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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:00 pm 
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Vision:
I have always had a grand vision for my life growing up. Growing up Christian in a Christian School I envisioned being a missionary to some tribe in Africa or Papau New Guinea. Some rural place, or else giving my life away as a martyr in a dangerous Muslim country. Initially I didn't even consider that I would be able to be married in those sorts of circumstances.
But, as life has become real, I have grown older and disappointment and failed dreams plague me as they probably plague everyone(no temptation has seized you except what is common to man). I think little of my dreams or vision for my life anymore, it seems impossible that I will accomplish anything of note or worth. On top of this pain I have fallen into deep sexual sin further and further stealing all of my joy; all of my dreams and chaining me instead with overwhelming guilt and shame.
But, as I live and grow deeper I note that even if no one ever writes a book about me, there is still meaning to my life; can be if I would humble myself and realize. I see that even in the forgotten lives to history, there are still great people who have loved those around them well, have grown close to God in deep relationship, to find joy and fellowship with Christ and with His body.
I struggle in creating a vision in making it a positive statement and free of negatives. For I know what my vision has disintegrated into and so frequently when I think about what I want my life to be, it is hard to not say 'I just don't want it to be like it has been.' I will try though to keep from

so without further ado, my vision:

I see myself as a man. Strong in conviction, steadfast in difficult times. I am humble and at times very quiet, yet strong when making a decision and resolute in application. I am looked up to and yet because of my past struggles and the grace I've personally received I have grace to share with others in need of it. I can be a rock of support and strength to others that need direction and help. And yet, my focus is on my inward relationship with Jesus. I fight sin and dedicate each day to him, making the most of the time because the days are evil.
I am a man who enjoys life and will ride his motorcycle, enjoy dinner with friends, drink in moderation with joy as the desired outcome. I have fun and am fun to be around. I give life and enjoy life to those around me.
I am married to a Godly Christian woman who loves Jesus so much she daily challenges me to love deeper and more truly. I love her deeply and remarkably she loves me as well. They would say of me that though I do not deserve such a woman, yet I am not undeserving of her. We have a few children that are sources of great joy to both of us. I fancy myself, though not perfect, yet a father that my children can look up to and be proud of.
I love my church family and am growing in generosity of my time and resources with those in the body of Christ. I am a friendly neighbor who is quick to say hello at the end of the day and ask how you are doing, help you with whatever project around the house you are working on.
At work I am slow to get angry, and gracious with mistakes. I correct errors and teach with patience those who need learning. I am friendly, but not flirtatious.

In total, I'm free and not bound my fears. I am who I am and find myself accepted. I am free to truly love and be loved in return.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:12 pm 
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Lesson 3, Values:

Going through this I looked back at my vision from last week and feel that my vision is good, but there are more values that I want to input than is just noted there too. Additionally, I realize that over the past few days I have already fallen some from walking towards the vision of who I want to be. Yet, He gives a greater grace. May he give grace to the humble, and may I be humble, broken and contrite.

1. I want to love God with all my heart, mind, and strength (U)
2. I will Pray daily to Him who I love because He first loved me. (P)
3. I will Read/Meditate/Spend time in the Word of God daily. (P)
4. I will make my time with God a priority, choosing it before entertainment and preferably waking up before work. (P)
5. I will view God as Holy (U)
6. In humility I will stand broken before Him. I will confess my sin as soon as I come to my senses after I fall, within 24 hours, with deep sincere repentance (P)
7. I will mourn my sin as it an affront to a holy God and it breaks the relationship with my Father (P).
8. Being Faithful (U)
9. I will attempt to not lie, and confess my lying (P)
10. don't make promises that I cannot keep (P)
11. Focused U Making the most of the time because the days are evil.
12. typically less than 1 hour a day of amusement screen time P
13. before starting a new hobby ask if this will make me more focused or distracted from my vision. P
14. Check on Social media 2 times or less daily. P
15. Gracious/Generous U
16. Willing to give of my money to those less fortunate/needy. P
17. Think more frequently of who I can be
18. Meet with brothers in Christ, 2 a week (P)
19. Praying weekly for 1 lost person and 1 brother struggling. (P)
20. Enjoy Life (U) In his presence is fullness of joy and at his right hand are pleasures forevermore.
21. Get out of the house daily and do something (P)
22. Reach out and make friends with those in the body who enjoy similar hobbies. * If I find that I am doing something alone, when I could be doing it with others, then I am wasting time and life (P)
23. Self-controlled (U)
24. Thumb sucking must be fought (P)
25. not lustful (P)
26. Avoid time on social media (P)
27. Staying Fit (U)
28.Exercise 4-6 times weekly
29. Avoiding gluttony and overeating, continuing with healthy diet/portion (currently intermittent fasting has been helpful)
30. Stop late night snacking.
31. Intentional (U)
32. continuing to be a source of encouragement to Brothers (U)
33. A good husband (U)
34. Faithful from coveting to adultery (P)
35. Looking first to her needs as well as my own. (P)
36. Patient for God's timing in providing a wife,. (P)
37. I work well
38. I make sure I know the Right thing to do at work.
39. I spend extra time on difficult projects at work and don't cut corners.
40. I go to bed on time and avoid staying up late just to numb the pain.
41. Being Humble
42. Being respected.
43. A good role model for younger brothers in my church and my own children some day.
44. quick to give grace as I have also been forgiven and received grace.
45. light to the world U
46. sharing the love of Christ here in America
47. Being a missionary some day



