ESCAPE THE BONDAGE OF SELF

worry less now bondage of self gigi langer

One of my favorite prayers is the Third Step Prayer from Alcoholics Anonymous.

God, I offer myself to Thee—to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.

Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.

Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. 

May I do Thy will always. 

Note that I’ve highlighted the second sentence because this simple request has completely transformed me from a fearful, addicted woman to the peaceful, happy person I am today.

So, let’s pick it apart, shall we?   

RELIEVE ME OF THE BONDAGE OF SELF

What does the “bondage of self” look like? It’s the fear-driven self run amok, perpetually seeking love and security in all the wrong places. It wages a constant battle of self-sufficiency, all while crying, “I shall manage.” This “me, myself, and I” thinks it has everything handled, but it keeps failing, especially in relationships.

Faced with failure, it just keeps trying harder and harder to control people, places, and things. Such a mind suffers from the delusion that, if everything were different, it could finally be happy.

When in the grip of the bondage of self, we are often

  • angry and judging
  • dishonest (to ourselves and others)
  • selfish and inconsiderate
  • greedy for material and emotional security
  • unable to take responsibility for our actions (often blaming others)

Many refer to this driving fear as the “ego” because it “eases God out.” In short, the ego’s bondage of self shuts out higher power’s love—but only until we wake up and ask God to change our perspective.

THAT I MAY BETTER DO THY WILL

So, what’s God’s will, anyway? I believe it’s to love God and one another. Unfortunately, when the ego’s in charge, we’re anything but loving. And we certainly aren’t peaceful—the one state in which our minds are most receptive to inspiration and generosity.

When we notice ourselves bound by worry, fear, condemnation, and anger, we can ask our higher power to take over our minds. For example, when reading the news, I often become scared about my own safety. If I’m clear and honest with myself, I admit that I’m disturbed, and then simply ask, “Help me to see this differently.”  

Because our minds love to focus on the negative, I need to make this request quite often; but eventually, I find my body and mind at peace. As the bondage of fear is released, my spirit opens to giving and receiving loving care. As I join with others in growth and service, my life becomes joyous.

But, then something else will scare me, and I’ll feel the fearful self tightening its hold. When I tune in and notice that I’m tense, I can then ask to see things differently. I might say a prayer, meditate, call a trusted friend, or read inspiring lessons. Again, I’ll have to stick with it to recover my peace of mind and again trust spirit’s grace.

Perhaps the only error we make is in resisting the human experience by letting our ego scream “No!” to whatever we don’t like. But, over time, we relinquish our need for control by getting quiet and receiving healing, courage, and comfort.

The more we cultivate this conscious contact with a power greater than ourselves, the more we’re guided to the right attitudes and actions. And soon, we trust that, in spite of appearances, “All is well” in the realm of spirit. What a relief!

In Worry Less NowGigi shares her personal journey as a prisoner of fear, worry, and substance abuse, along with practical techniques anyone can use. Award-winner with rave reviews: Amazon 4.9 stars.

Get special offers on the paperback, e-book, and audiobook HERE.

Gigi Langer Worry Less Now

Gigi Langer has been sober 34 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Michigan with her husband, Peter and her cat, Murphy.

Cross Out The “I” of Ego’s Self-Will

worry less now gigi langer

I recently heard this spiritual message: We need to cast into the “sea of forgetfulness” the ego’s creations of self loathing, hatred, and missteps—because none of these represents the goodness of our true nature.

The Sea of Forgetfulness

It’s similar to A Course in Miracles: Nothing is real except love, the perfect truth of God’s creation. When we cast into the sea of forgetfulness our ego’s self-centered fear,  dishonesty, worry, and judging of others, we’ve claimed the miracle of Love.

For those of us recovering from addictions, these figments of self-will (especially resentments) threaten the fine balance of our spiritual fitness and, thus, our sobriety.

Unfortunately, when we let self-centered fear drive our decisions, we’ve elevated our ego, the almighty “I,” to the role of God–a sure recipe for disaster.

Crossing Out The “I” of Ego

Pondering the ego’s fixation on “me, myself, and I” reminds me of these words from a priest in Rumer Godden’s lovely book, In This House of Brede,

“The cross is ‘I’ crossed out.”

In this phrase, the cross-bar of God’s loving power “crosses out” the upright post of the “I” —all that is not love. As a result, we become generous and true to our highest self.

Do you want to live from this true source of love? Then work on rejecting the demands of the “I” for more security, more prestige, and more power. Instead, try molding your thoughts and dreams to the eternal truth of God’s will: goodness for all.

Pray, study spiritual teachings, meditate, help others—in short, become less focused on the “I” of your own self-seeking ego. You won’t believe the transformation in your life, creativity, and relationships,

In Worry Less NowGigi shares her personal journey as a prisoner of fear, worry, and substance abuse, along with practical techniques anyone can use. Award-winner with rave reviews: Amazon 4.8 stars.

Get special offers on the paperback, e-book, and audiobook HERE.

Gigi Langer Worry Less Now

Gigi Langer has been sober 34 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Michigan with her husband, Peter and her cat, Murphy.

