پنجشنبه 1390/01/18

سال نو مبارک

به لطف او روزی دیگر شد وفرصتی جدید برای نو شدن پیدا شدن و رهایی و آزادی از اسارت نفس؛و این بدست نخواهد آمد مگر با خودشناسی و استفاده از فرمولی که توسط پیشگامان با درد و رنج و تجربه شخصی بدست آمد و راهی مطمئن که ما را به سر منزل مقصود خواهد رساند

نوشته شده توسط گمنام در 8:27 |  لینک ثابت   • 

جمعه 1393/04/13

عشقت رسد به فریاد ار خود به سان حافظ قرآن ز بر بخوانی در چارده روایت

زان یار دلنوازم شکریست با شکایت

گر نکته دان عشقی بشنو تو این حکایت

بی مزد بود و منت هر خدمتی که کردم

یا رب مباد کس را مخدوم بی عنایت

رندان تشنه لب را آبی نمی‌دهد کس

گویی ولی شناسان رفتند از این ولایت

در زلف چون کمندش ای دل مپیچ کان جا

سرها بریده بینی بی جرم و بی جنایت

چشمت به غمزه ما را خون خورد و می‌پسندی

جانا روا نباشد خون ریز را حمایت

در این شب سیاهم گم گشت راه مقصود

از گوشه‌ای برون آی ای کوکب هدایت

از هر طرف که رفتم جز وحشتم نیفزود

زنهار از این بیابان وین راه بی‌نهایت

ای آفتاب خوبان می‌جوشد اندرونم

یک ساعتم بگنجان در سایه عنایت

این راه را نهایت صورت کجا توان بست

کش صد هزار منزل بیش است در بدایت

هر چند بردی آبم روی از درت نتابم

جور از حبیب خوشتر کز مدعی رعایت

عشقت رسد به فریاد ار خود به سان حافظ

قرآن ز بر بخوانی در چارده روایت

نوشته شده توسط گمنام در 7:55 |  لینک ثابت   • 

جمعه 1393/04/13

آنچه می ماند در نهایت بین تو و اوست

حجاب چهره جان می‌شود غبار تنم   خوشا دمی که از این چهره پرده برفکنم
چنین قفس نه سزای چو من خوش الحانیست   روم به گلشن رضوان که مرغ آن چمنم
عیان نشد که چرا آمدم کجا بودم   دریغ و درد که غافل ز کار خویشتنم
چگونه طوف کنم در فضای عالم قدس   که در سراچه ترکیب تخته بند تنم
اگر ز خون دلم بوی شوق می‌آید   عجب مدار که همدرد نافه ختنم
طراز پیرهن زرکشم مبین چون شمع   که سوزهاست نهانی درون پیرهنم
بیا و هستی حافظ ز پیش او بردار   که با وجود تو کس نشنود ز من که منم
نوشته شده توسط گمنام در 7:49 |  لینک ثابت   • 

شنبه 1393/02/27

خود بزرگ بینی

ناپلئون خواب تسخیر جهان را می‌دید و هیتلر می‌خواست نژادی از ابرانسان‌ها پدید آورد. دوست فرانسوی من دختری دارد که چندی پیش در تئاتر مدرسه‌اش نقش کوچکی بازی کرده و با استقبال تماشاگران رو به رو شده و اکنون گمان می‌کند که بهترین هنرپیشۀ نسل خود است. همسایۀ ما پژوهشگر سادۀ یک آزمایشگاه زیست‌شناسی است و مقاله‌هایی در این زمینه به چاپ رسانده اما مدتی است اطمینان پیدا کرده که به زودی بزرگ‌ترین کشف قرن را خواهد کرد. حتماً بعضی از شماها به خاطر دارید که محمدرضاشاه خود را جانشین کورش هخامنشی می‌دانست و می‌خواست ایران را با پول نفت به دروازه‌های تمدن بزرگ برساند. در میان حکومتگران کنونی ایران کم نیستند کسانی که هنوز هدفِ نخستین انقلاب ایران را ایجاد حکومت جهانی اسلام بدانند. اگر دقت کنید همۀ این آدم‌ها یک خصلت مشترک دارند و آن خودبزرگ‌بینی یا جنون عظمت است. آدمیان خود را چنان که درواقع هستند، نمی‌بینند. یا خودکمبین‌اند و یا خودبزرگ‌بین. روان‌شناسان خود‌کم‌بینی را به همان اندازۀ خودبزرگ‌بینی زیانبار می‌دانند و حتی معتقدند که اندکی خود‌بزرگ‌بینی بهتر و سالم‌تر از خودکم‌بینی است. زیرا آدم خودکم‌بین به توانایی‌های خود اعتقادی ندارد و از همین‌روهمواره شکست می‌خورد. به ویژه آنکه رندان، خود‌کم‌بینی او را با عناوین گوناگون از جمله فروتنی می‌ستایند و او را از آشکار کردن توانایی‌هایش و بهره‌مند شدن از آن‌ها باز می‌دارند. و اما مرز میان خودبزرگ‌بینی عادی و خودبزرگ‌بینی بیمارگون کجاست؟ روان‌شناسان دو نشانۀ اساسی برای این مرز می‌شناسند. اول، گسست کامل از واقعیت و دوم، تحقیر دیگری تا حد انکار او. جالب اینکه این خصلت، در عین‌حال که میل به نابودی دیگری را در بیمارِ خودبزرگ‌بین شدت می‌بخشد، بیشتر وقت‌ها با خودویرانگری خود او نیز همراه است. روان‌شناسان ریشه‌های خودبزرگ‌بینی را مانند بسیاری از بیماری‌های روانی در کودکیِ بیمار جست و جو می‌کنند. به عقیدۀ بیشتر آنان، خودبزرگ‌بینی معمولاً در کودکانی پدید می‌آید که از حمایت بیش از اندازۀ مادر برخوردارند و پدر به هر دلیلی توانایی حد گذاشتن بر رفتار کودک را ندارد. از زمانی که این گمان در کودک پدید می‌آید که می‌تواند خواسته‌هایش را با پافشاری بر آن‌ها بر کرسی نشاند، نطفۀ خودبزرگ‌بینی در روان او بسته می‌شود. خودبزرگ‌بین خویشتن را تواناتر، دانشمندتر، شایسته‌تر، حق‌دارتر و خطاناپذیرتر از همه می‌داند. حتماً تاکنون پای صحبت آدمی خودبزرگ‌بین نشسته‌اید و دیده‌اید که چگونه، بی‌آنکه بر زبان بیاورد، از شما می‌خواهد که فقط شنونده باشید. البته بهتر است در برابر او خاموش بمانید. زیرا اگر سخنی هوشمندانه از شما بشنود، بی‌شک آن را تخطئه خواهد کرد. روان‌شناسان گونه‌ای از خودبزرگ‌بینی را با زخم‌خوردگی روانی یا روان‌گزیدگی توضیح می‌دهند. در این حالت، خودبزرگ‌بین آدمی بسیار شکننده است. او در عین خودبزرگ‌بینی عادت به مظلوم‌نمایی نیز دارد و برای اثبات مظلومیت‌اش می‌تواند حتی تا مرز نابودی خود پیش برود. شکی نیست که رویدادی یا رفتاری تحقیرآمیز زخمی درمان‌ناپذیر بر روان او زده است و از همین رو، خودبزرگ‌بینی‌اش بیشتر وقت‌ها با تهدید عاطفی همراه است. او خود را آسیب‌دیده و فداشده نشان می‌دهد. درواقع، بی‌رحمی و دشمن‌خوییِ ذاتی‌اش زخم‌خوردگی یا روان‌گزیدگی او را جبران می‌کند. با این ساز و کار می‌توان خودبزرگ‌بینی‌های قومی و ملی را نیز توضیح داد. هویت‌های نابُردبار ملی که بعضی از ملت‌ها برای خود ساخته‌اند، نتیجۀ این نوع خودبزرگ‌بینی است. به همان گونه که آدم خودبزرگ‌بین از پذیرش توانایی‌های دیگری تن می‌زند، ملت‌های خودبزرگ‌بین نیز همۀ بزرگی‌ها، هنرها، دانش‌ها و زیبایی‌ها را از آن خود و دیگران را بی‌بهره از آن‌ها می‌دانند. خودبزرگ‌بینی پدیده‌ای نیست که خاص فرهنگ‌ها یا ملت‌های معینی باشد. آن را در میان همۀ مردمان جهان می‌توان یافت. اما در میان بعضی ملت‌ها به دلایل فرهنگی و تاریخی زمینۀ مناسب‌تر و شدت بیشتری دارد. آیا گمان نمی‌کنید که فرهنگ ما ایرانیان برای رشد و گسترش این بیماری استعداد بیشتری داشته باشد؟ دامنه و شدت این بیماری را در میان طبقۀ متوسط شهری ایران و جماعتی که روشنفکر نامیده می‌شوند، به آسانی می‌توان سنجید؟ کافی است اندکی در رفتار و گفتار این گروه از ایرانیان دقت کنید و ببینید که چگونه این بیماری چه به صورت فردی و چه به صورت جمعی در میان آنان بیداد می‌کند. شکی نیست که صورت فردی‌اش نتیجۀ تربیت خانوادگی است. اما صورت جمعی‌اش حاصل هویت نابردباری است که در قرن گذشته برای ما ساخته‌اند. این هویت نابردبار که روی دیگر سکۀ خودبزرگ‌بینی ماست، نکبت دیروزمان را به حملۀ عرب و درماندگی امروزمان را به توطئۀ قدرت‌های غربی نسبت می‌دهد و بدین‌سان، ناتوانی فردی و جمعی ما را توجیه می‌کند.
نوشته شده توسط گمنام در 15:0 |  لینک ثابت   • 

سه شنبه 1393/02/16

دعا و مراقبه

یکی از راههای تسلط پیدا کردن بر ذهن یادگیری آرامش ذهنی است بدون استثنا همه استادان معنوی مراقبه را سرلوحه ی کار روزانه خود قرار داده اند. لزومی ندارد برای مراقبه کردن ساعتها در کنج خلوتی بنشی و یکسری کارهای پیچیده و مراحل خاصی را بگذرانی خیلی ساده روزانه بیست دقیقه با توجه و مراقبت از افکار و احساساتت و مشاهده آنها میتوانی به  نتایج شگفت انگیزی  بمنظور آگاهی از نقش خودت  برسی میتوانی  با گوش کردن موزیکی ملایم روشن کردن عودی خوش بو و تمرکز بر یک جمله تاکیدی همچون "من حاکم افکارم هستم"  من ذهن نیستم جسم نیستم بلکه قطعه ای از خدا هستم مراقبه نمایی خوب گوش کن و ببین چه نقشی در کائنات داری و میخواهی چه کنی هدفت از زندگی کردن چیست و میتوانی برای بهتر کردن دنیا چه بکنی و از کجا آمده ایی  چرا آمده ایی و به کجا خواهی رفت در نهایت باید از همه این وسایلی که به کمک آنها به روح کائنات وصل شده ایی هم جدا شوی حتی جملات تاکیدی و فقط با خداوند یکی شوی و به نیروانا و آزادی که با هیچ کلمه و جمله ایی قابل تعریف نیست یکی شوی با تکرار و تمرین و عادت میتوانی آنرا تجربه کنی که به این تجربه اشراق میگویند بعد چهارم زندگی میگویند

نوشته شده توسط گمنام در 22:0 |  لینک ثابت   • 

دوشنبه 1393/01/18

کار درست با نیت خیر

خدمت خالی از هوی نفس باعث التیام و بهبودی ما از نواقص اخلاقی است و برعکس وقتی توام با مصرف نواقص اخلاقی است باعث درد و رنج خود و دیگران است خداوندا ما را از شر خود و بیماری و نواقص اخلاقیمان در امان بدار

نوشته شده توسط گمنام در 0:13 |  لینک ثابت   • 

شنبه 1392/09/16

شکرگزاری از رهایی

فراموش نکنیم ما محکوم به فنا بودیم امروز فرصت زندگی و شاد زیستن داریم این آزادی بزرگیست خداوندا متچکریم

نوشته شده توسط گمنام در 14:58 |  لینک ثابت   • 

شنبه 1392/09/09

برنامه ایی برای انجام نه برای دانستن

وقتی برنامه را انجام میدهی به نتایج شگفت انگیزی میرسی و وقتی آنرا پشت گوش می اندازی عوارض بیماری مجددا بروز و ظهور میکند و باعث آشفتگی زندگیت میگردد بیماری مترصد کوچکترین اهمال و کم کاری و بیتفاوتی و بیحوصلگی توست تا مجددا رشد نموده و جبران توقف خود نماید

نوشته شده توسط گمنام در 8:5 |  لینک ثابت   • 

چهارشنبه 1392/07/17

عشق تنها راه علاج

تنها علاج ترسهای خودمحورانه ما دادن و گرفتن عشق بدون شرط میباشد نیازی که بشر امروز سخت محتاج آن است و بشدت از آن دور شده است و آنرا در سرابهای مصرف در سراشیبی سرخوردگی و یاس میجوید

نوشته شده توسط گمنام در 13:34 |  لینک ثابت   • 

دوشنبه 1392/06/11

خدمت خالی از هوی نفس

گاهی تنها نیرویی که کمک میکند اصول روحانی را در زندگی به جریان اندازیم و آن را تمرین کنیم تنها خدمت است از خداوند توفیق خدمت را با نیت خیر خواستارم تا بتوانم گوشه ایی اندک از لطف بی پایانش را با شکرگذاری خود  به نمایش بگذارم

به امیدش و به یاریش

نوشته شده توسط گمنام در 0:27 |  لینک ثابت   • 

شنبه 1392/06/09

روابط خاص

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE AR-SA

·    رفتارهای جنسی من چگونه بر اساس خودخواهی بوده اند ؟ غالبا من به ارضای نیاز و تمایلات جنسی خود می اندیشم و طرف مقابل و نیازهایش را در نظر نمیگیرم خودخواهی الگویی در روابطم بوده و باعث میگردد یک رابطه سالم و دوطرفه و کامل را نداشته باشم

·    آیا روابط جنسی را بجای عشق ، اشتباهی می گرفتم ؟ نتیجه اقدام بر روی این اشتباه چه بود ؟ بله گاهی که نیازهای جنسی تامین نمیگردد و احساس کمبود و نقصان دارم میخواهم عشق و دوست داشتن را وجه المصالحه رسیدن به نیازهای جنسی ام کنم در نتیجه دومقوله جدا ازهم درهم مخلوط شده و تولید اشکال میکند سردی و تیرگی روابط نتیجه این اشتباه است

·    از روابط جنسی چگونه برای اجتناب از تنهایی و پرکردن خلاء روحانی استفاده می کردم ؟ با توجه به اینکه انزال جسمی برای لحظه ایی شبیه مراقبه است این اشتباه برایم بوجود می آید که خلائ خود را با تکرار سکس پر کنم که این باعث عمیقتر شدن خلا روحانی ام است این دومقوله از هم جداست

·    به چه شکل از روی اجبار خواستار داشتن یا نداشتن رابطه جنسی می شدم ؟ وقتی بیماری ام فعال است و دچار وسوسه و اجبار هستم دچار عدم تعادلی هستم که یا درخواست سکس یا عدم درخواستش را دارم در هر شکلش چون از روی سلامت عقل نیست باعث خسارت به خود و دیگران میگردد

·    آیا پس از رابطه جنسی با کسی ، اتفاق افتاده که احساس گناه یا خجالت کنم ؟ آنها کدامیک از این روابط بودند ؟ چرا اینگونه احساس می کردم ؟ بله بدلیل قدرت و تسلط باورهای مذهبی که از والدینم گرفته ام که گذاشتن رابطه با جنس مخالف یا دختری که ازدواج ننموده ای دچار عذاب وجدان میگردم یا وقتی که متاهلم برای داشتن ارتباط با دیگری بشدت دچار احساس گناه میگردم زیرا احساس میکنم اصول اخلاقی ام را زیر پا گذاشته ام علیرغم درستی یا نادرستی باورها و اعتقادات هرگاه خلافی کنم دچار رنج میگردم

·    آیا هیچ یک از روابط جنسی من باعث آزار خود یا دیگران شده ؟ بله کاهش روابط جنسی ام در دوسال اخیر بدلیل بارداری همسرم و تولدنوزاد باعث فشارهایی گردید و از آنجاییکه همیشه متعهد بوده ام خودم آزار دیدم گاهی فکرم به من میگوید شاید "همانا مردانی که به زنان خود خیانت نمیکنند درواقع بخود خیانت میکنند"

·    آیا با تمایلات جنسی خودم راحت هستم ؟ اگر نه ، چرا ؟ تا حدودی آری بعضی اوقات خیر گاهی احساس  میکنم به اندازه کافی از سکس و لذتهای جنسی برخوردار نبوده ام گاهی هم اهمیتی نمی دهم گاهی با مقایسه خود با دیگران که هر روز از این رابطه به آن رابطه بدون احساس گناه میروند احساس مغبون شدن پیدا میکنم گاهی هم به خودم میگویم دمت گرم که چقدر پایبند زن و زندگی و خانواده هستی

·    آیا با تمایلات جنسی دیگران راحت هستم ؟ اگر نه، چرا ؟ بله راحتم اگر به آزادیهای من لطمه نزند

·    آیا روابط جنسی و سکس یک پیش شرط و یا شرط لازم در برقراری همه یا اکثر رابطه های من می باشد ؟  بله چون امروزه در مضیقه ام  برای من اینگونه است در صورتیکه متعادل باشم اینگونه نیست

·    یک رابطه سالم را از نظر خودتان تعریف کنید ؟ بر اساس احترام متقابل با رعایت اصول اخلاقی و انسانی و انصاف که طرفین معامله به نسبت مساوی از آن متنعم گردند و خسارتی به ذینفعان نرسانند

 

