Wolf

Image courtesy of nixxphotography / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As I scrolled through Facebook this morning, this bit of wisdom jumped out at me:

“A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can’t go anywhere till you change it.” accessed 6/19/13 at https://www.facebook.com/GodlyWomanDaily

This quote focused my thinking on what changing my attitudes has meant in my life. Changing my attitudes, for me, has been one of the essential ingredients of my recovery.  I agree with Dr. Paul O.’s (1995, There’s More to Quitting Drinking than Quitting Drinking, p. 63) statement:

“My days, one at a time, consist of reality, created by God, plus my attitude, created by me. God and I are thus co-creators of my day…I believe that each day God gives me everything I need to have a good day. My choice of attitude determines whether or not I enjoy His gift.”

This concept is not new. How many times have you been reminded that a glass of water can be viewed as half full or half empty?  Accepting that my attitudes and thoughts shape my reality, quite frankly, scares me.  It was not until I admitted my life was unmanageable when I tried to handle it on my own, started to believe that a power outside of myself could restore me to some semblance of sanity, and became willing to let my Higher Power handle things for and/or with me that I truly entered recovery some thirty-two plus years ago. My fear of creating my own reality without God’s help is quieted by my faith and belief that God is co-creator of my reality as long as I am willing to let Him do so. If I was not working in co-creation with God, my life would once again be a mess.

I have learned through the years to redirect my thinking into a positive direction. I view life as a gift from God that I cannot squander on negative thinking and worry. I need to focus on thoughts and attitudes that will let me enjoy the gift. It has become easier through the years to do so, but it can still be a battle at times. Giving into self-pity, fear, worry, resentment, anger, and other negative thoughts can quickly turn me into a helpless victim caught in a resilient bog of quicksand that persistently drags me down into a miserable, depressed place. I don’t want to get caught there, but I spent half of my life doing so before I entered recovery, and if I am not careful I can easily fall back into that trap.

I am going to close by quoting a Cherokee parable of two wolves that I think summarizes the importance of persisting in cultivating positive attitudes:

“An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

“One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

“The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

“This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf will win?”

The old chief simply replied,
“The one you feed.”

accessed 6/19/13 at:

http://www.sapphyr.net/natam/two-wolves.htm

Please comment on how “feeding attitudes” has influenced your life. God bless and keep you.

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