I Need to Find A New Perspective!

The path to the fault is in the blamer; Spirit sees nothing to criticize. –Rumi

I had been doing great during Covid until these past weeks when the peaceful demonstrations began. I was completely sympathetic, until the looting, burning, and violence started. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and I began to lose hope.

At that moment, I had forgotten a perennial truth: The only source of goodness lies not in the world, but in our own hearts: the love of God, or spirit, universe (or whatever word you use for a power greater than fear and wrongdoing).

Ending Violence

I believe violence will end only when each person’s heart-center rejects its lure.

That’s a tall order for our planet, right? But we can start now!

I can bring that a force of healing into the world by choosing to align my thoughts, beliefs, and actions with love rather than with fear or hate. Choosing a forgiving, peaceful, stance toward the world’s apparent chaos expands loving healing into the people all around us.

When I’m facing confusion, conflict, or other problems, I begin by honestly admitting that my thinking is distorted by fear. Then, I claim the power to find a new perspective.

Finding A New Perspective

Rumi, the thirteenth-century Persian poet and Sufi mystic, wrote, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing is a field. I will meet you there.”

Looking beyond the contours of the problem leads to a field of new possibilities. It’s a choice between living in the problem and living in the solution.

Living in the problem. Our worries focus our attention on the “rightdoing and wrongdoing” of our situation: We obsess about who was at fault, what we should have said or done, or how a situation should be different. These fears make us tense, often leading to rash actions and damaged relationships.

Living in the solution. When we look “out beyond” these negative thoughts, we find a perspective of peace, hope, and wisdom. This is where the solutions lie.

A Simple Exercise

This technique helps you live in the solution rather than in the problem. It’s a variation on “The Golden Key” published in Power Through Constructive Thinking (free PDF of the entire book) by Emmet Fox, a New Thought leader of the early 20th century.

Whenever a troubling thought comes to you, gently focus your mind on something that brings you hope or happiness. It may be your higher power, a phrase (“All is well”); a prayer; an image of a beloved child, or a rose. When you revert to worrying, think instead about your positive thought. Make the switch as often as necessary.

Your thoughts frequently return to the problem in the mistaken belief that this will fix it. Be vigilant and gentle as you teach your mind to instead think about the positive thoughts you’ve chosen.

Soon you will gain a peaceful outlook that leads to wise solutions. You’ll be guided to the right actions; although often you’ll find no action is necessary at all.

In Worry Less NowGigi shares her personal journey as a prisoner of fear, worry, and substance abuse, along with practical techniques anyone can use. Award-winner with rave reviews: Amazon 4.8 stars.

Get special offers on the paperback, e-book, and audiobook HERE.

Gigi Langer has been sober 34 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Michigan with her husband, Peter and her cat, Murphy.

PTSD RECOVERY and GROWING THROUGH COVID: Two Fascinating Podcasts (and I’m on both of them!)

worry less now Gigi Langer

As you know by now, I’ve been a guest on several podcasts, and I love it!

Aside from connecting with such awesome folks, I can stay in my pajamas because there’s no video!. 

I think you’ll be fascinated by each of them.

How Are We Growing through COVID? “Meet Me in The Field” Podcast with Freddie Van Rensburg

I met Freddie on Twitter and we immediately hit it off in our first interview about our recovery and Worry Less Now (Listen to it here).

Recently, he talked with four of us about how our spiritual practices have helped us during the COVID epidemic. You’ll love listening to Frank’s Christ-centered approach, Raymond’s insights and speaking career, and how Brad was saved from a disastrous decision about his fitness business.

It’s a fascinating group, all led by Freddie’s infectious humor and wisdom. Thank you, Freddie for creating this wonderful podcast!  Learn more about Freddie’s fabulous books, blog, and addiction counseling at freddie.org.za/ Twitter: @RensburgFreddie

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE https://www.freddie.org.za/mmitf/2020/05/28/the-religious-view.html

Overcoming Anxiety and Childhood Trauma “PTSD And Beyond” Podcast with Dr. Deb Lindh

I loved getting to know Dr. Deb, as we discovered that we both were at Eastern Michigan University, but not at the same time! Then we shared about growing out of the childhood trauma.

In our one-on-one interview, we discussed the characteristics of adults from dysfunctional families, and how substance abuse, codependency, and sexual compulsions manifest in people with PTSD. Finally, we explored our favorite tools for healing old wounds so we can make healthier choices in our lives.

Much thanks to Deb for this great podcast! Learn more about Dr. Deb’s PTSD coaching, workshops, online support chats, and her bestselling book (with Brian Tracy) on healing stress at drdeblindh.com/ Twitter: @PTSDandBeyond

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE on podbean OR HERE on apple podcast

Gigi Langer security

Gigi Langer has been sober 34 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Michigan with her husband, Peter and her cat, Murphy.

Worry Less Now Cover

In Worry Less NowGigi shares her personal journey as a prisoner of fear, worry, and substance abuse, along with practical techniques anyone can use. Award-winner with rave reviews: Amazon 4.8 stars.

Get special offers on the paperback, e-book, and audiobook HERE.