These were my notes/comments last night at the meeting in Springville:
The power of writing my feelings out
The scriptures are all about writing out feelings and revelation
“As you write your thoughts, you will receive additional impressions from the Spirit.”
Step 2: Hope
Being able to feel!
“Today is the day I’m living a more healthy and productive life. I’ve felt it already in my relationship with Becky, in my relationship with my kids, and in my relationship with God. I can actually feel again. I recognize the difference between the bitter and the sweet, and the bitter is no longer even something I want to dabble with.”
Alma 47 Amalickiah stirs up the Lamanite king to anger against the Nephites. Some of the Lamanites don’t want to go attack them.
vs. 6 – Lehonti and his people aren’t coming down to talk with Amalickiah.
vs. 12 – Amalickiah goes up to the mount, nearly to Lehonti’s camp, come down just a little bit – bring your guards, you’ll be safe. Lehonti comes down, just a little bit. Amalickiah says he’s his friend and gives him some ideas to give up his army, just make me 2nd in command.
vs. 18 – Amalickiah kills Lehonti by degrees with poison. (2 Nephi 28:21 – Satan leads us carefully down to hell – by degrees – and put us into bondage)
What’s the spiritual message?
Don’t come down from your mountain of the Lord!
Lehonti is poisoned by degrees, little by little, just a little bit. (This is just like pornography…it happens “just a little bit”.)
Amalickiah is a type of Satan – he was a Nephite who had followers who wanted him to be king, he wants to be king too, he’s cast out and takes followers with him, he’s opposing the Prophet of the time. Amalickiah invites them to come down “just a little bit”. He tells the people he’s not their enemy – tells them “you guys can’t do ANYTHING” in your church. He poisons us by degrees – he’s cunning, flattering, a murder.
I got up and played basketball this morning. It feels good to get some exercise to start the day.
Last night, while Becky was gone to her book club, I stayed home. I watched a little of the James Bond movie, Casino Real. Although it wasn’t “bad” per se, I felt uncomfortable watching it and eventually changed the channel.
I told Beck right away when she got home. I feel there are three ways I can handle this:
- Justify, rationalize, or blow it off as “no big deal”
- Dwell on it, beat myself up about it, and slide into an ID state
- Be honest with myself, with Becky, with God – ask forgiveness, and move on
I could actually probably do a combo of 1 and 2 pretty easy, as this is what I’m used to doing in the past. But I’m committed to doing option 3, which I feel I did last night by telling Becky, by asking Heavenly Father to forgive me, and by moving on.
This morning I’m going to study Step 10 in the Addiction Recovery manual and answer the question. Steps 10, 11, and 12 are the maintenance steps, steps I stopped doing in my last recovery efforts.
Continue to Take Personal Inventory, and When Your Wrong Promptly Admit It
Self-evaluation throughout life is not a new concept. In the Book of Mormon, Alma taught that maintaining a mighty change of heart takes effort. In verse after verse, he indicated that honest, prayerful self-appraisal and immediate repentance must be a continual part of life (see Alma 5:14–30).
I feel like Becky and I are doing this together each night when we do our AEIOUY’s:
A – Abstinence
E – Exercise
I – What did I do for me today?
O – What did I do for others today?
U – Are there any unresolved feelings I have?
Y – What’s my Yay for today
I like how it says “…honest, prayerful self-appraisal and immediate repentance must be a continual part of life”.
Through daily self-evaluation, you will keep from slipping into denial and complacency.
As you learned in steps 4 and 5, an inventory that includes only your behaviors is not sufficient to change your heart. You also have to examine your thoughts and feelings.
I think this is a good question to ask myself about last night. What was I feeling last night? Why did I even go to Casino Real in the first place? What were my emotions?
If I’m being completely honest, here are feelings I think I had:
- Loneliness: I hesitate to even write this one because I don’t want to be justifying my behavior. Plus, I don’t want to pass the blame on Becky for being gone. But I do feel I was lonely. In the future, if I feel this loneliness, I can try to connect with God, call a friend, or do something productive around the house to fill the time.
- Self-control/pride: I think I felt secure, maybe too secure, after having come home from a great meeting where I felt the Spirit strong. I may have thought, “I’m fine to watch that – it’s not bad.”
- Complacency: I may have just not really thought about it. Although I did think about it after I started watching. I remembered how both Becky and I felt after we watched the other James Bond movie together a few months back. It wasn’t uplifting, it hinted around at sexual things that weren’t appropriate, and it just wasn’t something worth putting into my Spirit. This was the case here too.
- Stress: I think I am also a bit stressed about work. I have a lot of big projects either coming up, pending or in the works. I’m anxious to know what they’re going to say, I’m a bit fearful that I can even do them, and I may have that underlying feeling that I need to free myself of. I can do this. I have the backing and support to perform. Now I just need to submit my will to God and move along.
I feel like this is an honest and pretty full assessment of what I was feeling.
In taking step 10, you will no longer have to resort to justifying, rationalizing, or blaming anything or anyone. Your goal will be to keep your heart open and your mind focused on the lessons the Savior has taught.
You will continue to make mistakes as you interact with others, but a commitment to step 10 is a commitment to take responsibility for mistakes. If you examine your thoughts and actions each day and resolve them, negative thoughts and feelings will not increase until they threaten your abstinence.
Both these statements give me hope and make me feel confident about my relationship with God, my relationship with Becky, and my willingness to be honest with myself.
I’m grateful for this study today.
I’m grateful for a new day in recovery.
I’m grateful for Becky and the love I feel for her.
I’m grateful we’re planning to go to the temple tonight together.
I’m grateful for the recovery program and how it’s helping me become my best self.
I’m grateful for the opportunity I have to submit my will to God today.
I’m grateful for my children and how much I love them.
I’m grateful for my career and the doors I feel Heavenly Father is opening for me.
I will live today in recovery and submission!