نوشته شده توسط گمنام در 11:11 |  لینک ثابت   • 

یکشنبه 1392/05/13

وضعیت آخر

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE AR-SA
.1فروید، پنفیلد و برن در اوایل قرن بیستم وقتی فروید در صحنه تفکر بشر ظاهر شد، این موضوع به صحنه مبحث تازه ای به نام تجربیات علمی کشیده شد. سهم اساسی فروید این نظریه او بود که عوامل ستیز درونی داده شده: فرامن (superego) که نیروی کل کنترل کننده و محدود کننده ی ضمیر بود و به کمک “نهاد” (instinctual drives)، بر روی “من” (ego) به عنوان داوری که “به خیر خود” کار می کند، شخصیت را اداره می کند. یکی از عوامل بیگانه بودن مردم امروز با موضوع شناخت درون خود، ورطه و شکاف بزرگی است که بین دانش متخصصین و ارتباط آنها با مردم عادی وجود دارد. من برای کوشش های وفادارنه و نظریات روانشناسانه گذشته در رشته روانکاوی احترام بسیار قائلم. آنچه امیدوارم در این کتاب ارائه دهم آن است که نخست روش های گذشته را توضیح دهم، و سپس روش های جدیدی را معرفی کنم، نه از آن جهت که به روش های قدیمی حمله خصمانه کرده باشم، بلکه صرفاً از این نظر که در مواجهه با مسائل عدیده جوامع امروز لازم است برای یافتن راه حل های تازه گامهای تازه برداریم. زیرا بطوری که مدارک نشان می دهند روش های قدیمی ظاهراً در حد کفایت نافع نبوده اند. مردم ممکن است بدانند که متخصصین گفتنی های زیادی درباره رفتار انسانی در کتاب های خود آورده اند، ولی ترجیح می دهند که بسازند، یا نذر و نیاز کنند، یا حداکثر به مجلات بنویسند، یا بنشینند و زندگی خود را رادر کاریکاتورها و شوخی های مبتذل نظاره کنند. اما چه چیزی کاملتر و ساده تر از آن است که برای یافتن جواب های تازه در مورد مسائل قدیمی به اصول محرک های روانی انسانی بپردازیم؟ آیا اطلاعاتی وجود دارد که هم حقیقی و هم سودمند باشد؟ پنفیلد یکی از روانکاونی بوده است که از شوک الکتریکی برای درمان بیماران خود استفاده می کرده است. نتیجه گیری های پنفیلد نشان می دهد حتی پس از آنکه شخص دیگر قادر نیست خاطره ای را به یاد آورد، مدارک ضبط شده آن خاطره تمام و کمال در مغز او باقی می ماند. به طور خلاصه از تجربیات دانشمندانی که در زمینه ی مغز و حافظه ی انسان به تحقیق علمی پرداخته اند، می توان نتیجه گرفت: - مغز مانند یک ضبط صوت عالی کار می کند - احساس هایی که با رویدادهای گذشته ممزوج بودند نیز توأماً ضبط می شوند و به طرزی ناگشودنی برای همیشه با این رویداد ها قفل می شوند. - آدمی می تواند در آن واحد در دو حال وجود داشته باشد: بیمار می دانست که در حال حاضر روی تخت دکتر روانکاو استو با پنفیلد حرف می زند، در عین حال خود را جلو کارخانه“سون- آپ” و نانوایی هاریسون می دید. او یک حالت دوگانه داشت، زیرا در آنِ واحد هم در آن لحظه تجربه گذشته اش بود و هم بیرون از آن تجربه بود و به آن نگاه می کرد. - این تجربه های ضبط شده و احساس های ممزوج با آنها، امروزه در هر لحظه از زندگی به همان حالت زنده آماده “بازنواختن” اند، و این نوارهای ضبط شده تقریباً تمامی اطلاعاتی را که باعث رفتار متقابل ما با دیگران می شود، ارائه می دهند. این تجربه ها نه تنها به یاد آورده می شوند (آگاهانه) بلکه ما آنها را دوباره (ناآگاهانه) زندگی می کنیم. من فقط به یاد می آورم که چه احساسی داشتم بلکه همین الان آن احساس را دارم. دکتر اریک برن، بانی نظریه “تحلیل رفتار متقابل” واحد علمی را برای آن تعریف و مشخص کرده است: هر گونه واحد آمیزش اجتماعی یک “رفتار متقابل” نام دارد. هر وقت یک انسان بایک نفر یا بیشتر در ارتباط باشد، دیر یا زود یکی از آنها حرفی می زند، یا علامتی نشان می دهد، که حضور دیگری را ثابت می کند. ما این را یک انگیزه رفتار متقابل می نامیم. پس آن شخص متقابلاً حرفی می زند، یا علامتی نشان می دهد، که به طریقی پاسخی به آن انگیزه است، و آن پاسخ رفتار متقابل نامیده می شود. “تحلیل رفتار متقابل” روش بررسی این رفتار و اعمال است که رد آن “من با تو کار می کنم و تو هم در مقابل کاری با من می کنی” و این میان معلوم می شود که کدام جنبه از شخصیت چند جنبه ای انسان دخالت داشته است. .2“والد”، “بالغ” و “کودک” دکتر اریک برن در همان اوایل کار و مطالعات خود در زمینه “تحلیل رفتار متقابل”، متوجه شد که وقتی به مردم توجه می کنیم و حرکتشان را با دقت می نگریم و حرفهایشان را گوش می دهیم در مقابل چشم های ما تغییر می کنند. و این تغیر اغلب تمام و کامل است. “والد” : تمام چیزهایی که کودک از پدر و مادرش می بیند، یا می شنود، در نوار “والد” ضبط می شود. مادر ممکن است بد و پدر مممکن است خوب باشد، یا برعکس. در چنین صورتی پدیده “والد” روی همرفته ناجور و ضعیف و شکسته است. “کودک” : همزمان با ضبط اطلاعات رویداد های خارجی در آنچه که ما از “والد” می نامیدیم، ضبط دیگری نیز صورت می گیرد و آن ضبط رویداد های “درونی” یا به عبارت دیگر، پاسخ یا عکس العمل انسان کوچک (احساس او) نسبت به آن چیز هایی است که می بیند و می شنود. اغلب از من پرسیده اند که چه موقع “والد” و “کودک” از ضبط کردن باز می ایستند؟ آیا ضبط های “والد” و “کودک” فقط شامل تجربیات پنج ساله اول زندگی است؟ به عقیده من تا روزی که بچه خانه را بسوی مدرسه و “اولین تجربه اجتماعی مستقل” خود ترک می کند، در معرض تقریباً کلیه انواع ممکن تجربه طرز فکر و پند و هشدار پدر و مادر قرار دارد. “بالغ” : اما حدود ده ماهگی، پدیده شگفت انگیزی در کودک به کار می پردازد. تا آن تاریخ زندگی نوزاد جز کار های عاجزانه، غریزی، بیفکر، و بی تحرک، چیزی نیست. در او “کودک” و “والد” هست، اما آنچه در او نیست توانایی آن است که خودش کاری بکند و حرکات خود را از روی فکر انتخاب کند یا بتواند اطرافیان محیط خود را بسنجد. او هیچگونه قدرت خود راهنمایی کردن، یا قدرت حرکت برای کشف و رویارویی با زندگی را نداشته است. تا کنون فقط به سادگی آنچه را که پیش آمده قبول کرده است. اما در ده ماهگی او خودش تجربه “از جا حرکت کردن” را آغاز می کند. می تواند اشیا اطراف خود را بسنجد و به حرکت بپردازد و خود را از زندان سکون خلاص کند. حقیقت این است که پیش از این، در هفت ماهگی، نوزاد ممکن بود احتیاج به کمک داشته باشد و نمی توانست خودش از جا بلند شود. در ده ماهگی او نه فقط می تواند تحرک داشته باشد، بلکه می تواند به وارسی و کنجکاوی درباره ی اسباب بازی ها و چیز های دیگر بپردازد. “بالغ” حتی ممکن است در سنین پایین نیز اقدام به بررسی و امتحان کردن اطلاعات “والد” بکند. و از اینجاست که ساخت شخصیت ها قوام می گیرد. نوجوانی می تواند احساس ایمنی کند که در قضاوت “بالغ” او اطلاعات “والد” معتبر و صحیح باشد. ما نمی توانیم احساس ضبط شده را پاک کنیم. ولی می توانیم، اگر خواستیم، کلید را بزنیم و آن را متوقف کنیم! یکی دیگر از وظایف “بالغ” ارزیابی احتمالات است. این کار در سنین کودکی رشد آهسته ای دارد و در حقیقت بسیاری از افراد در تمام عمر رشد زیادی نمی کند. چه بسا بچه با لحظه های نامطبوعی مواجه می شود که ضمن آن باید به زور یکی از دو شق را انتخاب کند. کار مداوم “بالغ” شامل بررسی اطلاعات قدیمی، اعتبار دادن یا اعتبار ندادن، و و بالاخره دوباره بایگانی گردن آنها برای استفاده در آینده است. اگر این کار بخوبی و نرمی پیش برود، و تقریباً هیچ تضادی بین آنچه که به او یاد داده بودند و آنچه واقعیت است وجود نداشته باشد، کامپیوتر وضعش خوب، و آماده به کار های مهم است. از همه مهمتر کار خلاق است. نیروی خلاق، از حس کنجکاوی “کودک” زاده می شود، که البته در “بالغ” نیز هست. عده ای خود را متقاعد کرده اند که بچه ای که با انضباط و “دیسیپلین” سخت بزرگ نشده باشد و جلویش را با مقررات خشک نگرفته باشند، نسبت به بچه ای که پدر مادرش او را با انضباط و مقررات بار آورده اند، دارای قوه خلاقانه بیشتری است. من گمان نمی کنم این نکته درست باشد. زمان کامپیوتر انسان، محدود است. کار های ضد و نقیض، مغز را به مصرف زیاد و غیرضروری وا می دارد. یک عامل وقت گیرنده بسیار جدی موقعی است که اطلاعاتی که “والد” به عنوان حقیقت ضبط کرده است به نظر “بالغ” درست در نیاید. .3چهار وضعیت زندگی پیاژه بر اساس تحقیقات و ملاحظات بسیار دقیق خود معتقد است که نوزادان و خردسالان طرز برخورد “هر چه پیش آید خوش آید” را در ماه های اولیه زندگی آغاز و در پایان دو سالگی تقریباً تکمیل می کنند. به عبارت دیگر، اطلاعات مختلف بصورت نا منظم در مغز متراکم می شوند به طوری که پس از مدتی خود دارای طرحی می شوند که فقط چنین نتیجه گیری از آنها ممکن است. پیاژه می گوید: “طی دوساله اول زندگی، تکامل حسی – حرکتی هوش کودک، و همچنین احساس او از عظمت و پیچیدگی جهان، ظاهراً او را به یک حالت تعادل که در مرز منطقی فکر کردن است می رساند”. “تحلیل رفتار متقابل”، طبقه بندی زیر را برای افراد در رابطه با خود و دیگران تشکیل می دهد: - “من " خوب " هستم – شما " خوب " هستید”. - “من " خوب " نیستم – شما " خوب " نیستید”. - “من " خوب " هستم – شما " خوب " نیستید”. - “من " خوب " نیستم – شما " خوب " هستید”. به عقیده من، تا پایان دو سالگی و احتمالاً در طول سه سالگی، کودک نزد خود یکی از سه وضعیت اول را نتیجه گیری کرده است. پس از آنکه در یک وضعیت تثبیت شد، بچه بطور دائم در این وضعیت باقی می ماند، و هر کاری که می کند این روحیه در آن تاثیر خواهد داشت. این وضعیت، وضعیت کلی و جهانی اوایل و کودکی، و برداشت منطقی نوزاد از تولد و دوران نوزادی هست. هر کودکی این نوازش را احساس می کند، صرفاً از این جهت که باید اورا بلند کرد و از او نگهداری کرد. انسان احساس می کند که زیر دست دیگران است. احساس نیاز شدیدی به نوازش و شناخته شدن دارد – که این نیز خود شکل روانی دیگری برای نوازش جسمی است. در این وضعیت، امید نیز وجود دارد زیرا منبعی برای نوازش در کار است- “شما " خوب " هستید” - حتی اگر نوازش دائمی نباشد. اگر فقط از روی اجبار بود که در سال اول اورا بلند می کرد، نگه داری می کرد، پس حالا که بچه می تواند خودش بلند شود و راه برود، نشانه ی آنست که دیگر دوران نوزادی و “بچه کوچولو” بودن به پایان رسیده است. زندگی، راحتی هایی ار که در سال اول داشت، اکنون دیگر ندارد. نوازش ناپدید شده است. اگر این وضع رها شدگی و سخت ادامه پیدا کند و در طول دو سالگی تسکین نیابد، طفل این نتیجه را خواهد داشت که “من " خوب " نیستم – شما " خوب " نیستید”. وقتی طفل نتیجه گرفت که “شما " خوب " نیستید”، این طرز فکر شامل همه می شود و او نوازش همه را رد می کند. حتی آنهایی را که نوازش شان اصیل و بی شائبه است. بچه ای که اوتیسم دارد هرگز تولد روانی پیدا نمی کند. بچه ای که برای مدتی طولانی مورد ضرب وشتم شدید پدر و مادری قرار می گیرد و ابتدا احساس می کند که آنها خوب هستند، به وضعیت سوم، یا وضعیت جنایی تغییر می کند : “من "خوب" هستم – شما "خوب" نیستید”. به نظر من این “خود – نوازش” در واقع در انسان کوچکی انجام می گیرد که در حال التیام از جراحت مهم و دردناکی که به دست پدر و مادر بر او وارد آمده است. ما این مورد را “بچه کتک خورده” می نامیم. مطالعه در تاریخچه زندگی اولیه بسیاری از جنایتکاران روانی که این وضعیت را دارند، نشان داده است که اغلب آنها چنین ضربات و جراحاتی را تجربه کرده اند. از لحاظ کیفیت، اختلاف بارزی بین سه وضعیت اول و وضعیت چهارم وجود دارد. سه وضعیت اول همه ریشه های ناگهانی دارند. وضعیت چهارم، “من " خوب" هستم – شما "خوب" هستید”، از آن رو که تصمیمی آگاهانه و بزبان آمده است، نه فقط می تواند شامل اطلاعلات نامحدودی درباره خود شخص و دیگران باشد، بلکه می تواند محصول ادغام عوامل و امکانات “هنوز کشف نشده ای” در زمینه های فلسفه و مذهب باشد. سه وضعیت اول، بر پایه احساسات اند. چهارمی بر پایه تفکر، ایمان، و قول و قرار خود شخص برای عمل است و بالاخره فهمیدن این وضعیت که “من "خوب" هستم - شما "خوب" هستید” یک وضعیت روحی است و نه یک احساس حائز اهمیت. ضبطهای غیر خوب بچگی را نمی توان با یک تصمیم در زمان حال پاک کرد. بالغ قادر است عکس العمل های کودک را در دیگران تشخیص بدهد و اگر خواست از مقابله به مثل خودداری کند. فقط بالغ است که می تواند بدون ترس تمام اطلاعات را بررسی کند و اسیر هیچکدامشان نباشد و اقدام به یافتن اطلاعات بیشتر بنماید. بالغ او باید اطلاعاتی را که از طریق کودک می آید نیز بررسی کند. .4ما می توانیم تغییر کنیم هدف اصلی معالجات در تحلیل رفتر متقابل، بازگرداندن آزادی شخص است. این آزاید از آنجا رشد می کند که شخص حقیقت و معنی آنچه را که در کودک و در والد خود او ضبط شده است بفهمد و توجه کند که چگونه این اطلاعات به رفتار متقابل امروز او خورانده می شود. او همچنین به دانستن تمام حقیقت یا مدرکی نیاز دارد که ثابت کند دنیای امروز چگونه است. لازمه این آزادی آن است که فرد همچنین از این حقیقت آگاه باشد که هر یک از اشخاصی که با او در تماس اند نیز دارای والد، بالغ و کودک اند. چه چیزی مردم را وا می دارد که بخواهند تغییر کنند؟ سه چیز مردم را مجبور می کند که بخواهند تغییر کنند: یکی آنکه آنها تا حد تحمل خود رنج کشیده اند. چیز دیگری که مردم را مجبور می کند که بخواهد تغییر کند، نوع کند ولی تدریجی نومیدی روح است، که همان ملال یا دلگرمی از زندگی است. سومین عاملی که مردم را وادار می کند بخواهند تغییر کنند این است که ناگهان متوجه می شوند که تغییر ممکن است. این بویژه اثر متقابل توجه “تحلیل رفتار متقابل” بوده است. یکی از عمده ترین مسائل تئوری فروید مسئله “تأثیر محیط” بر آزادی بشر است. فروید و اغلب فیلسوفان مکتب رفتار اجتماعی که پدیده علت و معلولی را اساس کار تمام جهان می دانند، معتقدند که این پدیده در مورد نوع بشر نیز صادق است و هر آنچه را که امروز اتفاق می افتد، می توان اساساً برحسب آنچه در گذشته اتفاق افتاده است، توجیه کرد. اگر امروز مردی مرتکب جنایت و قتل شخص دیگری می شود، دلیل و چرای آن را باید در گذشته آن مرد جستجو کرد. فرضیه اینجاست که باید علت یا عللی وجود داشته باشد، و ریشه آن علت یا علل در گذشته نهفته است. بنابراین بالغ را جایگاه فعالیت، خانه امید، و محلی می بینیم که در آن تغییر ممکن می شود. .5 تجزیه و تحلیل رفتار متقابل یک رفتار متقابل عبارت است از انگیزه ای از طرف یک شخص و پاسخی بر آن انگیزه از طرف شخص دیگر، بطوری که آن پاسخ به نوبه خود انگیزه ای برای شخص اول شود تا به آن پاسخ دهد. فهرستی از سرنخهای جسمی و لفظی برای هر کدام از حالتهای والد، کودک و بالغ می توان بر شمرد: سسرنخ های والد-جسمانی : اخم ها و چین های پیشانی، لبهای در هم فشرده، انگشت سبابه که اشاره می کند، سر تکان دادن، نگاه ترس آور، دست ها را بهم زدن، پاه به زمین کوبیدن، انگشت روی لبها نهادن، دست ها را روی سینه گذاشتن، دست ها را به هم مالیدن، صدای نچ نچ یا نظیر آن را با دهان در آوردن، آه کشیدن، و دیگری را نوازش کردن. اینها علائم بسیار معروف والد است. سرنخهای والد-لفظی: “من می خواهم ته و توی این موضوع را در بیاورم - برای اولین بار و آخرین بار!” ؛ “دیگر نمی توانم جانم به لبم رسیده.....” ؛ “گوش کن، و همیشه یادت باشد که......”؛ (هرگز و همیشه و هیچوقت تقریباً کلمات همیشگی والد هستند و خود نیز نمودهایی از سیستم محدود و قدیمی اندکه بسته بودنشان را روی هر نوع اطلاعات تازه در این جنبه آشکار می کند. بیشتر کلمات ارزیاب، چه تنبه کننده و چه حمایت کننده، معرف “والد” اند، زیرا هر یک ازآنها در مفهوم به نحوی درباره مخاطب حکم یا قضاوتی را اعلام می دارد، که نه بر اثر ارزشیابی “بالغ” بلکه بر پایه عکس العملهای خود بخود و قدیمی است.  سر نخهای “کودک”-جسمانی : از آنجا که عکس العلمهای اولیه “کودک” در مقابل انگیزه های دنیای خارج “بدون کلام” هستند، بارزترین سر نخهای جنبه ی”کودک” به صورت کارهای بدنی یا به عبارت دیگر “بیان از طریق حرکات جسمانی” است. هر یک از کارهای زیر علامت فعالیت “کودک” در یک رفتار متقابل است : اشک، لرزش لبها، تو لب رفتن، کج خلقی، جیغ، ناله، چشم گرداندن، شانه بالا انداختن، چشم پایین انداختن، سر به سر گذاشتن، شعف، غش غش خنده، دست بلند کردن برای اجازه حرف زدن، ناخن جویدن، انگشت در دماغ کردن، وول زدن و کرکر خندیدن.  سر نخهای “کودک”-لفظی : علاوه بر ویژگیهای زبان بچگی، کلمات یا عبارات بسیاری هستند که معرف جنبه “کودک” اند : کاش که، دلم میخواد، نمیدونم، میخوام، به من چه، شاید وقتی بزرگ شدم، گنده تر، گنده ترین، بهتره، و بهترین. (بیشتر صفتهای تفضیلی منشأشان در “کودک” است).  سر نخهای “بالغ”-جسمانی : به گفته ارنست، صورت “بالغ” هنگام گوش دادن همیشه روشن و متوجه جلو است. اگر سر به یکطرف خم شده است، این علامت آنست که شخص با زاویه شک حرفهای شما را می پذیرد.  سر نخهای “بالغ” - لفظی : همانطور که قبلاً ذکر شد لغات اساسی “بالغ” مشتمل است بر : چرا، چه، کجا، کی(چه وقت)، کی(چه کسی) و چطور.کلمات دیگر عبارتند از : چقدر، از چه طریق، مقایسه، حقیقی، غلط، احتمالاً، امکان، نامعلوم، واقعی، من فکر می کنم، می فهمم، صحیح، به عقیده من، و غیره. سرنخهای “بالغ” -لفظی : همانطور که قبلا ذکر شد لغات اساسی “بالغ” مشتمل است بر : چرا، چه،کجا، کی (چه وقت)، کی(چه کسی) وچطور. کلمات دیگر عبارتند از : چقدر، از چه طریق، مقایسه، حقیقی، غلط، احتمالاً، امکان، نامعلوم، واقعی، من فکر می کنم، می فهمم، صحیح، به عقیده من، و غیره.  وقتی از کسی عیب می گیریم یا او را مقصر می دانیم، در حقیقت مشغول بازنواختن عیبجویی و مقصر شمردنی هستیم که ر “والد” ما ضبط است، و این بازنواختن به ما احساس “خوب” می دهد چون”والد”، “خوب” است و ما داریم “والد” را اجرا می کنیم و بدین ترتیب ما به قانون اول ارتباط در “تحلیل رفتار متقابل” می رسیم. هر وقت انگیزه و پاسخ در طرح “والد – بالغ – کودک” خطوط (حاملهای)موازی ایجاد کنند، رفتارهای متقابل به صورت متمم و موافق یکدیگرند، و می توانند تا بی نهایت ادامه پیدا کنند. اگر یکی از طرفین یا دیگری از این ترتیب خسته شود خطوط موازی ارتباط بهم می خورد و دردسر شروع می شود. نوع دیگری از رفتار متقابل متمم (با موافق) رابطه بین “کودک” و “بالغ” برقرار است. رفتار متقابلی که باعث ناراحتی می شود، رفتار متقابل متقاطع است. این نکته ما را به قانون دوم ارتباطات در “تحلیل رفتار متقابل” می رساند. وقتی انگیزه و پاسخ در طرح “والد- بالغ - کودک” خطوط متقابل به وجود می آورند، رفتار متقابل متمم نیست بلکه متقاطع، و ارتباط متوقف می شود. چگونه می توان “بالغ” ماند  “بالغ” شخصیت انسان، دیرتر از “والد” و “کودک” ظاهر می شود، و در بسیاری از اشخاص در تمام عمرآن نمی تواند به آنها برسد. “والد” و “کودک” مدارهای اولیه شخصیت را اشتغال می کنند و مدارهایی بسته و کامل اند، و طبیعتاً و به طور خودکار، اغلب اول آنها هستند که به هر انگیزه ای پاسخ می دهند. بنابراین اولین قدم برای تقویت”بالغ” آن است که به علائم “والد” و “کودک” حساسیت بیشتری داشته باشیم. احساسات برانگیخته انسان علامت آن است که “کودک” درون انسان بیدار شده (به قلاب افتاده) است.  تا ده شمردن، تمرین سودمندتری است که پاسخ خودبخودی را به تاخیر می اندازد تا “بالغ” کنترل رفتار متقابل را به دست گیرد. انسان هر قدر بیشتر درباره ی”کودک” و “والد” خود بداند، به آسانی بیشتری می تواند “کودک” و “والد” را از “بالغ” جدا کند. طریق دیگری که می توان “بالغ” را تقویت کرد این است که وقت بخصوصی را کنار گذاشت و نشست و درباره ی ارزشها و هدفهای زندگی، تصمیمهای کلی گرفت چه این خودبخود بسیاری از تصمیم های کوچک و کم اهمیت تر را غیر لازم می سازد. “بالغی” که روی ارزشهای اساسی و ارجحیتها قبلاً فکر نکرده است، نمی تواند در یک رفتار متقابل حساس بخوبی پیش برود. به طور خلاصه، یک “بالغ” قوی بر پایه ها زیر بنا می شود: - “کودک” درون خود را بشناسید، و آسیب پذیریهای آن، ترسهایش، و راههای اصلی ابراز این احساسها را ملاحظه کنید. - “والد” درونخود را بشناسید، و متوجه احکام آن، تقاطعهایش، وضعیتهای تثبیت شده اش و راههای ابراز این احکام وتقاطها و وضعیتها باشید. - نسبت به “کودک” درون دیگران حساسیت داشته باشید. با آن “کودک” حرف بزنید. آن “کودک” را نوازش کنید. آن “کودک” را حمایت کنید. و آن را به خاطر ابزارهای نیروی خلاقش تحسین کنید. وبالاتر از همه، به احساس “غیر خوب” او توجه داشته باشید. - به “بالغ” درون خود برای پاسخ به یک انگیزه و جدا کردن اطلاعات “والد” و “کودک” از واقعیت، که به کامپیوترش وارد می شود، وقت بدهید. در صورت لزوم تا ده بشمارید. - وقتی شک کردید، کاری نکنید. هیچکس به شما برای آنچه نگفته اید حمله نخواهد کرد. - روی یک سیستم ارزشها برای زندگی خود تصمیم بگیرید. بدون یک چارچوب اخلاقی کلی نمی توانید به آسانی تصمیم گیریهای کوچک و بزرگ روزانه را انجام بدهید.  .6چگونه با یکدیگر فرق داریم  تمام مردم درواقع (در ساخت شخصیت) یک جورند، این نقطه نظرکه همه یک “والد”، “بالغ” و یک “کودک” دارند. آنها از دو جهت با هم فرق داند. اول در محتویات “والد”، “بالغ” و “کودک شان” که البته درمورد هر کس فرق دارد و دوم از نظر ترتیب و تاثیر “والد” و “بالغ” و “کودک” نسبت به یکدیگر، و طرز کار آنها. دردسر جدا نگه نداشتن جنبه شخصیت، آلودگی “بالغ” نامیده می شود. طرح “والد – بالغ – کودک” در صورتی که همه چیز به طور کمال مطلوب کار کند، دایره هایی جدا است. اما در بسیاری از مردم دایره ها متداخل می شوند. ما با منطق نمی توانیم تعصب را از “بالغ” - به خاطر تعصبی که آنجاست - خارج کنیم. تنهاراه خارج کردن تعصب این است که او خودش کشف کند دیگر برایش خطرناک نیست که با پدر و مادرش اختلاف نظر داشته باشد، و بفهمد که او امروز می تواند آن اطلاعات را توسط “بالغ” خود تصحیح کند و با واقعیت روزتطبیق دهد. بنابراین دراینجا معالجه می تواند از راه جدا کردن”والد” و “بالغ” ازیکدیگر و برگردانده مرز واقعی بین آنها صورت پذیرد. “خیالات” نوع دیگری از آلودگی “بالغ” به وسیله ی”کودک” است. خیالات پدیده ای است که ازشدت فشارممکن است تولیدودرمغزدفن شود، ودرآن تجربه ای خارجی وواقعی که عملا درگذشته اتفاق افتاده -  مثل یک تحقیرشدید، یک طردشدید، سرزنش شدید و یا خشونت شدید- ممکن است دوباره درخیال شخص اتفاق بیفتد و شخص امروز آن تجربه تلخ راعملاً احساس می کند درصورتی که “هیچکس دراطرافش نیست”.  علاوه برآلودگی، نوع دیگری اختلال کاردررفتارمتقابل پیش می آیدکه طرد (exclusion) نامیده می شود. این موقعی است که در آن”والد”تحریم کننده”کودک”را ازخودطرد و از خود خارج می کند، یا “کودک” تحریم کننده “والد”را ازخودطرد و خارج می کند. چنین به نظر می آیدکه اودریک مرحله ازطفولیت به وسیله ی پدرومادرخودآنچنان باحربه “وظایف وجدیت وکار”کوبیده شده که لاجرم روحش به این نتیجه رسیده است که تنها راه امن برای زنده ماندن این است که “بچگی”راـ یعنی”کودک”را-کاملاازخودبیرون کند،یابین خودوآن دیواربکشد.  مشکل جدی تر دیگر، بخصوص برای جامعه، شخصی است که دراو”بالغ” به وسیلهِ “کودک” آلوده شده و”والد”طرداست. این شرایط درشخصی توسعه پیدامی کندکه والدین واقعی خودش یا آنها که جای آنهاراپرکردند، آنقدرحیوان صفت وترس آوربودندیا برعکس درقطب دیگرآنقدراحمقانه و بی بند و بار بودند، که در نظر طفل تنها راه زنده ماندن “خارج کردن آنها” از مغز خود بوده است و اینکه جلو آنها و خودش دیوار بکشد و آنها را طرد کند. این نمونه معمولی یک مریض روانی خطرناک است. “من "خوب" هستم – شما " خوب" نیستید”. یکی از راههایی که می توان فهمید شخص “والد” دارد یا نه آن است که دید ئر او احساسهای شرم، پشیمانی، دستپاچگی، گناه و ناراحتی وجود دارد یا نه. اینها احساسهایی هستند که اول در “کودک” و بعدها در “والد” ظهور می کنند. اگر این احساسها در شخص وجود نداشته باشد، احتمالا دلیلش آن است که “والد” او طرد و اخراج شده است. با اطمینان می توان این فرض را پذیرفت که شخصی که به اتهام اذیت و اعمال شنیع نسبت به اطفال دستگیر می شود هیچوقت احساس پشیمانی و ناراحتی یا گناه نمی کند.  