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No regrets - Beazley H.

Beazley H. No regrets - Wiley publishing , 2004. - 234 p.
ISBN 0-471-21295-4
Download (direct link): noregrets2004.pdf
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As a child, Patty was molested by her father’s best friend for two years before she finally found the courage to tell her parents. When the revelation destroyed her father’s relationship with the man and sent him to jail,
Patty felt guilty and responsible for what had happened. When the thought recurs that she should have resisted the trusted adult’s advances, she now rejects it. Instead, she reminds herself that she was not responsible as a child for what happened to her and that none of it was her fault. The more we practice thought analysis, the more we will learn to act as our own advocate and best friend. We can protect ourselves from unrealistic or unwarranted thoughts and from the negative aspects of our personality that would force us to suffer for the past.
When you truly listen to yourself through thought analysis, you will overhear fascinating conversations. Some of them will contain statements about you or your regrets that you have long accepted as true but that are false. Your favorite false statements will continue to reappear, but they can be rejected by taking three simple steps:
1. Listen critically to every thought that pertains to your regrets.
2. Analyze the validity of each thought by asking yourself such questions as, “Is this statement true?” “Is it fair?” “Is it realistic?”
3. Act on your analysis by rejecting the thought if it is invalid (unfair, untrue, or unrealistic).
This is thought analysis.
For example, repetitive lies like, “You always screw up,” “It’s all your fault,” and “You should have known that was going to happen” can be challenged when you listen critically to what you are saying to yourself. They are challenged by asking yourself if such statements are true. They are not. The truth is that neither you nor anybody else “always screws up.” Sometimes you get it right. Likewise, it is seldom “all” your fault, although you may have been the major cause of a problem. And since no one can see the future, you should not have “known” what was going to happen unless it was highly predictable, and even then, things may not have turned out as foreseen.
Although the process of thought analysis may feel strange at first, the more you practice it, the more it will become second nature to you. In fact, after a while, it will seem odd that you haven’t practiced it for a lifetime.
A journal is a written record of thoughts, events, reflections, fears, feelings, or anything else worthy of recording that is kept on a regular or even irregular basis. Journals have been around for thousands of years. St. Augustine’s Confessions from A.D. 396 is a journal ofhis life. The Victorians (both men and women) raised journal-keeping to a fine art, recording their thoughts in expensive volumes of handcrafted leather.
The purpose of journaling in working the steps is to analyze your regrets, organize your thoughts, clarify your emotions, and increase your objectivity. Whenever we reduce something to writing, we shrink it, make it more manageable, and begin to exercise control over it. When we are writing about things that disturb us, this kind of limitation on our imagination is therapeutic, because it puts our situation into perspective and reduces the fear our imagination creates. Journaling is a healing activity. Medical studies have shown that patients with asthma and rheumatoid arthritis who journal daily experience a marked reduction in symptoms.
Journaling exercises are an important part of Ten-Step work. Because our journal will be safely hidden, we can be completely honest in analyzing our regrets, revealing our deepest secrets, greatest fears, and innermost thoughts without the risk of judgment or condemnation. When something angers us, we can vent safely to the journal. When something frightens us, we can confide it to the journal. We can journal about our resistance to the step and about anything else that makes the step difficult to work or that would make working the step easier. Whether we’re writing about the present, the past, or the future, our journal helps us carry the burden. And it’s always available.
Journaling is largely intuitive, but for newcomers, a few suggestions may make the process more comfortable and more productive:
• Write freely and without censorship, being as honest and thorough as you can. Honesty is essential if you are to process your feelings effectively, but it is also essential to productive thought analysis. If you are to be sure that your thoughts are valid and your feelings are in proportion, you must be honest with yourself. If you want to let go of your regrets,
you must not kid yourself about those regrets or about your life. Write in the journal honestly and without reservation. Psychological research confirms that when you write freely and without self-censorship, putting your thoughts on paper as they come to you without judging them or editing them for content or grammar, you will tap deep insights, feelings, and beliefs. With a journal, you can write openly, honestly, and without fear. The journal neither judges nor breaks a confidence. What you reveal is safe.
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