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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:29 pm
Posts: 158
Hi C

Well done on having the humility and the courage to return to the workshop and to start again from the beginning. I noticed that you mentioned a feeling of shame about your previous lack of commitment.

Quote:
I feel more shame towards my lack of initial commitment than from my current mindset of commitment but I’m hopeful that as I move forward and learn more, my commitment will be reinforced. I believe I’m completely capable of successful change, it does however depend on how well I embrace it and not the possible stress that may accompany the change.


I can completely understand that feeling of shame, as its a feeling I struggled with for many years (and still do at times) for all kinds of different reasons. But we all know its a total and utter waste of time and effort. By all means allow yourself to feel convicted by it, but dont allow yourself to get dragged down by a sense of shame over the past. The only place that ever took me was back to compulsive behaviours again.

I want to affirm what you wrote above absolutely. Yes, you are completely capable of successful change. But you do need to make the decision to stick with the workshop this time round, and you will reap the benefits of that as you progress through. All the best with your journey, and I look forward to accompanying you along the way.

Stay safe.

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:12 pm
Posts: 46
Lesson 4: prioritization
1. Closer relationship with Christ
2. Closer relationship with wife and family
4. Being transparent
14.Being vulnerable
13.Her feelings
16. Being active in improving physical health
12. Being more proactive our marriage
5. Intentional in prayer
17. Being more active listener
3. Commitment consistency
6. Trust
7. Self discipline
8. Accountability
9. Truth even when it’s painful
11. Meditative prayer
10. Self discipline
15. Dedication
18. Experiencing joy
19. Humbleness
20. Showing appreciation for my wife and family.


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:12 pm
Posts: 46
Lesson 5
1. Being courageous in being obedient in my relationship with Christ
2. Being more caring/concerned and proactive in my marriage
3. Commitment
4. Being transparent/vulnerable
5. Situational awareness of my emotions, my wife’s and others
6. Conscientiousness: Listening more instead of thinking about what I want to say
7. being humble
8. Giving &receiving trust
9. Conviction
10. Giving & receiving Forgiveness
11. Exercising physically
12. Sexual intimacy/feeling I’m attractive to my wife
13. Humor not too far out of bounds
14. Helping others grow spiritually
15. Self discipline/respect


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2021 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:12 pm
Posts: 46
Lesson 6. (Thought I had posted it last week?)
1. Conscientious/communication
- focus on listening more instead of thinking about what I want to say in reply. More importantly, go into the conversation with the intent of focusing on listening actively and remembering what the person is saying/talking about.
- restate/reaffirm what they’ve said by saying it back to them: “ let me make sure I understand you correctly...” or “ so you’re saying...., is that right?”
- Be attentive to the emotions and body language they are displaying during the conversation and give empathy when appropriate. Avoid giving self seeking/ego stroking feedback. “ oh yeah,man that happened to me too, I...,me...”
-Maintain good eye contact, be polite/courteous/respectful of their time and engagement in the conversation.
-Keep an eye out for disengagement from the sender of the message/information try not to read to much into it, & again be polite/respectful.
2. Exercise Regularly
- plan each week (preferably on Sunday evening) to some type of physical exercise at least 3 times a week.
- the planned days are M W F and the make up days (due to rain or being lazy) are T Th S.
- set alarm for 5:30 and allow for only one 10 min snooze.
- options are: (A) walk (at least 1-2 miles each day & alternate routes) either early am or evening with wife ; can also walk with daughter after work. (B) bike in am or pm at least 4-8 miles each day (alternate routes) if not walking. (C) sit ups/push ups/leg lifts/crunches for 30 minutes if no walking or biking. (D) go with son to gym and do a similar free weight workout if not walking/biking/calisthenics


