What really bothered me was very simple! I was afraid of powerful sex. When I was young, I saw powerful displays of sexuality that I didn't believe I could live up to. Please see: Lust
I tempted the very thing I was afraid of just to see if I would measure up, and when I realized I didn't really have control over it, I mocked the injustice, and demanded to be heard. Even when reporting the hazard was life threatening to those involved, I carried on completely unaware of the consequences of my behavior. So I've written some new boundaries, and a plan here: Consent, Boundaries & Treatment Plans
When The Fates demanded satisfaction, I declined the opportunity. Sometimes the motivation for my behavior amounted to nothing more than sizing up the competition; to avoid being bested by size or strength, I'd try to determine whether a rival was a real threat or not. For more detail on this specific problem, please see: Transposions, second column 'The Evaluating Mind' (Transpositions)
While scheming as a mistrustful child, I blindly followed instructions sure to lead to my ruination, and then wondered why I was being hurt. Please see: Retrospective
I found options and alternatives that work, and the value of the rights and responsibilities that I've been shown have served not only me, but those I've been able to help as well. I describe a lay implementation of those rights here: Bill of Rights
To know exactly what fails in life helps us to give back to those who suffer the same fate, or to those who suffer with injuries that result. What's to come: Coming Soon!
When faced with a crisis of our own making, we need to rely upon the judgement of others, and guidance and direction provided by God, and well meaning people and institutions. However, to fully rely upon external control is to loose control over one's own life, resulting in a feeling of futility, and uselessness.
Even if it works as a program of action, we can become dependent upon the program, rather than independent and vibrant with the challenges of life. We were given free-will to become more useful - to actually participate in creation and be useful to God. We are trusted so we can be helpful by working on the problems we were given to solve.
If we learn to trust ourselves and God, then by the power of divine intervention (though we may sometimes make mistakes) we will learn how to be more effective with others, and feel good about our ability to make careful decisions. We will become free of judgements, and confident in ourselves, and our ability to empower each other.
Exactly what is the problem?
For Example: Though we may not be able to talk about it, we may realize that our relationship has become shallow - that we keep repeating the same meaningless behavior, and that some of the behavior is really harmful, like making up after a fight with fitful sex, knowing full well its only a matter of time before the fighting starts all over again.
This seems like a cycle of abuse. Please see: Cycle of Abuse
The idea is to state the problem clearly in one line. If we're angry, or fearful, we need to work on those troubling emotions before tackling problem solving. Here are some forms that will help resolve those toxic emotions:
Resentment Inventory II
Naturally, we could see a professional for services like couples counseling, or anger management, but if our partner isn't willing to participate in these kinds of activities, or doesn't see our point of view, researching the problem on our own will be very important to us.
We may find that the problem is related to substance abuse, or based upon victim mentality, and the program we choose will necessarily depend on the information we have, as well as what we can find out.
Sometimes, there's nothing that can be done about a lifestyle choice, or an illegal activity, but there are programs and services designed specifically for that kind of obstacle, such as Al-Anon, or CODA. Please see: Anonymous Fellowships
If we've done our research well, we might wake from a dream with a great idea! Keep paper and pen close to jot it down before forgetting, especially at night. A serious researcher gets completely immersed in a problem, and true innovation comes from within.
While we may find guidance and direction online, most of the problems that deeply trouble each of us are usually based on our own circumstances and behavior, so don't hesitate to do self-examination if necessary, just to become clear about our own influence on the situation.
(We don't want to become the problem.) Please see: Self Examination, or refer to these worksheets here for an evaluation of what might be wrong, and what to do instead. Its up to us!
Use a Decision Tree: Please see: Decision Tree, to more easily see what the consequences of our decisions will be.
If we're really careful, we can even assign values to each Pro and Con, to emphasize which is most important.
For example, if we are choosing where to live, where we work might be very important. but if one of our options is working at home, then where we work will be wherever we live, and won't matter to our decision at all.
This is a good example of the kind of complexity we need to deal with. Depending upon which option is chosen, the value of the work location will vary. In order to make decisions like these well, we will need to write our options down. Not all options can be evaluated carefully in the mind!
Create a list of do-able steps. A great example of baby-steps was created by The Founders of the 12-Step Program. (Please see: Step Primer.)
The Program Founders were a part of a Christian Fellowship known as the Oxford Group, and their radical 6-Step Program must have seemed daunting to early sobriety, so rather than doing Restitution in one step, they broke it down into two:
Even each of those steps can become more well developed by listing for example, a break down of Step 8 into:
I chose not to do this, but suggestions for preparing to make amends are here:
The point is, to write a plan in steps we know we can accomplish.
If you have ever done this before, you already know its a lot of work, but if we've been careful about each step of the process, we will have done our work very well. Every Country, Corporation, Church and People has used this process, or one very much like it. The plan is to share a few strategies to help avoid pitfalls along the way (like victim mentality).
On the evaluation form, we will determine if the time and energy we put into this was worth our while. We'll need to be honest with ourselves about various strategies we've used to achieve peace of mind. Please see: Evaluation Form to determine if anything works for you.