FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 28: “You know, there are two good things in life, freedom of thought and freedom of action.” ― Somerset Maugham
I never knew this information until I got into recovery. It was amazing to me when I was about 100 days into the deal and thought something really bad about someone. I told a friend and he said, “Oh, you will have the same old thoughts, it just won’t be necessary for you to act on them.”
Wow! Really? I thought alcohol and drugs fueled my thinking for some reason. I was shocked! And then I began to understand that the ISM is not about the drugs and alcohol. The ISM lives with me ALL the time. It is called EGO. OH!!! Wow! Insight!
I have spent the last 33 years looking into the power of Ego vs. Spirit or Heart. I am continually astonished at the power of it. I was completely compelled to act on every idea or thought I ever had before that interesting insight at 100 days. I seldom ever even acknowledged the thought and would find myself in the middle of some stupid act that I did not even remember thinking about before I was doing it. Ugh!
When I got the opportunity to become aware of my insane thinking, I was astonished at how much it promoted action based on fear. All the time! Wow! Separating the two became powerful, because I could see that I was creating a belief system that did not really align with my heart, which is where I really know what is right and wrong.
I could see the master Ego at work, and it was terrible! The lies, the deceit and BS it told me, and how my psyche responded…the feelings of unworthiness and how it sabotaged my life. Wow! Again!
And I got to Step 9 and saw how the Ego had driven me to do things to others and to believe they either deserved it or would not notice what was happening. The rationale, the excuses, the stories. It was so sad and scary, and I have examined these things ever since.
What surprises me is that most of the people I know in recovery are completely unaware of their thoughts as opposed to their actions. They never do learn to separate the two. Their freedom in this area does not exist. And I am grateful that I learned this so early on and have continued to do this work. It doesn’t mean I am superior in any way, but I do have a great deal more insight than most.