October 23

DISCIPLINE MONTH: DAY 23: “The notion of freedom proclaimed by the modern world is anti-discipline. But true freedom cannot be separated from discipline.” ― Matthew Kelly

Most of us believe that we would be happy if there were no rules, no work, no sense of discipline about how we spend our time, money, etc.

That is a great idea, but it doesn’t work. Without discipline and a sense of achievement and accomplishment, we have no sense of self-worth or self-esteem. We tried living in the chaos of self-will. That got us here didn’t it?

So, when we eschew the idea of discipline and balk against it, it is only because the EGO (Screaming Purple Monkey!) is telling us that it will be “hard” or “difficult” or “impossible.” The first thing I hear from newcomers is, “I’ve never done that before.”

And I say, “Duh! It shows.” We come back with all the defense mechanisms on the planet, and then some! “I can’t, I don’t think that will work for me…. blah, blah, blah.”

Just remember, every good defense mechanism has only ONE purpose, to defend the EGO. Oh yeah! That is not going to be a spiritual path, right there.

So, if self-will has failed you as it has me, then we are here to learn to do something different. Again, I will call out that quote: “In order to get something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.”

Denial is a powerful thing. It is the first thing the EGO throws at any idea of change. We balk, we run, we get high, whatever our response, just remember that it is not a solution, just an evasion of the problem. If problems were solved by side-stepping, ignoring, checking out, running away, and so on; we would be the greatest people on the planet! The most successful, the most enlightened, the happiest. But none of that is true, because those things are not solutions.

We have this crazy thing…a disease… and it tells us to run away from the disease. And pretend like it isn’t really a disease. And it has never worked for anyone, never!

So, discipline is part of life. If we are overweight (food addiction many times!), it is usually because we have a belief about food that is dysfunctional, and we are using it like we do drugs and alcohol. Not going to work until we process the old ideas.

This new discipline will also include eating less, eating healthier foods, exercising, etc. These are disciplines. Just like going to meetings, calling a sponsor, abstaining from toxic or dysfunctional behaviors, etc. are the disciplines of recovery.

It is the same with every disease. The recovery from that disease means we must adopt a new way of believing about life and shifting our behaviors, or the disease will kill us… sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.

This applies to all of life. It applies to the idea that if we want to live well, we must adhere to disciplines of good health, sleep, work, play, exercise, drinking water, eating right. None of us is immune to this… it is all a part of life that requires discipline. I for one, am grateful to have finally learned this here… it is good stuff!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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