For 40 years, there was only one obstacle standing in my way of freedom and that obstacle was ME! HOWEVER --- I was utterly unaware the battle was with myself. Never underestimate the power of denial, my friends.
I took all my anger and projected out into the world. I fought (emotionally) with others, especially those of authority. I fought about social norms, the world consciousness, ideas of what success was, religion and injustice, to name a few. I fought with anything that made me upset or felt wrong. But I did most of it in my head; you would not even know it. I was a rebel with a bleeding heart and fighting with the world was a clever way not to have to look at myself! But make no mistake about I was in a self-made prison of not like or knowing who I was.
My fight was with LIFE, and everyone or anyone who fights with LIFE will lose ever time. Which was precisely what happened, I lost everything and that including myself. Addiction was a temporary way to take away the pain of fighting.
Now that I am awake and recovered, I can see that there was a deeper battle going on. My battle with self was really a fight with Source ( God). It was no wonder I was in so much pain; I was fighting with Myself, Life and God.
"The secret to change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." - Socrates
My stubbornness and strong-will keep me fighting for a very long time. Relapse after relapse, for years and years. It's a real miracle I survived. Eventually, I surrendered which is the complete opposite of fighting. I waved the white flag. However, surrender is not enough; it's just the beginning of recovery.
The real truth is that I was programmed to beat myself up. To just say, "don't beat yourself up" will never work, and I hope everyone hears that. Conscious alone cannot undo subconscious programming. There is extensive work required.
For whatever reason, I came up with a way to begin to stop fighting with myself. I will reframe that; Source gave me the idea. The idea was twofold: 1) I had to catch myself every time I was fighting against myself 2) Then I decided to fight for myself and here is how.
I carried around a childhood picture of myself for a whole year to help break the constant pattern of fighting with myself. I would pull out this picture of an innocent, little five-year-old boy, look at it, and say, "I am not going to do this to you anymore, little Paul," and then say, "You are good enough Paul, and I am going to fight for you always!" It worked wonders in breaking the old pattern.
Repeating this action is key. It was one of the many ways I used to break the stronghold of hating who I was. I had to undo my Mistaken Identity, and it took years.
And yes that is me in the picture. Go find your picture! www.paulnoiles.com