Tuesday, September 15, 2009


This slogan puzzled me. I was under the impression that I thought too much, so why was I being encouraged to think more? My sponsor, when I posed this question, suggested dryly that it was my choice of subject, that was causing me problems, and there's a considerable difference between thinking, and obsessing.

My dictionary defines the word "think" as: "to employ one's mind rationally and objectively in evaluating or dealing with a given situation:"

I can honestly say that whatever I may have believed about my thought processes when I was new to Al-Anon, they were neither rational or objective. On the contrary, they were irrational to the point of insanity, and subjective to the point of delusionally self-centered. I didn't think, I obsessed, and I was self-absorbed - everything revolved around me and my pain. A member in my home group made us all laugh in a meeting, by stating mournfully, when it was his turn to share, that he'd realised something very sad that day. Pause. "I realised I'm not the centre of the universe."

Someone else piped up, "Of course you're not, I am!"

We all joke about this, but this type of self-centeredness is a habit of thinking that magnifies our troubles, and keeps others at a distance. Who wants to be close to someone who can't "see past the end of their own nose?"

From Hope for Today, page 283:

"Today, when I'm faced with unhealthy and unacceptable behavior, I don't run away. I use the program to help me. I remember to stop and "Think." I use my intellect instead of my emotions before responding. I detach from the person or situation until I can calm down and think rationally. I call my sponsor to defuse my emotions and help me figure out which program tools to apply."

This has been one of the most helpful program tools for me - the ability to do what friend calls the Al-Anon variety of "stop, drop, and roll" - stop what we were about to say, drop our resentment and anger, and roll out a carpet of detachment. If we make this our invariable habit, we gain enough time for our initial response to come and go, without acting upon it. Then we can "think," and make a rational and objective choice.


  1. This is extraordinarily well written. I love the third paragraph. It's perfect. Great blog.

  2. It is well worth it to me to consider whether I am "thinking" or "obsessing".

    By the way, I love the flower at the top of your blog.


  3. I like the stop, drop and roll. Very cool idea.

  4. Lately I've wanted to add a slogan called "Feel". I do have a tendency to go in my head, not to obssess, but to ignore what my heart says is true and real for me. How glorious it would be to both think and feel our reponses to life.

  5. I like the extension you can add to this slogan 'Think Think Think - But not too much' i.e. think about your response before responding, but don't obsess about it.