity to learn from others' experiences and have the opportunity to reassess my own life at the same time. The two chapters I read were actually quite depressing but interestingly enough they somehow, helped me see what is important to me, relationships, and that whatever else is happening in life holds such little lite in comparison. I then went and made an effort to change and improve my relationship with my wife.
Take Responsibility and Find The Appropriate Support Systems
Take responsibility: you are responsible for what you’ve done, where you are now and for your future. If you don’t like or appreciate your past and you do not take responsibility for it, you will only set yourself up to have a disappointing future. You must take responsibility, clean up your past, live the present to the best of your ability and set yourself up to achieve your goals and dreams. Take a lesson from this alcoholic who writes from prison.
…although the disease of alcoholism inside of me is like gravity, just waiting to pull me down, A.A. and the Twelve Steps are like the power that causes an airplane to become airborne: It only works when the Pilot is doing the right things to make it work. So, as I have worked the program, I have grown emotionally and intellectually. I not only have peace with God, I have the peace of God through an active God consciousness. I have not only recovered from alcoholism, I have become whole in person—body, spirit, soul. (pg 457, Alcoholics Anonymous)
Many people think that only those with serious and obvious addictions need self analysis, group support or therapy, but the truth of the matter is each of us grew up in a very specific cultural environment, a familial click or the lack thereof and as we grow, date, marry, find jobs and move from place to place that "click" or culture can be disrupt-full in certain ways, it can sometimes hold us back. It also has it's positive influence in each of our lives as well. There is no experience in life that doesn't have a life lesson in it. The difficult part of life is figuring out what attributes you've inherited or learned over time are helpful or hurtful for your current situation. Some things may have been helpful in the past but are no longer helpful in present. Each of us needs time on a regular basis to take a good look at ourselves inside and out. Ask yourself good questions such as: how do I feel right now? When I achieved that goal how did I feel? Was it as valuable as I thought it would be? What needs to change in order for life to be more fulfilling today? Am I allowing fear to hold me back? How are my most important relationships doing? What can I do to improve them? Have I given sufficient time to those relationships today? How do I feel spiritually? Physically? Emotionally? Continue to analyze frequently and deeply. You created much of your circumstances and you can change them again. What would you have them look like and what are you willing to do to achieve that?