The first step to inner healing in all of the Twelve Step programs begin with, “We admit that we were powerless over…” At that point depending on which of the addictions seem to be your particular issue they identify possible roots to the issue of the addiction whether it be drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, food etc. the list can go on.
In the book Alcoholics Anonymous, the predecessor to all of those programs, it states, “The alcohol is but a symptom.” I think it would be fair to say that in each the programs that the seeming issue, in each, is but a symptom, not the actual issue.
Many people that have become a part of either of the fellowships has done so only to discover that once one addiction is dealt with another pops up with its ugly head. My personal experience has been that in my recovery it has been like playing Whack- A- Mole at a carnival. I have had several ‘symptoms’ to my disease.
I have been working on the recovery from my addictions for over thirty-three years. There seems to be one root cause to them all and as a result of that effort I have reworded the First Step for myself, “We admit that we were powerless over our thinking and that our lives had become unmanageable.”
In my pursuit for Peace, I have studied many teachings. I have read so many books which speak adamantly about how our thinking is the root of all of our problems.
The Road Back
Unmanaged thoughts make for an unmanageable life.
I have been in pursuit of ‘The Truth’ for more than half my life. I cannot write just a blog on the importance of thought management. There are volumes upon volumes of profound literature about this subject. Still, most seem to be able to dismiss the idea entirely. Thoughts like, ‘It’s just a thought, I didn’t act on it.” Or, “I am not responsible for my first thought.” “We do not think our way into good living, rather we live our way into good thinking.” All these misconceptions block us from taking responsibility for ourselves. In the Narcotics Anonymous basic text, it says, “Due to our inability to take personal responsibility we were creating our own problems.” I would only add one thought, ‘taking personal responsibility for our thinking.’
I have been a devout student and sometimes facilitator of A Course in Miracles. It is very deliberate about its description of mind observation. It says, “This is a course in mind training.” Again, “You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is, that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think.” Also, “You are much too tolerant of mind wandering and are passively condoning your mind’s mis-creations.” Add to that, one last ACIM quote, “you do not guard your thoughts closely enough.”
It is not just ACIM that has taught this but also my experience & others. It has been driven home to us by philosophers, James Allen, “As a Man Thinketh” in 1903. Esther and Jerry Hicks, “Ask and it is Given” in 2004. It seems that most of Eckhart Tolle’s work speaks to this ad infinitum.
Let’s suffice it to say that thought management and thought observation is paramount to finding inner peace.