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Thursday, April 18, 2013

12 Steps to Recovery - Restoring Self-Control

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12 Steps to Recovery - Restoring Self-Control - By Steve Wickham

It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to seek one's own honor. Like a city whose walls are broken down is a person who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:27-28
Self-control, a sound mind, self-discipline, and prudence are all synonymous. The antithesis is the lack of self-control. The spirit of the person who lacks self-control is vexed i.e. not at peace/not free. The person cannot enjoy that thing they can't control, and this dysfunction will often exert control over their life in ways they don't choose. No matter how hard they try they'll have an insatiable appetite or desire for that 'thing' or combination of things -- which is almost always linked to comfort or avoidance of pain.
Do you have this vexation dogging you in some way or other? It's very personal isn't it? You're probably ashamed that you can't control this particular 'little thing' when it's clear to you others can, and they seem to maintain control so easily.
Indulge yourself for a moment and read along, you'll find you're not alone... everyone struggles with self-control as some point or other.
Lack of self-control is often situational. For instance, some lack self-control over a substance like alcohol, drugs or food. For others it will be sex or gambling or work. The problem of self-control also works at a variety of levels of extremes -- from the sublime right through to the ridiculous.
If a lack of self-control causes dysfunction in behaviour or relationships it needs to be dealt with. Whatever the problem is, it highlights denial; at the core, it is denial that there's a problem. This is the biggest problem -- the person needs help, and it is most often help they cannot provide for themselves in an indefinite sense. There is a core character issue that prevents the option of self-help in this situation. (For most minor self-control problems are solved at the self-help level.)
This is why Step 1 of the Twelve Step program is so critical. It goes like this: "We admitted we were powerless over [the thing that controls us] -- that our lives had become unmanageable." Many, many people can never bring themselves to this point: that is to acknowledge freely and openly that the issue of the lack of self-control has taken hold of them and that they've lost all sense of genuine hope for a future of freedom from this dependency or addiction.
It's a desperate situation. This is why so many cannot bring themselves to this point. They don't see themselves as "desperate's." Where there is a pattern of dependency coupled with an inability to break clear indefinitely it is desperate alright. Powerlessness in something needs to be seen very personally -- it needs to be owned. It is a person seeing the broken down wall of their spirit (their brokenness) and admitting they need help and direction -- we all require it in some way or other.
Enter indolence. The indolent are "insensitive to pain" (Merriam-Webster). They are slow to heal and they also paradoxically resist pain -- they are naturally indifferent to the truth that could set them free; a truth that would be painful initially, but would provide a genuine gateway to emotional, psychological, and spiritual freedom. We are all somewhat afflicted with a propensity toward indolence (denial) and this is definitely a curse.
Put another way, we put up with so much of one sort of indolent pain, prolonging it in fact, only to resist a sharper envelope of pain that once endured would actually set us completely free. The keys to recovery can be stated thus:
"As summarized by the American Psychological Association, working the Twelve Steps involves the following.[1]
- admitting that one cannot control one's addiction or compulsion;
- recognizing a greater power that can give strength;
- examining past errors with the help of a sponsor (experienced member);
- making amends for these errors;
- learning to live a new life with a new code of behavior;
- helping others that suffer from the same addictions or compulsions."[2]
Lacking self-control in one single area in life can often have such an impact that it dominates the life of the afflicted -- to the hurting of self and the hurting of others. This correlation is basically interdependent (meaning, one thing happens and so does the other), which is sad. Your problems not only affect you, but others too, particularly loved-ones.
If you find yourself lacking self-control in an area or areas of your life, you could do a lot worse than consider it a very real problem; enough to seek external help, guidance, and support. You'll find it infinitely worth it.
In your own opinion, has your live become unmanageable? Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? At the end of the day, "The [12-Step] program works if you work the program." And it will work on any of your problems. It will be the miracle that you need and it will (later on) seem so ridiculously easy in hindsight. But, it only works if you 'work the program,' consistently and faithfully.
A site like this: http://www.12step.org/ will help. Copyright © 2008, Steven John Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. [1] VandenBos, Gary R. (2007). APA dictionary of psychology, 1st edition, Washington, DC, American Psychological Association, ISBN 1591473802. [2] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve-step_programSteve Wickham is a safety and health professional (BSc) and a qualified lay Christian minister (GradDipDiv). His passion in vocation is facilitation and coaching; encouraging people to soar to a higher value of their potential. Steve's key passion is work / life balance and re-creating value for living and an exploration of the person within us, and especially the breaking of generational curses. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steve_Wickham  Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1216351


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