How Shall We Escape?

Blondie

Respected Member
And it used to be that the whole mechanism of acting out would be set in motion, even if it took days, until I'd finally cross my red-line behaviors. I used to even look forward to lapsing so that I could again refocus, and retool- if need be
Phineas this is very true for me and is a pattern that I have noticed and I'm working on currently. Many times during this streak I have noticed when I'm starting to head down that all too familiar road, and I know if I get far enough I'll just want to go on and get "through it" so as to feel "God's grace" on the other side, or more likely these days, just "The high of getting back on track again" afterwards. I've often asked myself this question when it happens, "What the hell is going on? Why can't I, RIGHT NOW, experience God's grace or whatever without screwing up? That thought pattern or habit is ingrained in my head (I remember this pattern even in my early 20s) and these days I've had to just push on through to the other side to get past it; however, it still throws me off when it happens because it makes no logical or rational sense. Why would I purposely fuck up and hurry through my fuck up, just to feel "Good" on the other side? It makes no sense. It's like a post dopamine hit and porn is just the warm up! :cool:

I have often had these thoughts after a relapse, "Yeah, now I feel good! Sure I looked at porn again, but NOW I'm back on track!" 🤦‍♂️

Damn our minds are crazy as hell!

Best brother
 
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Phineas 808

Respected Member
Thank you for your comments, Blondie! It is the darndest thing! And for me, it's not always an immediate return to 'sobriety'- though I'll make a go at it, but it may be just a number of days before another lapse occurs before- what? Until I feel low enough that I can now regain my footing, and come out with a longer streak?

It is an interesting study, and I'm sure others will come to different conclusions for themselves, but to write out one's lapse patterns, or streaks over a period of time... Mine goes back to at least November of 2020 (when I rejoined RN), though I could take it back to June of that year when I started tracking again.

When I go back and forth on counting days (typically after a lapse :rolleyes: ), I'll be tempted to delete all of that. But I'm glad I didn't because it gives me perspective, both to encourage and to focus more intently on my goals.

But that now is the question: how to disrupt what appears to be a long protracted back-and-forth (especially before red-line behaviors are crossed) without having to 'resolve' it by actually acting out?
 
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EarthWalker

Respected Member
But that now is the question: how to disrupt what appears to be a long protracted back-and-forth (especially before red-line behaviors are crossed) without having to 'resolve' it by actually acting out?
I am starting to come to the conclusion that redirection is the best and only solution. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. The urges are super annoying but they cannot be disrupted or actively suppressed or cleaned as this gives just more energy to them and increases resistance. This is the trick I'd say. Getting comfortable with the nag until redirected enough of times.

Just today went for a coffee with a friend. As luck would have it. Next table were 2 very attractive lesbians. They even made out. Nice. The addiction put the 2 very attractive lesbians in some P fantasy for me to enjoy. Thanks but...no thanks.

Can I purge this out of my brain? Not really. If I try to suppress this it will just increase resistance. It will just increase the power. What I can do is acknowledge, label it as coming from my addiction, not me but my addiction, assign value to this and redirect my attention (to the spiritual heart). I am starting to realize this might be the best way to go about. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat. But it is super annoying. Like an itch you cannot scratch. Super annoying, but the alternative is worse. (Re)lapse.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Thank you, EW! You pose three very important concepts above, brother:

1. The addiction (as crafting tailor-made fantasies to act out on);

2. The spiritual heart; and-

3. Redirection (rinse and repeat).

'The addiction' and the voice with which it speaks (the AV, or Addictive Voice) is nothing but the lower animal-brain suggesting or demanding that we act out on the urges as if it were a matter of life or death (it isn't).

The spiritual heart is where our 'true self' is, our spiritual hunger/appetites, our connection with God, Self or Truth; and our prefrontal cortex, which is more aligned toward our heart (in accordance to Reason), has our best interests in mind. This lower/higher brain dichotomy creates the ambivalence we often feel toward porn or acting out.

The redirection is the 'trick'- to (gently) redirect our attention (focus) toward our higher goals, our truer self, our center of love and wisdom, our center- and away from the baser animalistic, survivalistic cravings. The repetition is key to making such changes stick, making them become better habits.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I have changed my 6 core questions into just 4, which I should be able to ask myself each week or so. The questions themselves may change, at least one or more, if I find a better or more fundamental one to ask.

Where am I now?