شخصی که “بالغ” سد شده یا طرد شده دارد در حقیقت یک روان پریش است. “بالغ” او کار نمی کند، بنابراین تماس خود را با واقعیت از دست داده است. جنبه های”والد” و “کودک” در او قوی هستند و رفتار او اغلب مخلوط درهمی است از اطلاعات قدیمی از تجربه های اولیه زندگی که معنی و مفهوم درستی ندارند از اطلاعات قدیمی از تجربه های اولیه زندگی که معنی و مفهوم درستی ندارند زیرا درهمان زمان ضبط هم معنی و مفهوم درستی نداشتند. شخصی که دارای شخصیت “والد” ثابت، “کودک” ثابت، یا “بالغ” ثابت است، نسبت به وقایع اطراف خود و انگزه ها همیشه به صورتی ثابت، یکنواخت و پیش بینی شده پاسخ می دهد. وضع روحی او همیشه ثابت است. حالت “شیدا – افسرده” در شخص، با انواع دیگر اختلال طرز کار “بالغ” فرق دارد، و این فرق در آن است که در اینجا علت “بالا” و “پایین” رفتن وضع روحی شخص “غیر قابل توضیح” است. همچنین این تبدیل و تغییرات وضع روحی دوره ای هستند و به تناوب عود می کنند. برای معالجه شخصیت “شیدا – افسرده” همانگونه که در معالجه تمام مسائل روانی و احساسی صادق است، باید “بالغ” را کم کم به بررسی احساسهای خود واداشت، او را تشویق کرد بپرسد چرا؟ نوعی شخصیت ملایم و یکنواخت نیز وجود دارد که ضبطهای “والد”و “کودک” در او آنقدر بی مزه و بی وح است که ذاتا فاقد مواد اولیه برای یک شخصیت جالب و هیجان انگیز است. این حالت معمولا در شخصی بروز می کند که دارای واخوردگی خفیفی است (خوشی مال من نیست، مال دیگران است) یا اصلا از زندگی خسته و بیزار است. پدر و مادر شخصی آدمهایی عبوس، کم حرف، و بی تفاوت بوده اند. بندرت توبیخی در کار بوده و بندرت کسی تشویق می شده.  .7وقت را چگونه می گذرانیم اشخاصی که نمی توانند درقت گذرانیهای انسانی شرکت کنند، از لحاظ اجتماعی آدمهای آسان و رام شونده ای نیستند. وقت گذرانیها می توانند وسیله خوبی باشند که آدم بفهمد یک نفر چه جور اخلاق و چه روحیاتی دارد، بدون اینکه درباره او به طور رسمی و آشکارا پرس و جو بکند. وقت گذرانی می تواند به وسیله هر کدام از “والد”، “بالغ” یا “کودک” بازی شود. این اساس تمام بازیهاست. بازیها یک وسیله وقت کشی برای اشخاصی است که نه می توانند بار سنگین بی نوازشی ناشی از کناره گیری را تحمل کند، و نه در عین حال احساس “غیر خوب” آنها طاقت شرم بیرحمانه یک پیوند صمیمانه ر به ظانها می دهد گرچه اینجا احساس بدبختی هست، اما بالاخره یک چیزی هست. به قول معروف آدم کوفتالیدوس حنجره داشته باشد بهتر است تا اینکه اصلا نفس نکشد. بهتر است آدم بازی کند و اطرافیان از هر سو مغلوبش کنند تا اینکه اصلا هیچ رابطه ای نباشد به گفته دکتر ریچارد گالدستون(Richard Galdstone) در مورد بدرفتاری با اطفال، “طفل درگرمی سوزان خشم می تواند ادامه حیات دهد ولی درانجماد دردناک بی اعتنایی امیدی برایش نیست”. هزاران سال است که وجود بشر در روی زمین غالبا براساس این بوده که وقت، برایش دارای ساختی از کناره گیریها، مراسم، سرگرمیها، فعالیتها و بازیها است. هر نوع شک و تردیدی در این بنا را می توان با یادآوری واقعیت وقوع مکرر جنگها در سراسر تاریخ برطرف ساخت. جنگ که از شومترین “بازی” های آدمی است. صمیمت برای هر دو طرف برپایه این تفاهم و تقبل بنا شده است که “من "خوب" هستم – شما " خوب " هستید”. این صمیمت، عملاً، بر بستر یک عشق پذیرا قرار می گیرد. صمیمیت یک پیوند عاری از بازی ات، زیرا هدف طرفین یک چیز واهی و ظاهری نیست. صمیمت در آنجا امکان پذیر است که ترس نیست، و این تفاهم کامل یکدیگر را امکان پذیر می سازد – آنجا که زیبایی را می توان از سودمندی جدا دید، آنجا که به تملک درآوردن به خاطر داشتن غیر ضروری می شود. صمیمیت پیوندی است که در آن “بالغ” هر دو انسان تحت تسلط روح اند، به طوری که اگر خواستند می توانند به “کودک طبیعی” اجازه دهند خود را عیان کند.  یک سؤال اغلب مطرح می شود : آیا کناره گیریها، مراسم، فعالیتها، وقت گذرانیها، و بازیها همیشه برای ارتباط افراد بد است؟ با اطمینان خاطر می توان گفت که بازیها تقریبا همیشه ضایع ککنده اند، به این دلیل که انگیزه های آنی آنها ظاهری است، و خاصیت ظاهری بودن، خلاف طبیعت صمیمانه است. چهار نوع اول ممکن است ضایع کننده نباشند، مگر آنکه برتمام اوقات زندگی سایه افکن شوند. کناره گیری می تواند اغلب آرامبخش و حافظ افکار تنهایی شخص شود. مراسم می توانند لذتبخش باشند. فعالیت ها، مثل کار، نه تنها می توانند از ضروریات حیاتی زندگی باشند بلکه ممکن است در نفس خود پاداش دهنده نیز باشند، و نهایتاً تعالی و استادی و تکامل شخص را درکارش به بار آورند.  برای تعریف نهایی صمیمیت راه ساده ای وجود ندارد، اما می توان به نکاتی اشاره کرد که حضور صمیمیت را گواهی می دهد : اینکه بازی در کار نباشد، “بالغ” آزاد باشد و طرفین وضعیت “من " خوب " هستم – شما " خوب " هستید” را پذیرا باشند. .8“والد”، “بالغ” و “کودک” و ازدواج وقتی ازدواج درهم می شکند، “کودک” بر یکی از طرفین، یا هر دو طرف مستولی می شود و به دلیل بعضی نواقص که ظاهر می شوند کل ازدواج از هم می پاشند. وقتی یکی از طرفین به محتوای اطلاعات کهنه و پاک نشدنی “بالغ” آن هم “بالغ” آزاد شده، می تواند در اینجا کمک کند و پیوندشان را از پاشیدگی نجات دهد. یکی از سودمندترین راههایی که می توان این شباهتها و عدم شباهتها را پیش از ازدواج تشخیص داد استفاده از روش “تحلیل رفتار متقابل” است، تا معلوم گردد هر کدام از طرفین چه نوع ساخت شخصیتی دارند؟ مقصود از این بررسی فقط تشخیص شباهتها و عدم شباهتهای ظاهری نیست، بلکه عهده دار شدن یک جست و جوی کامل در تعیین محتوای “والد”، “بالغ” و “کودک” یکدیگر است. غالباً مردم موقعی به ازدواج خودشان فکر می کنند که بیشتر مراحل جدایی و طلاق طی شده است. در این موقع است که احتمال اندیشیدن و حل اختلاف تطبیقی ظاهر شود، که هر کدام از طرفین درک می کنند که می توانستند حق انتخاب داشته باشند.  پس از فراگیری زبان جدید، یکی از اولین چیزهایی که طرفین باید توجه شان را به بررسی آن معطوف دارند، شناخت اصل قرارداد ازدواجهای معمولی امروز فی نفه چیز بسیار بدی است : چون در واقع یک معامله قراردادی پنجاه - پنجاه است که در آن تاکید روی نگه داشتن حسابها است. اینجور قراردادها از کارهای “کودک” است. “کودک” است که می گوید “نصف من- نصف تو”. زن و مرد باید بنشیینند و برای انجام یک بررسی اساسی در ورد اینکه چه چیزی برایشان مهم است و چه هدف و جریای را باید در پیش گیرند، توافق کنند و تصمیم بگیرند. .9“والد”، “بالغ” و “کودک” و بچه ها  هدف آنچه در این فصل می آید این است که از طریق شناسایی و تمرین طرح “والد- بالغ - کودک” نور تازه ای بر تصویر کلی پرورش طفل بیندازیم. این مبحث نه تنها برای رابطه بین بچه ها و پردان و مادران، بلکه برای رابطه بین بچه ها با سایر بچه ها نیز می تواند سودمند باشد. در فریضه ها و روشهای معالجاتی اولیه، تاکید بر روی بچه بود، و اینکه چنین معالجاتی چه سودی برای بچه داشت و چه تغییراتی در رفتار بچه حاصل می شد - اگر چه گوشه چشمی هم به نقش پدر و مادر بود. اما امروز، در “تحلیل رفتار متقابل”، تاکید ما روی پدر و مادر است، و اینکه آنها چه موقعیتهایی را می توانند در راه درمان روانی بچه ها کسب کنند تا رفتار متقابل بین خود و بچه خود را تغییر دهند. روزی که این واقعیت صورت پذیرفت، تغییر مطلوب هم در پی خوهد آمد. از کجا باید شروع کرد؟ کمال مطلوب این است که از ابتدا شروع کنیم. یکی از جنبه های مؤثرتر و موفقیت آمیز ما در عملی کردن علم “تحلیل رفتار متقابل” ایجاد برنامه ای برای آموزش این اصول به پدر و مادرانی است که در انتظار اولین بچه خود هستند. در بسیاری از مؤسسات پزشکی خصوصی مخصوص زنان و اطفال، برنامه های آماده سازی زنان باردار معمولا شامل برنامه هایی است با تکیه بر آموزشهایی جهت شناختن دوره آبستنی، درد، زایمان، وضع حمل، و اطلاعات مربوط به نگهداری نوزاد. این برنامه ها معمولا با مطالعه کتب و نشان دان فیلمهای مخصوص همراه است، که با دقت امیدوارکننده ای برای تجسم لذایذ ممکن است بحثهایی نیز در احتمال جوانب منفی این تجربه گنجانده شود. کلاسهای هفتگی به طور مرتب برای زن و شوهر، هر دو، برنامه ریزی می شود. حضور در این کلاسها البته داوطلبانه است، ولی تمام زوجها به طور مرتب حضور پیدا می کنند. علاوه بر مواد برنامه معمولی، یعنی آموزشهایی درباره دوران آبستنی، درد زایمان و وضع حمل، اساس موضوع “تحلیل رفتار متقابل” نیز آموخته می شود.  مادر و پدرباید به احساس “غیرخوب” درون خودشان حساسیت پیداکنند. تاروزی که پدران و مادران این حساسیت لازم واین نیروی درک احساس درون خودرا ازطریق آشنایی با اصول “والد- کودک- بالغ” کسب نکنند، بایدانتظارداشت که وضعیت “غیرخوب”دربچه توسعه پیداکندو روز به روز بدتر شود. به سادگی می توان دیدکه فقط ازطریق“بالغ” است که انسان کوچک راه بهتری برای زندگی یاد می گیرد. اما بچه ها حق دارند بپرسند چطورمی توانیم یک“بالغ”درون خودمان داشته باشیم. بچه ها ازراه تقلیدیاد می گیرند. یکی ازمؤثرترین راههایی که بچه کودک می تواند “بالغ”راببیندو آن رابه طورجامع وکامل درکنترل داشته باشدو درخودتوسعه دهداین است که فرصت داشته باشدپدر و مادرخود را ملاحظه کند. نشان دادن طرزرفتار “بالغ” هزارباربهترازشرح وتفصیل معنی “بالغ” است. وقتی ما به موانع بیشمار و دست نیافتنیی می اندیشیم که درراه توسعه “بالغ” درانسان کوچک وجوددارد، ازاین همه غیرمنطقی بودنهای مردم، یابه زبان ساده تر از رجاله بازیهایی که مردم این دنیا دارند تعجب نمی کنیم. وسوالهای بچه، کجکاویهای بچه، و احتیاج غریزی بچه برای دانستن، همه علائم ذاتی توسعه “بالغ” است، و بایدموردتوجه وحمایت پدران ومادران حساس وفهمیده قرارگیرد. باوجوداین، حساس بودن وفهمیده بودن برای زوجی که خودشان در گیر غلبه های کهنه “والد”و”کودک”خود هستند و نمی توانند از عهده بچه هایشان برآیند، ممکن است آسان نباشد.آزادشدن”بالغ” ازفشاراطلاعات کهنه درون، امکان این نوع طرزفکرمثبت رابه آنهامی دهدکه به صبوربودن فکرکنند، به مهربان بودن،به احترام گذاشتن و با ملاحظه بودن و اینکه اینها را نوعی حق انتخاب به شمار بیاورند نه اینکه از کله خود بیرونشان بریزند. حق انتخاب آنها این است : یا دائماً با بچه خود با طرز فکر مثبت و کمک به او، رفتار کنند، و یا بچه را کتک بزنند و با او مشاجره کنند، و او را برای بقیه عمرش به راه مصیبت بار و هولناک احساس “غیر خوب” بفرستند. وقتی یک انسان کوچک با گریه (یا با احساس “غیر خوب” پیش مادر می آید ؛ مادر دو کار دارد که بکند : اول آنکه بچه منقلب را نوازش کند و تسکین دهد ؛ دوم اینکه “بالغ” را بکار بیندازد. مادر می تواند بگوید : می بینم که یک نفر باعث شده تو احساس بدی پیدا کنی... کوچک بودن چیز سختی است، مگر نه؟ گاهی اوقات تنها کاری که آدم از دستش برمی آید فقط گریه کردن است... حالا می توانی برایم بگویی چطور شده؟... کسی حرفی زده یا کاری کرده که باعث شده تو این احساس بد را پیدا کنی؟... از این طریق مسئله روشن می شود و رفتار متقابلی که این وضع بوجود آورده به زبان می آید، و بزودی مادر و بچه می توانند درباره رویدادها در سطح “بالغ - بالغ” حرف بزنند. گاهی اوقات می بینیم که بچه ها نسبت به همدیگر اجحافهایی می کنند. مثلا خواهر بزرگتر سر خواهر کوچکترکلاه می گذارد و برای اینکه پولی از او بگیرد عملاً او را مغشوش می کند. ما فورا خواهر بزرگتر را برای این کار بدش توبیخ می کنیم. اما باید از خودمان بپرسیم “او این کار را ازکجا یاد گرفته؟” ممکن است یک ابتکار درونی باشد، ولی این امکان هم هست که او آن را بعنوان درسی از “پاپا” و “مامان” آموخته باشد. درون بچه ای که در مدرسه خوب کار نمی کند بلاشک یک احساس وضعیت “غیر خوب” شدید وجود دارد، که به صورت اشتغال ذهنی دائمی درآمده است. مدرسه یک محیط و موقعیت رقابت سخت است که در آن “کودک” درون مدام تهدید می شود و فرصتهای بسیار اندکی برای بچه با احساس “غیر خوب” وجود دارد، که حداقل موفقیتها را به خودی خود کسب کند. سالهای اولیه مدرسه می تواند آغاز تشکیل یک طرح تکرار شونده رفتار متقابل سخت و توام با خشونت باشد و می تواند وضعیت “غیر خوب” او را با عدم موفقیتها و یأسهای جدید تشدید کند. آنها همیشه و در هر حال باید یک چیز را مد نظر بگیرند و آن احساس “غیر خوب” در انسان کوچک است. قاعده کلی این است : هر وقت شک کردید، نوازش کنید. این کار روح ترسان و مضطرب طفل را تسکین می دهد و در ضمن اجازه می دهد که “بالغ” او آغاز به درک واقعیتها کند گو اینکه اغلب اوقات این واقعیتها را برای بچه روشن نمی کنند. افراد گروه دروه ماقبل بلوغ من، زبان “والد - بالغ - کودک” را به آسانی یاد می گیرند، و به نظر آنها چیز جالب و هیجان انگیز و سودمندی می آید. وقتی این پدیده تازه به وسیله پدران و مادران علاقه مند آنها نیز تقویت می شود، درک بچه ها از اهمیت “تحلیل رفتار متقابل” بسرعت توسعه پیدا می کند، چون “والد” درونی آنها و والدین بیرونی یا پدر و مادر واقعیشان در گفتگوها شرکت کرده، تشنج درگیری “والد – کودک” درونی طفل را کاهش می دهد، و راه را برای “بالغ” باز می کند، تا به کارها و تصمیم گیریهای جدی تر زندگانی اش بپردازد. در “کودک” او احساس مصیبتهای از وحشت و ترس و نفرت ضبط می شود. بچه، که همواره در تلاشو در حال دست و پا زدن در این کابوس است (خودتان به جای او قرار بدهید) درون خود از خشم می سوزد، درون خود می گوید : اگر من قادر بودم ترا می کشتم. در اینجاست که تغییر وضعیت روحی از وضعیت اول به وضعیت سوم انجام می گیرد : “من " خوب " هستم – شما " خوب " نیستید”. در “والد” او نیز اجازه و پروانه خشونت کردن، ظالم بودن، و حتی کشتن ضبط می شود. البته به اضافه بسیاری نکات کوچک و بزرگ دیگر از قبیل اینکه چطور این کارها را می شود انجام داد. چنین انسانی وقتی بزرگ شد، تحت فشار کافی، ممکن است تسلیم چنین محفوظاتی شود. دلش می خواهد بکشد (که “کودک” اوست) و اجازه کشتن را دارد (که “والد” اوست) و این کار را می کند. مگر آنکه آن بچه را قبل از اینکه به مرحله بلوغ برسد – با معالجات پیگیر و مفصل، درمان مؤثر کنند، تا او خودش منبع این احساسهای جنایت آمیز را بفهمد، و همچنین درک کند که علی رغم چنین رویدادها او هنوز می تواند با استفاده از “بالغ” و واقع بینی، در زندگی، آینده ای با حق انتخاب داشته باشد. .10 “والد”، “بالغ” و “کودک” و دوره ی بلوغ “بالغ”می تواند ضبطهای بد یاخوب گذشته راشناسایی کند، “بالغ” همچنین می تواند “چیزهای نامناسب” و کارهای “نامؤثر” را که ممکن است در دوران بلوغ بازنواخته شوند، تشخیص دهد. بنابراین نیاز اصلی این است که “بالغ” را در این هیکل “بالغ سان” زنده کرد و به کنترل کارها و رفتاهای متقابل واداشت، تا حقایق امروز ارجحیت و اهمیت خود را نسبت به حقایق گذشته حفظ کنند. آنچه کار اصلی درمان را تشکیل می دهد آزاد ساختن “بالغ” در نوجوان و در والدین است، تا آنها بتوانند بین خود یک رابطه قرارداد “بالغ - بالغ” بوجود آورند. بدون حضور “بالغ” در رفتار متقابل طرفین، زندگی برای هر دو طرف طرف قیدی تحمل ناپذیر است. مسئله عمده نوجوان در دوران بلوغ این است که او در درون خود یک “والد” قوی و ناراحت کننده دارد و در عین حال هنوز مجبور است در محیطی که آن “والد” ساخته است زندگی کند، آنجا که “والد” درون به وسیله ی والدین بیرون تشدید می شود. اولین گام برای شروع درمان، تدریس اصول “والد - بالغ - کودک” به نوجوان و والدین هر دو است. این یک وسیله سوا کردن و نظم دادن مؤثر به انبوه عظیم و درهم برهمی از احساسهای کهنه بچگی و امر و نهی های پدر و مادرانه است، که هم در نوجوانان و هم در پدر و مادرها وجود دارد. بسیاری از پدر و مادرها می ترسند به “بالغ” فرزندان خود در تصمیمهای عمده اعتماد کنند. اعتماد به “بالغ” نوجوان، تنها راه سازنده ای است که پدر و مادر می توانند برای مقابله با انواع و اقسام مسائل اعصاب خردکنی که یک نوجوان در حال بلوغ می تواند به خانه بیاورد، از آن استفاه کنند. .11معالجه چه وقت لازم می شود یکی دیگر از متخصصین “تحلیل رفتار متقابل” می گوید : “پیش بینی های بیماران درباره مدت زمان معالجه، از عوامل اولیه تعیین مدتی است که برای معالجات مشابه لازم است. او دو مورد از بیمارانی را که ناراحتیهای جسمانی ناشی از مسائل روانی (psychosomatic) داشتند مثال می زند، که یکی از آنها در مدت شش ماه و دیگری درمدت یک سال بهبود یافت، زیرا هر کدام از آنها قبلا چنین مدتی را برای بهبود خود پیش بینی کرده بود. من گمان می کنم که کلید پیش بینی زمان معالجه برای بیمار بسته به تفاهم او از نتایج شفابخشی است که انتظار دارد به آن برسد. علت برتری معالجه از طریق گروهها معالجه اشخاص از طریق شرکت در گروهها، یک روش دلبخواه در “تحلیل رفتار متقابل” است. تا موقعی که افراد گروه “بالغ” خود را آزاد نساخته اند و خود را برای افشاء مشکلات باطن تقویت نکرده اند، اعترافات آنها سهم و اهمیت مفید برای درمان واقعی انها ندارد. هنگامی درمان تسریع می شود که “بالغ” در کنترل شخص باشد. فقط “بالغ” است که می تواند کارهای “کودک” و “والد” را تشخیص دهد.  در واژه “گروه” هیچگونه افسونی وجود ندارد. از آنجا که مرحله اول “تحلیل رفتار متقابل” آموختن و یادگرفتن است، قرار گرفتن درگروه برای بیمار امتیازات متعددی نسبت به وضع خصوصی و سنتی روان درمانی “یک - در مقابل - یک”. هر کلمه ای که در گروه گفته ی شود باید به وسیله تمام افراد شنیده شود - هر سؤال، هر جواب - هر رفتار متقابل، ولو کوچک و کم اهمیت. لازم است که راههای موشکافانه و متعدد مختلفی که در آنها “والد” خود را آشکار می کند یاد گرفته شوند. تهدیدهای درونی و بیرونی “کودک” باید تشخیص داده شوند. اول به طور عمومی، و سپس از طریق مشخصات ویژه و مشخص “کودک” در هر یک از افراد گروه. امروز افراد زیادی هستند که، اصولاً پذیرفته اند که “سلامتی روانی مهم است”، نتوانسته اند یا استطاعت آن را نداشته اند که وقت و بودجه ای برای این نوع درمانهای طویل المدت تخصیص بدهند. درمان گروهی می تواند مخارج معالجه را تا سطحی پایین بیاورد که حتی مزدبگیرهای طبقه متوسط هم توان پرداخت آن را داشته باشند. بعضی از افراد گروه بسرعت در فراگیری فن تشخیص و شناسایی “والد”، “بالغ” و “کودک” پیشرفت می کنند و راههایی را که در رفتار متقابل جاری تداخل می کنند فوری می فهمند. برای بعضی دیگر کمی بیشتر طول می کشد. به هر حال، آن عده هم که در این فن فراگیری بسیار به کندی پیش می روند، کم کم به این واقعیت پی می برند که مقاومت درونی شان اغلب به این دلیل است که احساس “غیر خوب” عمیق در “کودک” آنها در حقیقت مانع این پیشرفت است، و اکثراً به این ریشه بر می گردد که رنج کنونی شان به خاطر این واقعیت است که در گذشته به “انسان کوچک” هیچگونه فرصتی یا اجازه ای داده نشده بود که برای خودش فکر کند. .12“والد”، “بالغ” و “کودک” و ارزشهای اخلاقی ارزشهای اخلاقی را ابتدا در “والد” می توان دید. ما به کلمات “باید” و “نباید” به مثابه کلمات “والد” فکر می کنیم. سوال اصلی این فصل این است : آیا “باید” و “نباید” می توانندکلمات “بالغ” باشند؟ پس باید با چه مقیاس و معیاری معلوم کنیم که چه کسی درست عمل می کند؟ از آنجا که هر جامعه از نظر تخمین ارزش انسانها با جامعه دیگر تفاوت دارد، از آنجا که این اطلاعات از طریق “والد” به نسل بعد انتقال داده می شود، بنابراین هیچ راهی برای بحث با “والد” به منظور موافقتی روی تعیین ارزش اشخاص وجود ندارد. بنابراین ارزش اشخاص بسته به شرایط است. فقط “بالغ” آزاد شده و وارسته است که می تواند با “بالغ” آزاد شده دیگران در مورد ارزش انسانها اعتماد و توافق کند. “بالغ” تنها قسمتی از ما است که می تواند قدرت این انتخاب را داشته باشد که بگوید “من "مهم" هستم - شما "مهم" هستید”. اشخاص مذهبی عموماً تحت تسلط “والد” اند. “والد” معمولا درمورد پذیرفتن اشخاص دیگر شرط و شروط بسیاری دارد و همیشه از کتاب اعتقادنامه “تو می توانی خوب باشی – اگر” حدیث می آورد. از طرف دیگر، “کودک” بازیهای زیادی ساخته و حاضر و آماده دارد تا از احکام “والد” طفره برود.  حقیقت متنی در حال رشد از اطلاعات است که ما پس از بررسی، آن را حقیقی و واقعی تشخیص داده ایم. اگر “تحلیل رفتار متقابل” قسمتی از حقیقت است و به آزادی معنوی مردم کمک می کند، پس کشیشانی نیز باید آن را تشخیص دهد و در دسترس مردم بگذارد. عده بسیاری از کشیشانی که خود آموزش “تحلیل رفتار متقابل” را دیده اند موافق اند، و هم اکنون در کلیسهای خود در دوره های ویژه اصول این علم را می آموزند، و در راهنماییهای روحانی خود بکار می برند. ما نمی توانیم انسانهای با مسئولیتی به جامعه ارائه دهیم مگر اینکه اول به آنها کمک کنیم احساس وضعیت “من "خوب" نیستم -شما "خوب" هستید” درون خود را کشف کنند. وضعیتی که در اعماق روح آنها باعث ریشه دواندن بازیهای پیچیده و گهگاه ویران کننده ای شده است که از خود درمی آورند. یک بار که وضعیتها و بازیها را فهمیدیم، آزادی و مسئلت به عنوان یک مسئولیت واقعی رفته رفته پایدار می شود. تا روزی که مردم در بند قیود گذشته هستند این آزادی را نخواهند داشت که به احتیاجات و آرزوهای دیگران حساسیت داشته باشند. .13مفاهیم اجتماعی “والد”، “بالغ” و “کودک” از آنجا که رفتار جمعی نیز مانند رفتار شخصی از طریق “والد” از نسلی به نسل دیگر انتقال می یابد، ملتها نیز مانند اشخاص باید برای شناخت روحیه و طرز عمل و رفتار خود تا سرحد امکان با وسواس و انتقاد شدید به بررسی بپردازند. در بچگی اغلب به ما یاد داده اند که باید به متصدیان مسئول احترام گذاشت، مثلاً به مامورین پلیس به رانندگان اتوبوس، به معلمین، به روحانیون، به مدیران، به امرای ارتش و ... .عکس العمل بسیاری از مردم نسبت به اینگونه مقامات تغریباً خودبخودی است.اما لزوماً تمام واکنشهای خود به خودی در موردمقامات، خوب نیست. در دنیای امروز، اگر “بالغ” نتواند اطلاعاتی را در خود به طرز صحیحی به جریان بیاندازد، در اطاعت کورکورانه ممکن است ریسکهای بدی کرده باشد. همانند رفتار متقابل بین اشخاص، رفتار متقابل بین ملتها نیز موقعی موافق است که حامل های موازی داشته باشد.رتار متقابل موافق “بالغ - بالغ” تنها نوع رفتاری است که در دنیای امروز عمل می کند. اگر کسانیکه دست اندرکار ارتباطات و مسائل امور بین المللی هستند زبان و اصول “والد - بالغ - کودک” را می دانستند و در این دانش با یکدیگر سهیم بودند و می فهمیدند که در “کودک” دشمنان آنها ترس وجود دارد و راه سازشی نیز با “والد” آنها موجود نیست، واگر می دانستند که فقط به وسیله ی “بالغ” آزاد شده می توانند به وضعیت (من "خوب" هستم – شما "خوب" هستید) جهانی دست یابند، آن وقت می توانستیم امکان رسیدن به توافق و صلحی را در آن سوی محدودیتها و تاثیرات گذشته ببینیم. یک جامعه نمی تواند بدون تغییر افرادش تغییر کند. تمام امید ما برای آینده بر پایه ی این واقعیت است که شاهد تغییر افراد باشیم. اینکه عده ای چگونه این کار را کرده اند خبرهای خوب این کتاب است. ما امیدواریم که این کتاب یک نامه ی امید، و صفحه ای مهم از دفتر بقای بشر باشد. /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}
نوشته شده توسط گمنام در 12:36 |  لینک ثابت   • 

