When Things Don't Work

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Patria
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When Things Don't Work
Friday, June 28, 2013
You are reading from the book
The Language of Letting Go

When Things Don't Work

Frequently, when faced with a problem, we may attempt to solve it in a particular way. When that way doesn't work, we may continue trying to solve the problem in that same way.

We may get frustrated, try harder, get more frustrated, and then exert more energy and influence into forcing the same solution that we have already tried and that didn't work.

That approach makes us crazy. It tends to get us stuck and trapped. It is the stuff that unmanageability is made of.

We can get caught in this same difficult pattern in relationships, in tasks, in any area of our life. We initiate something, it doesn't work, doesn't flow, we feel badly, then try the same approach harder, even though it's not working and flowing.

Sometimes, it's appropriate not to give up and to try harder. Sometimes, it's more appropriate to let go, detach, and stop trying so hard.

If it doesn't work, if it doesn't flow, maybe life is trying to tell us something. Life is a gentle teacher. She doesn't always send neon road signs to guide us. Sometimes, the signs are more subtle. Something not working may be a sign!

Let go. If we have become frustrated by repeated efforts that aren't producing desired results, we may be trying to force ourselves down the wrong path. Sometimes, a different solution is appropriate. Sometimes, a different path opens up. Often, the answer will emerge more clearly in the quietness of letting go than it will in the urgency, frustration, and desperation of pushing harder.

Learn to recognize when something isn't working or isn't flowing. Step back and wait for clear guidance.

Today, I will not make myself crazy by repeatedly trying solutions that have proven themselves unsuccessful. If something isn't working, I will step back and wait for guidance.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie (c)1990

Allyson2213
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Thanks and hugs Pat.

Thanks and hugs Pat.

"Take what you need and leave the rest." I got nothing but moments to live.

Exavatar (not verified)
 I've heard those words

I've heard those words before, "letting go" but it was so foreign to me. Just as you said, those patterns kept repeating themselves and I could never change them even if I thought I wanted to. How did I finally start realizing I needed to "let go" is not quite clear to me. I think some of it had to do with a crisis in that my addiction could no longer pin down my emotions. My cup runneth over. I HAD to try something new and I didn't know how. So I came here and one thing led to another. I talked, I posted. I remember thinking I would NEVER do the steps and now I am and have a sponsor. I have a psychologist to help me as well. It's a process, at least for me it was and is. Now I can really feel what it's like to let go and know that it's for the best.

thank you Pat for reminding me that the patterns I've had all my life will not and will never work.

Hugs!

Patria
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Thank you and hugs to both

Thank you and hugs to both of you!

Bill F.
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Awesome Readings as always

Awesome Readings as always Pat :)

Reminds me of "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten" which my sponsor is a huge fan of saying.

Like you said Exa, I didn't get what letting go was for a long time. Like with other aspects of the program, it's becoming more and more clear the more I work the steps and the longer I don't game. So now when I say I'm going to let go it means I'm going to pray about it, I'm going to stop doing it my way (doing what I've always done), and I'm going to listen for direction from the people around me and from my higher power.

I heard someone once say "I don't turn things over to my higher power with my thoughts. I turn them over with my actions." I think I'm finally starting to get that :)

Last game played: April 24th 2014

Patria
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Bill F. wrote: I heard
Bill F. wrote:

I heard someone once say "I don't turn things over to my higher power with my thoughts. I turn them over with my actions." I think I'm finally starting to get that :)

yes!!!

Gettingalife
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Patria wrote: Bill F.
Patria wrote:
Bill F. wrote:

I heard someone once say "I don't turn things over to my higher power with my thoughts. I turn them over with my actions." I think I'm finally starting to get that :)

yes!!!

Agreed. Freedom lies in the actions I take, not in my head.

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!

dan1
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Letting go is a funny

Letting go is a funny thing. I've never in my life decided to let something go. Not once. It doesn't mean I haven't let things go. I've let a lot of things go. But for me at least, for someone to tell me to "let go" (even for me to tell myself that) is counterproductive. It just causes me to focus on that thing more. Which means I hold onto it more tightly, more stubbornly.

It seems that I'm able to let something go only when I change something else. And it sometimes involves action, sometimes thinking, sometimes I don't know what--inspiration? grace? time?

I've relaxed my grip on resentments sometimes by getting a broader perspective, or by focusing on what I can do, or by going through a grieving process, or focusing on something else, lots of things. There is no formula for me. I wish I could look back through my life and see one, but I can't. It's various things that make a difference, and sometimes it's just a pure gift.

So when I read about letting go, I'm always trying to read between the lines, decode it. What did the person actually *do*? "Letting go" is a metaphor--my hands aren't clenched on anything.... :)

One thing that has helped me a lot are the (silly-sounding, cliche) sayings of the 12-step program. They are very focused on action. "Sticking to my side of the street" means something specific, "accepting what I can't change", "doing the next right thing", "call your sponsor", "ask for guidance." These are things I can do; they aren't metaphors, they are next steps. And those steps make a difference. Sometimes they help me "let go."