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:12 pm
Posts: 46
Lesson 7 proactive plans
1. Demonstrating more care/concern and being proactive in our marriage.
* assess daily attentiveness/engagement/conversation w/my wife*
- did I address current issues she’s been dealing with using /practicing effective communication skills (not just work, but other roles she’s in: mom, leader in church, caretaker for her mom, her friends... ?
- plan an activity away from our house once a month; dinner, fishing (yes, she likes fishing more than me), hiking, doing a craft together...
-explain how important it is to me and our marriage that we devote more time to our spiritual life than to others. Begin praying for her with our hands together at least once or twice a week and progress as she feels comfortable. Inquire about doing a devotion together.
-continue listening at least once a week to podcast: the betrayed the addicted and the expert and send her or listen together episodes that coincide with our values and are helpful.
- ask her at least once a week if I am filling her needs adequately. Ask how I help meet any outstanding needs effectively.
2. Being courageously obedient in my relationship with Christ ( to me, shame is a huge barrier to courage)
-work on getting rid of/dealing with past shame in my life.
-identify each past shame experience as best I can and how I felt ashamed or currently feel ashamed about it.
-write down a list of the ones (I knew better or had some controls for the outcome) that I instead hid in secret, chose not to repent or ask forgiveness.
Write down a list of the past shame I did Not know better or have any control over, but hid it in secret because of shame or embarrassment.
Uncover what I believe motivated me to do what was shameful that I could have some control. Set aside
Some time to be alone, repent in prayer and genuinely ask forgiveness for the things I knowingly sinned against God.
- symbolically burn the list as a reminder of letting go of my shameful past because Christ has taken ALL of my sins and shame on Him willingly to the cross.
- utilize spiritually self awareness daily through genuine prayer and active listening for what God is directing me to do and respond as Christ would to the best of my abilities.
- don’t come down on myself should I fall short, but review what I could have possibly done differently to help change the outcome.
3. Giving trust
- assess opportunities or situations in which my trust is not normally given or hindered.
- giving her the truth proactively when questioned due to fear or repercussions; don’t give one word answers or skirt the question (especially if/when I’m struggling).
- be honest about how I feel regarding issues in our marriage, personally and with our children; be polite and say for instance “ I feel we’re giving too much of our time to church ministries and not enough for ourselves “
Allow for small achievable goals/moments for transparency to develop... don’t avoid them. Keep emotions out of it as best I can and engage my secretive past proactively with my wife. But be up front with her about what I’m about to tell her “this may be difficult for you to hear but it’s important in moving forward with trust and our relationship. Reveal what I believe I can withstand or feel will not cause me to act out.
-be understanding of her reaction or response, she has every right to feel/react the way she does.
- verbalize genuine appreciation for her being willing to listen and understand.
4. Being transparent/honest
- be perceptive of my moments of “small deceptions/sneakiness/sins of omission or lying”
- try to discern if/what I’m trying to protect? Reputation? Pride? Ego?...
- know and understand that transparency will show the truth about me and must prepare as best I can for how people respond. If I begin to feel frustrated by reaction or response ( pulse greater than 100, neck muscles tensing, politely excuse myself as best I can to keep the situation from escalating. Get back to them when I’ve calmed down.
-be attentive to my indicators of frustration ( defensiveness, sarcasm, argumentative) due to her signs of hyper vigilance. If so, ask myself does she have a valid reason to be? Yes—> make sure I’m at a place of calm before addressing with transparency. Genuinely explain that “I noticed you seemed on edge or worrying about me, you have every right to be concerned: I was in fact struggling...”
Or no—> Actually I’m frustrated with...
**more proactive plans to come. It’s been tough couple weeks (writing obituary about my youngest brother & making funeral/ceremony arrangements).


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:52 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:29 pm
Posts: 158
Hi C

Well done on continuing to make progress through the workshop, especially during such a difficult time. I'm really sorry to hear the news about your brother and I hope your work on the RN programme is helping you to cope through all of the added stress. At the end of the day, this workshop has to make a difference to how we react in a practical way to the most difficult experiences of our lives. That's why we all put so much time and effort into it, and I hope that is paying off for you and for your family.

Keep up the good work and stay safe.

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:12 pm
Posts: 46
Thanks for the encouragement Tim... it means a lot. And YES, The workshop is a blessing! Still work and refinement to do, but committed to moving forward.


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:12 pm
Posts: 46
Lesson 7 (cont)
Being Humble
Assess and address daily where my “ego is being stroked “:
In conversations, am I turning the focus of the conversation on me... so I can talk about me?
In thoughts/actions, are they about something geared towards something I can achieve that is empty/selfish
or fulfilling?
In church, during worship am I focused on praising God or how “I look praising God”? -> before church I need to genuinely own up to the sins I’m struggling with, request forgiveness from God and construct a plan to work on that thought/behavior.
In public, am I focusing on how to look attractive or am I goal directed by getting what I need at the store?
As I interact, consider what may be going on in the lives of others first. Especially around family members.
In my day to day interaction with my kids , am I looking to gain accolades from them as I parent or nurture/mentor them as young adults?
During disagreements with my wife, am I focusing on “winning the argument” or “working the problem “ with her to resolve it?