شنبه 1392/05/12

روابط عشق و ترس

قدری هم تلخ مینویسم چون سالهاست در انکار سهم و نقش دیگران در روابط بود هام و همیشه متمرکز خودم و سهم و نقش خود بوده ام برای من روابط حوزه بسیار دردناکی شده است یا درک نمیکنیمشان و یا درک نمیشویم و البته همیشه به تو وصله و اتهام میچسبانند آنها هر طور که دوست دارند با تو برخورد میکنند اما اگر مثل خودشان شوی آنگاه جنگی فرا خواهد گرفت من از جنگ خسته ام و رهایشان میکنم من که همیشه با دیگران بر اساس احترام برخورد کرده ام فهمیده ام اما دیگران آنطور که باید لیاقت احترام را ندارند و این اخلاق خوب تو باعث میشود به خودشان اجازه دهند هر طور که میخواهند رفتار نموده و در نهایت با یک عذر خواهی قضیه را ماله بکشند گاهی تصور میکنم تنهایی بسیار آرامتر و بهتر است تا خود را در معرض آسیب دیگران قرار دادن مجبورت میکنند پیله ایی دور خودت بتنی اگر آنجا هم بگذاند به راحتی درد بکشی و پروانه شوی حتی سکوتت هم آزارشان میدهد میخواهند تو هم چون ایشان باشی و چون متفاوتی برایشان چون ویروسی مزاحمی همین

