This “slogan” has different meanings. Think the drink through, to the end, to the jail/vomit/humiliation/danger/sickness/rehab/death. “First thought – wrong” in which I needed to learn that my first reactions were almost always not appropriate or accurate or healthy. AND I need to say that I don’t know why some people put the sign up side down, but I love it, and I do it, even when it’s not my meeting, if I can get away with it.
Today, I’m trying (still) to change some of my harmful thinking patterns. As more is revealed to me, I see, for example, that I often ascribe to other people intentions that aren’t theirs. So, for example, if someone asks me, “Why did you do that?” I may hear a reproach when what was really there was a question, a request for information.
I often may think something is or should be obvious, so a question can rub me the wrong way, either sounding like a reproach to me or …… like someone hasn’t thought about it, is just talking to make noise.
I really can have those thoughts about people.
So, without incriminating details, I very recently had a period of a few hours when I was desperately, appropriately worried about a loved one. I did not know if this person was all right, and had good reason to fear that she wasn’t.
I’d like to get better at adjusting my thought patterns during such an episode, and thankfully I don’t get many chances to practice. When the chips are down and the anxiety is on, these are some of the things I think
- Wait to worry. I know I may get bad news. It isn’t here yet. There will be plenty of time to mourn, be terrified, react and adjust to the bad news later, when it is actually here.
- I don’t trust God to make everything all right. Everything is not always all right, and if there is a God, this is God’s will. This is the only way it makes any sense at all to me.
- I don’t feel comfortable bargaining with God. I feel there are millions of people in the world in worse shape than I am, in more need than I am. I don’t feel, even when I’m very scared for a loved one, that I can ask God to make it come out the way I want it to be.
- Given that, when I do learn of the favorable outcome, for the moment, I thank God. It makes no sense to me, and it is me doing it.
These truly terrifying times are few and far between in my life, and I’m very grateful for that. They are so awful when they come that I do want to think about it, and get better at it, and think, think, think, in a better and healthier way.