I am now 31 days free from P, PMO and MO.

I hit a 30 day mini-goal, which is now set at 40 days. This is a new strategy (inspired by another rebooter) where I set little mini-goals just in front of my reach, kind of like putting steps in front of you. This isn't a far reaching 'abstinence challenge' where I'm after a huge goal, though I do have a set number of days envisioned where I'll cease setting mini-goals. And the 'stronger' I feel, I can even space out the mini-goals a little farther.

I had lapsed at the end of May (5/30 > P), and then again in the beginning of June (6/2 > PMO). So my recent streaks look like this:

64 days > 3 days > current day count.

Say, wasn't ths around the time I was to stop counting and even move on from RN 🤔 ? My thinking: Having lapsed, I kind of just sped up my plans which I was going to enact after gaining another streak of 3 or 4 months. So, when my lapse kind of just 'hit me' out of the blue, as it were- totally unexpected- I was to just do what I know to do, and move on. But, I may yet do that after I hit my 3 or 4 month goals.

Am I being earnest and diligent in my approach?

I am currently. Yesterday was my free-day for social media, and I was careful as to the content, even seeking to change the algorithms of, say, TikTok. I still post to social media throughout the week for my businesses and/or ministry, and am careful to not get 'hit out of the blue'. Being mindful, and knowing oneself are key here. Whether one lapses or not is all from within themselves, and we can't blame outside forces like 'the internet'. While we don't set ourselves up for failure, we take back our power by saying, 'No' even when we have the liberty to say, 'Yes'. Withuot that chance, we don't really grow.

How did you cope with negative emotions or stress?

This has become a very important issue for me in realizing that all my recent struggles, even within the past week where on Tues and Wed there were p-subs and a little edging, were directly tied to earlier negative emotions. I've not (even to this day!) developed adequate coping methods for when the stresses of life come, or negative emotional states arise. In fact, these maladaptive behaviors are almost a 'go to', and I need to change that. So, not very well.

But I am challenging myself to not tolerate negative emotional states. I know anger, sadness, and even stress (which is anxiety or fear) are 'helpful' emotional states that can work for us if we know how, but I try to bring myself into a more positive state if it doesn't make sense as to why I feel thus and so.

How were deeper needs fulfilled?

For now it makes sense to have this as a separate question, emotions are reactions or states of experience indirectly brought about by our focus, thought processes, and our reactions to outward/inward phenomenon. Needs are different, they're hungers and thirsts that arise from either our spirit, soul (psychological aspect) or our body. Remember the H.A.L.T. acronym used in recovery circles?

Needs being neglected in childhood became major drivers of my own addiction, such as emotional neglect and abuse, as well as rejection. This was at the core home-life level, as well as being bullied in school. Nonetheless, how are these deeper needs being met today? To offset these, or have them legitimately fulfilled is to redirect them from being met through the maladaptive behaviors of P, PMO, or MO.

There were a couple of times this past week where I litterally had to 'snap myself out of' obsessing concerning p-subs, and I knew that I hadn't been faitful in this before, but I addressed my needs by disrupting my actions. I set a timer for when I was obsessing, and I even did some internet searches for 'fovorite fetishes' (but without thumbnail images being seen). The timers disrupted my behavior until I could make better choices. Again, one night obsessing on p-subs, I set it aside, and prayed in tongues in my office until the urges passed. One of my principles for myself is to meet these needs spiritually, to 'drink of the Lord' when I feel this thirst- hopefully before it goes into obsessive behavior. It felt good to work it out this way, and see these deeper needs met through that Living Water that's even Deeper still.

Special Question # 20. Is recovery or sobriety my number one priority?

This is an important question to ask, and it's easy to glibly say, 'Yes, of course!' But is it my number one priority? Now this is a tricky thing, because we don't want to make it an obession- or we don't want to be hyper-vigilant, or white-knuckling in our approach. 'Set it and forget it' ought to be our motto- but the setting of it is to be our number one priority.

Our physical, mental and spiritual health ought to be of primary importance, as everything else flows out of these. And recovering, actually recoverying from these maladaptive behaviors is a big part of this. To just accept that, 'Well, I'm addicted...' and yet not try to end it, break out of it, is to give up... As humans (note to myself) is to always make progress, to keep growing. The opposite of this is, of course, death or dying.