Conviction by the Holy Spirit
Am I confusing conviction from the Holy Spirit with overwhelming shame and guilt?
I must own up to it/feel it.
It’s wrong and doesn’t measure up to what Gods will.
There’s nothing wrong with with regretting what I did but there’s nothing to invest if I choose to live in regret.
After I’m being convicted am I noticing shame/guilt and where it may take me?*Nowhere*
Am I curious about what led up to the behavior/acting out & can I identify patterns?

Situational awareness of my feelings/my wife’s/my family
- am I paying attention to body language & eye contact of my wife and family when we talk?
- Am I paying attention to their verbal cues of emotions?
- Am I curious to find out what happened to make them “feel this way?”
- What do I feel in my body?
- How’d I probably look expressing my emotions?
- What was my behavior after the emotion?
- How tense did I get?
- If I can answer some of these questions, am I capable of seeing where these emotions will take them/me?
- Am I able to appreciate/respect their point of view?


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2021 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:12 pm
Posts: 46
Receiving /Giving forgiveness
( probably need to add Worth in values)
I am worthy of receiving forgiveness from God and people. I need to understand this more and more on a deeper level. Far too long have I blindly and knowingly allowed the evil one to keep me right where he wants me, feeling unworthy because of shame/guilt.
I need to remind myself when I feel unworthy of forgiveness (shame/guilt), that Jesus doesn’t want me there. He willingly took on punishment I should have received Himself so He and I can move forward in our relationship. I need to demonstrate a routinely thankful attitude and actions for His forgiveness , not my unreached expectations.
-Unpack the shame/guilt and sort it out
Why am I ashamed or have guilt or have I dealt with it received forgiveness and just hanging onto it?
- if I am hanging on... then I need to hang on because I’m heading back to the cycle where I know I don’t want to be.
- Don’t have any preconceptions of the persons ability to authentically forgive me when I’m deciding to ask for forgiveness.
- Show genuine appreciation for their forgiveness
-
Giving Forgiveness
Am I at a place emotionally and spiritually where I’m able to give forgiveness genuinely?
- Am I holding onto resentment for that person/actions?
- Does the resentment carry a growing or dying anger?
- If it’s growing I need to remind myself that the person is flawed just like me and probably couldn’t help themselves emotionally. I need to re-inventory my part and if I am skirting the truth.
- Pray to God for proper guidance and/or seek advice from those I trust and respect.
- If it’s dying, put it out of its miserable existence! Pray to God to use this time to build a much healthier relationship as I forgive.
- Be honest. “ I’m pretty sure the conflict we had and our actions/words were not what we intentioned, I forgive you and I’d like us to move forward. “
Receiving /Giving forgiveness
( probably need to add Worth in values)
I am worthy of receiving forgiveness from God and people. I need to understand this more and more on a deeper level. Far too long have I blindly and knowingly allowed the evil one to keep me right where he wants me, feeling unworthy because of shame/guilt.
I need to remind myself when I feel unworthy of forgiveness (shame/guilt), that Jesus doesn’t want me there. He willingly took on punishment I should have received Himself so He and I can move forward in our relationship. I need to demonstrate a routinely thankful attitude and actions for His forgiveness , not my unreached expectations.
-Unpack the shame/guilt and sort it out
Why am I ashamed or have guilt or have I dealt with it received forgiveness and just hanging onto it?
- if I am hanging on... then I need to hang on because I’m heading back to the cycle where I know I don’t want to be.
- Don’t have any preconceptions of the persons ability to authentically forgive me when I’m deciding to ask for forgiveness.
- Show genuine appreciation for their forgiveness


