I deviated from my core belief series a bit yesterday and I appreciate you all indulging me that moment. I think we all have days where our focus and direction get challenged and we are forced to take a step back and reevaluate where we are at a given time. That was where I was at yesterday. My passion and focus for sobriety and recovery are still prevalent, and I will continue to write about core beliefs and any other ideas about sobriety I find helpful. As always, your input is welcome; I would love to write more about some of your core beliefs. Feel free to comment at any time about beliefs that have kept you down, and I would be happy to explore them with you.
So many of the core beliefs we hold as addicts stem from the same vein but each has its own origin and varied remedies. While worthless and failure have similar connotations in regard to how we approach our sobriety, they both offer very different perspectives of self and that requires us to take different measures in order for us to one, view them differently and two, learn how to change the core belief into a more positive one. There is a quote from the second Matrix movie, "Reloaded" that talks about today's core belief in a way that is relevant to today's blog. "Hope, it is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength and your greatest weakness."
I am hopeless
When a core belief is based on a word or words that are less tangible, it is difficult to fully grasp how to understand their purpose in our lives. Worse, it makes it difficult to understand how we can approach making necessary changes when we do not have definitive proof about its existence. Let's look at the word hope. Noun; A feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen. We generally think of hope as a positive expectation and the opposite of hope is hopeless; the absence of hope. When taking into account the actual definition of the word hope, I don't know that hopeless really carries the negative connotation we have always thought; at least for addicts.
Since I have been in the sober community, one of the overarching themes I hear most often is the idea that we have to live in the present. We only take one day at a time. We do not project our desire to remain sober for years, we simply remain sober for the day or even the moment. Holding hope in our thoughts about sobriety would seem to counteract that sentiment. In fact, from a sobriety standpoint, it could be argued that it is in our best interest to remain hopeless. Nevertheless, based on our ingrained perception of the word hopeless having a negative connotation, I think it would better serve us to change this core belief too. However, I would definitely not take the reciprocal core belief in this case. Too many expectations hold the potential for disappointment and we as addicts all know to where disappointments can lead.
I am intentional
I looked up the definition of hope as a verb and found a way to look at hope in a way that is more positive and plausible for our goal of sobriety. Verb; to intend, if possible, to do something. One of the things I have tried to adopt in my life of sobriety is the consistent use of intentions. Every day, along with gratitude, I try to set my intentions for the day, week, month, year, and even my life. My intentions are the things I am working toward. Some of them I may achieve easily, others may not be so easy. Some, I may never achieve. The difference lies in the expectation.
Hope sets the expectation for a thing to happen. It does not take into account the process, variables, and work necessary to make it happen. It just expects it to happen. While the subsequent result may very well be in line with your expectation, there is a fifty percent chance that the result may also end in disappointment. The problem for the addict is that disappointment can be a trigger for many of us. I know I was hugely susceptible to disappointment. I would experience it so overwhelmingly that I could not function for an entire day and sometimes longer. I remember when the Seahawks lost the Superbowl against the Patriots, I experienced an enormous amount of disappointment, and while I don't remember what happened after, I can surmise inebriation was involved.
Living with intention allows for a much greater end result scope. It does not require definitive answers and therefore affords us the opportunity to learn from the result rather than be crushed by it. If I set an intention to have my book published, I am not thinking about holding my published book in my hands (well, not always anyway), I am thinking about what I have to do to make that intention a reality. I am thinking about things like writing, editing, and marketing. I am spending my time living in the process of intention instead of the result. If my book does not get published, I know that I did everything I could to make it happen and I have probably learned some valuable feedback along the way to help me get my next book published. Either way, I did not fail, I learned and that is what we need to take with us into our recovery and sobriety.
Start by stating five intentions you want to enact every day. I recommend writing them down. I used to post them on twitter every day as a way of releasing my intentions into the universe. I'll be honest and say I have drifted away from my intentions lately so I am going to do this with you right now, after which I will again post them on twitter. (Note: I tend to write my intentions as if they have already occurred)
My daily intentions: 1. I write professionally. 2. I love and allow myself to be loved. 3. I intentionally strive to reach my goals. 4. I show kindness. 5. I live well. (Posted)