“Brainwashing”…. has a stigma about it, doesn’t it.
I quit school and my banker job in my young twenties to join a network marketing company… (more stigmas!). I remember my good friend (and the guy who signed me up) rebutting claims from people saying the company was “brainwashing” us. He said, “maybe we need some brainwashing with good stuff”.
He had a valid point. We were learning about success principles, surrounding ourselves with dedicated and driven people. Books were introduced to us by great authors like Napolean Hill and Dale Carnegie. The offices were vibrant, high (and good) energy. The people were beautiful (for the most part) and we pushed each other to get and be better every day. Aside from the lack of income and some other concerning cultural issues, I loved it!! I owe my ability to get a job in sales anywhere today to that experience and company.
So how does this relate to recovery? Well, funny you should ask! Here’s the deal. Recovery is about learning new, better habits. Ways of coping that don’t destroy us. At the core is a spiritual malady (the problem) that requires a spiritual awakening (the solution). The 12 steps perfectly and methodically document a process that gets us to that spiritual awakening part. However, in addition to that, we can grow and expand upon that foundation as far as we desire. How? (you might ask). Well, I’m glad you did. Here’s how…. we “brainwash ourselves with good stuff”. Of course, action is required, but….. it starts with the injection of concepts and the cleansing of what hinders our growth.
Injection happens with education. Could be from people, books, audio, video, affirmations, etc. etc. Nowadays, it’s all a few clicks away. Almost everything you could imagine is available to us if you seek it… no excuses!
Cleansing comes from visualization, introspection, and meditation. There are even hypnotherapy type practices or subconscious “mind work” practitioners who can guide you through effective cleansing processes. Basic “inner child” type work is effective and used by many therapists as well. You do your part and let Neuroplasticity do the rest!
The results of doing these things have drastically and dramatically altered the course of my life (and my children’s, and so on). I watch my sponsee’s and those in my sober living trying… attempting to better themselves and stop the self-destruction. I introduce these principals and concepts yet only a few catch on and put consistent action behind it. Those select few make it fun and inspire me. The others are part of my journey in staying clean, sober and attempting to make the world a better place. Ultimately, they (we) have to want it. We have to want a better life and believe that peace and success is a possibility. We must write it down, visualize it…. prepare for and get excited about it! What does it look like and feel like? (Meditate on that regularly). It will become who you are, real-time.
WE create our existence so faking it til you make! BE happy. BE successful. BE grateful. Be abundance. If you lack the ability or discipline to regularly fake yourself out with these type of thoughts and mantras then listen to affirmations (that’s what I do). I tend to default to BE pissed. BE frustrated. BE poor. I am an expert at faking it at this stage in the game, but it’s starting to materialize for me. Finally!! The whole package. Love, peace, prosperity, great friends, great relationships with my kids… more good stuff than I can list. I’m so blessed and grateful. But, it wasn’t by accident. I created this. I did exactly what I’m writing about. Still doing it.
It’s an amazing journey!! I love recovery and life…. certainly hasn’t always been this way. I’ve had to scrap for every inch of progress and get beaten to my knees over and over again. but….. at the risk of sounding cliche – totally worth it. And, I would argue necessary. Now that I’ve survived it, this far… I’m grateful for the pain and hardships. Wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Thanks for reading. Hope thi