Helping others grow spiritually
1st pray to God that He would reveal any areas in my spiritual walk that would hinder me from helping others
- know my limitations, if I feel something is beyond my help be honest with the person and direct them to someone who can.
- Be tactful but frank in asking how they’re doing spiritually: praying regularly (intentional)? Attending Sunday school and worship service regularly (& engaging)? Any separate Bible study interest?
- I need to be attentive and understanding of their needs and at the end of the conversation, demonstrate genuine appreciation for their interest in growing spiritually.
- Offer to review relatable scripture in the proper context.
- Encourage them to surround themselves with others that they would consider more spiritually mature and they humbly welcome and answer your questions honestly.
- Offer advice in joining an intentional Bible study


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2021 7:46 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:12 pm
Posts: 46
It’s been a few months since my last post, and “life” has had its challenges. I have almost completed the next lesson and it has been difficult. It’s been an emotional roller coaster of sorts, recalling past sexual encounters in my youth and as a young man & has tempted me to act out, and I’m thankful I haven’t. I have been seeing a Christian licensed sexual trauma councilor that has been helping see things I haven’t considered which has been helpful. Although I understand there are no guarantees, I am gaining more and more confidence in my capabilities in being more situationally aware and responding better/utilizing plans. Completed lesson to follow.


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2021 11:52 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:29 pm
Posts: 158
Hi C

Yes it has been a few months since you last posted. I can see this has been a tough time and I hope that the counselling is helping. Possibly this might not be the best time for you to do the workshop alongside the counselling. Only you would know that, but I'd encourage you to fully commit to this if you decide to stick with it. You won't get the benefit if you only do a lesson every so often. The first time around for me, my posts became less and less frequent over time until I set myself a schedule for completing the entire workshop over the following few months. I printed it off and pinned it up, then ticked off each lesson as I did it. It was a massive help to me and that's when I really started making progress in the workshop and seeing everything come together.

Well done for coming back, but real life change (as you have named yourself) requires real effort and commitment.

Stay safe.

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2021 7:56 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:12 pm
Posts: 46
Thanks Tim. I appreciate the truthfulness and encouragement.


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2021 9:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:12 pm
Posts: 46
Lesson 10: no hidden porn videos or magazines. Fantasy is where I usually get stimulation from. Although it’s been close to a year since the last time I fantasized. I would become frustrated with my wife over an unsettled argument, work, church responsibilities, parenting…& isolate myself from my wife by sleeping in the guest room. I would fantasize romantically and sexually about women I thought were in need of a guy who had more to offer in attractive qualities and performing sexually. Sometimes I would fight off the thoughts that led to the fantasy and other times I would act out. This culminated/snowballed to looking up friends of friends on FB and searching their likes (movies, people, apps…). And this would lead to me to find pathways that would push the boundaries for more explicit images or videos on FB. I’m no longer a regular on FB, and occasionally check the post of my wife and kids. I have pushed myself to sleep with my wife in our bed even if I haven’t resolved an issue/emotion. I used to struggle with looking up “funny memes” on my phone to share/text and noticed that the more I scrolled there would be a risqué image or loop video and I would start to look for more. I have to tell myself now that I can’t go there or continue this behavior because it only leads to destruction. Now I have discovered the search for images icon near the text area that has a similar progression. Again I have to be situationally aware and go take a walk or work on a project around the house. Same issue when I watch tv. I have to try and watch when my wife is with me to watch together and be aware of my thoughts of looking to find a channel that has provocative or stimulating scenes if I’m bored/alone. When I go to the grocery store, hardware store, in public generally I actively try to look attractive and see if a woman notices me. I don’t say anything, it seems more about the excitement of being noticed. I used to fantasize in the past with similar encounters but I don’t fantasize about these encounters now or if I begin to I divert my thoughts to something else ( what am I fixing to do with what I picked up from store; cook, project…)? I’m trying to be more intentional in my relationship with my wife by seeking opportunities to be together (go to a friends wedding together, go fishing or walking..). Although I feel I am making some progress by being intentionally aware and taking steps to change my behavior patterns, I know my foundation needs to be solidified and this will come with honesty, consistent planning (especially in RN), follow through and coaching.


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2021 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:12 pm
Posts: 46
A little confused on lesson 11 as to completing the assessment? Is it for inactive coaches only?


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2021 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 286
Covenant wrote:
A little confused on lesson 11 as to completing the assessment? Is it for inactive coaches only?

Hi Covenant,

I did not post on this as it is one for coaches, but well worth spending some time reading and going through the various points.

_________________
“Change your thoughts, change your life.” ~Lao Tzu
Regards
T


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