To answer my question, Yes. It is, and complacency I think, is also opposite to this. I don't feel complacent now. And not identifying oneself with the addiction keeps a healthy balance- like, 'I'm doing what's necessary to be healthier in this area, but it's only one part of my overall life, and I can set it, and then go on living life to the full.'
 
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Phineas 808

Respected Member
So- wife went out of town... She went camping without me. She sprung it on me out of nowhere, and I really wasn't in the headspace. Without wasting time on why I didn't go (not much of a camper), that's not the issue.

Her doing an overnighter anywhere has typically, historically been a 'high-risk' scenario for me going years back. But a lot has changed since the earlier days: I no longer cruise for prostitutes when she's gone (ended 1994), I no longer go to adult bookstores (ended 2003). My struggles now are whether I will find a way to watch nudity on T.V. (I could just access the internet on the bigscreen), or go into my office to watch things on the pc (when daughter's also out of town), or as is more likely, just watch P on my iPhone.

While I no longer obsess to where I miss a whole night of sleep, or go back and forth all night, I don't have a good track-record regarding this. Sometimes it's just that I struggled a little, or p-subs were involved, or m'd without the o, or I'll take time and have a 'decent session' of full on P, PMO. But, there was a time summers ago (back in 2015 or 16) when all I did was listen to an audio file, stopped, and went back to sleep. This was very purposeful, vigilant. Will I do even better now?

This time of obsession has been deemed by me to be very similar to OCD (except for the pleasure factor) that I've gone and studied that as a way to understand my own addiction. Last night, in preparation for the next 2 or 3 nights, I watched videos on OCD and mindfulness.

One thing I will say, and I know not all will understand it, is that what will help to offset obsession is 'radical grace'- that is to say, That even if I do lapse to P, PMO, or MO in the next few nights, have to reset my count to 0, that I am loved and forgiven by God. God has already forgiven me of ALL of my sins: past, present and future. While this may sound like the perfect excuse, this would only be due to not understanding grace. It is more akin to the concept of 'radical acceptance' so important in mindfulness. I've literally undermined near lapses in the past by saying to myself while tempted, "Okay, even if I do X, Y, or Z, God has already forgiven me of that sin and has made me righteous as a free gift."

Now, I'm not saying all this to excuse myself should I lapse, but to nip this thing in the bud. A while back I've prepared an Overnighter Action Plan for such a time as this.

Also, in just a week I'll be celebrating my next mini-goal of 40 days, and I plan to make it.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Maybe go camping yourself with a friend or visit an out of town friend? Make a road trip yourself?

Thank you, EW! Great advice (except for the camping part, lol...). I may just do that in September, as my wife will go to the East Coast with her family.. Though, if I go on a trip for myself (as good as that may be), it will create a faux pas in her mind, where I didn't go with her- but what? I went with myself??
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Here's a follow up report to the declared issue above, the wife being out of town (night 1).

All went well. I enjoyed a couple drinks in the backyard, smoked a cigar, talked to a good friend of mine and went to bed around 1:00 am. I awoke around 2:50 am for the restroom. Here's what was weird is I had 'the shakes'- I wouldn't classify them as near convulsions (I've had those, too), but it was like, "Why am I feeling this way as if I were still a 'hardcore user'?" Does my body remember the cue of my wife being out of town (and the daughter ended up spending the night at her friend's house), and of being all alone, and the hours of obsession and acting out that entails?

There was no edging sessions, no getting up back and forth, I left my phone charging and didn't look up p-subs, and I didn't watch any P. After wanting to edge- or see where it would take me (just a thought/urge to dismiss), I just held off, waited, and fell asleep.

I'll list off my Overnighter Action Plan categories, so as to assess their usefulness.

1. Did I appreciate what starts the obsessing? In the daytime I was pretty much busy with normal life, and my daughter was home most of the time. But there was no intial acting out. By night time I did watch a couple of TikTok's in the backyard, but this did not become an obsession. There was a negative way my wife left, and later during a phone call, but this turned around as I took care of some customers with my daughter.

2. I did appreciate the hours potentially wasted, and slept a good 5 hours given how early I got up.

3. Maybe coming on here nipped potential obsessions in the bud? I did have this consistent thought: "Hold off, just hold off". I tried to not have any judgements for thoughts I had, but accepted them. Waiting out the urge, I think, is a different way to think of dismissing an urge.

4. I did not watch t.v. as I got ready for bed.

5. Did I start and end in the Spirit? I was mindful of God, I didn't avoid as I may have done in the past when I basically was acting out or planning to. Was thankful for my phone call, the time in the backyard.

