In January of 2019 I wrote an article about New Year Resolutions in which I said the following with regard to the failure of so many resolutions:
What I have learned is that our behaviors support our beliefs. What needs to be changed to support the behavioral changes we so often focus on is our basic beliefs. In the Bible (Romans 12:2) the apostle Paul states "... be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Maybe we simply need to change our minds about what we believe and the actions will follow.
This has proved to be an ongoing theme since then and throughout the past year - the inter-relatedness between our thoughts, our feelings, and our behaviors. In early recovery, the focus is on changing our behaviors and common 12-Step teaching is that "we act ourselves into right thinking." This is true, of course, in the same manner that a baby must learn to crawl before walking.
What is also true, following the 12-Step philosophy, is that addicts are called to seek "to improve our conscious contact with God." I have found that this involves examination of our fundamental beliefs about God, about the role of religion, about things of a spiritual nature, and about the importance of developing spiritual disciplines such as prayer and meditation. I have learned that once a sober lifestyle is securely established, ongoing recovery becomes more a process of examining and adjusting our thinking.
These are some of the things I have learned:
• Our current thinking creates future experience (whether in the negative or positive).
• The past cannot block our future transformation, but our thoughts can.
• Our feelings are the fruits of our thoughts.
• Knowing and believing must be in agreement for a truth to be felt. Unless something feels true to you, it will just be a theory.
• Who we believe ourselves to be, our identity, sets the course of how we think and behave.
• God is more interested in our character than our comfort.
• God is always on our side.
Remember, we believe and then see, not see and then believe. If we want to see something different, then we are called to believe something higher than what we are experiencing.