Power and Freedom

Power and freedom don’t usually come about because we want them, because they would be good to have. When we become aware of holding old or limiting views, and examine them, we open ourselves to alternatives.

What gives power and freedom in the face of doubt is to live in a possibility that calls for them. We become interested in what might be, in creating visions, in establishing environments where the pull of possibility trumps the pull of doubt.

Doing so requires a certain commitment, certain practices, a certain giving up and leaving behind old notions, and a clarity that who we are and what we say, can cause a new experience in living. Even at its earliest stages, possibility leaves us with power and freedom.

                                                                                                                    Landmark Forum Leader

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I wasn’t searching for power and freedom—not that they wouldn’t be desirable qualities to possess. I wasn’t seeking a new experience in living. I was happy with the experience in living I had. Too happy as it turns out. Too complacent.

Today however the pull of possibility is tremendous. I need a new experience in living. I need to examine my old and limiting views, and be open to alternatives. The old views didn’t work.

Maybe my pursuit of love was all wrong. Maybe my wife would not be dissolving our marriage if my views had been different. She says our worldviews are world’s apart, irreconcilable. She says if we agree on nothing else we can agree on that. I can agree on that—but for the implicit one’s right and one’s wrong judgment implied. There doesn’t have to be a right and wrong. Our views are right for ourselves. The comfort in togetherness I seek and she can’t give is at fatal odds with the separate independence and security that she requires that I fail to deliver.

And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.
When I am disturbed,
It is because I find some person, place, thing, situation —
Some fact of my life — unacceptable to me,
And I can find no serenity until I accept
That person, place, thing, or situation
As being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Unless I accept life completely on life’s terms,
I cannot be happy.
I need to concentrate not so much
On what needs to be changed in the world
As on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.”

Big Book p.417

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To find a new freedom, and a new happiness, and a new power, I must accept the fact that I will shortly no longer be married to the woman I loved. I must accept that the way I am, the man I am, for better or worse, was not the man she wanted me to be. I did not fulfill the ideals and expectations she had for me or for our marriage. I look back, with her words in my head, and see where some things could have been different, better for her and for me. And I must accept that what we had for a short while was beautiful, and be grateful for those times. I am so very sad they couldn’t have lasted.

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Banishing doubt is essential to forming a new life vision,though easier to say than accomplish. I have constant doubts–they wake me up at 3:00am and toss and turn in my head until dawn. I have a friend who’s a Zen priest who, talking about meditation, makes the analogy that when thoughts come flying into you head, think of them as tennis balls and gently lob them out of the court, out of your mind. Send those doubts high and deep into a faraway place.

I am entirely ready to live in the possibility of new power, new freedom. An alternative to the way I’ve turned out. I don’t need all the answers today. I need the willingness to be open to what life brings, now, that’s new and available precisely because my wife is divorcing me—a springboard not a dire consequence.

The sooner the better.

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