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Monday, January 4, 2010

avatar: headstrong

an “avatar” is any new embodiment of an old idea.

if you are like me, and millions of the other earth citizens, this is the perfect time of year to consider changing a habit. it could be letting go of something, or starting something, or trading one vice for another. but it all boils down to behavior change, and addicts are notorious for resisting this particular item.

but resistance and resolution have been the cornerstone of my adult life. i have spent a majority of my time on this planet engaged in behaviors that i was totally in conflict about. so now in recovery, it seems no surprise that i find myself in the same dance. it can be so basic, and yet at the same time it is so personal that i don't want to look at it with an objective eye. and this is where my blind spot comes in.

of course i see myself in at least two scategories (:P). but recognizing and taking action are two very different directions. i have years of experience with the former and not so much with the latter. so i have to move myself from knowing into doing so as not to set myself up for backsliding. it all sounds so damn simple, yet for me this is extremely complicated. i have a lifetime of emotional reactions and only a handful of "learning to pause and think".

so i read in "life beyond addiction" the following:

It may be helpful to use the following profiles as an evaluation tool. See how many “position statements” you can identify within each of the six categories. Then take a look at the results. What you will see is some indication of the obstacles you’re facing in becoming more skillful in ongoing, rewarding relationships.


__ I generally feel responsible for the happiness of others.

__ I have often “bent the rules” to bail people out of trouble that they brought on themselves.

__ Sometimes I wonder why so many people lean on me without being sensitive to MY need to lean once in awhile.

__ I find it easier to take care of others than to take care of myself.

__ I never have enough time to accomplish all my tasks.

__ I am more interested in talking about other people’s problems than in talking about my own.


__ I have trouble saying “no” even when I know I should.
__ I often say, “It doesn’t matter” even when it really does.

__ I seldom feel angry but often feel hurt.

__ In the name of peace, I try to avoid talking about problems.

__ I usually feel that other people’s needs and opinions are more important than my own.

__ I often apologize.

__ I would rather give in than make someone mad.


__ I rarely feel that I accomplish enough.

__ When I relax, I experience more guilt than pleasure.

__ I don’t celebrate the conclusion of one project before starting another.

__ It sees to me that people are in my way quite often.

__ I put less value on personal time than on work time.

__ I am intimidated by unfinished business.

__ I spend more time, energy, and effort on projects than on relationships.


__ I am usually willing to do without so that others can have what they want.

__ I feel I have terrible luck.

__ It feels natural to worry a lot about other people.

__ My first impulse is to say no when something fun comes up.

__ My second impulse is to wonder why I tend to anticipate disaster.

__ I believe that life is a struggle and I accept suffering as my lot.


__ I am often amazed at the incompetence of others.

__ I can’t stand it when things are out of place.

__ I find unpredictability vexing if not intolerable.

__ I have a burning need to set things right.

__ I worry a lot about why I haven’t done better.

__ Any kind of personal failure is the worst thing I can think of.
__ It seems to me that standards are slipping everywhere.

Tap Dancer

__ I find it difficult or impossible to tell anyone the whole truth.
__ I would rather end a primary relationship than make a binding commitment.
__ Figuring out “what can I get away with” is exciting to me.

__ I have an abiding fear of being “caught” or “cornered.”

__ I always have a “plan B” in mind in case I need to escape.

__ To avoid feeling lonely, I have to run faster than I used to.
Remember, no one is perfect. Everyone faces some of these obstacles. Even though we may shake our heads and say, “My God, I’m all of it,” the issue is that we can deal with anything we can name. This is not an exercise to see how broken we are, but to understand that if we can identify the obstacles and are willing to work through them, we will increase our ability to “soar like a hawk.”

* adapted from “Stage II Recovery: Life Beyond Addiction” Ernie Larsen (1985)

today's sound choice is a total reflection of a resolution to look at something in a new way. it is the vitamin string quartet performing "headstrong" originally by trapt. it is definitely the same and yet it is not... there is much to consider here. and there is much work to be done...


Circling your, circling your, circling your head,

Contemplating everything you ever said

Now I see the truth, I got doubt

A different motive in your eyes and now I’m out

See you later

I see your fantasy, you want to make it a reality paved in gold

See inside, inside of our heads (yeah)

Well now that’s over

I see your motives inside, decisions to hide



1 comment:

FrankandMary said...

No, actually, I'm not all of it. I'm not the tap dancer; I'm parts of the rest.

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