Carole Bennett M.A.

From Heartache to Hope

The Importance of Checking In With Yourself

Touching base with yourself on a daily basis is a healthy, emotional act

Posted Jul 25, 2014

Many of my columns are centered on the alcoholic/addict and their behavior toward themselves, others, or us. How we cope or deal with their situation becomes such a primary focus for us that often we lose our own commitment to the task at hand.

So what do I mean about checking in with yourself?

Twice a day, I ask myself: "What’s wrong, what’s right or good or bad or unsettling or uncomfortable?”

I find that when I can be specific about what’s bothering me, say it out loud on a walk with my dogs, I can process it with more clarity and focus. I can also ascertain if it’s really worth much thought or something pretty minor that’s just bothering me at the moment.

Here’s how my script reads:

Me: "What’s wrong?"

Answer: Well, I’m not happy/worried/concerned because:

• My friend Becky didn’t call me back in a timely fashion.

• I’m anxious about finances this month as I had car and household repairs that were very expensive.

• I don’t have a bridge partner for the week.

• I’m distressed that I thought I was making progress communicating with the alcoholic in my life and find out that he’s really the same dysfunctional person as always. Nothing’s changed.

What’s important about processing what I’m not happy about is that the next question I ask, is can I do something about it to change my attitude?

• Regarding Becky: Let it go and maybe she will call, text or communicate with a good reason as to why she has not gotten back to me. Also, I want to make myself aware that these are my expectations and time frame and not fair to impart them on another. In all honesty…how important is it?

• Regarding larger monthly expenses: Well, life is life. Unfortunately they have piled up on top of another at one time, but stuff just needs fixing.

• Regarding the bridge partner: I’ll make some calls or plan for something else that day. Work on my new book, volunteer at the Zoo, etc.

• Regarding communication with the alcoholic: nothing new there. It’s just a question of trying to remember that the past is a teacher and not to be fooled or lulled into that Tiger changing his stripes.

Back to my script:

Me: "What’s right?"

Answer: Well, I’m happy or grateful:

• That none of my friends or family are ill (or I for that matter).

• That I got a nice order for my catering company.

• That I live in paradise.

• That I surround myself with wonderful animals.

I don’t need to dissect the good like the bad. Just bring it to my attention.

At the end of the day, I go through a recap to see if the bit of annoying negativity has changed at all. Often times it has or I have a different outlook on it. Maybe I don’t care when my friend calls me back or maybe I have plans to go sailing on the day I was going to play bridge and I’m excited for the new adventure.

Most things that I check in with myself are not enormous, life altering decisions; though I have found this exercise works just as well. However, if I can’t seem to scrape the gum off my shoe regarding a situation that is really bothering me or I can’t seem to shake or find an answer for, I turn my thoughts over to this “memo for God”.

I appreciate that I have a co-pilot helping me with my issues. But of course the key is for me to turn the wheel totally and unencumbered over to my higher power and then step back and let the chips fall where they may.

Here is a “memo” that circulated through my practice years ago and I still find it very helpful and of course timeless:

To: YOU

Date: TODAY

From: GOD

Subject: YOU

Reference: LIFE

This is God. Today I will be handling all of your problems for you. I do NOT need your help. So, have a nice day.

I love you.

P.S. And, remember... If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do NOT attempt to resolve it yourself! Kindly put it in the SFGTD (something for God to do) box. I will get to it in MY TIME. All situations will be resolved, but in MY TIME, not yours.

Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it by worrying about it. Instead, focus on all the wonderful things that are present in your life now. 

Should you decide to send this to a friend; thank you. You may have touched their life in ways you will never know!

Now, you have a nice day.

God

Touching base with ourselves is significant in keeping our resentments down to a low roar. As I said, when we can talk to ourselves on a walk, in the shower or wherever we’re comfortable it doesn’t have time to build up and fester; become larger than life. One last thought…be kind to yourself when you are running down the ups and downs of the moment. This is not about whoulda, shoulda, coulda or Monday morning quarterbacking. It’s just a simple and honest check in to see how the day is starting out and how it ended.

If I can be of service, please visit my website www.familyrecoverysolutions.com or call (805) 695-0049. In addition, I invite you to explore my book Reclaim Your Life – You and the Alcoholic/Addict at www.reclaimyourlifebook.com, PayPal or on Amazon. In addition, my book is available as an audio on my website only

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