GIVE ONLY LOVE BY ‘FORE-GIVING

Have you ever considered that the word “forgive” can be seen as ’fore-give?

I think of it as “before-giving”—giving to another before they’ve done anything to “deserve” it. Perhaps that’s the only reason we’re here — to give love and kindness to everyone we meet.

“Fore-giving is merely looking beyond a person’s flaws and seeing only their spirit. Thus, we give love to others, regardless of how they look or act. This, I believe, is what God would have us do. 

Really?? What if They’re a Jerk?!

There IS one caveat, however: Although we may focus on a person’s essential goodness, we don’t have to put up with their unacceptable behavior. Even after setting boundaries, we can still see their spirit as pure and innocent. 

When we choose to ‘fore-give, we expand the force of love in the world, thus dissolving fear and selfishness. We all become free, peaceful, and happy.

Give it a Try!

Just for today (and tomorrow, too!) let’s try to see the goodness in every person we encounter, and treat them with the love and respect befitting a child of God. When you ‘fore-give it make us all feel better!

P.S.  A Course in Miracles teaches that the world’s pain is caused by our selfish egos’ excesses, and that the truth lies beyond these fearful appearances—in the eternal spirit of goodness within each of us. 

My award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now describes how to reject the faulty thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful suggestions. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Discounted Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer has been sober 35 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 Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat Murphy.

ARE MY THOUGHTS FROM MY EGO OR FROM GOD?

After my last post about knowing God’s will*, several of you wondered if ANY of your thoughts could be trusted. 

Are all our thoughts from the selfish, dishonest, unhealthy self?

It’s a great question!

In early recovery, this is probably the case. As we hear old timers say, “Don’t drink, don’t think, and go to meetings.” But we need not mistrust our thoughts forever.

Here’s the beauty of the Twelve Steps: They transform not only our behavior, but also our thinking.

Rebelling against “Good Girl” Thinking

When I was young, I decided that most of my thoughts were based on the “establishment;” and therefore, I should do the opposite. In essence, I had to choose between being a “conformist, nice girl” or a “free, but naughty girl.” Guess which one won the battle?

After many years of living with the disappointments of my naughty lifestyle, I finally got sober and started to work the steps. But, I was still confused about which voice to listen to.

Was a strong desire to do something coming from God or from my self-centered fear? 

How to Listen for God’s Thoughts

For the first time, I started questioning the motives behind my thoughts and actions. For example, after six months of sobriety, I had a strong urge to leave my marriage. But, after being told not to act on my urges, I consulted extensively with my sponsor, stayed in couples therapy, and continued working my program. I also developed healthy friendships with sober women and learned how to have fun without a man or booze.

In short, I took another six months to sense God’s will.

Eventually, instead of an urgent need to run, a calm quiet voice asked, “Do you really want to live the rest of your life with this man?” My considered answer was, “No.” So, I did leave, and a few years later I married the man of my dreams. Peter and I have now been together for 31 years. Amazing for a girl with such a horrible track record!

God’s Mind Can Be Our Mind

A Course in Miracles says that we can join our thoughts with God’s thoughts when we get quiet and sincerely ask to see beyond our fearful thinking. As we enter the stillness, we come to know the peace of God.

The more we grow spiritually, the more closely we align our thoughts with God’s. And, more and more often, “we know intuitively how to handle situations that used to baffle us.”

So, YES, our thoughts CAN be trusted, but only when we’re spiritually fit, sober, and consult with a trusted advisor to distinguish God’s voice from the ego’s voice.

I Still Need to Check My Thinking!

Even after all these years, I still need to be careful about acting on what my mind tells me–especially when my thoughts are emotionally charged. I don’t try to “go it alone” with my first ideas. Instead, I check in with my sponsor and my higher power through prayer, journaling, meetings, and meditation. I also use several tools to overcome the negative thoughts blocking my connection with God.

Only after receiving clarity and peace do I decide to act. Surprisingly, quite often, no action is required because it was my mind that needed changing. And my God does that for me (when I ask!).

A QUESTION FOR YOU: HOW DO YOU KNOW WHICH VOICE IS GUIDING YOU?