نوشته شده توسط گمنام در 13:48 |  لینک ثابت   • 

شنبه 1392/05/05

شکرگزاری

نوشته شده توسط گمنام در 19:9 |  لینک ثابت   • 

دوشنبه 1392/04/24

اجرای اصول در تمام ابعاد زندگی چگونه است

زندگی آنطور که هست بوم نقاشی است که ما با افکار و رفتارمان در حال رسم سرنوشتمان میباشیم و اصول زوحانی ابزاریست برای زیباترکردن زندگی اینجا روی زمین درست همانجایی است که باید باشیم در هرجا و مکان و موقعیتی که هستیم میتوانیم برای تغییر اقدام کنیم هوشیاری و بیداری یعنی حضور و زندگی مراقبه گون فراموش نکنیم که مدت زمان بودنمان محدود است و سعی کنیم از آنچه که داریم استفاده کنیم و در جهت بهبود اوضاع خودمان و دنیای اطرافمان اقدام نماییم در ارتباطات جاریمان آنچه را که فرا گرفته ایم به موقع اجرا میگذاریم آنگاه میبینیم در موقعیتهای مشابه عکس العملهای درست و عقلانی و سنجیده ای از خود نشان میدهیم حتی برای یکبار دیگر اسیر احساسات زودگذر نیستیم و بیشتر از روی منطق و بخش بالغمان کار درست با نیت خیر انجام میدهیم و این یعنی اجرای اصول در تمام ابعاد زندگی

نوشته شده توسط گمنام در 14:12 |  لینک ثابت   • 

سه شنبه 1392/01/27

نواقص اخلاقی

باید اعتراف کنم ریشه درد و ناراحتی ما نواقصی است که دربرابرش عاجزیم و بشدت بر روی ما کنترل داشته و فقط خداوند قادر به برطرف نمودن آنهاست آگاهی از وجود نواقص فقط درد و رنج ما را بیشتر میکند تقاضای کمک از او برای رهایی و آزادی از نواقص است که به نجاتمان می انجاند
نوشته شده توسط گمنام در 10:42 |  لینک ثابت   • 

یکشنبه 1391/08/28

step8-9

Step Eight
"We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends
to them all."
To this point, the steps have focused mostly on repairing ourselves and our relationship
with a God of our understanding. Beginning with the Eighth Step, we bring other people
into the healing process - people we harmed in our addiction, people we harmed in our
recovery, people we meant to harm, people we hurt by accident, people who are no
longer in our lives, and people we expect to be close to for the rest of our lives.
The Eighth Step is about identifying the damage we caused. It doesn't matter whether we
caused it because we were overtaken by rage, carelessness, or because we were afraid. It
doesn't matter whether our actions were based in selfishness, arrogance, dishonesty, or
any other defect. It doesn't even matter that we didn't intend to cause someone harm. All
the damage we caused is material for the Eighth Step.
It may turn out that some of the harm we did can't be repaired. It may turn out that we,
ourselves, can't directly make the repair. It may even turn out that we're not responsible
for something we've placed on our Eighth Step list. Our sponsor will help us sort that out
before we go on to the Ninth Step. For now, our task is only to identify who we harmed,
what the harm was, and become willing to make amends.
It's natural to wonder about the Ninth Step and how we will make our amends while
we're working the Eighth Step. What we think about our amends is bound to influence
our work in this step. We may need to get some common misconceptions out of our way
before we can make our list.
It's wonderful that we've already begun repairing our relationships with some of the
people m our lives. Our families are probably delighted that we're no longer using drugs.
Some of the more overt damage we inflicted on others ceased as soon as we stopped
using drugs. If we managed to keep our jobs or stay in school, we're probably already
performing better in those places. We're no longer harming our co-workers or employers,
teachers or fellow students in certain ways. But is that enough?
We have probably heard people in meetings emphasizing that "amends" means to change,
not just to say "I'm sorry" -that what really counts is the way we're treating people now.
But this doesn't mean that formal apologies have gone out of fashion in NA. Direct, faceto-
face verbal amends are extremely powerful, both as a means of spiritual growth for us
and as a long-awaited comfort for the people to whom we make them. What our members
are emphasizing is that we can't just offer people lame apologies and then go right back
to doing what caused them harm in the first place.
Some of us may be feeling a bit weary at this point, especially if our sponsor had us do
extensive writing on the first seven steps. We inventoried our behavior in Step Four, and
we catalogued our character defects in Step Six; now we have to examine the same
situations from yet another angle! It may seem as if we've examined our lives and our
addiction in every possible way by the time we're done with these steps. Is all this really
necessary? Aren't we just punishing ourselves by going over and over the same thing?
No, we're not. The Eighth Step is the beginning of a process that lets us feel equal to
others. Instead of feeling shame and guilt, instead of feeling forever "less than," we
become able to look people in the eye. We won't have to avoid anyone. We won't have to
be afraid we'll be caught and punished for some neglected responsibility. We'll be free.
 Am I hesitating in any way about working the Eighth Step? Why?
Some of us go to the other extreme with this step: We can't wait to get right out there and
"make everything okay," unaware that we may cause more harm. We blunder forward,
confessing infidelities to our spouses and our friends. We sit our families down and make
them listen to every detail of our addiction, confirming some of their worst fears about
what we were doing out there and filling in some blanks that, until then, had been left
mercifully empty. In a state of excitement, we give our children a speech about how we
have a disease for which we're not responsible, how we love our recovery, and how
wonderful life is going to be from then on, forgetting all the times before when we had
made them so many empty promises. We stroll into our employer's office one day and
announce that we're addicts, that we've embezzled a great deal of money through
ingenious means, but that we're very sorry and we'll never ever do it again.
Though our own experiences with rushing out to make amends are probably not this
extreme, we can surely grasp the point: If we try to make amends without our sponsor 5
guidance and without a plan, we can end up causing even more harm.
 Do I realize the need to slow down and consult my sponsor before making amends? Have
I created more harm in any situation by rushing out to make amends before I was ready?
What was the situation?
Some of us may still believe that we're just basically nice people who have never truly
harmed anyone-except ourselves, that is. If we're truly stumped about who belongs on our
amends list, or we have a vague idea that our family belongs there but we're not sure
why, it could be that we're overlooking something or that our denial is still pretty thick.
Sometimes, we're just not able to see the truth about certain situations, even after many
years in recovery. A suggestion that many of us have followed is that if we think of
someone to whom we seem to owe amends, but we can't think of the situation that
resulted in our owing amends, we put the name on the list anyway. Sometimes we'll think
of the "why" later on. We should do the best we can with this step for now, contact our
sponsor, and keep working on our recovery. As the saying goes, "more will be revealed."
We just need to keep an open mind, so that when the knowledge comes we'll be prepared
to accept it.
Last but not least, many of us delay starting this step because we aren't willing to make
amends to certain people. We either resent them, or we feel too afraid to ever imagine
ourselves approaching them. We need to start this step and list these people even if we're
not sure we'll ever be able to make the amends. If it's truly unsafe to make the amends,
our sponsor will help us figure out how to handle the situation.
 List the resentments that are in the way of my willingness to make amends.
 Can I let these resentments go now? If not, can I muster the willingness to add these
names to my list anyway, and worry about becoming willing later?
 Are there any people to whom I owe amends that may be a threat to my safety or about
whom I'm truly concerned in some other way? What are my fears?
The People We Harmed and How We Harmed Them
Before we actually begin making our list, there's one final concept with which we must
familiarize ourselves: the meaning of "harm" in this step. We need to strive to understand
all the ways in which it is possible to cause harm so that our list can be thorough.
Certain types of harm are obvious. For instance, if we stole money or property from a
person or a business, that's quite obviously a form of harm. In addition, most of us have
no trouble recognizing physical or emotional abuse as a type of harm.
Then there are situations where we have no problem recognizing what we did as harmful,
but may have difficulty identifying who, in particular, we harmed. For instance, we
cheated on a test at school. Did this harm the instructor, we ask ourselves? Our fellow
students? Ourselves? The students who came after us and had to pay the price of our
instructor's mistrust because of our dishonesty? The answer to this example is that all of
these people were harmed, even if only indirectly. They belong on our Eighth Step list.
Finally, we get to the deeper types of harm. These types of harm may be the most
damaging, for they strike at the most vulnerable places in the human heart. For instance,
we had a friend. The friendship was perhaps an old one, spanning many years. Emotions,
trust, even personal identity - all these were engaged in the friendship we shared. This
relationship really mattered to our friend, and to us as well. Then, without explanation,
because of some real or imagined slight, we withdrew from the friendship and never tried
to renew it. Losing a friend is painful enough without the added burden of not knowing
why, but many of us inflicted just this type of harm on someone. We damaged that
person's sense of trust, and it may have taken many years to heal. A variation on this is
that we may have allowed someone to take the blame for a relationship ending, making
the person feel unlovable, when in reality we had just grown tired of the relationship and
were too lazy to maintain it.
There are many different ways we can inflict deep emotional harm: neglect, withdrawal,
exploitation, manipulation, and humiliation, to name but a few. The "victims" and "nice
people" among us may find that we made others feel inferior when we passed ourselves
off as better than everyone else, projecting an attitude of moral superiority. The
competent and self-sufficient among us may find names for the Eighth Step list by
thinking about the people whose offers of help and gestures of support we rejected.
An additional struggle that many of us face when we identify types of harm arises from
an automatic tendency to focus only on the time before we stopped using. It's a little
easier for us to be rigorously honest about the harm we caused in our active addiction.
We were using drugs, we were different people then. However, we have all caused harm
during our recovery. (Remember, whether we intended to or not doesn't matter.) In fact,
we've probably all caused harm to people with whom we share our recovery - other NA
members. We may have gossiped about them, withdrawn from them, responded with
insensitivity to their pain, interfered in a sponsorship relationship, tried to control a
sponsee's behavior, behaved like an ingrate with a sponsor, stolen Seventh Tradition
money, manipulated people by using our clean time as a source of credibility in a service
argument, or sexually exploited a newcomer, to name a few relatively common examples.
Most of us have an extremely hard time placing these situations on our Eighth Step list
because the thought of making the amends makes us so uncomfortable. We hold
ourselves accountable to a higher standard of behavior around NA, and we're sure that
others expect more from us, also. The fact is that our fellow NA members are likely to be
especially forgiving because they know what we're trying to do-but again, we should
avoid worrying about the Ninth Step now.
Making Our List
The first thing to know is that this is not a list that we can keep in our heads. We need to
put each name and what we did to harm the person down on paper. Once it's on paper, it's
hard to forget anyone or go back into denial about an amends we'd rather avoid. If for
some reason we can't use paper, we can use a tape recorder or any other method our
sponsor has agreed will help us get the most out of this step.
When we're ready to begin our list, we sit down, recall all we've learned about harm, and
start writing. Some names are going to spring to mind immediately. Others may come to
mind as we think about the types of harm we have caused. We absolutely need to go back
through our Fourth Step and search out any information we can extract from that.
We should include every name and situation we think of even if we're relatively, but not
entirely, sure that our sponsor is going to tell us we don't owe any amends in that
particular situation. It's almost always better to delete names than to try to recall names
we should have added, but didn't, when we're going over the list with our sponsor. In
addition, there may be times when we remember an incident in which we caused harm,
but not the names of the people involved. We can at least list the incident.
Putting ourselves on the list may seem awkward to some of us. We may have been
informed in our early recovery that making amends to ourselves was a self-centered idea,
that we needed to stop thinking about ourselves all the time and start thinking about the
people we had harmed. Then, the whole notion of making amends to ourselves may have
been confusing. Some of us probably thought that making amends should involve
"rewarding" ourselves for staying clean or some other accomplishment. We may have
tried to do this by buying ourselves things we couldn't afford, or by indulging other
compulsions. In reality, the way we make amends to ourselves is by stopping
irresponsible or destructive behavior. We need to identify the ways we ve created our
own problems - that is, harmed ourselves - through our inability to accept personal
responsibility. Then, when we add ourselves to the list, we can list the harm we caused to
our finances, our self-image, our health, etc.
There is also a delicate situation that many of us have faced: What if we've harmed our
sponsor, he or she doesn't know about the harm, and will likely find out when we go over
the list? In this situation, we should consult another member whose recovery we respect,
perhaps our sponsor's sponsor.
 List the people I've harmed and the specific ways I harmed each one.
Becoming Willing
Now that we have our list, or have added new names to the list we've been keeping since
our first time through the Eighth Step, it's time to get willing to make amends. In order to
become willing, we have to know at least a little about what "making amends" involves.
Earlier in this guide, we talked about the need to do more than just change our behavior,
but some of us may be afraid that we just aren't capable of changing. We're sincere. We
want to refrain from ever repeating the same behavior again, but we think about the times
when we've made promises before. Aren't we subject to doing the same thing again? This
is when we have to really believe in our recovery. No matter how long we've been clean
and the wrongs for which we're making amends, we have to have faith that the God of
our understanding will give us the strength and the ability to change.
 Why is saying "I'm sorry" alone not sufficient to repair the damage I've caused?
 Why is only changing my behavior not sufficient to repair the damage I've caused?
For some of the amends we owe, we'll find that we're willing as soon as we put the name
on our list. For others, the willingness may not come so easily.
It's very rare that we don't owe at least some financial amends, whether they're to people
from whom we stole, people who lent us money we never paid back, businesses, or
lending institutions. We know that making the amends is going to deprive us of money
we'd rather keep for ourselves. It may take time for us to appreciate the profound internal
freedom that comes from discharging such debts, and thus gain the willingness to make
these amends. It may help to ask our Higher Power to give us the willingness to make
these amends.
 Do I have financial amends that I don't want to make? What would my life be like if I had
already made these amends?
Some of our amends may be to people who also harmed us. These are usually the amends
we have the most difficulty becoming willing to make. It seems like every time we think
about these amends, we get so angry thinking about what they did to us that we forget all
about making amends. But our recovery calls on us to practice the spiritual principle of
forgiveness. Through prayer and any additional help we need to seek out, we can find it
within ourselves to forgive the people who have also harmed us.
 Do I owe amends to people who have also harmed me? What have I done to become
willing to make these amends?
Amends that we can't ever see ourselves making may also be on our list. Maybe we're so
unwilling that we don't even want to try praying for willingness; we can't imagine having
any compassion for the people to whom we owe these amends. In this case, we just need
to leave these amends on our list. We don't have to make all our amends in one day or in
any set amount of time. It may take some time to become willing to make some amends.
Every time we look at our Eighth Step list, we should ask ourselves if we've become
willing to make this amends yet. If not, we can keep checking periodically.
Spiritual Principles
In the Eighth Step, we will focus on honesty, courage, willingness, and compassion.
To practice the principle of honesty in the Eighth Step, we need to draw on our
experience in the previous steps. We've admitted the nature of our problem-addiction-and
affirmed the solution to that problem. This was an act of honesty. We've taken a
searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves; doing so exercised our newfound
honesty. Extracting the nature of our wrongs from within the fabric of our personalities
took our honesty to an even deeper level. So we have some experience separating our part
in things from what others may have done. That's the level of honesty we'll need to call
on in Step Eight. We have to forget about resentments, blaming others, believing we were
innocent victims, and any other justification for the harm we caused. We simply need to
put it on the list!
 How is determining the exact nature of my wrongs valuable in the Eighth Step? Why is it
so essential that I'm clear about my responsibility?
 What are some examples of my experience with honesty from the previous steps? How
will I translate that experience into this step?
To practice the principle of courage in the Eighth Step, we have to put ourselves in God's
care. We can't restrict our list to only those amends that we think will turn out okay. We
have to believe that our Higher Power will provide us with the fortitude, the humility, the
inner strength, or whatever we need to get through any amends. Whether we need to face
someone and we're afraid of how we'll feel, or we need to accept the consequences of a
crime for which we are sought, we'll be able to handle it with the help of our Higher
Power.
 What are some examples of my experience with courage from the previous steps? How
will I translate that experience into this step?
We've already talked a great deal about willingness in this step, especially becoming
willing to make amends. But we need a certain amount of willingness to work this step
that has nothing to do with making amends. First of all, we need the willingness to make
our list. No matter what we're feeling about adding a certain name to the list, we need to
become willing to add it. We also need the willingness to practice the other spiritual
principles connected to this step.
 Are there any names I haven't yet added to my list? Am I willing to add them now? Have
I completed my list?
 What are some of the things I've done to increase my willingness? How do I feel about
having to pray for willingness?
Developing a compassionate spirit becomes possible at this stage in our recovery. Before
we did the work involved in the previous steps, we were too caught up in resentment,
blame, and self-pity to think about others. Along with our ability to think of ourselves as
ordinary human beings, we begin to see that others are doing the best they can with their
humanness, too. We know we are subject to periodic doubts and insecurities about
ourselves, and so are others. We know we are likely to speak before thinking, and so are
others. We realize that they regret it as much as we do. We know we are prone to
misreading situations and over or under reacting to them. As a result, when we see others
act on a character defect today, we feel empathy rather than annoyance or anger, because
we know what caused them to act as they did. Our hearts feel full when we think about
how we share the same dreams, fears, passions, and faults as everyone else.
 Am I beginning to feel connected with others? Describe.
 Am I beginning to feel compassion and empathy for others? Describe.
Moving On
Discussing every single one of the amends on our list with our sponsor is essential. It
doesn't matter how long we've been clean or how much experience with making amends
we have. Every one of us is liable to misjudge a situation when working alone, but we
often find that we can see things more clearly when we look at situations from another
point of view. We need our sponsor's insight. We need our sponsor's encouragement. We
need our sponsor's vision and hope. It's amazing how much a simple discussion with our
sponsor can do to help us tap into the quiet strength that lives in each one of us. When
we've stripped away the distracting influences and have exposed that solid core of
serenity, humility, and forgiveness, we're ready for the Ninth Step.
Step Nine
"We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so
would injure them or others."
We hear over and over in NA that the steps are written in order for a reason: Each step
provides the spiritual preparation we'll need for the following steps. Nowhere is this more
apparent than in the Ninth Step. We would never in a million years have been able to sit
down with the people we've harmed and make direct amends without the spiritual
preparation we got from the previous steps. If we had not done the work of admitting our
own limitations, we wouldn't now have a foundation on which to stand while we make
our amends. If we had not developed a relationship with a God of our understanding, we
wouldn't now have the faith and trust we need to work Step Nine. If we had not done our
Fourth and Fifth Steps, we would probably still be so confused about our personal
responsibility, we might not even know for what we're making amends. If we hadn't
developed humility in the Sixth and Seventh Steps1 we'd probably approach our amends
with self-righteousness or anger and wind up doing more damage. The willingness we
gained through our acceptance of personal responsibility made it possible for us to make
our Eighth Step list. That list was our practical preparation for working the Ninth Step.
The final preparations we're about to do in this step, before we actually make our amends,
are mostly to strengthen what is afready a part of us. The level at which we are able to
practice the principle of forgiveness, the depth of insight we have, and the amount of selfawareness
we are able to maintain throughout the amends process will depend on our
previous experience with the steps and how much effort we're willing to put into our
recovery.
 How has my work on the previous eight steps prepared me to work the Ninth Step? How
does honesty help in working this step?
 How does humility help in working this step?
Amends
The Ninth Step is not a step that can be neatly contained within a particular time frame.
We don't write our Eighth Step list and then resolutely start making amends, crossing off
"completed" ones like we would items on a shopping list. In fact, many of our amends
will never be "finished"; our efforts will go on throughout our recovery. For instance, if
we owe our families amends, we will spend the rest of our lives practicing the spiritual
principles that will bring real change to the way we treat people. There may be one day
when we sit our families down and make a commitment to treat them differently than we
have in the past, but that won't be the end of our amends. Each day that we make an effort
to refrain from hurting our families and try to practice loving behavior with them is a day
when we've continued our amends to our families.
Even such relatively concrete amends as paying a past-due debt aren't likely to be done
once and for all when the debt is paid off. Living our Ninth Step requires that we try not
to incur new debts that we can't pay. On a deeper level, we may need to look at the
varieties of debt we incur-for instance, taking favor after favor from friends but never
reciprocating, or overextending the patience of people with whom we share
responsibilities by not assuming our fair share. Avoiding such liabilities in the future is
just as much a part of our amends process as making regular payments on past-due debts.
 What does "making amends" mean?
 Why does making amends mean that I have to do more than say "I'm sorry"?
 How is making amends a commitment to a continuous process of change?
Fears and Expectations
Making amends isn't always a nerve-wracking, joyless experience. Often, we will feel
excited about the prospect of healing a relationship. We may find that we're happily
anticipating the relief of having made an amends. For most of us, however, we will feel
fearful about at least some of our amends. We may be afraid that if we make financial
amends, we won't have enough for ourselves. We may be afraid of rejection, retaliation,
or something else.
If we've never had any experience with the Ninth Step before, we're really venturing into
the unknown. We're not sure how we're going to feel immediately before the amends,
during the amends, and after the amends. We may feel wildly overconfident at one
moment and then, the next moment, feel totally unable to go on with the Ninth Step. This
is a time when it's very important to understand that the ways things feel is not
necessarily the way things are. Just because we feel afraid doesn't mean there's truly
something to fear. On the other hand, feeling excited and happy won't necessarily reflect
the reality of making our amends. It's best to let go of all our expectations about how our
amends will be received.
 What fears do I have about making amends? Am I worried that someone will take
revenge or reject me?
 How does the Ninth Step require a new level of surrender to the program?
 What about financial amends? Do I have faith that the God of my understanding will
ensure I have what I need even though I am sacrificing to make amends?
No matter how long we've been clean or how many times we've been through the steps,
we're bound to have some fears and expectations as we begin a new step. This may be
especially true if we have previous experience with a step. The Ninth Step, in particular,
is likely to produce some ambivalence.
For instance, many of us may find ourselves thinking about our past experiences with
making amends at this point. Some have probably been very positive. If we made amends
to a loved one who was open to our gesture of conciliation, we probably came away with
a wonderful feeling of hope and gratitude. We were hopeful that the relationship would
keep on getting better, and we were grateful to be forgiven and have our amends
accepted.
Believe it or not, such experiences may work against us in later amends. They can set us
up to believe that all our amends should turn out so well, and then be crushed when they
don't. Or we may recognize that such amends aren't going to be the norm, and dread to
the point of delay making amends whose outcome we aren't sure will be so good. If we
find ourselves hung up on projecting how our amends will turn out, we need to re-focus
on the purpose of the Ninth Step.
The Ninth Step is meant to give a way to set right the damage we've caused in the past.
Some of us keep in mind that three primary concepts are associated with making amends:
resolution, restoration, and restitution. Resolution implies that to find an answer to the
problem; we must lay to rest what was previously plaguing or disturbing us in some way.
Restoration means to bring back to its former state something that had been damaged.
This can be a relationship or a quality that used to exist in a relationship, such as trust.
We can perhaps restore our reputations if they were good at some point in the past.
Restitution is very similar to restoration, but in relating it to the Ninth Step, we can think
of it as the act of returning something-material or more abstract-to its rightful owner. Our
sponsor can help us explore each of these concepts so that we can gain perspective on the
nature of making amends and stay focused on what we're supposed to be doing. It's only
through the process that we realize many of the benefits associated with the Ninth Step.
The ones that we may be aware of first are a sense of freedom, or an absence of guilt and
shame. It may take some time in recovery or experience with several amends for us to
appreciate some of the spiritual rewards of the Ninth Step: a more consistent awareness
of the feelings of others and the effect of our behavior on others, a sense of joy that we
were able to heal a long-standing hurt, an ability to be more loving and accepting of the
people around us.
 What other fears or expectations do I have about my amends?
 Why doesn't it matter how my amends are received? What does this have to do with the
spiritual purpose of the Ninth Step?
 How can I use other addicts, my sponsor, and my Higher Power as sources of strength in
this process?
Amends - Direct and Indirect
We in NA tend to think it's best to make direct, face-to4ace amends, and indeed, this step
says we should do so wherever possible. But direct amends are not the only way to make
amends, and in some cases, they may be the worst way.
Before we provide some examples, it is very important to note that these are only
examples. This guide is not meant to take the place of a sponsor in going over each
amends with a sponsee and working together to decide what's best.
Some situations are more complicated than they appear at first glance. We may think the
solution is obvious, but we should always take the time for further reflection. For
instance, there may be a situation where the person or people we've harmed are not aware
of what we did, and learning what we did might possibly harm them more. We may have
some friends, relatives, or an employer who were unaware of our addiction. To tell them
might harm them. Our sponsor will help us look at our motives for wanting to tell people
about our addiction. Do they need to know? What good purpose will be served by sharing
such information? What damage could such information do?
But what if this same situation was complicated by our theft of some money from our
friends? And what if someone else was accused of taking the money? Wouldn't we then
need to tell about our addiction, along with admitting the theft and paying the money
back? Possibly, but perhaps not. Each of these kinds of situations needs to be taken on an
individual basis. Again, our sponsor will help us decide how best to handle each one. In
our discussion with our sponsor, if we are open-minded, we're sure to think about these
kinds of situations in ways we haven't thought about them before. We may see how what
we first thought was the obvious method of making amends may not be right after all. It's
very helpful to prepare for this discussion by listing all the circumstances for these
difficult amends so that it will be right in front of us when we talk to our sponsor.
 Which names on my Eighth Step list are complicated by circumstances like the ones
above?
 What were the specific circumstances?
A problem that presents difficulty for many of us is that we owe amends that will likely
result in us losing our jobs, going to jail, or some other serious consequence. For
instance, if we turn ourselves in for a crime we committed, we may indeed go to jail. So
what effect would that have on our lives? Would we lose our job? Would that
compromise anyone’s security besides our own-say, our family's? On the other hand, if
we are a fugitive from justice, what effect might a sudden arrest have on our lives and our
families? It is probably best in such a situation to seek legal counsel and explore our
options. No matter what, we need to somehow accept the consequences of our behavior,
but we should bear in mind that our families might very well be represented in the part of
this step that says, "except when to do so would injure them or others." We'll have to
evaluate these situations very carefully. With our sponsor’s guidance, we'll explore how
to make amends.
 Do I owe any amends that might have serious consequences if I made them? What are
they?
Another circumstance when we wouldn't be able to make direct amends, although not
because of the possibility of further injury, would be when a person to whom we owe
amends is dead. This is very common around NA - so much so that our members have
developed a variety of creative ways of dealing with such situations. Our members have
even managed to make sure that amends of this nature do more than discharge our own
sense of shame. Some have made financial donations in the name of the person to whom
we owed amends. Some have taken on a task that was something that person cared about.
Some have made restitution to the person's children, who may have their own spot on our
Eighth Step list. The ways we might deal with such a situation are only limited by our
imagination and level of willingness. We might be surprised at how effective an
"indirect" amends can be in situations like this. Many of us strive to make the amends as
directly as possible by visiting the person's grave or other meaningful place and perhaps
reading a letter or simply speaking to the person's memory or spirit. Again, our response
to these situations will be determined by the nature of the harm we inflicted, our spiritual
beliefs, and of course, our sponsor's guidance.
 Do I owe amends to anyone who is dead? What was special about that person that I might
be able to use in planning my amends?
We've been emphasizing the need to check each and every amends with our sponsor
before proceeding. While important, there's no need for us to become mindless robots,
afraid to think for ourselves or act without asking our sponsor about it. Many of our
members have had the experience of running into a person from our past who we had not
put on our Eighth Step list, but might belong there. Sometimes the amends owed are so
clear, we would be foolish not to avail ourselves of such a lucky coincidence. Other
times, we may run into a person and experience very uncomfortable feelings but not
know what's causing them. If this happens, it's better to take the relationship through the
Fourth and Fifth Step process in order to gain more clarity about it. In any event, we
should never consider our Eighth Step list "closed." Chances are we'll be adding new
names to it throughout our lives.
What about people we can't find? Should we go ahead and make indirect amends to them,
too? Perhaps, although many of our members have had the experience of running across
someone we thought we'd never be able to find, usually in a location in which we'd never
expect to find them. We can certainly draw the conclusion that a Higher Power is at work
when such coincidences happen, but even if not, we certainly shouldn't ignore the
opportunity to make direct amends.
If we can't find someone on our amends list, we may want to wait. We should continue
making every effort to find the person, we should make an effort not to cause the same
type of harm to someone else, and we should remain willing. A spirit of willingness can
often serve the purpose of the amends when we cannot make the actual amends.
After considering the complications involved in making indirect amends, it may seem as
though making direct amends is easy, or at least more straightforward. We did something
that hurt someone. We need to apologize and repair the harm. That's it, right?
Not very often, if ever. As mentioned earlier, the amends process isn't one that has a
distinct beginning and end. We often begin making amends, in one sense, as soon as we
get clean. Most of the time, we immediately amend some of our behavior. This part of the
amends process - the one in which we change ourselves - goes on long after we've spoken
directly to someone we harmed.
 What behavior do I need to amend?
What about those direct amends, the ones we make when we sit someone down,
acknowledge and accept responsibility for the harm we caused, and accept whatever
response we get? These are the amends that may strike fear into our hearts. We imagine
ourselves sitting before one of the people on our amends list, humbly and sincerely
admitting our wrong, then just as humbly and sincerely offering to repair the wrong, only
to have the person respond, "It can never be repaired. What you did was too awful," or,
"Forget it. I'll never forgive you."
In truth, a situation like the above is exactly what we most fear, because we're afraid of
having our faith in the process destroyed. We've taken an incredible risk by allowing
ourselves to believe in a Higher Power, in ourselves, in the possibility of recovery. Our
worst nightmare is that the damage can't be repaired, that we're such horrible people that
we can't be forgiven. It may comfort us to know that many recovering addicts have
received a negative reaction from someone they were making amends to, and not only
have they not let it get them down, but they've received the same spiritual benefits from
making the amends as they would have if it had been received with love and forgiveness.
Sometimes, when our attempts at making amends are received so negatively, we do find
that we need to take additional steps so that we can feel we've attained some resolution.
Our Basic Text tells us that "contacting someone who is still hurting from the burn of our
misdeeds can be dangerous." It can also be unproductive, especially in the case of family
members and close friends. Contacting people we've harmed before they've had the
chance to cool off may cause them to respond very angrily to us, when after a bit more
time they would have reacted quite differently. If we've approached such a person too
soon, we may want to wait until some time has passed and try again.
Sometimes, however, no matter how well we've prepared or how sincere our amends, the
person simply won't accept our amends. If we encounter this situation, we need to realize
that there is a point at which our responsibility ends. If someone is determined to nurse a
grudge against us for the rest of their lives, it may be that the best we can do is wish the
person well and consider the amends made. If we have difficulty coping with feelings
that arise in the wake of such an amends, our sponsor will help us find a way of coming
to terms with the amends. Perhaps, in certain situations, we may be better off making
indirect amends, or it may feel that our amends are more "complete" if we take some
other action that restores or repairs a situation. For instance, we've tried to make amends
to a former employer from whom we stole money. He or she doesn't want to hear our
amends and doesn't want our money. We may find that we can resolve the situation and
make restitution by referring customers to the person's business or, if it's possible,
somehow anonymously pay back the money we stole.
We need to remember that making amends is part of our personal recovery program. It's
true that we make amends because we owe them, but we also need to recognize the
spiritual growth inherent in the process of making amends. First, we recognize and accept
the harm we caused. As it says in It Works: How and Why, this "shocks us out of our
self-obsession." Because self-obsession and self-centered fear are the parts of our disease
that most strongly affect our spirituality, alleviating and diminishing those parts of our
disease will surely cause our recovery to flourish. Second, approaching the person we
harmed directly and acknowledging the harm we caused is an enormous step on our
spiritual journey no matter how the amends are received. The fact that we went ahead
with something that required such a great deal of humility was proof, in fact, that we had
attained some measure of humility. Finally, after making our amends, we are left with a
sense of freedom. We are no longer burdened with the weight of unfinished business and
a sense of shame about the harm we caused. It is gone. Our spirits soar.
 Am I spiritually prepared for making any difficult amends and dealing with the results?
 What have I done to prepare myself?
Forgiveness
The spiritual growth we get from making direct amends often depends on how much we
put into our spiritual preparation. We start with getting rid of any beliefs we have that
may be causmg us to hesitate or might inhibit our ability to approach our amends with
humility, acceptance, and faith.
Something that seems to be a problem for many of us is that we often owe amends to
people who have also harmed us. This may be a parent or other relative who abused us, a
friend who let us down somehow, an employer who didn't treat us fairly, and so on.
We've done a lot of work in the previous steps to separate what they did to us from what
we did to them. We know exactly what our part in these situations was, and we know
why we are making amends. As we prepare to make direct, face-to-face amends, we need
to be perfectly clear that we are making amends for our part in these conflicts. We're not
making amends to coerce or manipulate a reciprocal amends. We're not responsible for
cleaning up anything not on our side of the street. Keeping this in mind throughout our
amends will help us keep focused on our purpose no matter how our amends are received
and whether or not we receive amends in return for harm done to us.
Sometimes, though, the wrong done to us was so extreme that it's better to postpone
making our amends until a later time. For instance, many of us were emotionally,
physically, or sexually abused as children by an older relative. Though we had no part in
that situation and owe no amends because of it, we may have stolen money or caused
physical or property damage to the relative at some other time. So we owe amends for the
theft, physical harm, or vandalism. The question that arises in this situation is not whether
to make amends, but when and how. It may take a long time before we are ready to make
an appropriate amends, and that's okay. We wait, and we work with our sponsor.
We need to try to forgive the people who have harmed us before we make amends to
them. We don't want to sit down with someone with whom we're furious and try to make
amends. Our attitude will be apparent, no matter how much we try to hide it. Amends are
a time when it's not usually very productive to "act as if."
There's a big difference between situations when we were harmed against our will and
situations in which our behavior contributed to the way we were treated. For many of our
amends, when we're angry at someone who treated us badly, we need to ask ourselves if
anything we did could have caused them to treat us as they did. For instance, we may be
enraged at our parents for not trusting us to go out on a weekend-to an NA dance! -but
when we think about how many times we lied before about where we were going and
always used drugs wherever we went, it may help us see that our parents can't help
treating us with mistrust and that we may have to spend more time earning their trust. Or
we may have been selfish and withdrawn with some of our friends day after day, week
after week; then when we needed them and they weren't available, we became angry and
resentful. Reminding ourselves that we engineered much of our own misery may help us
forgive those who hurt us.
Another way we may find forgiveness for those who hurt us is by getting out of ourselves
and thinking about what other people's lives are like. Maybe the people who hurt us did
so because they had problems that made them less sensitive to the needs of others. Maybe
our sponsor didn't return our phone calls for a week because his youngest child was in
jail. Maybe our best friend told us our relationship was unhealthy and we should get out
of it-immediately following her own divorce. Maybe our employer didn't praise our work
because he was worried about being able to meet payroll that week. We usually feel petty
and small when we find out that a person we resented had some painful problem. Maybe
we can be more forgiving and loving if we just assume from the start that most people's
intentions are good and that if someone is unkind to us, it may be because he or she is in
a lot of pain and very distracted by it.
First and foremost, preparing ourselves spiritually to make amends requires that we tap
into our Higher Power's strength and love. Contemplating a loving God's forgiveness of
the times when we hurt people will help us approach people with an attitude of love and
forgiveness. Using our Higher Power as a sort of protective force will ensure that
negative reactions to our amends don't cause us to lose hope. We can center ourselves by
praying and meditating before each amends.
 Do I owe amends to people who have also harmed me?
 Have I forgiven them all? Which ones have I not forgiven yet? Have I tried all of the
above ways of generating a spirit of forgiveness? What does my sponsor say about it?
Making Amends
Now we're ready to make our amends. We've discussed each person or institution on our
Eighth Step list with our sponsor and made a plan for how we would go about making
each amends. We've talked to the God of our understanding, and we've prayed for the
willingness, serenity, courage, and wisdom to go through with our amends.
Now we need to follow through with our amends. We need to continue amending our
behavior, and we need to keep whatever commitments we've made to the people on our
amends list.
This is where it can get difficult. When we first make an amends, we're usually feeling as
if we could float away on a cloud of freedom. We feel a heightened sense of self-respect
and the initial euphoria that comes along with the disappearance of a large chunk of
remorse. We feel like good people, like we're on equal footing with the rest of humanity.
This feeling is extremely powerful, and if it's our first time feeling it, it might seem like
more than we can handle.
We shouldn't worry. The feelings won't be so intense for long, though there will be some
permanent change in our feelings about ourselves. After the first glow of making amends
fades, we'll face the truly challenging part of making amends: the follow-through. For
instance, a year after we approach a lending institution to which we owe money and
promise to pay back a certain amount every month, we may not find it "spiritually
inspiring" to hand over a portion of every hard-earned paycheck, especially if we're going
to be making the same payment for several more years. Asking ourselves one simple
question should help us continue with our amends: How free do we want to be? To
continue with all aspects of our recovery, making amends included, makes our freedom
grow day by day.
 Are there amends with which I'm having trouble following through? What am I doing to
recommit myself to making these amends?
It is not necessarily a comforting and comfortable process to make amends. The steps
aren't designed to make us happy and comfortable without also making us grow. The
fear, the risk, and the feeling of vulnerability that come with making amends may be so
uncomfortable for us that the memory keeps us from repeating the behavior that led to us
having to make amends. We hear often around NA that "it gets better." "It" is us-we get
better. We become better people. We become less willing to engage in destructive
behavior because we are aware of the cost in human misery, both our own and those
around us. Our self-centeredness is replaced by an awareness of other people and concern
about their lives. Where we were indifferent, we begin to care. Where we were selfish,
we begin to be selfless. Where we were angry, we begin to be forgiving.
Our love and tolerance also extend to ourselves. We explored some of the issues
surrounding making amends to ourselves in Step Eight; now it's time to recognize how
we've already begun making amends to ourselves and perhaps make some plans to
continue or take on some new things. We began making amends to ourselves for our
addiction when we stopped using drugs and started working the steps. Just these two acts
will go a long way toward healing the damage we did to our own spirits. We may have to
do some other things to heal the damage we did to our bodies and minds. There are many
ways we can begin taking care of our physical health, from diet to exercise to medical
treatment. Whatever ways we choose will need to fit our personal needs and desires. The
damage we did to our minds may be healed in some measure by pursuing knowledge in
the future. A return to school, or just learning something new, will help us repair years of
mental neglect.
 What are my immediate plans for making amends to myself? Do I have any long-range
goals that might also fit as amends to myself? What are they? What can I do to follow
through?
Spiritual Principles
In the Ninth Step, we will focus on humility, love, and forgiveness.
The humility we've gained in this step has resulted from getting a good look at the
damage we did to others and accepting responsibility for it. We acknowledge to
ourselves, "Yes, this is what I've done. I'm responsible for the harm I caused and for
making it right." We may have been led to this awareness by the experience of having
someone tearfully tell us how much we hurt them. We may have found ourselves on the
receiving end of some hurt we had inflicted on someone else, and been so jarred by such
an experience that we were able to see on a deeper level how we hurt people. Then again,
it may have been only the process of the previous steps, coupled with the experience of
making amends that led us to experience increased humility.
 Have I accepted responsibility for the harm I caused and for repairing that harm?
 What experiences have I had that led me to see the harm I caused more clearly? How has
that contributed to an increase in my humility?
It becomes much easier to practice the spiritual principle of love in Step Nine, though
we've probably been working on practicing it throughout our recovery. By this time,
we've eliminated many of the destructive views and feelings we had, making room for
love in our lives. As we become filled with love, we find ourselves compelled to share it
by nurturing our relationships and building new ones and by selflessly sharing our
recovery, our time, our resources, and above all, ourselves with those in need.
 How am I giving of myself or being of service to others?
As we experience being forgiven, we begin to see the value in extending that to others.
This motivates us to practice the spiritual principle of forgiveness as much as possible.
Recognizing our own humanness gives us the capacity to forgive others and not be as
judgmental as we have been in the past. It becomes second nature for us to give other
people the benefit of the doubt. We no longer suspect vile motives and sneaky
conspiracies are at play in every situation over which we don't have full control. We're
aware that we usually mean well, and so extend that belief to others. When someone does
harm us, we’re aware that holding resentments only serves to rob our own peace and
serenity, so we tend to forgive sooner rather than later.
 What are the benefits to me of practicing the principle of forgiveness? What are some
situations in which I've been able to practice this principle?
 For what have I forgiven myself?
Moving On
Many of us find it helpful to reflect on our amends after making each one. Some of us do
this by writing about how it felt to make the amends and what we learned from the
experience.
 How did it feel to make this amends? What did I learn from it?
"Freedom" seems to be the word that most clearly describes the essence of Step Nine. It
seems to sum up the relief from guilt and shame, the lessening of our obsession with
ourselves, and the increased ability to appreciate what's going on around us as it's
happening. We start being less consumed with ourselves, more able to be fully present in
all our relationships. We begin to be able to just be in a roomful of people without trying
to control the room or dominate every conversation. We start thinking of our past,
specifically our addiction, as a gold mine of experience to share with people we're trying
to help in recovery, instead of as a period of darkness we want to forget about. We stop
thinking about our lives in terms of what we don't have and begin to appreciate the gifts
we receive every day. We know that to keep this feeling of freedom, we'll need to keep
applying what we've learned in the previous steps. Step Ten gives us the means to do
that.

