There will be frequent challenges in life regardless of where we live, who we associate with or what we do. Every person encounters this fact. For those of us who were addicts and alcoholics, an additional layer of problems was often piled on as a result of our actions. Lacking the tools to deal with these roadblocks of life, we quickly turned to the one remedy we were familiar with; our substance of choice. Unfortunately, not only did it not solve our dilemma, it often exacerbated the situation.
Coming into the fellowship provided some immediate relief. When we put down the bottle, drug or food our life began to improve. However, we quickly saw that we still were encountering many challenges. At first we may have panicked because self medication was no longer an option. It was then that we began to explore a whole new world of choices which helped us to navigate life’s hardships.
Speaking to a sponsor every day provided us with an outlet for our feelings. We also often received excellent guidance on how to handle various situations. As we began to work the steps we began to turn more and more of our life over to a Power greater than ourselves. Ironically, we also found that by helping others we were able to escape much of the negativity which had been generated by an issue we had been facing.
Personal Reflection: When I’m jammed up, what do I run to?
When we were younger and in school, many of us struggled with certain subjects. In particular, math was a stumbling block which we had to grapple with. We were so happy when we finally got thru algebra, geometry or trigonometry. We rejoiced in that we would never have to confront math problems again.
Perhaps we should have paid a little more attention in class to the topic of percentages. Often, we still seem to be mixed up around them. When it comes to life problems and their solutions the correct distribution of energy has eluded us. We focus the majority of our attention on the problem. We obsess about it, turning it over and over in our minds for days on end. When we finally have had enough of this behavior we will make a hasty decision on the solution. It’s math class all over again. We have our percentages reversed. Yes, we have to admit that we have a problem and examine it. However, the bulk of our energy needs to be spent on the solution. When we do so, we have a much greater chance of selecting a resolution that will ultimately improve our lot in life. That my friend is the new math.
Personal Reflection: Am I a student of the new math?
Many people in the world live in the problem. They constantly find themselves embroiled in arguments and issues with others. Now it is true that all of us face problems. However some of us almost go out of our way to find problems or to cause them. These are the people who open their mouths when they should keep them shut. They are the people who even when given an opportunity to extricate themselves from a problem, will choose to dive back in. Unfortunately there is also a lot of denial emanating from problem dwellers. Even when others point out their role in the drama, they find it almost impossible to admit their part. Alcohol, drugs and food are often sought to solve their challenges and only end up exacerbating them.
In the program we learn that we no longer need to dwell in the problem. Over time we begin to carve out a new piece of real estate; living in the solution. When we are confronted with challenges, we search out solutions. Part of the reason we are able to do so is that the program has provided us with a new set of tools. It definitely feels better to be in the solution as opposed to the problem.
Personal Reflection: Am I truly living in the solution?