6. I did not strategically place my phone in my office, but it remained charging on the floor in the bedroom at a little distance from me.

7. I did make a short list, did some things, but wasn't able to make an upcoming video teaching.

8. Was this a better time than the one had in 2015-16? I would say so. I wasn't actively dismissing urges (at least this is how it felt), but was holding off, waiting, until sleep overtook me.

9. The next morning, this morning, I do feel rested-ish, had sleep, have no guilty conscience, no secrets (relating to P), and I'm happy with how I spent my private time.

10. I was able to enjoy alcohol, but was mindful that my inhibitions were lower, and held off... without judgement.

11. The pc was never an issue.

12. It never got to where I had to pray anything through, and I was in fact a little inebriated when I went to bed...

13. Did I create and maintain a sacred space throughout the day-night? Was busy for most of the day, and felt that I was God-conscious while I enjoyed my evening. It wasn't something I had to purposely set out to do, but it was certainly NOT an 'unsacred space' of acting out...

Overall, a success I think. Thankful.
 
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Phineas 808

Respected Member
The wife being out of town (night 2).

Yesterday was really strange in terms of emotion, energy and distraction. I was 'up and running' well enough, though I didn't accomplish as much as I wanted to.

By lunch time (1:00 pm) I was distracted with TikTok, and a little obsessive. But, I set this aside and went to lunch. Had a good time, journaled a little and worked on my art.

I got home, and nothing seemed to come together. I couldn't focus on anything and was distracted by the most mundane of things. I could tell my trajectory of emotions was such that it would culminate in acting out. I knew where this was going. I found myself accusing myself- and I would say, "No. No judgement here, this is all a prelude to acting out." It was really strange, but I just couldn't focus, had low energy, and instead of making my teaching video, I tried to take a nap. This was interrupted, and afterward I was in a low place emotionally.

I also caught myself 'building a case' against others, complaining about this person or that situation. I knew this, too, was a prelude to acting out.

I had enough of it. I thought, "I don't know how to change this" - my emotional state. But, I countered, "Oh, Yes you do..." I did a little jumping up and down to counter the physical fatigue, then I began to pray in tongues and worship. Eventually I could feel energized, and my mood was changed toward a more postive state.

I had a nice relaxing evening. I had another cigar and beer (this time) in the backyard which took me passed 12:00 am. I did see some distracting content, mostly benign, and was able to set this aside without obsessing.

I turned into bed. I purposed to go to sleep. I awoke 1.5 hours later and had the shakes again(!). I had the thought that I could have a good 2 hour session of looking up stuff, and P, PMO. I didn't try to directly fight this, but got my phone and watched some TikTok videos. But I could see it from a different perspective, either how vain the person was- and wasn't caught up in their 'sexiness' (despite having urges)- and I was able to 'step outside of myself'- objectively- and saw: was I seriously trying to emotionally or sexually connect with 2-dimensional images on a phone? I thought about this existential oddity in contrast to real-life connection, with another human being, with life itself. I set this aside and went to sleep. The time duration for this was probably 10 minutes max.

Here's the thing: I slept with the phone and earphones in my bed without taking this to P or PMO! I didn't spend hours going back-and-forth, I didn't watch P with multiple tabs open (as on Nov 7)! I didn't edge, didn't continue with p-subs. I slept through the night.

What was the difference this time around?

1. Earlier- perhaps due to violating my abstinence (AVE), the physical tiredness, the emtional states > and 1) recognizing these as being a part of a greater 'ritual' toward acting out; and 2) actively changing my mood and physical state toward a more positive and happier mood.

2. Being non-judgmental toward myself, even if there was a 'slip' or violation of my 'rules'. Just accepting myself, radical acceptance.

3. Waiting, or holding off between cue, urge and acting on it. Giving myself space for a different outcome, but not in a forced tug-of-war type of fight. No resistance, but non-judgmentally waiting...

4. Coming here earlier to write about it, offsetting any 'secretive' acting out- to 'come into the light' in anticipating what was to come.

5. Having my mini-goal, and wanting to not reset to 0, but accepting that as a possibility.

6. Wanting to come on here the next day with a 'good report'.

7. Overall mindfulness, compassion toward oneself, radical acceptance, exploring that space between cue/urges and acting on them.

