This article is the second in a two part series. In the first article, the quote by Lao Tzu highlighted the connection between thoughts, actions, habits, and character. Over time, we build our life through the thoughts and habits we have.
The following is a continuation of a list of habits to release in order to bring in a life of sobriety and keep away from drug rehab. Certainly, a life of addiction came with making harmful choices, having negative thoughts, and taking destructive action. This list is meant to highlight the habits to release:
– Blaming comes with feeling powerless. You’re never going to return to a sense of empowerment if you’re pointing the finger at others. Blaming is centered on believing that your power is outside of your control. For instance, if you did poorly on your chemistry exam and you can admit that you did not study all the concepts covered in class or that you were distracted during your studying, you are exhibiting a sense of personal power and taking responsibility for your grade. However, if you feel that your low grade is because the teacher does not like you or because the concepts are too hard or because you had an argument the morning of the exam, you are handing over a sense of power to external sources. Blaming others is exacerbating your feelings of powerlessness, which is the root of addiction.
– It’s easy to do. Negative self-talk has probably been there since childhood. It’s probably within the thoughts of friends and family members that you know and just by spending time with them you’re sort of vulnerable to that kind of thinking. It includes the kind of thinking that is self-critical, judgmental, and limiting. But you don’t have to spend time in that negativity any longer than you want to. You have the power to change it. It will take some time to make that shift. Likely it will require your attention on what you’re thinking and when. But you can make the wonderful change from negative thoughts to life-affirming, loving, positive ones.
– Complaining about life goes right along with negative thinking and negative self-talk. When you’re thinking about your life in negative ways, it can be easy to think about the world in negative ways and complain about all that is going wrong. Releasing the need to complain is like finally letting go of a massive weight on your shoulders. Suddenly, rather than seeing what’s wrong you’re seeing opportunity and all that is possible for healing and transformation.
Being Afraid of Life
– There’s a saying among artists and writers that risk leads to liberty. It’s as though fear is the opposite of freedom. When fear, and it always exists in the mind first, is dropped, or at least ignored, you can move forward without letting fear get in your way. Sure, you might feel the fear, but you move ahead anyway. Sure, the fear will be in your mind and you might feel in your body, but you take those steps towards sobriety nonetheless.
The Need to Control
– We tend to want to control our circumstances when we are fearful or when past experiences brought pain. To prevent similar pain in the future we try to rule over our own life and the life of others. Yet, part of sober living is finding trust, relaxing into life, and finding a surrender that we were hoping to find in alcohol or drugs. It might feel like a counter-intuitive kind of experience, but letting go of control in exchange for having a certain confidence in your life can be a deeply rewarding experience.
This list was meant to reveal patterns of thought that perpetuate an addiction. It is meant to highlight the themes of thinking that are limiting and imprisoning. Letting these thinking patterns go can lead the way to freedom and to a recovered, restored way of life.
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