RecoveryWise

Recovery Retro: Self Condemnation

Recovery Retro features posts from my archives 2016-2017, my chronicles of recovery from alcoholism, mental health issues, and substance abuse. After 35 years of chaos, my life in several VA Treatment Programs was anything but boring. Join me as I share with you my most intimate posts about spirituality, living in the now, acceptance, gratitude, mindfulness, and the lessons I learned that keep me sober to this day.

Published 10/31/2016 at 5:00 am – Day 14 of Treatment

As I had mentioned in an earlier post, I love Notes To Myself, By Hugh Prather, it was one of the first books I read about self introspection.

Somehow over the years the lessons he shares in his book went by the wayside.  The book helped me to come into focus with the messages. They keenly pinpoint the flaws within which the mind can bring us discord both in our heads, and in our relationships with those around us.

It is a book you can pick up and read any passage at any time, as his thoughts are written not in a linear way, but sort of happenstance.  Bring this book into your life!

One of my favorite quotes in the book is:

“The criticism that hurts the most is the one that echoes my own self-condemnation.”

How Often Do We Fixate On Our Mistakes?

How often do we carry guilt, shame, anger, disappointment over something we have said or done?  I am learning just how much guilt I have been carrying over the years. How it has crippled my sense of well-being. And certainly how it has kept me living in my head.

I hold the belief that many of us have a very difficult time letting go, moving forward, forgiving ourselves.  What Prather is saying is that we drift so far away from just being, that to live in one’s head is not honoring the peace we all richly deserve.  If we can just let ourselves off the hook and live today in the knowing that we are perfect. That we are the greatest creation and we didn’t have to do anything at all, then I truly believe we set ourselves back on this path.

Along the way, the “yes” of our birth-right was clouded by who we thought we were supposed to be based on the experiences without ourselves that turned our existence into “no.”  That is to say, we lost the wonder of ourselves and the love of just being the miracle we are.

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Today I will meditate on this and probably experience painful memories. However, in meditation I am learning how to connect with my soul rather than my mind.  I can’t remember who exactly said “The mind is a powerful wish-fulfilling machine.” It is a powerful statement that illustrates this danger of self within the mind.

Along these lines is the concept of “self-fulfilling prophecy.”  Self-fulfilling prophecy is defined as “a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the original false conception come ‘true’.”

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