I am reminded that real change often takes repetition of thought and action. Sometimes the repetition is simply making the trek to a meeting where one will eventually find fellowship and accountability, two necessary elements given our histories. But, what is it that we really have to change? Consider the following…..The first 100, in writing the The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous clearly conclude on page 23 that, “the main problem of the alcoholic centers in his mind, rather than in his body.” This conclusion is supported by the experience of the famous psychiatrist, Dr. Carl Jung in his treatment of Roland H., the story of which is described on page 27 of the Big Book:
“The doctor said: ‘You have the mind of a chronic alcoholic.
I have never seen one single case recover, where that state of
mind existed to the extent that it does in you.’ Our friend felt
as though the gates of hell had closed on him with a clang”.
We must conclude, if we are to get anywhere at all in recovery, that the problem is centered in the mind. Changing the thought patterns of the mind can be difficult, particularly when the mind called upon to think differently is broken. The phrase used here is, “You can’t use a broken mind to fix a broken mind”. So what do we do? Here is where we are called to repeat actions, often stated as, “Act your way into better thinking”. This works when we find it difficult to consciously change the thoughts we think. We now set about on a “course of action” which will bring about a new experience which will then bring about a new thought consistent with the new experience. So, what we did was:
NEW ACTION—NEW EXPERIENCE—NEW THOUGHT
Continuous right action will bring about right thinking as in the paradigm above. Some of those old sayings in AA like, “Act your way into better thinking” have proven validity and can create lasting change when consciously relied upon to do so. I like to think of those sayings as the “handrails” on the “Steps” to freedom.
Consultant, etc., etc., etc…