I'm sure that I could come up with more. I'm not very good at lists. But I do want to from my core be better than what I've been. I want to rid myself of this inner lust that I cling to. The dragon on the shoulder from the great divorce. In that story, another was able to kill the dragon for him. And how nice that would be, Lord I do believe help my unbelief. Yet, more realistically after being freed from the dragon, yet the dragon comes back to haunt us unless once our mind is free we learn to live without the dragon. Unless we learn to find pleasure in that which is truly pleasurable. Until we learn to day by day fight that. Put in the time and the work in our hearts, that Dragon will always have control and easily destroy our lives again.

It's a fight, but it's a fight that is worth it. There is so much that I want to be, that I want to do in this life; and though I feel like I have lost so much time, yet I know that God is a loving and gracious father. that this is all part of his plan and he can bring good out of evil. Today is another day, His mercies are new every morning.
Fight.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:11 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 4019
Location: UK
Hello AA and welcome to RN, but are you truly here?

yes I'm hoping that the frequency of your posts increases
recovery requires effort commitment and cosistency

anyway

if you are here then you are on a proven well trodden path for recovery
if you really do want to improve your life and remove those self inflicted shackles of addiction and to recover from your emotion driven compulsive behaviours then you are at a good place to make that a reality, RN can show you the way
To achieve recovery then commit , fully and completely
work through the lessons and understand them , if you miss something ask on the help forum , assistance is always on hand, this community is supportive to those who demonstrate sincerity in their journey
coaches and mentors are likely to drop by occasionally but if not, don't worry as this is generally a good indicator that you are on the right path, you have not been abandoned

the path is long and difficult but it is well proven and you are not alone, many have taken the path successfully, your actions are yours but you are not the first and unfortunately will not be the last
we usually suggest completing about 3 lessons a week but spending time every day posting , reading, evaluating and putting into practice what you have learned, be open be honest, nobody here will judge you
get to know your addiction and see yourself with honesty and openness

remember to work at your own pace and its not a race indeed some consider recovery to be a journey rather than a destination

your vision is good but it could be better by adding a few "how" "why"and "whens"

IMO the vision coupled to the reasons for wanting change are the cornerstones of recovery, so the more detail the better
your call, but I do suggest that you note down your own reasons

lets get committed totally committed and look forwards to being that better man
remember the only person that can make these changes is you, so the hard work needs to come from you
looking forwards to reading your regular commited posts and wishing you all the best

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:26 pm 
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Posts: 6
Thanks, I thought you were supposed to do one lesson a week, so I've been going slower just trying to not do things too fast/haphazardly. Though I wondered about that because the lessons really weren't all that difficult. I will try to go through more lessons moving forward.
I agree with the how, why and when's of my vision. It's just hard. I feel like I've always had a vision for where I want to be, and here I am 10 years later, nowhere near where I said I was going to be 10 years ago.
I want to be married, but I don't know when that will happen, it depends on how my recovery goes.
Missionary is a pipe dream currently, again it depends on how this recovery goes.

but I guess that's your point. The point of the vision is to give a reason for the recovery to go well. To help keep me on the path. to give me a reason to live for that isn't arbitrary but helps me take steps today towards recovery, happiness, and life.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:56 pm 
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1. I want to love God with all my heart, mind, and strength This requires time in prayer and in the word daily.  Preferably in the morning.
2. Live a self controlled life-focused on fighting thumb sucking, fighting lust and laziness.
3. Being Faithful in all aspects of life, from lust to work
4. In humility I will stand broken before Him. I will confess my sin as soon as I come to my senses after I fall, within 24 hours, with deep sincere repentance (P)   I will mourn my sin as it an affront to a holy God and it breaks the relationship with my Father (P).
5. Enjoy Life :In his presence is fullness of joy and at his right hand are pleasures forevermore. Get out of the house daily and do something
6.   Reach out and make friends with those in the body who enjoy similar hobbies. * If I find that I am doing something alone, when I could be doing it with others, then I am wasting time and life (P)
7. Passing on what I have learned to others in similar need of encouragement, accountability, truth and grace.
8. I want to be married. to be known and loved and have someone to truly love in return and sexually be united together.

