I read an article today ”My Mom’s Addiction”by a daughter who refuses to forgive her mother. The article is a stark reminder of the damage done by drug addiction. I sent the article to a friend who spent his life addicted to alcohol and as such would be in a better position than me to comment. Following is how he replied:
“ This is my first gut reaction to this article: it sounds to me like the author of this needs to work on her own personal 8th and 9th Steps. I do not see forgiveness in this article and I do not see the perspective nor the understanding I would expect to see from an alcoholic, which the author is.
I can certainly understand the pain, confusion and bitterness associated with living in a dysfunctional family like that; what I don’t understand is being a sponsor for other newcomers to AA when it is pretty obvious this lady has quite a bit of work still to do on her own program.”
After reading my friend’s reaction I then scrolled down through the comments left at the end of this woman’s article and to my surprise I found the following comment written by a mother who explains how, without forgiveness, sobriety is meaningless and without solid foundations. Sobriety is a spiritual path based on love and forgiveness.
“I am the mother that you described. I do not know you, but this is my story. I am clean over 25 years and my daughter still refuses to forgive me for the many years of my addiction. I have come to learn, in my own recovery that I cannot expect others to change…to seek higher spiritual ground…just because I got sober. I am not the person that I was when I was drunk/loaded, but I am still not the person I was when my daughter was small.
Today I know that her childs’ mind saw what she needed as a child. Today, I pray that her refusal to forgive me and enter into adult relationship with me effects her kids in only a minimal way, but I doubt it.
Unforgiveness can be an addiction of its’ own and it can be passed from generation to generation, just like chemical addiction. Because of AA I know that resentment is the number one killer of my own personal growth in recovery. I hope and pray that God may do for you what you say that you cannot do for yourself.”
We spend most of our lives see-sawing between our feelings. Sometimes it might feel as if you are on a boat on the ocean at the mercy of the weather not realising that not only does the boat you are in have oars but it also has an engine. We wake up every morning not knowing what to expect and if we take the time to think about it most of us would probably imagine that life happens to us and how we feel depends on external circumstances quite out of our control. In this article I would like to explain how you are responsible for how you feel.
Happiness like sadness is a feeling. You can’t explain a feeling all you can do is feel it. You can explain a thought but you cannot feel a thought. A thought is not a feeling. I can think about the sea and even remember or imagine a time I spent by the sea. I can even conjure up the sound of the sea, the smell of the sea and the feel of the spray on my skin. The feeling I associate with this thought could be sadness because I am sitting on the beach crying because my wife has left me for another man or it could be joyful as I look out over the horizon in anticipation of seeing the boat that is bringing my son home from war.
The thought you think affects your mood and makes you feel how you feel. The thought propels you into the feeling and once you are feeling the feeling your thoughts are hijacked and you keep thinking those thoughts and making yourself feel more of those same feelings.
Normally when we are in “idle” mode thoughts come and go. When we give a thought our attention we are directing ourselves into a feeling. It is how we choose our thoughts that determines our mood and the way we feel. The thoughts we pay attention to create our feelings. So you can conclude that the more time you spend paying attention to happy thoughts the happier you will become. By the same token the more time you spend thinking about sad things the sadder you feel.
By thinking happy thoughts you make yourself feel happy. Thinking sad thoughts makes you feel sad. You are the only one in there with you. You are the one doing the thinking and you are the one choosing the thoughts to think. So, you are the one responsible for how you feel.
Knowing this then why won’t you choose to think the thoughts that will bring you feelings of happiness, joy and love? The reason is habit. The mind has gotten into bad habits. Because you have never taken control of your ship and directed your mind to think what you want your mind has been steering the boat. The boat has gotten used to docking at certain ports and to steer a new course to happier destinations you must now take control of the steering wheel.
Like any change you want to make in your life some effort must be exerted initially. By persistence in choosing the thoughts to focus upon you change the old pattern and you get used to a new way of being in the world.
One very good way to trick your mind into reversing its attention from sad to happy thoughts is to regularly ask your self the question “What can I be grateful for right now in my life?” Simply finding things in your life to be grateful for has the affect of changing the direction of your thoughts from negative to positive and so altering how you feel. Start the day saying thank you, spend the day saying thank you and end the day saying thank you. This is a sure way to attract more love and happiness into your life. .
Keep finding things to be really grateful for like things that you have, things that you do and things that you are and you will start feeling happier. You cannot feel bad while you are feeling grateful so gratitude is the short cut back to happiness. The happiness then makes it easier for you to remember happy memories and the cycle continues. Photographs are a great way of getting you to kick start happy memories.
