The Immediate Cause of our Woes

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Patria
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The Immediate Cause of our Woes

Not just the 4th step delves into the past and exposes our defects of character which hinders our emotional and spiritual growth; but the 8th step digs even deeper:

"Though in some cases we cannot make restitution at all, and in some cases action ought to be defeered, we should nevertheless make an accurate and really exhaustive survey of our past life as it has affected other people. In many instances we shall find that though the harm done others has not been great, the emotional harm we have done ourselves has. Very deep, sometimes quite forgotten, damaging emotional conflicts persist below the level of consciousness. At the time of these occurrences, they may actually have given our emotions violent twists which have since discolored our personalities and altered our lives for the worst.

"While the purpose of making restitution to others is paramount, it is equally necessary that we extricate from an examination of our personal relations every bit of information about oursleves and our fundamental difficulties that we can. Since defective relations with other human beings have nearly always been the immediate cause of our woes, including our [addiction], no field of investigation could yield more statisfyng and valuable rewards than this one.* Calm, thoughtful reflection upon personal relations can deepen our insight. We can go far beyond those things which were superficially wrong with us, to see those flaws which were basic, flaws which sometimes were responsible for the whole pattern of our lives. Thoroughness, we have found, will pay--pay handsomely."

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Step 8, page 79-80

*Emphasis mine.

Patria
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Some of mine: 1. people

Some of mine:

1. people pleasing; trying to control and run the show

2. super woman, wife, mother; which morphed into super AA woman, which morphed into super OLGA woman.

3. saying "yes", when I meant "no."

4. saying "no" but giving an entire dissertation on why I had to say no. "No" is a complete sentence.

5. Focusing on everything but my own recovery

6. Limiting my focus on my finite mind, without accessing the infinite mind.

7. limiting knowledge to past recovery, without expanding present recovery

Gettingalife
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Quote: 4. saying "no" but
Quote:

4. saying "no" but giving an entire dissertation on why I had to say no. "No" is a complete sentence.

Big one for me, too. Always felt compelled to explain. Making progress on this.

Acceptance. When I am disturbed, it is because a person, place, thing, or situation is unacceptable to me. I find no serenity until I accept my life as being exactly the way it is meant to be. Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.  Acknowledge the problem, but live the solution!

iamhuman
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Love this step and what it

Love this step and what it entails.

Could you guys say a little bit about why elaborating on the No is a bad thing? Just wondering (I've never thought about it - I think I do it every time as well). Do you mean it's because we feel the need to explain ourselves or apologize for what we feel?

Patterns I've seen in myself so far:

1. Codependency - putting people into ideal boxes instead of relating to them in a way where their immediate reality, their strengths and vulnerability can be visible to me in a neutral way.

2. Blaming others and pretending it's all okay in some flippant way, instead of taking responsibility and living with the discomfort and doing some rethinking on what I did

3. Looking for approval in everything, being constantly ashamed and self-conscious

think these are bad enough to start with :p

Gettingalife
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Yes, for me apologizing for

Yes, for me apologizing for what I feel and always feeling the need to defend or justify myself.

I'd say my #1 defect is perfectionism - having totally unrealistic expectations of myself and others. I still struggle with it.

Acceptance. When I am disturbed, it is because a person, place, thing, or situation is unacceptable to me. I find no serenity until I accept my life as being exactly the way it is meant to be. Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.  Acknowledge the problem, but live the solution!

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