“When I focus on what’s good today, I have a good day, and when I focus on what’s bad, I have a bad day. If I focus on a problem, the problem increases; if I focus on the answer, the answer increases…I must keep my magic magnifying mind on my acceptance and off my expectations, for my serenity is directly proportional to my level of acceptance. When I remember this, I can see I’ve never had it so good.”  – Doctor, Addict, Alcoholic” by Dr. Paul O. in Alcoholics Anonymous

I live by these words. In fact, they are some of the most powerful words (for me) in the Big Book. And they’re not really new or unique. Philosophers and scientists have researched, studied, debated and proven how powerful the mind is (what we think) in manifesting not only positive experiences and relationships in life, but also positive physical health. I sponsor lots of men, both in AA and AlAnon. The ones that stuggle the most are those that have trouble accepting that our perceptions and attitudes are 99% responsible for how we feel and the quality of our lives. Not our circumstances, our past, or other people. And by studying, working and living the program in a very systematic, diligent and consistent way, I alter my perceptions and attitudes, so that no matter what’s happening on the outside …ILML! 

Loving The Best

From page 19 in The Best of Bill it says “Let us always love the best in others – and never fear their worst”.

When I focus on what’s wrong with other people, they look worse, and I’m more miserable. The next time I do that, I’ll stop. Then I’ll focus on the good stuff. When I do that, everything gets better. That’s what I love about recovery, I don’t need to be upset for more than a few minutes each day when I use the tools. ILML

This is a great reminder that when I’m thinking other than loving thoughts about people, it means I’m in fear about something (usually fearing I’m not getting treated how I want to be).

Just because they did something that I disapprove of, doesn’t mean I need to focus on it, or fear it will happen again, or that the consequences of their behavior will hurt me. I’ve found for every character defect, there’s an opposite and opposing wonderful character trait. In fact, as my step-mom, a faithful Alanon always said, “Our defects are simply our assets out of balance”. So, rather than focusing on the defect, let me realize that they are just like me – a little out of balance every once in awhile. This allows me to move from resentment to compassion, opening up the door to see the good in everything. And when I do that, I realize once again, that indeed, ILML.