We must make a strenuous effort to face, and be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us… Bill Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous
The mind is filled with the accumulated doubts of the ages, as though a vast abyss of doubt, fear and uncertainty were standing between you and your desires. Here is where Science of Mind can aid you…where the conscious use of the laws of mind may break down the barriers… Ernest Holmes, This Thing Called You
It takes some digging even to find a quote in New Thought Science of Mind literature that acknowledges our dark sides, fears, and flaws. Our “character defects” as they are referred to in 12 Step work.
Both spiritual pathways acknowledge the need to honestly recognize and evaluate where we currently stand, through conscious awareness in New Thoughts, and by taking inventory as Step 4. How can we claim where we want to go if we don’t have a realistic read on where we are? That can be our springboard toward a more powerful, peaceful, and way more pleasant experience.
Not to short change ourselves and rush through this vital work of taking inventory and coaxing our shadows into the light of awareness, but let’s not pitch a tent either as one of my teachers likes to say.
Seems to me that New Thought encourages us to re-pattern our thinking by interrupting the negative thought the moment we become consciously aware of it, and replacing it with an affirmation or a spiritual mind treatment (an affirmative prayer). Seems to me that the 12 Steps, particularly the 4th, 5th, and 6th suggest we really give things a good examination first, with the intention of gaining clarity around how deeply these behaviors and patterns have impacted our lives. We are to then initiate a “contrary action.” The message I get is that I must keep a watchful eye for their reappearance and pounce on them at the first sign.
This is a process, not a “poof” in my experience.
Ernest Holmes teaches that our mind works in such a way that what we focus on grows, expands, and becomes our circumstances. He teaches us to focus on the desired outcome more and more frequently, and not get hung up on the specifics of how it will happen, but just know that it will. Example: I envision and feel all of my relationships as loving, compassionate, healed, and authentic … especially those that don’t quite feel that way in the flesh.
Recently chatting with a friend who has a long relationship with Al-Anon and who is also a fairly recent New Thought aficionado, we couldn’t help note how many of us get stuck in the character defect work, seemingly feeling right at home. Many continuously rehash the stories to themselves and to others. I’m sure it’s because we have identified ourselves for so long as some form of victim-y, less than, resentful martyr.
But as necessary as it is to “take inventory” and really look in the mirror, let it become a rear view mirror. Once acknowledged, why not let the lesson seep in, than do the positive actions, the contrary actions, and focus on new thoughts to release old patterns. Makes much more sense.
What old negative pattern have you been able to identify and release?
Are there any behaviors or patterns that would will enhance your life if you still practiced them but with boundaries?
In gratitude, harmony and support,