Rising Above Negative Thoughts & Feelings: A 12 Step Model
NEGATIVE THOUGHTS & FEELINGS CREATED BY THE EGO, WHEN IT’S CONCERNS ARE THREATENED –WHICH MAKE LIFE UNMANAGEABLE *
When a threat to my ego concerns has triggered negative thoughts and feelings about another person, then the following “steps” can empower me to work through the situation, rationally and peacefully, relieving me of my negativity.
The example situation is – “I am waiting for a registered letter by mail that I asked my wife to pick up from the post office on her way home from grocery shopping and she forgot. By the time I found this out, the post office closed and I would not have the information in time for a board meeting that afternoon at which I had hoped to demonstrate my value to the board by solving this problem and thereby enhancing my reputation.”
STEP ONE (see worksheet)
I am powerless over the following thoughts and feelings, and at this moment my life and marriage are unmanageable.
List your thoughts (falsities) and feelings (justified negative feelings)
I believe that a power greater than myself can free me of thinking and believing these thoughts and of acting from these feelings, and thereby, return me to sanity.
I made a decision to turn these thoughts and feelings (my life and my will) and the pleasures of these insanities over to God. This means that I became willing to accept the outcome as God’s will and as the best possible outcome for me.
I did a personal self-examination of these activated concerns using the attached chart.
I shared this inventory with God and another person. I shared the list of the exact ego concerns for the world and for myself that were activated.
I became willing to surrender the identified ego concerns and the related character defects to God.
I prayed to God to become free of the bondage of these ego concerns of my ego (implore God for help).
I forgave my spouse of any real or imagined wrongs.
I made direct amends to my spouse for any injury (acts or attitudes) expressed when these concerns of self were activated and when I was acting from these negative thoughts and feelings.
I continue to be aware any time these thoughts and feelings recur, and surrender them.
Having surrendered my will, I prayed only for the knowledge of God’s will for me and the power and willingness to carry it out in my relationship with my spouse, around this issue.
Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of this work, I interact with my wife from love and concern for her and for God’s will, free from the burden of my “self”.
* Based on the program Happy, Joyous, and Free of Ego Concerns by Peter Rhodes and Ray Silverman