What do I need to study today? What’s on my mind? How do I succeed in setting priorities in recovery based on what God wants me to do? That’s one topic that’s on my mind.
Questions that are on my mind right now:
- What does God want me to be doing today, in this very moment?
- If God were here right now, what would he have me do different, the same, more of, less of, in my business?
- Does God really even care about my business?
- How can I better help others while at the same time making a profit for my company and family?
As I read through President Eyring’s talk yesterday about pavilions and being open to God’s help and direction, one thing that stuck out to me was that President Eyring had quite a few big business options: Stanford, where he started, then other business offers. He turned them down and went a different direction.
I feel I’ve done this a few times:
- The temple answer I got to leave Prosper
- Leaving sales and going to tech support
- Reaching out to FS to work with them
In answer to one of the questions, about whether or not God cares about my business, I guess this scripture comes to mind in Mosiah 2:41:
41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and ahappy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are bblessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out cfaithful to the end they are received into dheaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.
The first thing that sticks out is those that keep the commandments of God are blessed and happy.
Next, those that keep the commandments of God are blessed in ALL things, both temporal and spiritual.
How am I blessed temporally and spiritually?
This reminds me of the gratitude journal concept. What am I thankful for?
- the career I have
- the clients I work with
- my home
- our furniture
- our vehicles
- the clothing I have to wear
- the computers I use for work
- the ability I have to provide a comfortable lifestyle for my wife and kids
- the ideas that come to mind about work and earning a living
- our yard
- the sprinkler system we got installed
- the contacts I have that I know, like and trust
- my connection with Brett and the U
- the nice vacuum we purchased
- the play set that I still have to put together
- the garbage service that comes to pick up our garbage
- service providers that specialize in things I don’t know anything about
- technology that allows me to communicate with friends across the country
- the church where I and my family can go to learn more about Jesus and participate in ordinances that help us focus on Him
- scriptures that have been compiled and printed so I can learn more about Jesus
Letter to Parents
We just had a meeting with Adam Moore and he gave me some feedback.
- Shorten it
- Come up with a thesis and state it clearly
- Take out facts and fluff, my parents won’t get that anyway
- Focus on how I can help them feel emotion.
- Focus on what feelings I feel they are hiding.
- Focus on how I can tap into those feelings.
- Focus on the here and now: “When you heap all of the blame on yourself, Mom, or get defensive, I don’t like you that much. So if you want me to life you and want to be around you, that needs to stop.”
So, here is my updated version:
One of the commitments I made to Adam Moore recently was that I would start writing a letter to my parents. Here is what I started with:
Mom and Dad,
I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for the fun Easter we had at your house. The kids are still munching on candy. The purpose of this letter is to let you both know where I’m at in recovery from my addictions to lust, pornography, and masturbation. Today is day 798 in recovery. Yes, I feel good about the days I’ve been sober, but with sobriety, and especially, real recovery, I’m learning a lot about the underlying details that have caused me to act out in my addiction since I was young and then hide it from you and everyone else.
As I’ve been working on recovery from my addictions, I’ve learned about a lot of things you can do to help me. Many of these things are strategies that I haven’t shared with you yet, so that’s the purpose of this letter.
I would really like your help and feel these things will make our relationship that much better.
I don’t feel like you’re offering me what I need to feel validated and important – instead, you give me what you think I need and it’s not working.
Example: I need you to take a break from the gift giving, both for me and Becky and for the kids. We all want to love YOU, not the gifts you give us.
I need to get the stuff out of the way: don’t send food home with us, no clothes or gifts, no stuff from the house that you think I might need or use – nothing – just the two of you.
I truly feel that I would like you a lot more, that I would like seeing you a lot more, if the gift giving stopped.
I know this may be a hard thing, but the underlying question has to be: “What’s more important right now – me liking you or you doing what you want?
If you continue to bring gifts, I will do my best to accept them but it’s going to make me upset. If you follow my request, I’m going to like you a lot more.
Another thing I feel you could both do to help me feel safe is read the book “What Can I Do About Me” together, or at least on your own but at the same time.
Learning about addiction and recovery, learning the language and the concepts, is part of my “new normal” and has to be part of my life. I will feel you care about me if trying to understand what’s going on is part of your learning too.
You’ve been great parents. I know you’re doing your best, and I’m doing my best too.
I look forward to additional conversation about our relationship.
“…addiction is 10% not acting out and the other 90% dealing with negative emotions.” As I’ve learned this awareness, I’ve had to get sober and stay that way. But sobriety is NOT recovery. Recovery requires both a “life style change and a change of heart.” “[recovery] includes recognizing and admitting to being an addict, setting appropriate boundaries to protect against future acting out, learning to cope with life in healthy and appropriate ways, being willing to work on recovery daily, and changing the underlying behaviors that cause the individual to seek out pornography.” (What Can I Do About Me?”) An equation I’ve found as I’ve studied about recovery looks like this: A leads to B and B leads to C. A is debilitating negative emotions, B is lust, and C is acting out sexually in the form of pornography, masturbation, or other inappropriate relationships. As I shared above, the real core issue is NOT B or C, it’s A. A, debilitating negative emotions, is where the whole addictive cycle starts. One lingering feeling I have that is hard to admit is a resentment towards God for being the only child. This has been hard. It has been lonely, and there has always been a lot of subconscious pressure to perform, sometimes pressure out of my control. I apologize for feeling these feelings and ask for your forgiveness. Another tough emotion I’m trying to deal with in positive ways is the day to day interactions we have, both growing up and now as well. To help me live in recovery, to improve our relationship and make it as positive as I feel it can be, this has to change: Example of a recent interaction: Mom comes home, we are changing clothes, she says “Carol wanted to see you in your clothes.” I say nothing. She says to dad or someone, “They’ve already changed…” She then says, “And I’m sure you got a picture…” I comment in a level voice: “That seemed to be a manipulative comment.” She then says, “Kind of like when you told me if forgot the high chair.” I said, “I never said you forgot it, I just said we need one for Tyson so we can eat in peace.” My dad then steps in, as my mom talks to herself, and says “Come on Judy…” Carol gets here: She’s tells Carol three times that the kids have already changed their clothes… Carol says: “That’s ok.” Mom now walks away as if she’s pouting. I feel Mom wanted Carol to see the cute clothes she’s bought the kids to validate herself as a good grandma. Conclusion: Mom wants to be VALIDATED! According to Rhyll Croshaw, addictive behaviors include the following: being dishonest acting like a victim being emotionally disconnected hiding being easily angered minimizing denying blaming showing a lack of empathy When someone is in true recovery, the behaviors, and thus, the actions, don’t exist – they disappear. If the behaviors are still present, true recovery is still absent. Examples of Recovery Behaviors: being honest being respectful showing kindness being accountable patient emotionally available NEW TOPIC that I’m not sure how to address yet: The giving, giving, giving of stuff causes anxiety – it makes me feel spoiled, it makes me worry that my kids are going to feel entitled, it makes me feel that Mom must be seen to others as a certain type of person, it makes me feel tension. It has to change. So, that’s my shot at the start of a letter today. I don’t know how much more detail to go into, but I’ll take things today and move forward. Nate