…Learned by an Alcoholic Man through Buddhism and other Miracles.
I have always been me!
For aeons, even.
Buddha says that the very subtle mind is continuous and never dies but lives on from one birth to the next and so on.
Here is an article I wrote last week about resurrection…
“The Jesus that I now know comes from my quiet and intimate study of teachings, not from formal religion. I’ve…medium.com
The subtle mind is the rascally rabbit that you meet in your dreams. Those images we ‘experience’ in the sleep state, whilst hard to fathom or comprehend, reflect a part of us that we’re not familiar with in the waking hours.
The gross mind is the familiar ‘You’ — the one that you recognise in the mirror and that castigates you when ‘You’ do something stupid or illegal.
‘You’ that you know, is often not very well liked by you, and therefore you’re often finding ways to be better.
…Especially if there’s SOMETHING VERY WRONG WITH YOU!
My name is Mike and I’m an alcoholic.
That’s not all that’s wrong with me but it’s enough to start with. Well, actually it’s enough to finish with. What?
What I mean is, when I was a little boy, there was a whole shit load of nature and nurture things going on. Family, death, abuse, mistakes, and generally, a whole lot of life going down.
Then I grew… and started drinking…and that felt good.
It felt sooooo good, in fact, that I kept on doing it!
I did it for thirty years!
Then when I was dying of the thing that made me feel good and I couldn’t drink ‘no more’ I started ‘Recovery’.
Recovery is hard.
And not many people make it.
THEN, I was left with ‘the little boy’…Remember the little boy?
Little Mike was still unwell
All the while, as Big Mike was having fun and throwing up, Little Mike wondered “What’s wrong with me?”
When Big Mike stopped drinking and started making amends to everyone for his atrocious behaviour, Little Mike was thinking…
“What about me?”
After a while we all have to face our ‘little selves’ or else we go through life hurting people and not ever realising our potential as a person.
The ‘Self-Help industry’ and ‘Big Pharma’ are the beneficiaries of little, wounded people not growing up.
There is a Solution
To avoid dying, and after much denial, disgust, disapproval and determination to ‘Do it my way’, I eventually sought and accepted help.
But what about ‘Little Mike’?
Well, a series of events, people and spiritual realisations happened to Little Mike.
Firstly, Big Mike got off the piss.
Secondly, I began reading dharma — the teaching of Buddha. Simultaneously, the wisdom of Jesus, Abraham, Muhammad, Krishna and all the other saints became clearer.
Thirdly, Brene Brown and John Bradshaw’s teachings on shame filtered their way through the literature inter-world to me and at last the way was clear.
Shame work for me has been the salve of decades of insecurity and embarrassment.
Brene and John
If you haven’t seen Brene’s talks you must. Bradshaw’s book “Healing The Shame That Binds You” is a must-read for my part.
Once I had worked on the shame that I had inherited and conjured, my psychologist, Rhonda, asked me if I wanted to do an online test of my character attributes. I said, “Yes, Rhonda!”
The great thing about all of this — I did that test and it showed me what are my best qualities and not-so-best qualities.
“Knowing your character strengths isn’t just interesting information. When skilfully applied, character strengths can actually have a significant positive imp act on your life.”
Well, what are the Top 5 qualities for successful growth?
For me, they are, in order…
- Love of Learning
Here another story about my amazing alcoholic abilities (Hehehe)
These are the qualities the survey tells me are the qualities, that if I continue to improve will bring me success, happiness and fulfilment.
The brilliant thing about these doctors’ work is that YOUR qualities will be personal to you.
There is not one ‘Listicle’ for all people!
I urge you to have a go at this survey.
It’s been about a year since Rhonda, my psychologist, asked me to do this and I have been really happy that I did.
No more trying to eradicate the things I hate about myself and wish I didn’t suck at.
Now I have the pleasure of knowing what’s good in me — and being a little bit better each day — at that.
One last thing…