Monday, April 11, 2011

Getting A Clear View

We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

God is in charge of human life, watching and examining us from the inside and out.
Proverbs 20:27 The Message

“It is not your diligence; it is not your examination of yourself that will enlighten you concerning sin. Instead, it is God who does all the revealing… If you try to be the one who does the examining, there is a very good chance that you will deceive yourself.” --Jeanne Guyon

Getting A Clear View

Every form of addiction is unique in that it has it’s own challenges and difficulties that must be addressed. On the other hand, every form of addiction will share some things in common with other addictions, too. For you see, addiction is really just one disease. It just happens to show itself in many, many different ways.

Those who suffer from one form of addiction can often relate very closely to those who suffer from other forms of addiction. Here are some examples: Alcoholics can understand the pain of withdrawal that many drug addicts experience when they attempt to stop using drugs. Someone who is obese because of an addiction to food can relate to the shame and self-hatred that many anorexics or bulimics feel. And, a man or woman who has been addicted to gambling knows quite well the obsession, and the pain, that a man or woman who is addicted to sex or pornography feels. The common ground we share will amaze us, when we are willing to see it. Also, when we are willing, God can use our addictions to teach us compassion for others. Because, you see, our addictions have less to do with what we do, than why we do it. It’s not so much about how we do something ,but what is it that we experience, the payoff that keeps us doing the destructive things we do? When we are willing to see the full spectrum of our addictions, we will see why addiction is sometimes called the most human of all diseases. We all have it, to some degree.

Addictions are about escape. When we act out, we are attempting to avoid uncomfortable feelings like fear, hopelessness, loneliness or the feeling of being unloved. We often have worked so hard to avoid our feelings that we have lost connection with what is really going on inside of us. Here, there is a simple fact that we must accept in order to recover from our addictions. That is, we must face the truth about how we feel and how we have lived our lives. Our job in Step Four is to cultivate an increasing self-clarity of who we are, what we are about, why we think the way we do and why we do the things we do. If we want to recover from all of our addictions, the place to start is with the truth and the reality about all our lives. It is important that we understand that God is the God of truth. He is the God of reality. If we procrastinate or try to avoid the truth, we will, in effect, be trying to avoid God. And, no one can do that for long.

Addictions are often a mosaic. When we act out in one way it often leads to acting out in other ways, too. To recover, we must accept the truth regarding all of our addictions. As we work through the following questions, let’s try to see the big picture. Honesty, openness and willingness are required.

• What are the things that you do that are causing trouble for you and for other people?

• What is the primary addiction from which you need to recover?

• How old were you when you began the behaviors that turned into your addictions? Explain.

• How have your addictive behaviors increased over time?

• In what ways have you violated your own ethical standards as a result of your addictive behaviors?

• Do you do things when you are alone that you would not do if you were with others? What are they? Explain.

• List your addictions and write about how they have caused you financial difficulty.

• How have you abused yourself with unhealthy eating habits?

• Have you ever been dishonest with a medical professional in order to get prescriptions that were not necessary?

• How has your career suffered as a result of your addictions?

• How and why have you lied to others about your use of time?

• How and why have you lied to others about your use of money?

• In what ways have you misused family resources for your addictions?

• In what ways have you neglected yourself physically, emotionally or spiritually because of your addictions?

• What are you putting off regarding your inventory?

Insights and Inspirations for Christian Twelve Step Recovery
By David Zailer and The Men and Women of Operation Integrity
Chapter Four Segment One
Copyright David Zailer, 2008
Operation Integrity
24040 Camino del Avion #A115
Monarch Beach CA 92629

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