I deem it a success, no fault. I doubt there will be a night 3, but we'll see. Be well, All.
 
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Phineas 808

Respected Member
The wife out of town (night 3). Yes, this was unexpected, as I didn't think I would come on here to post this morning.

I noticed that once I learned (late in the day) that she was to stay over for yet another night, there was some kind of reaction that took it personally. This was all a feeling, and it was probably a projection on my part, but there is some background noise that gives this an emotional tinge.

I was planning that, if there were a third night, to just have a 'normal' evening without any extras. Also, I'm tired from her vacation (ironic, no?).

So how did I do? This evening turned out to be the most challenging of the 3, and while not picture perfect, ended well and was a win. I am still on track to hit my next mini-goal of 40 days.

There was an approach toward t.v. that was part of the [old] ritual, and I let it be what it was. The content, while potentially exciting, wasn't. I knew when to get out and turn it off. But this was contrary to my stated 'rule' of no t.v. before bed in my Overnighter Action Plan.

I did go to sleep right away for an hour, and the first struggle occurred (1:00 am). It was obsessive, but then after a while I set the phone aside and prayed it through in tongues. I went back to sleep for two hours.

Awoke and struggled again (4:00 am). This time I was almost- I say, almost- convinced that I was going to look up P, and/or PMO. It was interesting, though, because once the feed was on benign videos (as I didn't do any obsessive searches), I was okay with it, and it gave me pause to redirect my focus. I knew to pray it through again, but this time to not simply pray about this, but to pray against it (some may know what this means). And to play the audio-Bible on my phone (Psalms) and just listen to that as I fell asleep.

I slept the rest of the way without further incident. Toward the above, there was no P, PMO or MO. Despite orange-line behaviors, no fault.

A deeper analysis of these 3 nights may be forthcoming toward tweeking my Overnighter Action Plan, if needed, and in preparation for this September when my wife will travel to the East Coast.
 
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Aeodh Dan

Member
Mindfulness, it's an occupation isn't it?
One must in a sense separate from oneself. Being a neutral observer puts a whole new perspective on life.
I have been attempting to do this a little more every day. "God", or "Union" allows me to see the underlying network, allows me step back and see my pathetic self. There is "I" and there is "self", and if I separate from self, what do I see?
We are all tapped into the network, the network of life, eternal life, but what does it look like when we are one with it?
The human species is an experiment, an experiment of divine manifestation, created in the "image", but formed of the earth, so we are earth and divinity. Our modern Western society is a BIG part of the problem. Mystics and hermits are no longer revered, because the concept of "insight" no longer matters to people generally. But the merging of the inner with the outer, the oneness with "God", has always been the answer and still is. The methods you describe are practices, and consistent practice has always been key!
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Thank you, A. Dan for your comment. In the addiction, one is the opposite of mindful, they are mindless in habit-land. One is reactive rather than purposeful. It is a practice and it takes time to acclimate ourselves to a new way of approaching life.

Meditation, I feel, helps to become more aware, self-aware, and to be mindful in general. The challenge is to be aware of the 'now-moment' and abide there, to find the Self, the I am (without the 'i am this or i am that'), and simply abide as That. I agree with you completely that humanity, made in the divine Image, is a creatural expression of the Creator, or a 'human-replica' of God- but of course so much more than that. I think that Jesus Christ, as the God-man, is a perfect example of what we're all called to be- or challenged to believe, accept, and become aware of.

God became a man so that man may become God. - St. Athanasius.

Mystics and hermits are antithetical to Western Society, and I think that our nature as such- our desire for Oneness, for the Occult (hidden, or secret) was hijacked, warped and became a 'quest' for pornography. It was a craving for love and intimacy found ultimately and solely in God, in True Nature, but distorted through the Western-made perversions of spirituality and the purposeful bastardization of the human meaning into some kind of materialist animal, under 'their' thumb, of course.

Blessings.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
I remember when I quit smoking it had been close to six months free but, due to my city being in lock down for much of that time, I had not been exposed to a situation where people were smoking around me. Once I faced it, I was surprised how strong the pull still was. I think that was because I had not had a chance to both face that situation and change my habit/actions in response, the cue still had, even after that time, so much power to it.

Reading through what you're saying, I feel like what you've been experiencing over the previous few days is very similar to what I experienced that day. This is a deeply ingrained habit that you are not often exposed to and therefore have not had enough opportunities to 'change the script' so to speak of how you respond right?