Before I get out of bed every morning I say thank you to my bed and feel a great sense of appreciation that I have such a comfortable bed to sleep in. I look across at my wife and I think how thankful I am to have another day to spend with her. I look across at a photograph of myself as a boy of 3 years old and I thank the child within me. I thank the clothes I am going to put on. I say thank you to my body for being fit and healthy and the list goes on. I spend at least 10 minutes every morning doing this before even getting out of bed and continue to do this during the day as often as I remember to do. I thank everyone I meet (not out loud but in my heart) and send them good feelings. What you send out comes back to you 100 fold. I do it and it works. I am a very happy man most of the time and when I am not I know exactly how to become happy again and I do!
Most people now accept that we are much more than physical beings. We have a conscious and a subconscious mind. We have an intellect and we also have emotions.
We use language to communicate our conscious ideas and thoughts to ourselves and to each other but we use a far more complex system to communicate our feelings.
It is not what someone says but what the person feels that is communicated. Eloquent words can never truly mask feelings that are not in harmony with the spoken word. You know when someone is lying to you. You can hear their words but your gut is telling you something different.
Most of what we do in our normal waking lives is subconsciously motivated. A smoker will often find himself smoking and not remember lighting his cigarette. A person driving a car arrives at the destination but doesn’t remember the journey. A person biting her nails will suddenly suddenly realise she is doing so but not remember lifting her hand to her mouth for the purpose of biting her nails.
When we dream we are like scuba divers in the ocean of our subconscious. When we awake in the morning we bring back photographs of our feelings. Each image is a symbol representing a feeling or complex of emotions. Our dreams are an indication of our subconscious communication and our dream images are a way for us to learn the language of our subconscious. Just as we learned how to consciously communicate through language we can learn the language of the subconscious by connecting our dream symbols with the images we bring back with us. Each symbol is personal so that is why it does not make a lot of sense for anyone else to interpret our dreams for us. Our dream symbols are unique so what symbolizes something for you may not symbolize the same thing for someone else. It is for this reason that consulting a dream book that tells you the meaning of each symbol you bring back from your dream world is a complete waste of time. There are as many meanings as there are people in the world. You are unique and only you can decipher your own symbols. A therapist can help you learn the language of your dreams but it is not any therapist’s place to interpret your dreams for you.
Having said this, however, there are symbols that are recognised by the collective unconscious. One such symbol is the figure 8. The figure 8 is naturally recognised by each person’s subconscious and is used very effectively to communicate with the subconscious one’s conscious desire to sever unhealthy attachments to people, and addictions. It is no good shouting at the subconscious and demanding it stops you from over eating, smoking, indulging in destructive behaviours. It is no good begging your subconscious to feel good about yourself or to stop seeing your father as cruel and insensitive. Your subconscious does not understand English or any other language you speak. You must learn the language of the subconscious to communicate your wishes. Your subconscious wants to give you whatever you want even if it is bad for you. It simply answers all your requests regardless. The problem is you don’t even know that you are continuously requesting and receiving everything you ask for. There is communication between what you consciously dwell upon and how these thoughts create feelings. It is the intensity of the emotions created by the thoughts you most frequently dwell upon that forms the communication with your subconscious. You use your thoughts and feelings to order what you want in your life but you don’t know you are doing this.
The English psychotherapist, Phyllis Krystal developed a method of communicating with the subconscious for the purpose of freeing the individual from reliance on and attachment to outer symbols of control and/or security. The method involves being guided by our own inner source of wisdom which is available to everyone. Phyllis Krystal has written many books in which she describes her journey in developing the techniques that people all over the world have used with great success. She has given numerous seminars all over Europe showing people how to achieve the freedom they seek. In her book Cutting the Ties that Bind she explains how to use the symbol of the figure 8 to sever our negative attachments to people and anything else that hijacks our personal power and prevents our development as human beings.
In my private practice as a Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist I use the techniques developed by Phyllis Krystal with most of the people who seek my help and have found them invaluable. Using the methods developed by Phyllis Krystal both personally and in my capacity as a therapist has greatly enhanced my life and my effectiveness as a healer of minds.
I have listed all the books written by Phyllis Krystal at the bottom of this article and highly recommend each one for your own personal journey to free yourself from all that holds you back in your life and to truly express who you really are.
If you would like to find out more about this therapy why not call us on 842938 if you live on the Isle of Man and avail of a free initial consultation to discuss your needs.
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