Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Paradox, to give up the ego, you have to have a healthy one

Paradox, seemingly incompatible ideas:
There is a paradox in recovery theory and it's about the denigration of the ego, the giving up of the ego. "Virtually all the major spiritual traditions speak of the giving up of the ego...it seems that in order to give up the ego, you've got to have a healthy one FIRST" (paraphrased from John Bradshaw)

If you 'give up your ego' and you don't have a healthy one FIRST

- you might as well 'offer up' all your worldly possessions and become Hari Krishna, or climb a mountain in the Himalayas...how would you contribute to society that way?

What follows below seems contradictory, but both family systems theory AND what a sponsor might say are both good things to do!

Inner child work IS useful

...to help you get to the point where you forgive yourself

...and it IS true that at some point you're just gonna have to take responsibility for your actions.

Twelve Ways To Tell The Difference Between Your Sponsor And Your Therapist:

1) Your sponsor isn't all that interested in the "reasons" you drank.

2) Your therapist thinks your root problem is your lack of self-esteem, negative self-image, and your poor self-concept. Your sponsor thinks your problem is a 3-letter word w/no hyphens... YOU.

3) Your therapist wants you to pamper your "inner child." Your sponsor thinks it ought to be "Spanked" or "Taken out and Shot!"

4) Your sponsor thinks your inventory should be about you, not your parents!

5) Speaking of parents, your sponsor tells you not to confront them, but you apologize to them.

6) The only time your sponsor ever uses the word "closure" is before the word "mouth."

7) Your sponsor thinks "boundaries" are things You need to take or tear down, not build up.

8) Your therapist wants you to love yourself first; your sponsor wants you to love others first.

9) Your therapist prescribes care taking and medication; your sponsor prescribes prayer making and meditation.

10) Your sponsor thinks "Anger Management Skills" are numbered 1-2-3...12

11) Now that u haven't had a drink in six months, your therapist thinks you should make a list of your goals and objectives for the next five years, starting with finishing up that college degree.

Your sponsor thinks you should start today by cleaning the coffeepots and helping him or her carry a heavy box of literature to the jail.

12) Your sponsor won't lose his license to practice if he talks about God...



No site involving the 12 steps or relating to the 12 steps could be complete without a list of useful one liners that could be heard in a meeting.
Here's what I found useful:

About the 3rd step, let go and let God:

"Everything I ever let go of had claw marks all over it"

"I had an ego that would kill a lesser man"



Damn, this last one was me to a tee!


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This article is for informational purposes only.
Please contact a licensed professional in your area
if you are in crisis or require mental health services

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