This is just my experience. One wierdo's story....

I am a recovering computer game and gambling addict. My recovery birthday: On May 6, 2012 I quit games and began working a program of recovery through OLGA No computer games or slot games for me since December 12, 2012. No solitaire games with real cards since June 2013.

Patria
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I think the full AA phrase

I think the full AA phrase is "let go, let God". I love AA slogans even though I thought they were awful when I first heard them. But over the years, over the suffering and misery recovering was at first, I clung to those slogans like a life raft for a drowning person. Here are some of my favorites:

Let go, let God

One day at a time

Utilize, don't analyze

Easy does it

Think, think, think

Keep it simple, stupid (stupid was the original word, I've heard other words selected too)

Smile, God's in charge

Call your sponsor, get to a meeting

Nothing is too tough that your HP can't help you through.

Surrender to win

Get Real

Anybody else know anymore slogans?

Gettingalife
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Oh sheesh. I have pried my

Oh sheesh. I have pried my ever lovin' Gorilla Glued grip off many, many situations. For me, "let go" simply means to relax at my core, to stop striving so intensely to force myself and my world into the shape I think it "should" be. That striving mode seems to be my default. :( Good news is - and I do believe this - I can, over time and with practice, learn to relax and to accept life on life's terms.

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!

Patria
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Gettingalife wrote: Oh
Gettingalife wrote:

Oh sheesh. I have pried my ever lovin' Gorilla Glued grip off many, many situations.

Oh me too! you can see the scratches left by my bloody finger nails. Hugs!

Allyson2213
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Hmm I've heard some at the

Hmm I've heard some at the meetings:

Live life on life term'sProgress, not perfection.Done is better than perfect.Play the tape to the end.I didn't cause it, I can't control it, I can't cure it (The three C's of Al-Anon)What you feed, grows. What you starve, bitters away.Respond, not react.

A new one:

You never get back in the game you left behind (This one is the reason I am sorber)

About Letting go. There are some things (people, places, memories I get obssesed with) that I've been able to let go only in the moment I confronted the feelings tied to them. But I agree with Dan because there is no formula to learn how to 'let go'. Actually, it depends of what it is about. Acceptance is another huge factor, I feel like I don't have to forgive certain people to accept what happened in the past and then get rid of those ideas in my head. This is new for me I though that forgiveness was mandatory, now I am at the stage where I don't feel that way.

The letting go my way of thinking is a different story because it has to do a lot more with surrender (not only to a pgtm). I'm the kind of person who is always eager for 're-invent the wheel'.

"Take what you need and leave the rest." I got nothing but moments to live.

Patria
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What does one do to let go

What does one do to let go resentments?

Good question.

First of all, the phrase is Let Go, Let God. We have a resentment (which means to "feel again" the original hurt/anger) mulling it over in our minds until it becomes a part of us, sometimes for years.

When we recognize that thought, we stop the thinking, we pray to our HP (PGTM) to take this resentment away and to give us peace. Everytime the thought comes up, we immediately take this action. After awhile our brains get tired of bringing it up and will be quiet about it for awhile.

Then, I have found quite helpful, to pray to HP (PGTM) to give that person, place or thing I am resentful about peace, love, kindness, clarity, intelligence, happiness, and health. I pray everyday for a month until I no longer am attached to the resentment. This doesn't "forgive" the other person, this doesn't repair the damage that they may have caused (and some people can do real major damage) but it detaches us from them; it releases us from the prison of our minds.

Then we pray for ourselves to have peace, love, kindness, clarity, intelligence, happiness, and health.

When we do our 4th, 5th, 6-9th steps, to look at our side of the street, to see our wrongs, we learn to share those wrongs with HP and another person, then we get ready to repair the damage that we have done. We don't repair the damage--if any--that they did. That is their problem, not our's. We're only responsible for ourselves.

Some people are really despicable. I had a biological father who never saw me. I had a mother who didn't want me. I had a stepfather (who adopted me) whom I loved dearly, but his family (mother, brother and cousins) didn't want to know me, and still don't. Are any of these things my fault? no. Is there any damage here that I did that I need to repair? no.

But the hurt and anger took away a lot of my young adulthood, and caused more pain from my own thoughts. I learned to pray for these people; it took a long time, but I am at peace with all of them. I am at peace with myself. I still have some issues to deal with, but I don't live in anger and resentment any longer.

All of these people are now deceased. But if they weren't, I would have no need or will to continue being angry with them.

What I want out of my life is peace and harmony and to be able to enjoy my life. And I do very much live happily without resentments and angers in it.

There is a formula. But it has to be done everyday until the negative feelings are gone.

Allyson2213
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Pat you rlz :P and you're

Pat you rlz :P and you're way ahead of me at this. Thanks for sharing all your experience in recovery with me and everybody here.

"Take what you need and leave the rest." I got nothing but moments to live.

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