9. Practice brutal honesty.

10. Unselfish- looking first to the needs of others, including my wife to be but also friends and family and work colleagues.
11. Gracious/Generous willing to give time and money
12. Being a missionary some day, but always being a light to the world where I am living.
13. Think more frequently of who I can be, dream, move forward.
14.Focused on Making the most of the time because the days are evil.
15. Being a good family member to my extended family.


Last edited by Arkangel2020 on Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:27 pm 
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A)I do like the 15 priorities listed. I think it gives a vision of who I want to be. I know that I can be more specific, but I also am not sure what else I want to do. Professionally I have little motivation for further advancement, I like what I do and where I am currently. I want to quit sinning, but I know that I need to be especially more focused on who God is, how He loves me, how my selfishness pervades all aspects of my life and has lead to such lying and deception to cover up my evil lust.
I want to live a life that has focus and purpose not just a life of default.

B)
I've always had a hard time making big decisions in life if there wasn't an obvious Biblical response to guide the choices. Most of my progression has been already set. My mother had a high vision of my career and I just always continued down that path until I found a road block. If there was a roadblock, then I would just stop there and make a new decision, but for the most part there were no road blocks.

the problem with this was that I really was just following the vision my mother had for my life. it did lead to some difficulties and disappointments. When life was hard I didn't have a good vision of my life to keep me focused. Still, I rarely make really large decisions. Mostly just live my life day by day.
However, I recently bought a motorcycle. Mostly to impress a girl I would say, but I had always been intrigued by motorcycles and thought why not. It was not going to be a huge financial burden for me, and was better than buying a video game or something that would isolate me even more. It does point towards me wanting to enjoy life. to be generous with money rather than miserly which is good.
It does not change much at this time about my focus on time with God and Friends. it could be a good way to spend time with a younger guy at my church, but I haven't reached out yet in that manner.

I live with my sister which is another big decision constantly. I look at houses to move out, but it just makes sense to have accountability and good brotherly/sisterly familial interaction. I think it just wouldn't make sense at this time to move out, though financially I could, I'm not sure that it would lead to me reaching out more. though that being said, a big motivation to move out would be to be able to have people over more often. I would like to have a pool and a place for people to come and enjoy, which I am limited in how much of that I can currently do. Still, best to wait a little bit longer.

C) I will have to update my list. Sexual satisfaction/Loving marriage is a huge desire of mine. I want to love and be loved and to be able to express that love with true sexual bliss.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:52 pm 
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A. Of the top fifteen values on your Prioritized Values List, develop Proactive Action Plans for two or three of the more simple ones. For instance, "Strengthening your relationship with your wife" is complex. "Developing a closer bond with 'Chewie', your dog" (probably) isn't. For now, choose 'Chewie'. Post these plans into your recovery thread.


Lesson 6:
To start with I notice in this lesson that there are things that I need to work on, but that there are also things that I want but do not have and that is what hurts. I want to be in a relationship and be able to work on communication, love, intimacy, etc. But I am single for now. I guess that is the issue, as there is benefit to growing deeper with male relationships and that is part of my issue is that I do not do that very well. I do not reach out. I am reclusive and passive in all of my relationships and so when there is a girl that reaches out to me, I just say yes and do whatever because I am longing for their love and acceptance and that friendship. I really have had good male relationships in the past and when I do have that, then I don't go chasing after girls as much, but when I'm left alone then I make bad decisions. So, that leads me to lesson 6,

I see that my values list is maybe a little off, but good.

1. Loving God with all my heart, mind and strength: is pretty easy, though challenging to do daily. The first easy step is to continue to focus on the basics. A. getting up early in the morning (meaning going to bed on time). B. making it a priority over other things like video games, fantasy football and video games.

6. I think that I would phrase this a little better from reaching out and making friends to 'Develop meaningful male relationships'. This is a huge issue for me as noted above. That being said, I just need to keep reaching out. I know that I don't reach out because I feel like no one wants to hangout with me, but that isn't true. (it's definitely a family issue, I know that I frequently am encouraging both of my sisters to reach out and meet with other women. They say the same things that they just don't feel like they're interesting or that people would want to hangout with them)
So, what can I do? I need to keep reaching out. texting and calling 3-5 guys.
Sorry, this is definitely a more complicated issue now that I look at it, but I think it's super important.

