“… our thinking becomes distorted by trying to force solutions.” What does it mean to force a solution? When do we try to force solutions? How do we try to force solutions? Spencer, Kelli, and Swetha discuss these questions and others, sharing their experience, strength and hope.
Swetha talks about fruitlessly trying to force a solution by arguing for hours with a loved one in a situation where she wanted an answer “right now.” When Kelli found herself in a relationship with a person whose recovery had “fallen away”, she tried many different ways of fixing their behavior, trying to make them feel better. Needless to say, it didn’t work, leaving her frustrated, angry, disappointed in herself, and helpless. Spencer tried to control someone’s drinking while on vacation, managing the situation so that there was no wine available at the end of one day. He learned, the hard way, about some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
When do we try to force solutions? When we are in an uncomfortable situation, we’re not sure what to do, but we feel we have to do something, anything, to fix it. Or, when things are not going towards the outcome that we want, we try to force our desired outcome. Kelli has a list of feelings: fear, pain, desperation, and lack of trust. How do we try to force solutions? We can argue, feeling that if we can just state our position in the right way, the other person will come around to our view, as Swetha did. We might manipulate a situation to try to cause our desired outcome, as Spencer did. We might try one thing after another to try to fix another person, as Kelli did. Swetha relates something she saw on Facebook, “I never make the same mistake twice, I make it 5 or 6 times for good measure.” We all relate to it!
How do we know if we are trying to force a solution? Am I feeling uncertainty, fear, pain, desperation or lack of trust? We can look our description of how we think it will work out. Is it simple or complicated? If it is complicated, we are very likely trying to enforce our will and to force a solution. What can we do when we find ourselves wanting to force a solution? We can go to a meeting, as a sort of “Al-Anon aikido”, redirecting our energies into letting go and regaining serenity. Swetha thinks “I’m going to have to put this on my inventory, and I’m going to have to ‘fess up to my sponsor, and I don’t want to do that.” We can use the “Al-Anon pause button”, to think about the way it’s going to play out, to call our sponsor or another program person, to listen to our higher power. We recognize that the insides of our heads are like a bad neighborhood. It’s often not a safe place to be alone in, but with the help of the program, we don’t have to be alone.
Our topic for next week is the slogan Easy Does It. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Music from the show
We're trying out new music for the intro. It is Teleportationism by Nostalgic Afterlife, which you can buy from BandCamp.
This Spotify play list includes other songs that were suggested for this topic.
Swetha mentioned this scene from the Matrix, when Neo meets The Architect.