In 12-Step meetings you will hear a lot of slogans. They encapsulate basic truths about life, and how to live it sanely and abstinently. They are easy to remember, and good to apply in moments of stress. Here are a few of my favorites. I think you will find them useful whether you are working a 12-Step program or not.
“What others think of me is none of my business.”
When I stop worrying about what others think of me and just go about my own business, doing the best I can in each moment, I am less stressed, and I stop wasting precious time and energy obsessing about something I cannot control. Most of the time I don’t really know what others think of me anyway, and they probably think about me way less than I think they do!
“Take what you like and leave the rest.”
When I talk to people about my own experience, and how it might be applicable to their situation, I try not to give unsolicited advice. I am not perfect at this yet, but I am getting better. However, I am pretty consistent at telling them to “take what you like and leave the rest.” Just because someone listens to me talk about my own experience – even if they actually have asked me for advice – does not mean that it applies to their situation. I cannot possibly know what they really need to do in their situation. But if they hear anything at all in my experience that strikes a chord and feels like something they want to try – great. And if not, that is fine, too; which brings us to the next slogan.
“It is what it is.”
Having specific expectations of anything is a great way of being disappointed and frustrated. It leads to resentments and relationship trouble. Accepting people and circumstances as they are, seeking guidance on the healthiest and most productive way to deal with them, and leaving the results up to God are great contributing factors to living in a state of serenity. To see this slogan in action read my post Peace: It Is What It Is.
“Worrying is like praying for something you don’t want.”
When we pray we put into words the (hopefully righteous) desires of our hearts. In the scriptures we are taught that our thoughts affect who we are. (see Proverbs 23:7). The more we think about something, the more we call it into our lives. Worrying about something does not make it go away or fix it. Worry is a form of obsession. If you know you need to stop worrying about something, try putting it in your God Box, which I describe in two other posts: Staying Abstinent: Using the Tools – Part 4 and Learning to Let Go.
- Would it help you to internalize and apply any of these slogans?
- Which slogan(s) seem most applicable to you?
- What can you do to learn it and make use of it in your daily life?