نوشته شده توسط گمنام در 9:31 |  لینک ثابت   • 

یکشنبه 1391/08/28

step6-7

Step Six
"We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character."
We begin working Step Six full of the hope we have developed in the first five steps. If
we have been thorough, we have also developed some humility. In Step Six, "humility"
means that we're able to see ourselves more clearly. We've seen the exact nature of our
wrongs. We've seen how we've harmed ourselves and others by acting on our defects of
character. We've seen the patterns of our behavior, and we've come to understand how we
are likely to act on the same defects over and over. Now we have to become entirely
ready to have our defects of character removed.
Becoming entirely ready won't happen in an instant. It's a long process, often taking place
over the course of a whole lifetime. Immediately following an inventory, we may feel
very ready indeed to have our defects removed. If we've been around awhile and are
generally pretty well aware of what our defects are, and we still act on one of them, we'll
naturally find that our willingness level rises. Awareness alone will never be enough to
ensure our readiness, but it's the necessary first step on the path to readiness. The
inventory process itself has raised our awareness about our character defects; working the
Sixth Step will do so even more. To be entirely ready is to reach a spiritual state where
we are not just aware of our defects; not just tired of them; not just confident that the God
of our understanding will remove what should go-but all these things.
In order to become entirely ready1 we'll need to address our fears about the Sixth Step.
We'll also need to take a look at how our defects will be removed. The Sixth Step says
that only a Higher Power can remove them, but what does that mean in practical terms?
What is our responsibility in the Sixth Step? These questions, when reviewed with a
sponsor, will help give us direction in working this step.
Entirely Ready For What?
If we're new in NA and this is our first experience with the Sixth Step, many of our
character defects will be so blatant that our immediate reaction will likely be one of
overwhelming willingness to get rid of them. We're seeing them for the first time, in all
their glory, so to speak, and we want them gone - today!
Once we've gotten past our initial reaction, we'll find that we probably have at least some
measure of fear or uncertainty about changing. The unknown is terrifying for almost
everyone. We've had the defects we're about to let go of for a long time, probably most of
our lives.
We probably have some fears about what our lives will be like without these defects.
Some of them may seem more like vital survival skills than defects of character. We
wonder if the removal of our defects will inhibit our ability to earn a living. We may find
that the idea of being a "respectable citizen" is repulsive to us. Many of us are strongly
attached to an image -we're cool, we're trendy, we're outside the bounds of polite society,
and we like it that way. We may be afraid that by working the Sixth Step we'll be
changed into dull conformists. Some of us may think that we're nothing but defects, and
wonder what will be left of us if our defects are removed. Our fears are probably vague
and unformed. If we pursue them to their logical conclusion, we're sure to find that they
are unfounded. In other words, if we say them out loud, we can see them for what they
are.
 Are there parts of me I like, but which might be "defects"? Am I afraid I'll turn into
someone I don't like if those parts of my character are removed?
 What do I think will be removed?
If we've had some previous experience with the Sixth Step, our character defects are
nothing new. In fact, we may be feeling dismayed right now that we still have a certain
defect, or we may be upset because we're looking at the same old defect in a new
manifestation.
For instance, we're still insecure. We may no longer run around indulging in a series of
transparent attempts to convince others that we're big shots, but we still have the defect.
The way we've been acting on it lately is far more subtle and far more insidious. We may
have been unconsciously sabotaging the efforts of others so that we can look better by
comparison, or trampling on someone else's desires because they don't directly serve our
own needs. What's especially painful about realizations such as this in later recovery is
that we've tended to think of ourselves in a better light. We're deeply ashamed of harming
others. We may feel a dull fear that we're incapable of change, that one character defect
or another is here to stay. We can draw some measure of comfort from the fact that we're
now aware of what we've been doing and are willing to work on it. We need to maintain a
sense of hope and trust that the process of recovery works even on the most firmly
entrenched defects.
 Do I still believe in the process of recovery? Do I believe I can change? How have I
changed so far? What defects do I no longer have to act on?
 Do I have any defects that I think cannot be removed? What are they? Why do I think
they cannot be removed?
To Have God Remove...
Yes, the Sixth Step specifies that only a Power greater than ourselves can remove our
defects of character. However, the extent to which most of us grasp what that actually
means is directly influenced by how much experience we have with the up-and-down, onagain
off-again struggle and surrender associated with Step Six.
The first thing most of us do about our character defects is decide not to have them.
Unfortunately, this is futile - about as effective as attempting to control our using. We
may have some apparent success for a time, but our defects will eventually resurface. The
problem is that our defects are part of us. We will always be subject to reverting to our
worst character defects in stressful situations.
What we need to do in the Sixth Step is much like what we had to do in the first two
steps. We have to admit that we have been defeated by an internal force that has brought
nothing but pain and degradation to our lives; then, we have to admit we need help in
dealing with that force. We must completely accept the fact that we cannot remove our
own shortcomings, and we must prepare ourselves to ask in the Seventh Step for God to
remove them for us.
 How am I trying to remove or control my own character defects? What have my attempts
resulted in?
 What is the difference between being entirely ready to have God remove my defects of
character and suppressing them myself?
 How am I increasing my trust in the God of my understanding by working this step?
 How does my surrender deepen in this step?
 What action can I take that shows that I am entirely ready?
Our Defects of Character
Even after all the work we've done in the Fourth and Fifth Steps, we're still not entirely
clear at this point about the nature of our defects of character. We're probably wondering
where, precisely, our character defects end and our character begins within the complex
structure of our personality. Why do we do the things we do? Is it someone's fault? When
did we first feel this way? Why? How? Where? If we're not careful, we can become so
self-obsessed that we lose sight of why we're working a Sixth Step. We need to focus our
efforts. Our goal is to raise our awareness of our character defects so that we can become
entirely ready to have them removed, not to analyze their origin or indulge in a bout of
self-absorption.
Our character defects are indicators of our basic nature. We are likely to find that we
have the same basic nature as anyone else. We have needs, and we try to get them met.
For instance, we need love. How we go about getting love is where our defects come into
play If we lie, cheat, or harm others and degrade ourselves to get love, we are acting on
defects. As defined in It Works: How and Why, our defects are basic human traits that
have been distorted by our self-centeredness. With our sponsor's help, we need to list
each defect we have, describe the ways in which we act on it, look at how it affects our
lives, and, very importantly, find out what we're feeling when we practice it. Imagining
what our life would be like without each defect will help us see that we can live without
them. Some of us take practical action by finding out what the opposite spiritual principle
would be for each character defect.
 List each defect, and give a brief definition of it.
 In what ways do I act on this defect?
 When I act on this defect, what effect does it have on myself and others?
 What feelings do I associate with this defect? Am I trying to suppress certain feelings by
acting on certain defects?
 What would my life be like without this behavior? Which spiritual principle can I apply
instead?
Spiritual Principles
In the Sixth Step, we will focus on commitment and perseverance, willingness, faith and
trust, and self-acceptance.
At this point in our Sixth Step work, we should be acutely aware of our shortcomings. In
fact, we're probably so aware of them that, in the course of our daily lives, we can see
them coming and even stop ourselves from acting on them much of the time. At times,
our awareness may fade, and we may no longer be as vigilant in watching our behavior. It
takes an incredible amount of energy to monitor ourselves every second and curb every
impulse to act out. We'll relax into everyday life until, all of a sudden, we'll be left feeling
sick and ashamed and wondering how, after all the work we've done, we could have
possibly done that again.
However, we do not give up. Instead, we make a commitment to our recovery. We
maintain our newly emerging principles despite our setback. We keep taking steps
forward even though we've taken one or more backward. We're looking for gradual
improvement, not instant faultlessness.
 How am I demonstrating my commitment to recovery today?
 By working the first five steps, I have persevered in my recovery. Why is this quality so
vital to the Sixth Step?
Applying the spiritual principle of willingness means, very simply, that we are willing to
act differently. It does not necessarily mean that we will act differently or even that we're
capable of doing so. We can perhaps best illustrate this attitude by an example. Suppose
we've been dishonest- with our families, with our employers, with our friends - in many
ways, ranging from the minor to the severe. While it may seem better to become willing
in "layers," focusing our willingness on the worst or most destructive forms of dishonesty
first, this step says that we were entirely ready to have all our defects removed. That
means being willing never to be dishonest again, even in a minor way. This may seem
like more than we can expect of ourselves, but we only have to do it for today.
It's hard to have this kind of willingness, especially when the apparent consequences for
mild dishonesty aren't so severe. We may be aware that we're not being entirely honest,
but we think we're not hurting anyone and we're getting away with it, so why be
concerned about it? But it's this kind of thinking that has perhaps the most severe spiritual
consequences. It may turn out that no one is obviously harmed by our dishonesty, and
that no one ever finds out, but the dishonesty reverberates in our spirits from then on.
Even if we're not consciously aware of it, even if we sleep just fine at night, the result of
acting on a defect when we have the ability not to is an impairment of our spiritual
growth. If we continue being unwilling, we'll eventually paralyze our spiritual growth.
 Am I willing to have all my defects of character removed at this time? If not, why not?
 What have I done to show my willingness today?
The amount of willingness we have to develop in this step requires a corresponding
amount of faith and trust. We have to believe that a Higher Power is going to work in our
lives to the exact degree that's necessary. Continuing with the example of dishonesty, we
have to trust that our Higher Power isn't going to remove the defect of dishonesty from
our lives to such a degree that we become brutally honest, incapable of remaining silent
even when speaking the truth would hurt someone. As long as we get out of the way so
that God can work in our lives, we'll experience the exact degree of spiritual growth we
need.
 To what degree is my fear of what I will become still present? Has it diminished since I
began working this step?
 How am I increasing my trust in the God of my understanding by working this step?
With words like "entirely" and "all" playing such a prominent role in this step, it's easy to
become overly self-critical and perfectionistic. We need to remember that even though
our willingness must be complete, we're not going to become perfect-not today, not ever.
When we act out on a defect against our will, we need to practice the principle of selfacceptance.
We need to accept that while we're still capable of acting out, we're also still
willing to change; with that acknowledgment, we renew our commitment to be changed.
We've grown exactly as much as we were supposed to for today, and if we were perfect,
we would have no further need to grow.
 Do I accept myself today? What do I like about myself? What has changed since I've
been working the steps?
Moving On
We may have had fleeting glimpses in the past of what we could become - maybe during
childhood, maybe during our active addiction. We probably thought either that life didn't
put us in a place where we could become what we dreamed of, or that we were just
innately incapable of rising to a higher place. We may once have dreamed of money, or
status, or position. In the spiritual program of Narcotics Anonymous, we're more
concerned with spiritual growth. We want to think about qualities we wish we had, or
about other people we know in recovery who have qualities we wish to emulate.
As we work this step, we begin developing a vision of the person we'd like to become. If
we have been selfish, we probably have a vision of becoming selfless, maybe by helping
another addict find recovery or by some other act of selfless giving. If we've been lazy,
we may see ourselves becoming productive and reaping the rewards of our efforts. If
we've been dishonest, we may have a dream of the freedom that can be ours when we no
longer have to spend so much time worrying about being found out. We want to get from
this step a vision of ourselves and a sense of hope that we can attain that vision.
 What do I see myself doing with the qualities I wish to attain? What will I do with my
career? What will I do in my spare time? What kind of parent, child, partner, or friend
will I be? Be specific.
This vision can be our inspiration. Recalling it during the times when we feel despair, or
when it seems to be taking a long time to reach our goals, will sustain us and help us
renew our willingness. Our vision is our springboard into Step Seven, where we'll ask the
God of our understanding to remove our shortcomings.
Step Seven
"We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings."
Though each of the Twelve Steps is a separate process unto itself, they all blend together
to some degree as their parts interact with one another - aspects of Step One fusing into
Step Two, components of Step Four meshing into the following steps. Perhaps the finest
line between two steps is the one between Steps Six and Seven. At first glance, Step
Seven may seem almost an afterthought to Step Six. We spent a great deal of time and
effort raising our awareness of our character defects in Step Six and getting to the point
where we were entirely ready to have them removed; now all we need to do is ask, right?
Not exactly. There's much more to this step than just filing a request with our Higher
Power and waiting for a response. There's spiritual preparation. There's the need to
develop an understanding about what "humbly" means in this context. There's the need to
find a way of asking that fits into our individual spiritual paths. And there's the need to
practice spiritual principles in the place of character defects.
Preparing To Work Step Seven
We've already done much of the spiritual preparation we'll need to begin Step Seven. It's
important that we draw the connection between the work we've done and the results that
work has produced.
The previous steps have all served to sow the seeds of humility in our spirits. In this step,
those seeds take root and grow. Many of us have difficulty with the concept of humility,
and while we began addressing this issue in Step Six, it merits attention in Step Seven,
too. We need to understand what humility is for ~s and how its presence is revealed in
our lives.
We should not confuse humility with humiliation. When we are humiliated, we are
ashamed; we feel worthless. Humility is almost the complete opposite of this feeling.
Through working the steps, we've been stripping away layers of denial, ego, and selfcenteredness.
We have also been building a more positive self-image and practicing
spiritual principles. Before, we couldn't see our strengths because the good, healthy part
of us was hidden behind our disease. Now we can. That is humility. Some examples of
how humility is often revealed may help us understand this concept.
We started out in recovery with fixed ideas. Since we've been in recovery, everything we
believed in the past has been challenged. We've been barraged with new ideas. For
instance, if we believed we were in control, just the fact that we've wound up in NA
admitting our powerlessness was probably enough to change our outlook. Because of our
addiction, we failed to learn the lessons that life itself would have taught us about how
much control one individual has. Through our abstinence and the working of the first six
steps, we have learned a great deal about how to live.
Many of us came to NA with a certain "street" mentality. The only way we knew to get
what we wanted was by approaching it indirectly and manipulating people. We didn't
realize that we could just be forthright and have the same chance, if not better, of
fulfilling our needs. We spent years learning to blank our facial expressions, hide our
compassion, and harden ourselves. By the time we arrived in NA, we were very good at
it-so good, in fact, that novice addicts were probably looking to our example the same
way we looked to older addicts when we first started using. We learned to suppress all
humanity and became, in many cases, completely inhuman.
Removing ourselves from the arena in which such games are played exposed us to new
ideas. We learned that it was okay to have feelings and to show them. We found out that
the rules of the street only made sense on the street; in the real world, they were crazy
and often dangerous. We became softer, more vulnerable. We no longer mistook
kindness for weakness.
Changing these attitudes has a dramatic effect. Oftentimes, it even changes our physical
appearance. Knotted brows and jaws relax into smiles. Tears flow freely out, uncovering
our drowning spirit.
Many of us arrived in NA convinced that we were victims of bad luck, unfavorable
circumstances, and conspiracies to thwart our good intentions. We believed we were
good people, but profoundly misunderstood. We justified any harm we caused as selfdefense,
if we were capable of realizing that we caused harm at all. Feelings of self-pity
went hand-in-hand with that attitude. We reveled in our suffering, and we secretly knew
that the payoff for our pain was never, ever having to look at our part in anything.
But the first six steps get us to begin to do just that-we look at our part in things. Once we
thought that certain situations happened to us; now we see how those situations were
really created by us. We become aware of all the opportunities we've wasted. We stop
blaming other people for our lot in life. We begin to see that where we've ended up has
been determined mostly by the choices we've made.
Humility is a sense of our own humanness. If this is our first experience with the Seventh
Step, this may be the point when we first feel a sense of compassion for ourselves. It's
deeply moving to realize for the first time that we're truly just human and trying our best.
We make decisions, both good and bad, and hope things turn out okay. With this
knowledge about who we are, we also realize that just as we're doing our best, so are
other people. We feel a real connection with others, knowing that we're all subject to the
same insecurities and failings and that we all have dreams for the future.
Now we need to acknowledge our own humility and explore how it makes itself known
in our everyday lives.
 Which of my attitudes have changed since I've been in recovery? Where has the
overblown been deflated, and where has the healthy part of me been uncovered?
 How does humility affect my recovery?
 How does being aware of my own humility help when working this step?
Our work in the previous steps has helped us build a relationship with a God of our own
understanding. That work will pay off in a big way as we proceed with Step Seven. In
Step Two, we first began to think about a Higher Power that could help us find recovery
from our addiction. From there, we went on to make our Third Step decision to trust our
Higher Power with the care of our will and lives. We called upon that Power many times
to get us through Step Four, and then in the Fifth Step shared with that Power the most
intimate details of our lives. In Step Six, we discovered that the God of our understanding
could do more for us than just keep us clean.
 How has my understanding of a Higher Power grown in the previous steps? How has my
relationship with that Power developed?
 How has my work on the previous steps made me ready to work the Seventh Step?
Asking To Have Our Shortcomings Removed
So how do we ask the God of our understanding to remove our shortcomings? The
answer is likely to depend a great deal on what kind of understanding we have of God.
There are many, many different ways to understand God, so many that we couldn't
possibly provide examples in this guide of how each person's individual spiritual path
would influence his or her Seventh Step work. Suffice it to say that our step work should
reflect our own spiritual paths.
As individuals, we might pick a particular personal routine or ritual as our way of asking
our Higher Power to remove our shortcomings. For the purposes of this guide, we will
call that prayer." The word "prayer is widely accepted in our fellowship as a description
of the way we communicate with our Higher Power. The tone of asking is captured in the
word "humbly." Coming from the place in ourselves that is most honest, the place that's
closest to our spiritual center, we ask to have our shortcomings removed.
 How will I ask the God of my understanding to remove my shortcomings?
 Can other recovering addicts help me figure out how I'm going to ask? Have I asked them
to share their experience, strength, and hope with me? Have I asked my sponsor for
guidance?
As with any other aspect of our program, we're not going to ask just once to have our
shortcomings removed. We'll ask again and again throughout our lifetimes. The way we
ask is certain to change as our understanding of God changes. Nothing we do at this point
locks us into one way of working the Seventh Step forever.
Getting Out Of The Way
Most of us realize that we probably need to do something more in this step than just pray
for our shortcomings to be removed. We need to take some action that will invite the God
of our understanding to work in our lives. We can't ask God to remove a shortcoming,
then hang on to it with all our might. The more distance we keep between ourselves and
our Higher Power, the less we will feel that Power's presence. We have to maintain the
awareness of ourselves that we gained in the Sixth Step, and add to it an awareness of
God working in our lives.
 How does the spiritual principle of surrender apply to getting out of the way so a Higher
Power can work in our lives?
 What might be the benefits of allowing a Higher Power to work in my life?
 How do I feel, knowing that a Higher Power is caring for me and working in my life?
Spiritual Principles
In the Seventh Step, we will focus on surrender, trust and faith, patience, and humility.
In the Seventh Step, we take our surrender to a deeper level. What began in Step One
with an acknowledgment of our addiction now includes an acknowledgment of the
shortcomings that go along with our addiction. We also take our Second Step surrender to
a deeper level. We come to believe that our Higher Power can do more than help us stay
clean. We look to that Power to relieve us of our shortcomings as well. As time goes by,
we place more and more of our trust in a Higher Power and in the process of recovery.
 Have I accepted my powerlessness over my shortcomings as well as my addiction?
Expand on this.
 How has my surrender deepened?
The spiritual principles of trust and faith are central to the Seventh Step. We must be sure
enough of our Higher Power to trust that Power with our shortcomings. We have to
believe our Higher Power is going to do something with them, or how can we ask with
any faith that they be removed? We must avoid any tendency to keep score of how we
think God's doing in removing our defects. It's not too hard to see where this kind of
thinking can lead if we find we still have certain character defects after some arbitrary
amount of time has passed. Instead, we focus on the action we must take in this step:
humbly asking, practicing spiritual principles, and getting out of God's way. The results
of the Seventh Step may not materialize immediately, but they will in time.
 Do I believe that my Higher Power will remove my shortcomings or grant me freedom
from the compulsion to act on them? Do I believe that I'll be a better person as a result of
working this step?
 How does my faith in the God of my understanding become stronger as a result of
working this step?
Trust and faith alone can never carry us through a lifetime of working this step; we need
to practice patience, too. Even if it's been a long time since we started asking for the
removal of a shortcoming, we still must be patient. Maybe, in fact, impatience is one of
our shortcomings. We can look at the times when we have to wait as gifts - the times
when we most need to practice the principle of patience. After all, one of the surest ways
we progress is by rising up over the barriers we run into on our spiritual path.
 Where have I had opportunities for growth lately? What did I make of them?
Finally, we need to maintain our awareness of the principle of humility, more than any
other, as we work this step. It's fairly easy to see if we're approaching this step with
humility by asking ourselves a few questions:
 Do I believe that only my Higher Power can remove my shortcomings? Or have I been
trying to do it myself?
 Have I become impatient that my shortcomings haven't been removed right away, as soon
as I asked? Or am I confident that they will be removed in God's time?
 Has my sense of perspective been out of proportion lately? Have I begun thinking of
myself as more significant or more powerful than I really am?
Moving On
At this point, we may wonder how we're supposed to be feeling. We've asked the God of
our understanding to remove our shortcomings; we've faithfully practiced the principles
of our program to the best of our ability; but we may still find ourselves acting out before
we've had a chance to think, and always struggling with our defects. Sure, we're no
longer using, and many of the outside circumstances of our lives have probably gotten
better - our relationships are more stable, perhaps - but have we changed? Have we
become better people?
In time, we'll find that God has worked in our lives. We may even be startled by the level
of maturity or spirituality we've demonstrated in handling a situation that in years past
would have had us acting very unspiritual. One day, we'll realize that some of the ways
we used to act have become as alien as spiritual principles were when we first started
practicing them.
After such a revelation, we may begin thinking about the person we were when we first
came to NA and how little we resemble that person now.
 Have there been times when I've been able to refrain from acting on a character defect
and practice a spiritual principle instead? Do I recognize this as God working in my life?
 Which shortcomings have been removed from my life or diminished in their power over
me?
 Why does the Seventh Step foster a sense of serenity?
We begin to live more spiritual lives. We stop thinking so much about what we're going
to get, even from our recovery, and start looking at how we can contribute. The things we
do to sustain and nourish our spirits become habits; we may even look forward to them.
We find that we're free to choose how we want to look at any situation in our lives. We
stop grumbling about small inconveniences as if they were major tragedies. We become
able to hold up our heads with dignity and maintain our integrity, no matter what life
presents us. As we begin to get more comfortable with our spiritual selves, our desire to
heal our relationships will grow. We begin that process in Step Eight.


نوشته شده توسط گمنام در 9:31 |  لینک ثابت   • 

یکشنبه 1391/08/28

step5

Step Five
“We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of
our wrongs."
Our Basic Text tells us that "Step Five is not simply a reading of Step Four." Yet we
know that reading our Fourth Step to another human being is certainly part of Step Five.
So what's the rest, the part that's more than simply a reading?
It's the admission we make-to God, to ourselves, and to another human being-that brings
about the spiritual growth connected with this step. We've had some experience with
making admissions already. We've admitted we have a disease; we've admitted we need
help; we've admitted there's a Power that could help us. Drawing on our experience with
these admissions will help us in Step Five.
Many of us finished our Fourth Step with a sense of relief, thinking that the really hard
part was over, only to realize that we still had the Fifth Step to do. That's when the fear
set in.
Some of us were afraid that our sponsor would reject or judge us. Others hesitated
because we didn't want to bother our sponsor with so much. We weren't sure we trusted
our sponsor to keep our secrets.
We may have been concerned about what the inventory might reveal. There might be
something hidden from us that our sponsor would spot immediately - and it probably
wouldn't be anything good. Some of us were afraid of having to re-feel old feelings, and
wondered if there was really any benefit to stirring up the past. Some of us felt that as
long as we hadn't actually spoken our inventories out loud, the contents wouldn't be quite
real.
If we consider all our feelings about the Fifth Step, we may find that we are also
motivated to continue this process by a desire for more recovery. We think about the
people we know who have worked this step. We're struck by their genuineness and by
their ability to connect with others. They aren't always talking about themselves. They're
asking about others, and they're truly interested in knowing the answer. And if we ask
them how they learned so much about relationships with others, they'll probably tell us
that they began learning when they worked Step Five.
Many of us, having worked the Fourth and Fifth Steps before, knew that this process
always resulted in change-in other words, we'd have to stop behaving the same old way!
We may not have been entirely sure we wanted that. On the other hand, many of us knew
we had to change, but were afraid we couldn't.
Two things we need to begin working Step Five are courage and a sense of trust in the
process of recovery. If we have both these things, we'll be able to work through more
specific fears and go through with the admissions we need to make in this step.
Facing Fears
Any of the fears we've talked about here might be ours, or we might have other fears that
plague us. It's essential that we know what our fears are and move forward in spite of
them so that we're able to continue with our recovery.
 What reservations do I have about working the Fifth Step?
 Do I have any fears at this point? What are they?
No matter what our fears stem from, most of our members have done pretty much the
same things to deal with them: We pray for courage and willingness, read the section
from It Works: How and Why on the Fifth Step, and seek reassurance from other
members. Many of us have had the experience of going to step study meetings and
finding that, coincidentally, the topic always seems to be Step Four or Five. If we make
the effort to share what we're going through, we're sure to get the support we need from
other members. Calling upon the spiritual resources we have developed through working
the previous steps will allow us to proceed with our Fifth Step.
 What am I doing to work through my fears about doing a Fifth Step?
 How has working the first four steps prepared me to work the Fifth Step?
Admitted To God
The chapter on Step Five in It Works: How and Wzy answers the question about why we
must admit the exact nature of our wrongs to God in addition to admitting them to
ourselves and another human being. In NA, we experience a way of life where the
spiritual meets the everyday, where the ordinary meets the extraordinary. When we admit
the exact nature of our wrongs to the God of our understanding, our admission becomes
more meaningful.
How we make our admission to the God of our understanding depends on the specifics of
our understanding. Some make a formal admission to God apart from the admissions we
make to ourselves and another human being. Others acknowledge or invite the presence
of a Higher Power in some way before going over the inventory with their sponsor. Those
of us whose Higher Power is the spiritual principles of recovery or the power of the NA
Fellowship may have to explore different methods of working this portion of the Fifth
Step. Our sponsor can help with this process. Whatever we do is okay as long as we are
aware that we are also making our admission to a Higher Power.
 How will I include the God of my understanding in my Fifth Step?
 How is my Third Step decision reaffirmed by working the Fifth Step?
To Ourselves
When we were using, most of us probably had people telling us we had a drug problem
and should get some help. Their comments didn't really matter to us. Or even if they did
matter, it wasn't enough to stop us from using. Not until we admitted our addiction to
ourselves and surrendered to the NA program were we able to stop using. It's just the
same with the admission we make in the Fifth Step. We can have everyone from our
spouse to our employer to our sponsor telling us what we're doing that's working against
us, but until we admit to our own innermost selves the exact nature of our wrongs, we're
not likely to have the willingness or the ability to choose another way.
 Can I acknowledge and accept the exact nature of my wrongs?
 How will making this admission change the direction of my life?
And To Another Human Being
As addicts, one of the biggest problems we have is telling the difference between our
responsibility and the responsibilities of others. We blame ourselves for catastrophes over
which we have no control. Conversely, we're often in complete denial about how we have
hurt ourselves and others. We overdramatize minor troubles, and we shrug off major
problems we really should be taking a look at. If were not sure what the exact nature of
our wrongs is when we begin our Fifth Step, we'll know by the time we finish-because of
making our admissions to another human being. What we can't see, our listener can, and
he or she will help us sort out what we need to accept as our responsibility and what we
don't.
Most of us asked someone to be our sponsor before we began formally working the steps,
and have been developing a relationship with that person ever since. For most of us, our
sponsor will be the "another human being" we choose to hear our Fifth Step He or she
will help us separate the things that were not our responsibility from the things that were.
The relationship we have been building with our sponsor will give us the trust we need to
have in him or her. The therapeutic value of one addict helping another is often
powerfully demonstrated when our sponsor shares details from his or her own inventory
as we share ours. This goes a long way toward reassuring us that we are not unique.
The trust we must have in the person who is to hear our Fifth Step goes beyond simply
being assured that he or she will keep our confidences. We need to trust that our listener
can respond appropriately to what we are sharing. One of the primary reasons that so
many of us find ourselves choosing our sponsor as the person who will listen to our Fifth
Step is because he or she understands what we're doing and therefore knows just what
kind of support we need during this process. Also, if our sponsor is our listener, it will
help promote continuity when we work the following steps. Still, if for any reason we
choose someone else to hear our Fifth Step admission, his or her "qualifications" are the
same ones we would look for in our sponsor: an ability to be supportive without
minimizing our responsibility, someone who can provide a steadying influence if we
begin to feel overwhelmed during our Fifth Step - in short, someone with compassion,
integrity, and insight.
 What qualities does my listener have that are attractive to me?
 How will his or her possession of these qualities help me make my admissions more
effectively?
For most of us, developing an honest relationship is something new. We're very good at
running away from relationships the first time someone tells us a painful truth. We're also
good at having polite, distant interactions with no real depth. The Fifth Step helps us to
develop honest relationships. We tell the truth about who we are - then, the hard part: we
listen to the response. Most of us have been terrified of having a relationship like this.
The Fifth Step gives us a unique opportunity to try such a relationship in a safe context.
We can be pretty much assured that we won't be judged.
 Am I willing to trust the person who is to hear my Fifth Step?
 What do I expect from that person?
 How will working the Fifth Step help me begin to develop new ways of having
relationships?
The Exact Nature of Our Wrongs
Another way to ensure that our Fifth Step is "not simply a reading of Step Four" is to
focus on what we are supposed to be admitting: the exact nature of our wrongs. There is a
diversity of experience in our fellowship about what, precisely, is "the exact nature of our
wrongs. Most of us agree that, in working Step Five, we should be focusing our attention
on what's behind the patterns of our addiction and the reasons we acted out in the ways
we did. Identifying the exact nature of our wrongs is often something that happens while
we're sharing our inventory. Sometimes the repetition of the same type of situation will
reveal the exact nature of that situation. Why do we, for example, keep choosing to
involve ourselves with people who don't have our best interests at heart? Why do we keep
approaching every relationship we have as though our very lives depended on having the
upper hand? Why do we feel threatened by new experiences, and so keep avoiding them?
Finding the common thread in our own patterns will lead us right to the exact nature of
our wrongs.
At some point in this process, we will probably begin calling certain patterns of behavior
our "character defects." Though it won't be until the Sixth Step that we begin an in-depth
examination of how each one of our defects plays a role in keeping us sick, it certainly
won't hurt to allow this knowledge to begin forming in us now.
 How does the exact nature of my wrongs differ from my actions?
 Why do I need to admit the exact nature of my wrongs, and not just the wrongs
themselves?
Spiritual Principles
In the Fifth Step, we will focus on trust, courage, self-honesty, and commitment.
Practicing the spiritual principle of trust is essential if we are to get through the Fifth
Step. As mentioned above, we will probably have some experience with our sponsor that
allows us to trust him or her enough to go ahead with this step; but what about the more
profound issues that arise when we wonder if working this step will really do any good?
We have to trust a process as well as another person. The connection between the Fifth
Step and our spiritual development isn't always clear to us. This doesn't mean that the
connection is any less real, but it may make it harder for us to trust the process.
 Do I believe that working the Fifth Step will somehow make my life better? How?
Courage is one principle we'll have to practice just to get started on this step. We'll
probably need to continue drawing on our courage periodically throughout our work on
this step. When we replace the phone on its hook just as we are about to call our sponsor
for an appointment to make our admissions, we're feeling fear and we need to practice
courage. When we're sharing our inventory and we see a paragraph that we just can't tell
anyone about, we need to face that moment of fear with courage and go ahead with
sharing all of our inventory. When we've just shared something excruciatingly painful,
and our feelings of vulnerability are so overwhelming that we want to shut down before
we hear what our sponsor has to say, we're at a defining moment in our recovery and we
need to choose the courageous path. Doing so will influence the future course of our
lives. Each time we feel fear, we remind ourselves that giving in to it has rarely had
anything but negative consequences in our lives, and doing so this time won't be any
different. Such a reminder should be sufficient to motivate us to gather our courage.
 What are some of the ways in which I can find the courage I need to work this step?
 How does practicing the principle of courage in working this step affect my whole
recovery?
 Have I set a time and place for my Fifth Step? When and where?
Practicing the principle of self-honesty is essential when we admit to ourselves the exact
nature of our wrongs. Just as we mustn't disassociate ourselves from our emotions simply
because we're afraid of our listener's response, so we can't afford to shut down our own
reactions. We must allow ourselves to experience the natural and human reaction to the
subject under discussion: our lives as addicts. Our lives have been sad. We've missed out
on a lot because of our addiction. We've hurt people we loved because of our addiction.
These realizations are painful. However, if we pay close attention, we'll probably
recognize another feeling that's beginning to form in the wake of the pain: hope.
We've finally stopped using over our feelings, running away from our feelings, and
shutting down because of our feelings; now, for the first time, we have a chance to walk
through our feelings, even the painful ones, with courage. Doing so will, in the long run,
make us feel better about ourselves. This is one of the paradoxes that we often find in
recovery. What begins in pain ends in joy and serenity.
 How have I avoided self-honesty in the past? What am I doing to practice it now?
 How is a more realistic view of myself connected to humility?
 How does practicing the principle of self-honesty help me accept myself?
The principle of commitment is demonstrated by the action we take in this step. Many of
us have made so-called "commitments" in our lives, commitments to which we had no
intention of sticking to in tough times; our "commitments" were made solely for the sake
of convenience. With each step we've taken in the program of NA, we've deepened our
real, practical commitment to the program. Getting a sponsor, working the steps, finding
a home group and going to its meetings - each one of these actions demonstrates that
we're committed to our recovery in a practical, meaningful way.
 How does sharing my inventory with my sponsor further my commitment to the NA
program?
Moving On
One of the many benefits we get from working Step Five is a sense of self-acceptance.
We clearly recognize who we are today, and accept ourselves without reservation. Just
because we're lacking in certain areas doesn't mean we're worthless. We begin to see that
we have both assets and defects. We're capable of great good - and of inflicting great
harm. There are aspects of our personalities that make us very special. Our experiences,
even the negative ones, have often contributed to the development of the very best parts
of us. For the first time, we're able to acknowledge that we're okay just as we are, right at
this moment. But accepting ourselves as we are today doesn't mean we can relax and stop
striving for improvement. True self-acceptance includes accepting what we're lacking. It
wouldn't be self-acceptance if we believed we had no further growing to do - it would be
denial. So we acknowledge what we're lacking, and we make a commitment to work on
it. If we want to be more compassionate, we work on it by practicing the principle of
compassion. If we want to be better educated, we take the time to learn. If we want to
have more friends, we take the time to develop our relationships.
 How has working Step Five increased my humility and self-acceptance?
As we finish Step Five, we may feel a sense of relief; we've unburdened ourselves by
sharing what we previously had put a lot of energy into hiding or suppressing. It is true
that our "defects... die in the light of exposure." Exposure to the light brings a sense of
freedom that we feel no matter what the outer circumstances of our lives may be like.
All of our relationships begin to change as a result of working this step. We especially
need to acknowledge how much our relationship with ourselves, with a Higher Power,
and with other people have changed:
 How has my relationship with a Higher Power changed as a result of working the Fifth
Step?
 How has my relationship with my sponsor changed as a result of working the Fifth Step?
 How has my view of myself changed as a result of working this step?
 To what extent have I developed love and compassion for myself and others?
Along with a sense of relief, our weariness with our character defects has probably
reached a peak. This will translate easily into a state of being entirely ready-just what we
need to begin Step Six!
نوشته شده توسط گمنام در 9:26 |  لینک ثابت   • 