15. Loving my family, parents, sisters.
I already have been doing better with this this year, but to call my parents more often is important. I should call my parents weekly, pray for them weekly and that's a good start. Get a present for Dad.

2. Self-control: continue to fight for this. Stop sucking my thumb (I do want to show self control and move from this selfish self satisfaction stimulation). Going to bed on time is super important as well, so I can get up early and into the word.

Journal thoughts:
'Managing the addiction'
hmm, the thoughts on 'managing the addiction' on this lesson were thought provoking. I am in a SA group, which is big on the 12 steps. Their main thought though is in agreement that we cannot manage this. That just like the alcoholic cannot manage their addiction, but must give it up, we cannot manage our addiction. Lust must be killed, not fed or placed on a diet. if you feed it at all it will wreck your life(think of the dragon on the shoulder in the Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis.).
I agree though too that avoiding triggers and reacting to temptation are definitely short term helps, but they're not long term fixes. I find that the problem is not that I had sex and broke this rule, though there is some guilt with that if it was just a guilt issue I believe that God has forgiven me. No this issue with addiction is not the guilt related to the sin, but the helplessness and hopelessness of knowing you are going to sin again. And why will you sin again? Ah, that is the real issue. Sin is more than just breaking a rule. The basis of sin, which is also sin, is the wrong desire in my heart. I want something that is not good, my heart has something wrong with that at the base of my character/soul.
So, sin/lust/addiction cannot be managed. I cannot allow a small part to live in me or it will cause all kinds of chaos. no it must be fought, removed and replaced. Because this sin is a reaction to loneliness and sadness. It is a reaction to things not being how I think they ought to be for me. And these values are what I am to replace the addiction with.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 459
Hi Arkangel,

I was interested to read your post and in particular your journal thoughts. You said
Quote:
Journal thoughts:
'Managing the addiction'
hmm, the thoughts on 'managing the addiction' on this lesson were thought provoking. I am in a SA group, which is big on the 12 steps. Their main thought though is in agreement that we cannot manage this. That just like the alcoholic cannot manage their addiction, but must give it up, we cannot manage our addiction. Lust must be killed, not fed or placed on a diet. if you feed it at all it will wreck your life(think of the dragon on the shoulder in the Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis.).
I agree though too that avoiding triggers and reacting to temptation are definitely short term helps, but they're not long term fixes. I find that the problem is not that I had sex and broke this rule, though there is some guilt with that if it was just a guilt issue I believe that God has forgiven me. No this issue with addiction is not the guilt related to the sin, but the helplessness and hopelessness of knowing you are going to sin again. And why will you sin again? Ah, that is the real issue. Sin is more than just breaking a rule. The basis of sin, which is also sin, is the wrong desire in my heart. I want something that is not good, my heart has something wrong with that at the base of my character/soul.
So, sin/lust/addiction cannot be managed. I cannot allow a small part to live in me or it will cause all kinds of chaos. no it must be fought, removed and replaced. Because this sin is a reaction to loneliness and sadness. It is a reaction to things not being how I think they ought to be for me. And these values are what I am to replace the addiction with.

I agree that this workshop, like your 12 steps programme, is aiming to avoid you "managing" your addiction. The aim is to change the way that you think rather than to make a point of "avoiding" doing something that you should not. I like to think of the workshop process of recognising that at some point in our lives, likely due to some significant event that took place which we tried to find a way of coping, we have taught ourselves to using immediate gratification as a coping mechanism. Thinking that way has engrained itself in our minds over time and it is a case now of "rewiring" our brains in order to thinking differently - or rather back to the way that we used to naturally think before this significant event took place. I noticed that in your first post you did not make any reference to the exercise to look at a photo of yourself as a child and to explain your thoughts, I don't know if you did not do this at all or just did not record your thoughts on your thread? Either way, the object of the exercise is that most people will respond saying that they recognise the innocence and purity in the child that they are looking at. The whole point is therefore to recognise that something has changed since that photo was taken to make us react differently to situations now. If it is something we have taught ourselves to do over time then we are able to teach it back the other way again and the workshop provides the tools to do that. This dispels the myth that addiction is something inside you that you have no control over which a lot of addicts use as a convenient excuse to just give in to it because it is the easy choice.

I hope this helps you consolidate your journal thoughts in the context of this workshop and what you are trying to achieve.

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L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


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