I CAN CHOOSE TO DO THINGS
that are good for me & are suited
PREVIOUS: Types of Self-control (Part 1)
See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
Control is about POWER – to make someone do or be what we want. When applied to ourselves – that power can be used either –
• as a defense mechanism to deny our pain, which is debilitating & destructive, OR
• to heal & nurture ourselves, & express our best to the world
Healthy Self-MANAGEMENT (S-M) is not limiting or rigid, providing the stamina to keep going & the ability to handle stresses with flexibility. It relies on the same willpower as rigid self-control, but uses it to:
a. prevent ourself from doing what is unsuitable & harmful, OR
b. delay pursuing instant gratification & pleasure, in favor of some greater gain or for more satisfying results at a later time
VALUE of S-M. It allows us to:
a. • obey legitimate rules & laws
• avoid talking or acting impulsively
• overcome procrastination & sloth
• not give in to addictions & other self-destructive patterns
b. continue & finish internal or external projects, even after the initial rush of enthusiasm has faded, or when they get too boring or too hard
Having S-M means WE:
• are in present-day reality, which includes owning our adult abilities, acquired knowledge & useful experiences
• can stay centered & act according to our own mind
• have self-respect as a Healthy Adult, especially in our thinking
• know our rights, our options & what’s actually possible (not fantasy/ illusion)
• make declarative statements & ask for our needs – in the right place
• use that info to practice setting boundaries, with ourselves & others
🔸To run our own life, rather than someone else’s, & not have someone else run ours, we must be our own Motivator, which is not selfishness but the opposite of co-dependence.
Being responsible for our own life also includes :
🔹AA Step 1: “We admitted we were powerless over____” other People, Places & Things
🔹AA Step 3: “…turn our will & our lives over to the care of God….
Having choices does fit with the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me:
1. the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
2. the courage to change the things I can
3. and the wisdom to know the difference”
ACoAs are too long on negative self-discipline & short on healthy self-control, which is available by developing the “Unit”. At first the first category may seem like a good thing – because it’s supposed to keep us from doing actual bad or wrong things (which it can also do) – but that’s not the main way we use it
What ACoAs often do, instead, is to prevent ourselves from pursuing what we were taught to be UN-desirable T.E.As, but are in fact many positive ones DIS-allowed by our Toxic Family Rules.
EXP : Thinking for ourselves, having opinions, standing up for our rights, Leaving bad situations, following our bliss, Feeling our emotions, relaxing, being happy ….
✶ However, just because we start out as under-dogs, doesn’t mean we can’t WIN – over our damage, over our pain, over others trying to control us! Being empowered can be every ACoA’s goal, deciding for ourselves, from an inner place of certainty & serenity.
😠 And for those of us who don’t like the word CONTROL – we can say: being in charge, living in our Adult Ego state, taking responsibility, being our own motivator!….
So, how in charge are you of your life – actions, career, emotions, health, home, finances, relationships, work life…..?
Based on many studies, including Fujita (2008), correcting CDs , our self-defeating way of thinking, can enhance the ability to be in charge of ourself, keep our focus & have better self-care.
• Reasonable adults respect others who are in control (C) of themself & their life. Being respected is one of our many rights – the opposite of being shamed . As we develop & honor our True Self, we will be respected by others more often if we consistently handle what WE CAN, as in line 2 of the Serenity Prayer, & relinquish / let go of the demand to control what we do not have to power to do.
NEXT: Types of Self-Control (Part 3)