یکشنبه 1391/08/28

step10-11-12

Step Ten
"We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly
admitted it."
Through working the first nine steps, our lives have changed dramatically - way beyond
what we expected when we first came to Narcotics Anonymous. We've become more
honest, humble, and concerned about others, less fearful, selfish, and resentful. But even
such profound changes aren't guaranteed to be permanent. Because we have the disease
of addiction, we can always return to what we were before. Recovery has a price - it
demands our vigilance. We have to continue doing all the things we have been doing for
our recovery so far. We have to continue to be honest, to have trust and faith, to pay
attention to our actions and reactions and to assess how those are working for us or
against us. We also have to pay attention to how our actions affect others, and when the
effects are negative or harmful, promptly step forward and take responsibility for the
harm caused and for repairing it. In short, we have to continue to take personal inventory
and promptly admit our wrongs.
As you can see, the Tenth Step has us repeat much of the work we did in Steps Four
through Nine, though in a much-shortened format. The format suggested in this guide is
one that covers in a general way the elements of a personal inventory. Some of us may
find that we need to add questions that focus on specific areas that are affecting our
individual recovery to the questions already in this guide. We may find some additional
areas upon which to focus from IP #9, Living the Program. Our sponsor may have
specific direction for us on this point. As noted before, this guide is meant to be a starting
point, not the final word on any of the steps.
 Why is a Tenth Step necessary?
 What is the purpose of continuing to take personal inventory?
 How can my sponsor help me?
Feeling versus Doing
We use Step Ten to create and maintain a continuous awareness of what we're feeling,
thinking, and, even more importantly, what we're doing. Before we begin a regular
pattern of personal inventory, it's imperative that we understand what we are assessing. It
won't do much good to make a list of our feelings without tying them to the actions that
they generate or fail to generate. We may often be feeling very badly though behaving
very well, or vice versa.
For instance, an NA member walks into her home group. "How are you?" someone asks.
"Terrible," she replies.
Of course, this member is referring to the way she feels. She can't possibly be referring to
what she's doing, because she is behaving very well indeed: She's going to a meeting,
honestly expressing how she feels, and reaching out to another member who will be
supportive.
On the other hand, we may be busy indulging our impulses and acting on character
defects. On the surface, we may feel very good. It usually takes a while before we notice
the emptiness that goes along with living this way. We're avoiding the work that will help
us stay clean. We're indulging our impulses, and taking the easy way out. And we know
where this will take us!
The Tenth Step will keep us aware of ourselves so we don't end up going to either
extreme. We don't have to beat ourselves up because we feel badly. We can instead focus
on the positive action we're taking. It may even turn out that by shifting our focus this
way, we'll wind up feeling better, too. Staying aware of what we're doing helps us see
patterns of destruction long before they become entrenched, so we don't wind up feeling
good at the cost of what's good for us.
We as addicts also tend to make judgments about what we are feeling. Anything that feels
bad we immediately want to stop. We often don't take into account that the way we're
feeling makes perfect sense when we consider the circumstances.
For instance, many of us have problems being angry. We don't like the way it feels. We
judge it, concluding we have no right to feel that way, and then we do our very best to
suppress our angry feelings. Yet, we may be experiencing a situation that would make
anyone angry. Perhaps we're in a relationship with someone who constantly fails to treat
us with respect. Perhaps we've been passed over for several well-deserved promotions at
work. Our response to these situations is anger. We've been treated poorly - of course
we're angry. Now comes the moment when our recovery can propel us forward into
greater self-respect or our disease can drag us down into a thick fog of depression and
resentment.
It all has to do with how we respond to our anger. If we scream and curse and throw
things, we'll destroy any possibility of making our relationship or job situation better. If
we do nothing and bury our feelings of anger, we'll become depressed and resentful, and
that won't improve our situation either. But if we take positive action aimed at improving
the situation, it may get better; at the very least, we'll know when it's time to leave and be
able to do so without regrets.
Sometimes the only thing we need to do with our feelings is feel them. We don't need to
react to them. For instance, if we've lost someone, we are going to feel sorrow. Our
sorrow may go on for a long time. It will lift when we've grieved sufficiently. We can't
afford to let our sorrow drag us down to the point where we can't go on with our lives,
but we should expect to be affected. We may be easily distracted or have a hard time
participating in activities that are supposed to be enjoyable. We need to strike a balance
between being in denial of our feelings and letting them overwhelm us; we don't want to
go to either extreme. This seems like a simple concept- almost as if it could go without
saying-but many of our members share that it takes years of recovery before we're able to
achieve a balance most of the time.
So the Tenth Step grants us the freedom to feel our feelings by helping us see the
difference between feeling and doing.
 Are there times in my life when I am confused about the difference between my feelings
and my actions? Expand on this.
Right and Wrong
The Tenth Step tells us that we have to promptly admit when we're wrong. The step
seems to assume that we know when we're wrong, but the fact is that most of us don't-at
least not right away. It takes the consistent practice of taking a personal inventory for us
to become proficient at figuring out when we're wrong.
Let's face it. When we were new in recovery, we had been at odds with the rest of the
world for some time. As the Basic Text says, our "living skills were reduced to the
animal level." We didn't know how to communicate with others well. We began to learn
in recovery, but in the process1 we made a lot of mistakes. Many of us went through a
period of time when we became very rigid about the values we had developed in
recovery. We applied that rigidity not only to ourselves, but to everyone around us. We
thought it was principled and correct to confront those whose behavior was
"unacceptable." In truth, it was our behavior that was unacceptable. We were selfrighteous
and overbearing. We were wrong.
Or some of us, after years of serving as a doormat for everyone to walk across, decided
our recovery required that we become assertive. But we went too far. We demanded that
everyone treat us perfectly all the time. No one could have a bad day and fail to return
our phone call. No one was allowed to be emotionally unavailable to us for any length of
time. We angrily demanded perfect service at the places we did business. We weren't
being assertive. We were being immature and belligerent. We were wrong.
We can even end up being wrong if someone hurts us. How? Say our sponsor says
something very hurtful to us. Instead of taking it up with our sponsor, we talk to ten or
twelve of our closest friends at the next three meetings we go to. Before the week is
through, half our local NA community is talking about the rotten thing so-and-so said to
one of his sponsees -and that's if the story stayed as it was originally! So the situation
started out with us having done no wrong, but ended up with us being responsible for
damaging our sponsor's reputation in the program-the place where he needs, as much as
we do, to be allowed to make mistakes and recover at his own pace.
 Have there been some times in my recovery when I've been wrong and not been aware of
it until later? What were they?
 How do my wrongs affect my own life? Others' lives?
It's hard enough to figure out when we're wrong; admitting our wrongs can be even more
challenging. Just like in the Ninth Step, we have to be careful that we aren't doing more
damage by making the admission.
For instance, many of us realize we've hurt someone close to us-perhaps because the
person stopped speaking to us-but aren't quite sure what we said or did wrong. Rather
than taking the time to reflect on what we might have done, or ask the person, we decide
we'll just cover all eventualities and make a blanket admission. We approach the person
and say, "Please forgive me for anything I've ever, in all the time we've known each
other, done to offend you or hurt you.
The Tenth Step requires that we take the time for personal reflection for instances just
like this. Chances are that if we think about when the person's attitude toward us changed,
and think about our behavior immediately preceding that change, we'll know what we did
wrong. It might be painful or embarrassing to think about; it definitely takes effort, but so
do all the steps. Laziness is a character defect like any other, and we can't afford to act on
it. Then again, if we're truly stumped, if we just can't pinpoint anything we might have
said or done that was harmful, there's nothing wrong with approaching the person and
saying we've noticed that he or she seems to be angry or upset with us, that we care about
our relationship with that person, and want to hear what he or she has to say. Most of us
are afraid of what we'll hear in a situation like this, but we can't let our fear stop us from
working Step Ten.
There's another way we can render our admission of wrong completely ineffective: admit
we're wrong and then immediately point out what the other person did first that made us
act as we did. For instance, say one of our children used poor manners, so we yelled at
her and called her a name. Now when we admit we were wrong, if we tell our child that
her behavior made us act the way we did, we've just delivered a message that justified our
first wrong, thus making ourselves doubly wrong.
Unlike the process contained in Steps Four through Nine, when we go through events
from the past, Step Ten is designed to keep us current. We don't want to let unresolved
wrongs pile up. We need to try our very best to stay abreast of what we're doing. Most of
our work will be done by making constant adjustments to our outlook. If we find
ourselves becoming negative and complaining all the time, we might want to spend some
time thinking about the things for which we are grateful. We need to pay attention to the
way we react when we've done something wrong. Is it our first impulse to make an
excuse? Are we claiming to be victims of someone's negative influence - or of our
disease? All excuses aside, we are responsible for what we do. It may very well be that
our character defects got the better of us, but that doesn't excuse our behavior. We need to
accept responsibility, and continue to be willing to have our shortcomings removed.
 "When we were wrong promptly admitted it" -what does this mean to me?
 Have there been times in my recovery when I've made situations worse by talking to
someone before I should have or blaming my behavior on someone else? What were
they?
 How does promptly admitting my wrongs help me change my behavior?
Step Ten points out the need to continue taking personal inventory and seems to assert
that we do this solely to find out when we're wrong. But how can we identify the times
we're wrong unless we also have times we're right as a basis for comparison. Identifying
the times we do things right and forming personal values are as much a part of personal
inventory as identifying our liabilities. Most of us have a very difficult time with the
concept of being right. We think of the times we vigorously defended an opinion because
we just knew we were right, but in light of our recovery, we've come to understand that
trampling over others in a discussion makes us wrong. Or we think of our personal
values. We know they're right for us, but if we began insisting that others live them, we
would no longer be right, but self-righteous. So how do we get comfortable with being
right? First and foremost, by working the Sixth and Seventh Steps so that our character
defects don't turn our positive acts into negative acts. Then, we have to realize that it will
probably take some time, and some trial and error, before we are completely comfortable
in our new lives in recovery.
 Have there been situations in my recovery in which I felt uncomfortable about
acknowledging something I had done well? Describe.
How Often Should We Take A Personal Inventory?
It Works: How and Why tells us that while our goal is to maintain continuous awareness
of ourselves throughout each day, it's very helpful to sit down at the end of each day and
"work" this step. We need the consistency of doing something every day for it to become
a habit and to internalize the spiritual principles of the activity. As we stay clean and our
days of continuous abstinence turn into weeks and months and years, we'll find that
taking a personal inventory has become second nature. We'll find that keeping track of
our spiritual fitness comes naturally, without our having to think too much about it. We'll
notice right away when we're headed in a direction we don't want to go or about to
engage in a behavior that's sure to cause harm. We become able to correct it. So, the
frequency of our formal efforts to take personal inventory may depend on our experience
with recovery. In the beginning, some of us sat down at the beginning of our day, the end
of our day, or even both times and went through IP #9, Living the Program, or something
similar and "took our spiritual temperature." The point is that we want to keep at it until it
becomes a habit, until it's second nature to continuously monitor our recovery and our
spiritual state, notice when we're going off-course right away, and work to change it.
 Why is it important to continue to take personal inventory until it becomes second
nature?
A Personal Inventory
The following questions address the general areas we want to look at in a personal
inventory. There may be times when our sponsor wants us to do an inventory on a
specific area of our lives, such as romantic relationships or our patterns at work, or our
sponsor may have specific questions to add to this. We should always consult our sponsor
on any step work we're doing.
 Have I reaffirmed my faith in a loving, caring God today?
 Have I sought out the guidance of my Higher Power today? How?
 What have I done to be of service to God and the people around me?
 Has God given me anything to be grateful for today?
 Do I believe that my Higher Power can show me how to live and better align myself with
the will of that power?
 Do I see any "old patterns" in my life today? If so, which ones?
 Have I been resentful, selfish, dishonest, or afraid?
 Have I set myself up for disappointment?
 Have I been kind and loving toward all?
 Have I been worrying about yesterday or tomorrow?
 Did I allow myself to become obsessed about anything?
 Have I allowed myself to become too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired?
 Am I taking myself too seriously in any area of my life?
 Do I suffer from any physical, mental, or spiritual problems?
 Have I kept something to myself that I should have discussed with my sponsor?
 Did I have any extreme feelings today? What were they and why did I have them?
 What are the problem areas in my life today?
 Which defects played a part in my life today? How?
 Was there fear in my life today?
 What did I do today that I wish I hadn't done?
 What didn't I do today that I wish I had done?
 Am I willing to change?
 Has there been conflict in any of my relationships today? What?
 Am I maintaining personal integrity in my relations with others?
 Have I harmed myself or others, either directly or indirectly, today? How?
 Do I owe any apologies or amends?
 Where was I wrong? If I could do it over again, what would I do differently? How might
I do better next time?
 Did I stay clean today?
 Was I good to myself today?
 What were the feelings I had today? How did I use them to choose principle-centered
action?
 What did I do to be of service to others today?
What have I done today about which I feel positive?
 What has given me satisfaction today?
 What did I do today that I want to be sure I repeat?
 Did I go to a meeting or talk to another recovering addict today?
 What do I have to be grateful for today?
Spiritual Principles
In the Tenth Step, we will focus on self-discipline, honesty and integrity.
Self-discipline is essential to our recovery. When we were using, we were self-seeking
and self-absorbed. We always took the easy way out, giving in to our impulses, ignoring
any opportunity for personal growth. If there was anything in our lives that required a
regular commitment, chances are that we only followed through if it wasn't too hard, if it
didn't get in the way of our self-indulgence, or if we happened to feel like it.
The self-discipline of recovery calls on us to do certain things regardless of how we feel.
We need to go to meetings regularly even if we're tired, busy at work, having fun, or
filled with despair; we need to go regularly even when - especially when -we re feeling
hostile toward the demands that recovery makes on us. We go to meetings, call our
sponsor, and work with others because we have decided we want recovery in NA, and
those things are the actions that will help assure our continued recovery. Sometimes we're
enthusiastic about these activities. Sometimes it takes every bit of willingness we possess
to continue with them. Sometimes they become so woven into our daily existence, we're
hardly aware that we're doing them.
 Why is the principle of self-discipline necessary in this step?
 How can practicing the principle of self-discipline in this step affect my entire recovery?
The principle of honesty originates in Step One, and is brought to fruition in Step Ten.
We are usually nothing less than amazed at the range and depth of our honesty by this
point in our recovery. Where before we may have had honest hindsight, able to see our
true motives long after a situation was over, we are now able to be honest with ourselves,
about ourselves, while the situation is still occurring.
 How does being aware of my wrongs (self-honesty) help me change my behavior?
The principle of integrity can be quite complex, but it is integrity, more than anything
else, that commands our ability to practice other principles. In fact, integrity is knowing
which principles we need to practice in a given situation, and in what measure. For
instance, we're standing outside a meeting one night, and happen to be part of a group
that begins gossiping about someone else in the program. Let's say they're discussing the
affair our best friend's spouse is having, and we know it to be true because we heard it
from our best friend the previous night. Knowing what to do in this situation will
probably take every ounce of integrity we possess. So which spiritual principles do we
need in this situation? Honesty? Tolerance? Respect? Restraint? It's probably our first
impulse to rush in, condemning the gossip because we know how much it would hurt our
friend to have such private matters discussed publicly. But by doing so, we may confirm
the gossip's truth and so hurt our friend more, or we may end up self-righteously
humiliating the people involved in the gossip. Most of the time, it isn't necessary to prove
we have integrity by confronting a situation we don't approve of. There are a couple of
things we could do in this situation. We could either change the subject, or we could
excuse ourselves and walk away. Either of these choices would send a subtle message
about our feelings, and at the same time, allow us to be true to our own principles and
spare our friend as much as possible.
 What situations in my recovery have called on me to practice the principle of integrity?
How have I responded? Which times have I felt good about my response, and which
times have I not?
Moving On
One of the most wonderful things about the Tenth Step is that the more we work it, the
less we'll need the second half of it. In other words, we won't find ourselves in the wrong
as often. When we come to recovery, most of us have never been able to have any kind of
long-term relationship, certainly not any in which we resolved our conflicts in a healthy
and mutually respectful way. Some of us had raging fights with people and, once they
were over, never spoke of the underlying problems that caused the fights. Some of us
went to another extreme, never disagreeing at all with the people who were supposed to
be our closest friends and relatives. It seemed easier to keep our distance than to risk
creating a conflict that we may then have had to deal with. Finally, some of us just
walked away from any relationship in which conflict arose. It didn't matter how much we
were hurting the other person; it seemed easier than working through a problem and
building a stronger relationship.
The Tenth Step makes it possible for us to have long-term relationships - and we need to
have long-term relationships, especially in NA. After all, we depend on each other for our
very lives. Many of us feel deeply connected to the people who came to NA when we did
and have stayed around. We've done service work with one another, shared apartments
with one another, married one another, and sometimes divorced one another. We've
celebrated milestones in each other's lives: births, graduations, buying homes,
promotions, and recovery anniversaries. We've mourned losses together, and we've
comforted one another through the painful times in life. We've touched each other's lives
and formed a shared history. We are a community.
Along with learning to admit when we're wrong comes a freedom that is unlike any
we’ve ever experienced before. It becomes so much more natural for us to admit when
we re wrong that we wonder why we ever found it so terrifying. Perhaps because we felt
so "less than" in so many ways, an admission of a mistake felt like we were revealing our
deepest secret: our inferiority. But when we found out through working the steps that we
weren't inferior at all, that we had just as much value as anyone else, it no longer seemed
so crushing to admit we were wrong. We began to feel whole.
 How does the Tenth Step help me live in the present?
 What am I doing differently as a result of working Step Ten?
Working the Tenth Step makes it possible for us to achieve more balance and harmony in
our lives. We find that we're happy and serene much more often than not. Feeling out of
sorts becomes so rare that, when it does happen, it's a signal that something is wrong. We
can readily identify the cause of our discomfort by taking a personal inventory.
The personal freedom that has been building since we began working the steps yields an
increase in our choices and options. We have total freedom to create any kind of life we
want for ourselves. We begin to look for the meaning and purpose in our lives. We ask
ourselves if the lifestyle we have chosen helps the still-suffering addict or makes the
world a better place in some other way. What we are searching for, we'll find in the
Eleventh Step.
Step Eleven
"We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with
God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the
power to carry that out."
Step Eleven says that we already have a conscious contact with the God of our
understanding, and that the task before us now is to improve that contact. We began to
develop our conscious awareness of a Higher Power in Step Two, learned to trust that
Power for guidance in Step Three, and relied on that Power many times for many other
reasons in the process of working through the steps. Each time we called upon our Higher
Power for help, we improved our relationship with our Higher Power. Step Eleven
recognizes that reaching out to the God of our understanding, referred to most simply as
prayer, is one of the most effective means for building a relationship with God. The other
means put forth in this step is meditation. In this step, we will need to explore our own
concepts of prayer and meditation, and make sure they reflect our spiritual path.
Our Own Spiritual Path
The Eleventh Step allows us the opportunity to find our own spiritual path, or further
refine our path if we've already embarked on one. The steps we take toward finding or
refining our path, and the way we walk down it, will depend to a large degree on the
culture in which we live, previous experiences with spirituality, and what best suits our
personal nature.
Our spirituality has been developing since we first came to NA. We are constantly
changing, and so is our spirituality. New territory, new people, and new situations have
their effect on us, and our spirituality needs to respond.
Exploring our spirituality in the Eleventh Step is a wonderful and illuminating
experience. We will be exposed to many new ideas, and we'll find that many of these new
ideas come directly from our own knowledge of spiritual matters. Because we've
developed a frame of reference about spirituality in the previous ten steps, we find that
our insight has grown along with our capacity to comprehend new information about
ourselves and our world. Spiritual exploration is wide open, and we will learn and find
personal truths both in our concentrated efforts to understand more and in the most
mundane details of our lives.
Many of us find that when we get to NA, we really need to "change Gods." Some of us
believed in something we vaguely referred to as "God," but we didn't really understand
anything about it, except that it seemed to be out to get us. We probably did some work in
Steps Two and Three aimed at uncovering unhealthy ideas about our Higher Power, and
then we tried to form some new ideas that allowed for a loving, caring Higher Power. For
many of us, simply believing that we had a Higher Power that cared about us as
individuals was enough to get us through the following steps. We didn't feel any need to
develop our ideas any further.
But our ideas were developing anyway, even without our conscious effort. Each specific
experience with working the steps provided us with clues about the nature of our Higher
Power. We sensed truths about our Higher Power rather than understanding them
intellectually. The moment we sat down with our sponsor to share our Fifth Step, many
of us were suddenly filled with a quiet certainty that we could trust our sponsor, trust this
process, and go forward; this was a moment in which many of us felt the presence of our
Higher Power. This, along with the work we did in Steps Eight and Nine, implanted in
many of us a growing awareness of our Higher Power's will for us.
 What experiences have I had with the previous steps or elsewhere in life that gave me
some inkling of what my Higher Power is like? What did I come to understand about my
Higher Power from those experiences?
 What qualities does my Higher Power have? Can I use those qualities for myself-can I
experience their transformative power in my life?
 How has my understanding of a Higher Power changed since coming to NA?
These clues about the nature of our Higher Power are perhaps the primary factor in
determining our spiritual path. Many of us have found that the spiritual path of our
childhood doesn't mesh with the truths we are finding within the steps. For instance, if we
sense that God is vast and open, and the spirituality we have been exposed to in the past
suggested that God was confined and confining, we're probably not going to return to our
earlier path. If we sense that our Higher Power cares in a very personal and individual
way about each one of us, a belief system that presents a distant, unknowable, alien force
may not work for us.
While some need to take a new path, others have found that just the opposite is true: that
what we are discovering in the steps can be explored in more depth through the spiritual
path of our childhood. It's possible that, through our step work, we've healed resentments
we may have held against religious institutions, and as a result are able to return to those
institutions with an open mind. For others, the religion of our childhood was little more
than a place to hang out, a community to which we had a sentimental connection. In
recovery, we begin to see how we can use our religion as our personal spiritual path.
It bears emphasizing that we should never confuse religion with spirituality. In NA, they
are not the same thing at all. Narcotics Anonymous, itself, is not a religion. It offers a set
of spiritual principles, and uses a concept referred to as "God," a "Higher Power," or a
"Power greater than ourselves" for members to use as a path out of active addiction. The
spiritual principles and the concept of a Higher Power can go along with a member's
personal spiritual path that he or she follows outside of NA, or those principles and the
concept of a Higher Power can serve as a spiritual path all by themselves. It's up to each
member.
Some of us get to this point, and we just don't know. The institutions we've been involved
with in the past hold no answers, but we can't think of anything that sounds like a better
idea. For those with this experience, this is the point at which we embark on one of the
most important journeys in our lives: the search for a way to understand a Higher Power.
In this process, we are likely to visit every place that has anything to do with spirituality
that's available in our community. We're also likely to read a great number of books
concerned with spirituality and personal growth, and talk to a great number of people. We
may commit for a time to any number of practices before settling on one - or we may
never really settle on any one practice permanently. It Works mentions that many of our
members adopt an "eclectic approach" to spirituality. If this applies to us, it's important to
know that doing this is okay and will serve the spiritual needs of recovery just fine.
 Do I have a specific spiritual path?
 What are the differences between religion and spirituality? What have I done to explore
my own spirituality?
As we explore our spiritual path, and perhaps pick up and discard various spiritual
practices, some of us are troubled by what seems to be an inherent bias in NA's steps and
traditions when God is referred to as having a male gender. Even more painful, some of
us may feel that we don't have much support within our local NA community for our
spiritual choices and exploration. It's important for us to understand that the language of
NA's recovery literature is not meant to determine a member's spirituality. It's also
important for us to understand that we as addicts have character defects, and sometimes
some of our members will act on theirs by ridiculing someone else's spiritual path. They
may even quote NA recovery literature to "support" such ridicule. Again, NA itself has
no "official" or "approved" spiritual path, and any member who claims otherwise is, quite
simply, wrong. We mention this here because we believe it's very important for all of our
members to know what's true and not true about NA when working the Eleventh Step. It
can be a dangerous time. If members follow a spiritual path, and feel unwelcome in NA
because of it, their recovery can be in jeopardy. We as members have a duty to encourage
the spiritual explorations of other members, and we who are exploring need to know that
we can look wherever we want for our spirituality without threatening our membership in
NA.
 Have I encountered any prejudice in Narcotics Anonymous while exploring my
spirituality? How did that make me feel? What have I done to adhere to my beliefs?
It's essential that we don't let our spiritual path take us away from the fellowship. Our
Basic Text reminds us that "it is easy to float back out the door on a cloud of religious
zeal and forget that we are addicts with an incurable disease." We need to always
remember that we need Narcotics Anonymous m order to deal with our addiction.
Anything else we add to our lives can enhance their quality, but nothing can take the
place of NA recovery. As long as we continue practicing the basics of recovery - such as
going to meetings regularly, staying in contact with our sponsor, and working with
newcomers -- we shouldn't have to worry about drifting away.
 No matter what spiritual path I am following, am I still keeping up my involvement with
NA?
 How does my involvement in NA complement my spiritual journey?
 How does my spiritual path contribute to my recovery?
Prayer and Meditation
Members of NA often describe prayer as talking to God, and meditation as listening to
God. This description has been part of the collective wisdom of NA for a long time
because it captures the distinct meanings of prayer and meditation so well. We are
building a relationship with our Higher Power, and we need to have a dialogue with that
Power, not merely a monologue aimed in its direction.
Prayer is talking to our Higher Power, though not always in the form of actual speech.
We worked on developing a form of prayer that felt right to us in the Second Step. We
may find by now that we've further refined our approach to prayer to fit with our spiritual
path. One of the forms of prayer in which virtually every NA member engages is the
closing or opening prayer said at most NA meetings. Ultimately, the manner in which we
pray is up to us as individuals.
How often should we pray? Many of us set aside a specific time in our day - the
beginning is fairly common-to pray. These prayers usually involve asking our Higher
Power for another day clean or, as we will explore more fully later in this chapter,
knowledge of God's will for us. When we communicate with our Higher Power at the end
of our day, it is usually to express gratitude. Many of us try to incorporate prayer
throughout our day. It is very good practice to pray regularly. It helps us form a habit of
communicating with our Higher Power that may save our recovery some day.
 How do I pray?
 How do I feel about praying?
 When do I usually pray? When I am hurting? When I want something? Regularly?
 How is it helpful to use spontaneous prayer throughout the day? How does prayer help
me put things in perspective?
If this is our first experience with the Eleventh Step, we may be surprised to learn we've
