- Jan 11, 2020
"Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God." Romans 12:2
If you listen closely when you unlock a safe, there comes a moment when you hear a click and the tumblers finally fall into place. You can’t really see what’s happening, but your fingers move and it all comes together. The beginning of change is like this. You do something different and finally something clicks. It is all very mysterious. You don’t really understand it, but when it happens you know; you immediately open the safe and take out your valuables. In this case, the valuables locked up in the safe are all the wonderful things you will become when you change. And the key to all this is taking action. You don’t just sit there and stare at the safe. You do something.
Taking action is where I got stuck when it came to my own recovery. I knew I was a love addict and alcoholic, but I didn’t know what to do about it. I cried, I prayed, I went to therapy and support groups but nothing happened. Then one day I had an epiphany. I needed to change. Here is how I did it and how you can do it.
We need to acknowledge that we need to change how we think, behave and what we value. I had to stop thinking like a cynic. I had to stop drinking, and I had to stop chasing after unavailable men. I had to start valuing healthy relationships instead of romantic love as if it were the only thing worth living for.
Things to do . . .
We can make a list of all the changes we have to make. Then we can break down the list into small bits and pieces so we can do one thing at a time without being overwhelmed.
We can set goals—realistic ones. I imagined what it would be like to think differently and behave differently and I described this in my journal.
Try setting a date to begin checking off each item on the list. Then on that date get started. I tackled the easy things first before I went after the hard things. Giving up drinking was easier for me that giving up romantic love, so I got sober.
Each day we are successful with a change we should reward ourselves.
If we fail we can remind ourselves that it was progress not perfection.
We should never give up even if we sometimes have to go back to square one.
We can start hanging out with other self-motivated people so they could encourage us.
We should encourage ourselves.
Look for healthy role models and do what they do. One of my role-models was my daughter Kathy. She had such wonderful people skills and I just watched her and did what she did. I noticed she listened more than I did and drew out the people she was talking to. Later I learned that this was emotional intelligence, not to mention God's will.
Become optimistic about everything. I learned to find the good in the bad and never let anything get me down for very long. This drew people to me and brought new friendships into my life. Before this I had no friends.
As I took each one of these steps my confidence and self-esteem grew, and this inspired me to make more changes. Inner changes and outer changes. They worked together to make me happy and content.
Today I continue to make changes and try to inspire others to do the same. And it was all so simple. I had to take my newfound willingness, that sprang out of my misery, to change and become the best person I could be. I had to surrender to God and let the Holy Spirit guide me. I am not there yet, but I am on my way.