Perhaps something that we can hang onto here is that, if we make it through this experience, next time WILL be easier because we've not only proven we can but we've changed (if even somewhat) the 'the wife's going away! uh ohhh this is the danger zone where we always act out' narrative that is feeding this urge. The greater benefit of this of course is that you will be free to fully enjoy the time away from your wife.

Perhaps another suggestion might be, once you've made it through this period (which you will) to explore/question if there's a deeper emotional need that is playing into this situation. What does her being away mean to you? What does her leaving you for another day mean to you? Beyond the changes in routine, beyond the time & space you have in your life while she's away.

It struck me at the beginning of this, you writing of experiencing problems/urges which was handled by spending some quality time working with your daughter. I could be wrong but think there's something there that is worth exploring further once you're through the nitty gritty of staying clean through this.

In short, keep up the great work Phineas! Do, act on, use whatever you have to to make it through this period. Don't worry about it being perfect, just make it through. In this struggle lies a very real possibility of freedom, wisdom & growth - perhaps the true reward.

Wishing you well
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Reading through what you're saying, I feel like what you've been experiencing over the previous few days is very similar to what I experienced that day. This is a deeply ingrained habit that you are not often exposed to and therefore have not had enough opportunities to 'change the script' so to speak of how you respond right?

Perhaps something that we can hang onto here is that, if we make it through this experience, next time WILL be easier because we've not only proven we can but we've changed (if even somewhat) the 'the wife's going away! uh ohhh this is the danger zone where we always act out' narrative that is feeding this urge. The greater benefit of this of course is that you will be free to fully enjoy the time away from your wife.

You captured the gist of my situation, which elsewhere (my Overnighter Action Plan) I refer to as a particular schema that begins to play out, even at the question of her going out of town. You aptly refer to this as a script or a narrative, which is what it is. Some may think, "Oh, how cute, he must love her so much!", no, not the case. I love her, but I do value my alone time. I look forward to this time in healthier ways, too, like you say, to fully enjoy the time away from my wife. And over time, I've gotten better at this. But it is still a major cue- or perhaps 'major' unnecessarily intensifies it?

Exploring the emotional component of this, or its meaning for me, is very important and helpful advice. No doubt it reminds me of how this addiction in general formed in application or externally in my life. The early days (1990's) when I dated my now wife, and the sharing of my particular trauma I endured as a teenager and how she reacted to that, along with the death of my mother at the time (Dec 1992 - Summer 1993) began the secretive double-life, and how that's played out since.

The daughter being there is interesting, our working together. I think at this time I wasn't really playing in to the schema to begin with (?), but her being around and our time together may have given me something I don't normally get. We know we had a fun time together, which we both needed- and alternatively, it could've been stresfful- but it wasn't.

Thank you for your encouragement, Orbiter, and invaluable food for thought, to which I will give more attention in the coming days.
 

EarthWalker

Respected Member
I am starting to realize that how we interpret life events is super important. It is not soo much the event(s) that mess us up, but how we interpret them.

The same event can motivate someone to do better can demolish another? Where is the difference? Beliefs and character/mindset/life experience?

I find that spending time alone amplifies things that need to be processed from the past. They just get louder and louder. A great opportunity to identify, locate, and heal, repair and remove.

Hope you have a great weekend Phineas.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Thank you, EW! I couldn't agree more! The meaning we give to things, persons, situations or circumstances, especially to the degree we then charge it emotionally, will either mean the happiest or worst moments of our life.

But as humans, we have the power to change meanings, infuse it with a different set of beliefs or new realizations. A traumatic moment is what it is, but given time, it needn't affect us as it once did if we give new meaning or even purpose to the event. Evil will still be evil, but we perhaps reinterpret ourselves and what it means to us now, or how we've grown or changed from that now. How we've overcome...

True also concerning something as benign as one's wife traveling out of town.

Or, even if one lapsed- of course it's a concern as not aligning with our purpose and goals, but for some it's a time of, yes disappointment, but of curiosity and learning, regathering our motivations, refocusing and trying again. A time of self-care, self-love, of believing in oneself, at least daring to.

But for others, it's a time of self-pity, wallowing in the mire as it were, a time of spitting in one's own face if possible, a time of running themselves over a giant cheese grater, or a meat grinder. Hmmm, which one of these two will fair better on their next attempts at abstinence or sobriety? 🤔
 
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