already been meditating, and doing so on a regular basis. Each time we stand as a
community at a meeting and observe a moment of silence, we are meditating.
It is from such beginnings that we go on to build a pattern of regular meditation. There
are many different ways we can go about meditating, but its usual goal is to quiet the
mind so that we can gain understanding and knowledge from our Higher Power. We try
to minimize distractions so that we can concentrate on knowledge arising from our own
spiritual connection. We try to be open to receiving this knowledge. It's essential that we
understand that such knowledge is not necessarily, or even usually, immediate. It builds
in us gradually as we continue to practice regular prayer and meditation. It comes to us as
a quiet sureness of our decisions and a lessening of the chaos that used to accompany all
our thoughts.
 How do I meditate?
 When do I meditate?
 How do I feel about meditating?
 If I have been meditating consistently for some time, in what ways have I seen changes in
myself or my life as a result of meditating?
Conscious Contact
To many of us, "conscious contact" sounds like something very mysterious, implying
some kind of cosmic union with God. But it's really very simple. It just means that we
have a conscious awareness of our link to a Higher Power. We notice the presence of that
Power, and see some of the ways it works in our life. There are so many ways our
members have experienced the presence of a loving God: when we experience something
in nature, such as a forest or an ocean; through the unconditional love of our sponsor or
other NA members; through the feeling of being anchored during difficult times; through
feelings of peace and warmth; through a coincidence that later on we see having led to
some great good; through the simple fact of our recovery in NA; through our ability to
listen to others at a meeting; and countless other means. The point is that we are looking,
and we are willing to acknowledge that our Higher Power is active in our lives.
 In what circumstances do I notice the presence of my Higher Power? What do I feel?
 What am I doing to improve my conscious contact with the God of my understanding?
God's Will
The knowledge that has been building in us as we've prayed and meditated is the essence
of God's will for us. The whole purpose of praying and meditating is to seek knowledge
of a Higher Power's will for us and, of course, the power to carry it out. But the first thing
to do is to identify God's purpose for our lives.
It takes a large amount of open-mindedness to begin to understand God's will for us.
Many of us find that it is easier to identify what is not God's will for us than what is. This
is absolutely fine; in fact, this is a great starting point that can lead us to more specific
knowledge of God's will for us. First of all, and obviously, it is not God's will for us to
relapse. We can extend this simple fact to conclude that acting in ways that might lead us
to relapse are also not God's will for us. We don't need to become overly analytical about
this and start questioning whether our daily routines could possibly lead to us relapsing;
it's really much easier than that. We use all of the knowledge about ourselves and our
patterns that we gained from the work we did in Steps Four through Nine, and we try our
very best to avoid destructive patterns. We'll discover that we no longer have the luxury
of consciously acting out. We can't deal with a situation by thinking, "Oh, I'll just be
manipulative this one time, and then I'll write about it later, work with my sponsor, and
make amends." If we do such a thing, we're not only on very dangerous ground, we're
making a conscious and deliberate decision to go against God's will. There will be many,
many times when we act on defects unconsciously. It is our consciousness and
willingness to be deliberately destructive in this situation that is the real cause for
concern.
In the Third Step, we explored the fine line that divides humble and honest pursuit of our
goals from subtle manipulation and forced results. Now, with the experience we have
gained in the intervening steps, we are much better equipped to spot that line and stay on
the right side of it. As we go after the things we want, we need to continuously gauge our
distance from that line. For instance, we may decide we want to be in a romantic
relationship. There's nothing wrong with that, provided we are spiritually motivated and
keep track of the line between God's will and self-will. If we lie to make ourselves seem
more attractive, or become chameleons, we're acting on self-will. If we honestly express
who we are, we're more likely to be pursuing God's will. If we're trying to change our
potential partner in a relationship into something he or she is not, we're acting on selfwill.
If, on the other hand, we've already determined what we want in a partner and the
person we're seeing seems to be matching that vision without our intervention, we're
probably living in God's will. That's how we tell whether a relationship is God's will for
us or not. Or say we want a college education. Are we willing to cheat on a test to get it?
Doing such a thing would turn an otherwise worthy goal into an act of self-will. The
avoidance of acting on self-will is the primary reason we pray only for knowledge of
God's will for us and the power to carry that out.
 What are some situations I can identify from my own life where I acted on self-will?
What were the results?
 What are some situations I can identify from my own life where I tried to align my will
with God's will? What were the results?
As it says in It Works: How and Why, "God's will for us is the ability to live with dignity,
to love ourselves and others, to laugh, and to find great joy and beauty in our
surroundings. Our most heartfelt longings and dreams for our lives are coming true.
These priceless gifts are no longer beyond our reach. They are, in fact, the very essence
of God's will for us." Our personal vision of God's will for us is revealed in how our lives
might be if we were consistently living with purpose and dignity. For instance, it is a
good expression of purpose to help others stay clean and find recovery. The individual
ways we go about doing that - sponsorship, sharing with newcomers at meetings,
carrying the message into institutions, working with professionals to develop programs
that will lead addicts to NA - are our choice.
 What are some examples of how I live with purpose and dignity? What is my vision of
God's will for me?
The Power to Carry That Out
In addition to praying for knowledge of God's will for us, we're also asking for the power
to carry out that will. In this context, power doesn't refer only to forceful qualities. There
are many different qualities we may need to carry out our Higher Power's will: humility,
a sense of compassion, honesty, integrity, or an ability to persevere and the patience to
wait for results over a long period. A strong sense of justice and an ability to be assertive
might be what's called for in a certain situation. Sometimes eagerness is required, and
other times only a sense of caution will do. Courage and fortitude are qualities that we
will often be called upon to display. Sometimes, the best quality to promote God's will is
a sense of humor.
Most likely we will need all of these qualities at various times in our lives. When we pray
for the power to carry out God's will for us, we probably won't know exactly what
qualities we need. We have to trust that the ones we need will be provided. It may be
tempting for us to demand from our Higher Power the things we think we need, but we
usually can't see the "big picture" or the long-term effects of something that seems very
reasonable at the moment.
 Why do we pray only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out?
How does humility apply to this?
Spiritual Principles
In the Eleventh Step, we will focus on commitment, humility, courage, and faith.
We need to make a commitment to the practice of regular prayer and meditation. Many of
us find that our first experiences with prayer and meditation have us feeling kind of silly.
We glance around the room to see if anyone is looking, and wonder just what we're
supposed to be feeling, anyway. As we continue with our commitment, this feeling will
pass, as will the consuming feelings of frustration when the results aren't what we expect,
and the boredom that sets in when the things we're doing become routine. The point is
that we need to continue, no matter how we feel about it. The long-term results of peace
of mind and a deeper relationship with our Higher Power are worth waiting for.
 How do I show my commitment to working the Eleventh Step and to my recovery?
 Have I prayed and meditated today?
The often-heard warning to "Be careful what you pray for!" captures the kind of humility
we need to practice in this step. We simply need to acknowledge that we don't always
know what's best for us - or for anyone else. That's why we ask for knowledge of God's
will for us.
 Have I ever prayed for a specific thing and then wished I didn't have it after all? Expand
on this.
There's nothing that requires as much courage as trying to live according to our Higher
Power's will when there's frequent pressure not to. Not everyone in our lives will be
delighted that we've chosen to live our lives in a spiritual way. We may have family
members who are used to us living according to their will and want us to continue. Our
growth threatens them.
Or say we're with some friends who are gossiping. Our efforts to live the program have
resulted in us becoming uncomfortable with participating in gossip, yet we don't want to
be self-righteous and start moralizing with our friends. Merely refraining from
participating in something like this requires courage. We may lose some friends as we
grow spiritually.
Almost all of us face some situation in life where we are either being asked to participate
in something that is morally reprehensible or just keep quiet about it and allow it to
happen. It may be that the truly courageous course of action is to protest loudly, and
doing so may have severe consequences for us. What we do at such a time is a defining
moment, and may very well affect the choices we make for the rest of our lives.
 Have I ever been faced with a situation that required me to stand up for my beliefs at
some personal cost? How did I respond? What were the results?
The principle of faith will help us to practice the principle of courage and live our lives
with integrity. We need not be so afraid of losing friends or having relationships change
or even having our lives profoundly affected because we know that we're being cared for.
We have faith that if we have to let go of old friends because what they're doing is
unhealthy for our spiritual development, we'll form new relationships with people whose
values we share. Basically, we need to have faith that we'll be given the power to carry
out our Higher Power's will.
 Have I, so far, been given what I need? What have I received?
Moving On
Our practices in this step show up in every area of our lives. From the regular practice of
meditation, we may notice that we are able to listen more attentively to what others have
to say in meetings. We have some experience with quieting our minds and so are able to
do so in many places. We no longer find ourselves so consumed with planning what we'll
say when it's our turn that we are unable to listen to others.
We begin to be satisfied with our lives. We no longer feel such an urgency to control
things. We're focused on a higher purpose instead of on ourselves. Our regrets begin to
disappear. Our active addiction no longer seems like such a tragedy and a waste as we see
how we can use that experience to serve a higher purpose: carrying the message to the
addict who still suffers. In Step Twelve, we will explore some ways of doing that, and see
how practicing the principles of recovery are essential to such an effort.
Step Twelve
"Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this
message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."
If we've made it to this point, we've had a spiritual awakening. Though the nature of our
awakening is as individual and personal as our spiritual path, the similarities in our
experiences are striking. Almost without exception, our members speak of feeling free, of
feeling more light-hearted more of the time, of caring more about others, and of the everincreasing
ability to step outside ourselves and participate fully in life. The way this looks
to others is astonishing. People who knew us when we were in our active addiction, often
appearing withdrawn and angry, tell us that we're different people. Indeed, many of us
feel as if we've begun a second life. We know the importance of remembering where we
came from, so we make an effort not to forget, but the way we lived and the things that
motivated us seem increasingly bizarre the longer we stay clean.
The change in us didn't happen overnight. It happened slowly and gradually as we
worked the steps. Our spirits awakened a bit at a time. It became increasingly more
natural for us to practice spiritual principles and increasingly more uncomfortable to act
out on character defects. Notwithstanding the powerful, one-of-a-kind experiences some
of us have had, we've all slowly and painstakingly built a relationship with a Power
greater than ourselves. That power, whether it's our own best and highest nature or a
force outside ourselves, has become ours to tap into whenever we want. It guides our
actions and provides inspiration for our continued growth.
 What is my overall experience as a result of working the steps?
 What has my spiritual awakening been like?
 What lasting changes have resulted from my spiritual awakening?
Each time we work through the Twelve Steps we will have a different experience.
Subtleties of meaning for each of the spiritual principles will become apparent, and we
will find that as our understanding grows, we are also growing in new ways and in new
areas. The ways in which we are able to be honest, for instance, will expand along with
our basic understanding of what it means to be honest. We will see how practicing the
principle of honesty must first be applied to ourselves before we are able to be honest
with others. We will see that honesty can be an expression of our personal integrity. As
our understanding of the spiritual principles grows, so will the depth of our spiritual
awakening.
Which spiritual principles have been connected to which steps, for me, and how have
those contributed to my spiritual awakening?
 What does the phrase "spiritual awakening" mean to me?
We Tried To Carry This Message
Many of us recall the first time we heard the words, "You never have to use again if you
don't want to." For many of us, hearing this message was shocking. Perhaps we'd never
thought in terms of "having" to use before, and were surprised to find out just how much
truth that statement held. Of course, we thought, using drugs ceased to be a choice for me
a long time ago. Although just hearing this message may or may not have resulted in us
immediately getting clean, we still heard the message. Someone carried it to us.
Some of us had the experience of believing that we could stay clean in NA, but when it
came to recovery, that seemed beyond us. Gaining a sense of self-respect, making
friends, being able to carry ourselves out in the "real world" without it being obvious that
we were addicts all seemed like more than we could actually expect from NA. The day
we began to believe that this program could do more for us than just help us stay clean
was a tune we remember as a turning point in our recovery. What happened to give us
that sense of hope was that someone gave us a reason to believe. Maybe it was someone
sharing at a meeting with whom we identified in a very personal way. Maybe it was the
cumulative effects of hearing many addicts share that recovery was possible. Maybe it
was the unconditional love and quiet insistence of our sponsor that we could recover. In
whichever way we heard it, it was the message, and someone carried it to us.
Some of us have the experience of staying clean for a long time and finding joy in
recovery. Then we experience a tragedy. Maybe it's the breakup of a long-term
committed relationship or the death of a loved one. Maybe it's the relapse and death of
someone with whom we have been friends in NA. Maybe it's that we find ourselves
destitute. Maybe it's simply that we've realized that other NA members aren't perfect, and
so they're capable of hurting us. Because of whatever crisis we've experienced, we find
that we've lost our faith. We no longer believe that NA holds the answer for us. The
bargain we thought we had made-we'd stay clean and try to do the right thing and,
consequently, our lives would be happy - had been breached, and we were left wondering
about our purpose m life all over again. At some point, we began to believe again. Maybe
someone who had been through the same crisis reached out to us and helped us through
in a way no one else could have. Again, someone carried the message to us.
 What are the different ways in which I've experienced the message?
So the message can be broken down very simply. It is that we can stay clean, that we can
recover, that there is hope. Recalling the times when we heard the message personally
will provide part of the answer to why we should now carry the message, but there is
more.
"We can only keep what we have by giving it away." This saying is perhaps the most
powerful reason we can present for carrying the message. Many of us wonder, though,
exactly how this concept works. It's simple, really. We reinforce our recovery by sharing
it with others. When we tell someone that people who go to meetings regularly stay
clean, we are more likely to apply that practice to our own recovery. When we tell
someone that the answer is in the steps, we are more likely to look there ourselves. When
we tell newcomers to get and use a sponsor, we are more likely to stay in touch with our
own.
There are probably at least as many ways to carry the message as there are recovering
addicts. Greeting a newcomer that we met at the previous night's meeting and
remembering his or her name is powerful and extraordinarily welcoming to an addict
who feels alone. Opening a meeting makes sure there is a place for the message to be
carried. Taking on a service position in any capacity helps keep NA itself going, and we
can do a great deal of good if we approach our service to the fellowship in a caring,
loving, and humble way. Sponsoring other addicts brings to life the therapeutic value of
one addict helping another.
 What kind of service work am I doing to carry the message?
Sometimes it's challenging to carry the message. The person with whom we've decided to
share the message seems unable to hear it. This can range from someone who keeps
relapsing to someone who keeps choosing destructive behavior. It's tempting to think that
our efforts are being wasted and we should just give up on such a person. Before we
make such a decision, we should think about all the mitigating circumstances. Say we're
sponsoring someone who just isn't following our direction. We've suggested a writing
assignment, and we don't hear from the person again until a fresh crisis is brewing. We've
shared, with all the enthusiasm we can summon, about our own experience with the
situation the person is facing, explaining in great detail how our disease was present and
how we used the steps to find recovery, but our sponsee keeps doing the same destructive
thing over and over again. This can be very frustrating, but before we give up, we need to
remember that our choice isn't whether to carry the message, but how?
We need to get our own egos out of the way. We don't get to take credit-or blame-for
someone else's recovery. We simply present the message as positively as we can, and
remain available to help when we're asked. We also need to remember that we can't
possibly know what's going on in another person's mind or spirit. Our message may seem
to be missing its mark, but perhaps the person just isn't ready to hear it today. It may be
that the words we spoke will stay with a person for a long time and may resurface at
exactly the right moment. If we think about it, we can all recall things we heard NA
speakers say when we were new that we didn't understand at the time, but which rose up
in our minds years later and gave us reason to hope or a solution to a problem we were
experiencing. We carry the message, and we share it freely, but we cannot ever force
another person to get the message. The principle that applies to our fellowship's public
relations policy-attraction, not promotion-applies very well to our personal efforts to
carry the message, too.
It may also be the case that we're not the best person to sponsor someone. Individuals
have different needs and learn in different ways. Some people may thrive with one
sponsor but not do well with someone who has a different sponsorship style. Some
sponsors give a lot of writing assignments. Some are very insistent about their sponsees
going to a certain number of meetings. Some are very "proactive," while others may
simply respond to a sponsee's stated needs. No type is better or worse than any other.
They're just different.
Another time we might find it very hard to carry the message is when we're not feeling
very positive about life or recovery. It's probably our first impulse to go to a meeting and
dump all our problems out so we can purge them from our own spirits. But NA meetings
exist to provide a place to carry the message. Dumping our problems without tying them
to recovery or trying to make it clear what the message is doesn't further the primary
purpose of our groups. We can carry the message even if we just point out that we're
having terrible problems but are not using over it and that we're attending a meeting and
reaching out to work on our recovery. In most cases, though, the best way to carry the
message is to focus on the newcomers in the room and tell them what's good about
recovery in Narcotics Anonymous. We should also keep in mind that sometimes, no
matter how long we've been clean, we need to hear the message, and if we sit quietly in a
meeting, we have a good chance of doing so.
 What are some different ways of carrying the message? Which ones do I personally
participate in?
 What is my personal style of sponsorship?
 What is the difference between attraction and promotion?
 What does it do for me to carry the message?
 How are the Fifth Tradition and the Twelfth Step tied together?
 What keeps me coming back and trusting the NA program? What is selfless service?
How do I practice it?
To Addicts
Why does the Twelfth Step specify that we carry the message to addicts? Why did NA
work for us when nothing else had? Almost every one of us had someone - a teacher, a
counselor, a family member, a police officer - tell us that using drugs was killing us and
destroying all we cared about, that if we just stayed away from our using friends and
otherwise limited our access to drugs, we'd be able to change our lives. Most of us
probably even agreed on some level, unless we were in complete denial. So why couldn't
we find relief until we found Narcotics Anonymous? What did those other NA members
have that made us believe recovery was possible?
In a word: credibility. We knew that they, who were just like us, had stopped using and
found a new way to live. They didn't care what we had or didn't have. It even said in the
readings we heard at the beginning of the meeting that it didn't matter what or how much
we used. Most of us were grateful to find out that we qualified. We knew we'd suffered
enough, but we wanted to be accepted. And we were. The addicts who were there for us
when we first started coming to meetings made us feel welcome. They offered their
phone numbers and encouraged us to call any time. But what we really found important
was the identification. Members who had used just like we did shared their experience
with getting clean. Members who knew from personal experience exactly how isolated
and alone we felt seemed to know instinctively that a simple, loving hug was what we
needed. It seemed as if the whole group knew exactly what we needed without us having
to ask.
We often say to one another that we're fortunate to have this program; it gives us a way to
cope with life on life's terms. After we stay clean for a time, we realize that the principles
of Narcotics Anonymous are actually completely universal and could probably change
the world if everyone practiced them. We may begin to wonder why we don't open up
NA to all those who have any kind of problem. As we learned from our predecessors,
having a single purpose is probably one of the most effective ways of ensuring that the
opportunity will remain for an addict to find the identification he or she needs. If NA
tried to be all things to all people, an addict might walk in, wanting only to know how to
stop using drugs, and not be able to find anyone who knew.
 Why was an NA member able to reach me in a way that no one else ever had? Describe
the experience.
 What is the therapeutic value of one addict helping another?
 Why is identification so important?
We can't be all things to all people; we shouldn't even try. This doesn't mean, however,
that we can't share our recovery with others. In fact, we won't be able to help it. When we
live a program, the results show up in every aspect of our lives.
Practicing These Principles in All Our Affairs
When we talk about practicing the principles of recovery in all our affairs, the key word
is "practice." We just need to keep trying to apply spiritual principles to our lives, not be
able to do it perfectly in every situation. The spiritual benefits we derive from working
this step depend on our effort, not our success.
For instance, we try to practice the principle of compassion in every situation in our lives.
It's probably relatively easy to practice the principle of compassion with a still-using
addict who has just walked into her first NA meeting, no matter how belligerent or needy
that newcomer is. But what about someone who has just returned from a relapse, or a
multiple relapser? What if he walks in blaming NA for his relapse? What if she casually
walks back into the rooms projecting an attitude that seems to take recovery for granted?
What if it's someone we sponsored? We may find that practicing the principle of
compassion doesn't come as easily as it used to. We don't feel compassionate toward the
person, but we can still practice the principle of compassion. All we have to do is
continue to carry the message without conditions. Our sponsor can help us learn how to
be compassionate without giving the impression that we think relapsing is okay. We can
pray and meditate, asking our Higher Power to help us be compassionate.
This step calls upon us to practice principles in all our affairs. Many of us would like to
separate our careers, our romantic relationships, or another area of our lives from this
requirement because we're not sure we can get what we want if we have to practice
spiritual principles. For instance, it may very well lead to apparent success and financial
reward if we compromise our principles at work. We may be asked to meet a production
deadline that results in profits for the company but produces an inferior product that
could compromise the safety of the people who purchase it. So what do we do? We
practice the spiritual principles of our recovery. There are probably many different
choices about the specific action to take in response to our principles; the important thing
is that we respond to our principles.
What about NA service? Strangely enough, some of us reserve NA service as the one
place where we forget our principles. We cease giving people the benefit of the doubt in a
service setting. We openly accuse others of hatching plots, and we say cruel things
because we're not practicing the principle of kindness. We set up impossible processes
for those we elect to do a job because we're not practicing the principle of trust. We
become self-righteous, belligerent, and sarcastic. It's ironic that we seem to want to attack
those whom we trust with our very lives in recovery meetings. We need to remember to
practice spiritual principles in any meeting, whether service or recovery. Service gives us
many opportunities to practice spiritual principles.
Knowing which spiritual principle to practice in any given situation is difficult, but it is
usually the opposite of the character defect we would normally be acting out on. For
instance, if we feel compelled to exert absolute control over a situation, we can practice
the principle of trust. If we would usually be self-righteous in a certain situation, we can
practice the principle of humility. If our first impulse is to withdraw and isolate, we can
reach out instead. The work we did in the Seventh Step on finding the opposites of our
character defects and the work we did at the beginning of this step on identifying the
spiritual principles in the previous steps will give us some additional ideas about the
principles we need to practice. Though most of us will wind up with very similar lists of
spiritual principles, the attention we devote to certain ones will reflect our individual
needs.
 How can I practice principles in the different areas of my life?
 When do I find it difficult to practice principles?
 Which spiritual principles do I have a particularly hard time practicing?
Spiritual Principles
Even in the step that asks us to practice spiritual principles, there are specific principles
connected to the step itself. We will focus on unconditional love, selflessness, and
steadfastness.
Practicing the principle of unconditional love in the Twelfth Step is essential. Nobody
needs love without conditions more than a suffering addict. We don't ask anything of the
people to whom we are trying to carry the message. We don't ask for money. We don't
ask for gratitude. We don't even ask that they stay clean. We simply extend ourselves.
This doesn't mean we shouldn't take reasonable precautions. If we believe it isn't safe to
bring a suffering addict to our home, we shouldn't do it. Twelfth Step calls should always
be done with another NA member. Nor does practicing the principle of unconditional
love require that we allow ourselves to be abused. Sometimes the best way of loving and
helping is to stop enabling someone else to use.
 How am I practicing the principle of unconditional love with the addicts I am trying to
help?
Why do we carry the message? Not to serve ourselves, even though we benefit. We carry
the message to help others, to help them find freedom from their addiction and grow as
individuals. If we have an attitude that the people we sponsor are somehow our
possessions, that their lives would fall apart if we were not directing their every move,
that most likely they wouldn't even be clean without us, then we've missed the point of
the Twelfth Step. We don't expect recognition for the number of sponsees we have or for
how well they're doing. We don't expect recognition for being of service. We do these
things to accomplish something good.
It's a great paradox that selfless service becomes an expression of our deepest selves.
Through our work in the previous steps, we have uncovered a self that cares more about
allowing a Higher Power to work through us than it cares about recognition and glory.
We have uncovered a self that cares more about principles than the exercise of our
individual personalities. Just as our disease is often expressed in self-centeredness, our
recovery is expressed beautifully as selfless service.
 What is my attitude about sponsorship? Do I encourage my sponsees to make their own
decisions and grow as a result? Do I give advice, or do I share my experience?
 What is my attitude about service? Could NA survive without me?
 How am I practicing the principle of selflessness in my efforts to be of service?
Practicing the principle of steadfastness means we need to keep on trying to do our best.
Even if we've had a setback and fallen short of our own expectations, we need to
recommit ourselves to recovery. Steadfastness keeps a bad morning or a bad day from
turning into a pattern that can lead to our relapse. This commitment ensures that we will
keep practicing the principles of our program despite how we feel. Whether we're happy
about it, bored with it, disgusted by it, or completely frustrated over it, we keep on trying
to work a program.
 Am I committed to my recovery? What am I doing to maintain it?
 Do I practice spiritual principles regardless of how I feel?
Moving On
Before we get too excited about the prospect of being finished with the Twelve Steps, we
should realize that we're not-finished, that is. Not only will we continue trying to practice
the spiritual principles of all Twelve Steps, which many of us call "living the program,"
but we will formally revisit each of the steps, probably many times, throughout our lives.
Some of us may immediately begin working through the steps again with the perspective
that we've gained from our journey thus far. Others wait for a time or concentrate on
certain aspects of the steps. However we do it, the point is that whenever we find
ourselves powerless over our addiction, whenever more has been revealed about our
shortcomings or people we've harmed, the steps are available as our path to recovery.
We should feel good about what we've done. We have, in many cases for the first time,
followed a process all the way through. This is an amazing accomplishment, something
about which we should be very proud. In fact, one of the rewards of working an NA
program is finding that our self-esteem has grown a great deal.
We find ourselves joining society. We can do things that seemed beyond us before:
exchanging hellos with a neighbor or the clerk at our local market, taking on positions of
leadership in our communities, joining in social events with people who don't know we're
addicts and not feeling "less than." In fact, we may have looked with contempt upon such
things in the past because we felt we'd never be able to fit in, but now we know we can.
We become approachable. People may even seek out our advice and counsel on
professional matters.
When we think about where we've come from and what our recovery has brought to our
lives; we can only be overwhelmed with gratitude. As it says in It Works, gratitude
becomes the underlying force in all that we do. Our very lives can be an expression of our
gratitude; it all depends on how we choose to live. Each one of us has something very
special and unique to offer in gratitude.
 How will I express my gratitude?

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