* If you wish, when you see the word “God,” please substitute your own word for your Higher Power. For more on various ways to think about this, see THIS POST

My award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now describes how to reject the faulty thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful suggestions. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Discounted Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer has been sober 35 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 Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat Murphy.

WHAT DOES “THY WILL BE DONE” MEAN?

In so many of our prayers we say, “Thy will be done.”

But what does that really mean? 

Our 12-step literature tells us that “my will and my life” refer to “my thoughts and my actions.”

So, when I say, “Thy Will be done,” I’m asking to align my thoughts with God‘s mind. 

Today’s Course in Miracles lesson (45) states, “God is the mind with which I think.”

And it asks me to practice connecting with my Higher Power’s mind as the only source of my thinking. 

In the suggested exercise, we look past the ego’s fearful, resentful, judging, selfish thoughts, and choose instead to tune into Universal Intelligence’s thoughts. 

 So, “doing God‘s will” is choosing to think God‘s thoughts, and to be still long enough to ask for those thoughts instead of our fearful mind’s inventions.

 Simple, aye? WHAT DOES “THY WILL BE DONE” MEAN TO YOU??

My award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now describes how to reject the faulty thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful suggestions. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer has been sober 35 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 Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat Murphy.

A VICIOUS LIE: “HE/SHE DOESN’T LOVE ME ENOUGH”

One of our common character flaws screams, “They don’t love me, so, I must not be worthy of love.” Not true!

This whispered lie (“If they did love me, they would (or wouldn’t) be doing this, saying this, etc.”) sets us up for failed relationships, addiction, codependency, and lots of “not enough” suffering. But, if we’re lucky, we embark on a quest to heal such “unenforceable rules.”

We come to realize we have no control over how others treat us (especially our loved ones). As we let go of the selfish need to have things “our way,” we learn to turn to the only reliable source of love: God, Higher Power, and the healthy people who stream that divine love into us.

An Example of Healing “He/She Doesn’t Love Me”

Quite often, our families of origin couldn’t give us the love and acceptance we so desperately sought. So we launched on a lifelong search, “looking for love in all the wrong places,” or “going to the hardware store expecting to buy milk.” And our many disappointments only reinforced our false belief that “I’m just not worthy of love.”

Years ago, one of my sponsees was working on Steps 4-6 and discovered that she had set herself up for a life of victimhood by believing the whispered lie, ‘Noone loves me (in the way I want).”

At the same time, she was taking a course that asked her to request from her loved ones a list of her positive attributes. As she read her mother’s list, it felt “like a stab in the gut” because it referred to her relapses, and implied she was better at loving her pets than her family. When my sponsee asked for feedback, here’s what I wrote:

  • Yes. There it is in black & white. It verifies what you’ve perceived all along. Ouch.
  • She’s right in implying that your family relationships have been out of kilter. Alcoholism and old whispered lies (character flaws) do that. That’s why we’re seeking healing through Steps 6-7.
  • This is perfect step 6 timing. The perception of “not being lovable” has run its course and is ready to be removed by God. And in Step 7, Higher Power will help you to see it differently,
  • Remember that she’s been scared witless by the relapse this past year. She’s human, and she’s a mother who loves you desperately, while struggling to handle her fear.
  • Please do this
    1) Bless her & pray that she have everything that will make her happy
    2) List all of her positive qualities.
  • Next time we meet, we’ll be saying the Step 7 prayer about this and some other things you discovered in your fifth step. Good Work!!!
  • We’ll know this pattern is healed when rather quickly, regardless of what she says or does, you’ll be able to see the love under her words. It may take a little time, but it will happen. Freedom from resentments…Yay!

My Worth Is Established by God

Early on in the process of healing my low self-esteem and distrust of love, I learned to say this “mantra” over and over again. It really helps me, even today! “Only God establishes my worth.”

We can take this to the bank, because we will receive this love not only from God, but through the people He/She picks. Quite often these are not family members or others your self-centered ego tells you “should” love you. They’re the perfect people, and I’m so happy to be one of lucky ones God selected to love my sponsee and all of you! 💕

My award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now describes how to reject the faulty thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful suggestions. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer has been sober 35 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 Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat Murphy.