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    Day 4

    What will they think of me?

    “A life spent in making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.” George Bernard Shaw

    Many of us have been so brainwashed by worrying what people will think that we’re willing to remain in a state of misery rather than admit we’ve been going about something the wrong way.

    We’re afraid of being found out, of showing bad judgement, of being percieved as inept. We are like the nearsighted girl who was invited to dinner by her boyfriend’s parents. She mistook a bowl of heavily cinnamoned applesauce for brown gravy and ladled it on her mashed potatoes. “Do you like applesauce on you potatoes dear?” asked the boy’s mother. “Oh, yes,” she replied, “I always eat them this way,” and then proceeded to finish every bite, afraid they would think she had made a mistake.

    People who are late for appointments hate to admit that their own planning was to blame. So they use excuses, such as traffic problems, long-distance phone calls or minor emergencies to explain their tardiness.

    Admission comes as a painful step for us because we feel shame and guilt for having been so far off course. It is, however, a liberating step. It opens the door to new possibilities and a much more comfortable existence.

    At this point it’s good to remember that, if our life isn’t working for us, it isn’t for lack of trying. It’s simply that we haven’t yet found the formula that makes it work.

    Today’s step: In admitting my mistakes, I find the freedom to grow.

    Step by Step. Muriel Zink



    Day 5

    Changing Habits

    “The horror of that moment,” the King went on, “I shall never, never forget.”
    “You will, though,” the Queen said, “if you don’t make a memorandum of it.” Lewis Carroll (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)

    The first Step establishes guidelines designed to open up our consciousness, to help us see ourselves more clearly, and to discover where we have missed the mark. It helps us gain deeper insight into the “why” of our attitudes.

    Behavioral psychologists call this process “successive approximations.” A.A. refers to it as the Twelve Steps The purpose of this process is to help us develop our desired responses by doing one do-able step at a time. For instance, when we want to change such behaviors as drinking alcoholically or using mind-altering chemicals, binging, purging or overeating, compulsive gambling or sexual addictions, we can start b tying the proverbial string around our finger.

    By following this process, we can create new patterns that will focus our thought processes on our specific goal. For example, most of us have an established morning routine. We go to the bathroom, brush our teeth, comb our hari, and follow all the habitual practices that ready us for the day. But what if we cahnge the sequence of these acts? What if we brush our teeth before we shower, or shave on the left side first instead of the right? Breaking the routine reminds us that our goal is to create a lifestyle free from dependency.

    Today’s Step: I establish sound new habits, one day at a time.

    Step by Step. Muriel Zink



    Day 6

    Acknowledging the Parent.

    “There is no greater bugbear than a strong-willed relative in the circle of his own convictions.” Nathaniel Hawthorne

    Eric Berne, founder of transational analysis, theorized that our inner selves are three distinct and separate entitites who vie for control: the parent, the child, and the adult.

    This may explain, in part, the confusion that we often feel arise within ourselves as we try to sort out our responses to a situation. Today, let’s look at our parent self. How does this entity affect our ability to admit our problem?

    Our inner parent is the part of us that was programmed by our own parents, our teachers, our ministers, our guardians, or our older siblings. The parent is the critical monitor of our behavior: it acts as taskmaster and guide. The parent burdens us with the tyranny of “shoulds,” and it is constantly grading us in our performance, whether this involves work, play or accomplishments. Our inner parent, conditioned by early programming, tries to lead us along the straight and narrow. It continually cautions us against nonconformity.

    It is important that we see both the strengths and the weaknesses of our inner parent, for the information stored in that entity is designed to help us plot our journey through life. Although it truly intends to protect us, too often our inner parent controls us in a manner that leads to rigid, stuck behavior.

    As we become more familiar with our parent entity, we can readily see its influence on our actions. We begin to realize that we have often restricted ourselves when it was neither necessary nor comfortable to do so.

    Today’s Step: I release the “shoulds” and judgments of my inner critic.”

    Step by Step. Muriel Zink

    Although I am not someone who has found the inner child theory useful in my life I believe in keeping an open mind. Releasing the “shoulds” and judgments of my inner critic is something that I struggled with over the years. I have found that my life has much more serenity in it when I let go of my judgments and “have to’s” and just live life. I hope you will find something useful in the above quote. If not please take what you can use and leave the rest. I did.

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