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you can't change people places and thing

Old 07-20-2010, 06:06 PM
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Chuck D
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Question you can't change people places and thing

I understand that I can't change people, but I don't undersatnd why I can't change places and things. Please give an example for places and things. Thanks Chuck
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:16 PM
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Hi Chuck and Welcome,

My understanding is that I can't control things that are outside of me. Therefore, I can't control other people or anything else in my life, but myself. I can control how I act and how I think and how I react to what happens around me.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:20 PM
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you can't change people places and thing

In what context was this said?
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:36 PM
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:41 PM
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Who says you can't change people places and things?

If I hadn't changed the people I used to hang around with and the places where I used to do the things I did with them...I might not be here today.

It's about removing ourselves from bad situations, not changing anyone else

D
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post

Who says you can't change people places and things?
I can definitely change myself.

I can always stay away from wet places.

I can sometimes help others.
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:06 AM
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Hi Chuck.


Are you talking in terms of AA? To give you an idea here are some of the places and things which were on my resentment list at Step 4. All of which I wanted to change.

Traffic lights
The government
Taxes
Junk mail
Bills
The rising price of things!
Advert breaks on TV
Religion
My pets
The weather
The alarm clock


Just a few but I could go on and on. I actually learned that I was resentful at everyone and everything and it was recognising the insanity of this which helped me on to living a peaceful life despite all of those things which I couldn't change. As an alcoholic I had a constant repetative thought that if only this or that wasn't happening, then I would be happy. Of course, it was a delusion.

The 12 step program of AA is a solution to living a happy, sober life free from the obsession to drink and the angry, resentful, 'if only that was different I would be ok' attitude, which is so common with us alcoholics.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:59 AM
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I had to change my people, places and things to stay sober. Of course you can't change how other people act but you can change how you react to them. By not reacting at all usually. Letting it ride. However you can certainly inspire other people in many ways. If they don't change then you can certainly make them think.

I don't see how you can't change places and things. Just don't go there or associate with them. Of course I could get deep and go really philosophical and intellectual but this is SR and also there really ain't no point. Also I can only use my own experience of recovery. I have just became more passive in my views and don't really get involved in things like I used to. Some would say sold out to a degree (That's what I would have said before) but it's more a case that I don't want to drive myself back into drink and drugs, that doesn't smash the system but rather just myself.

I guess people struggle with this stuff to differing levels hence why they really need a militant step program. For me I had to go my own way and do what worked for me. Most of my battles were all in my my own mind and to do with my myself.

I stopped looking too deeply and decided that I could actually make sure that I changed the people (i.e. stop mixing with f*ckheads), places and things to keep me sober 'just for today'. My recovery has happened organically so I certainly think totally differently now about myself, about others, about the world and life in generally but I would have to sit and deeply think about what I actually do differently as there is so much. Much courtesy of SR and the wonderful people here who supported and inspired me.
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:10 AM
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Early on I was told that just because I quit drinking, life was still going to happen and the key was how I handled it. That said, I learned that everything can be changed to some extent. But I also agree with what has been said so far - that "change" may involve eliminating or avoiding certain people, places, or things. It can be painful, but sobriety is totally worth it.
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:58 PM
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Cool Hmmmmm

"You can't change people, places, and/or things."

Isn't it interesting how different people understand those words to mean. For instance............:

1) Does it mean that I cannot make people, places, and/or places change [as in their minds, or (as in an earlier thread) change a catholic church into preaching judaism, or I can't change an apple into an orange....]; or

2) Or does this simple statement mean that I cannot change, and that I am stuck in this environment (the same people, the same places, the same things).....

Well, obviously, the answer to the first is.......: Absolutely correct; I cannot make others (whether those others are people, places, or things) change.

However, in answer to the second.....? The answer to that would be.....: Absolutely incorrect. I can move, lose my old associates, forget about my old hang-outs.....etc......

Ah.....it's all in perception.....


(o:
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Old 07-22-2010, 03:06 PM
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You can't change people... but they sure as hell can change you if you're not careful...
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:30 PM
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Thanks , All the replies are very helpful
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:57 PM
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I hear that a lot at AA tables. It smacks of something that came out of a substance abuse counselor's mouth or from a treatment center.

I may not have the ultimate power to change your mind but I can, by my actions, virtually guarantee all of you will dislike me......or like me. I can change the city I live in by being a vandal or by cleaning up the streets. I can change just about every "thing" I can think of........ except my alcoholism.

To my knowledge, that saying isn't something that came from AA but rather something that came from outside the program that people who are more concerned with saying something at a table that sounds impressive than saying something of substance. My best guess is that it's perhaps an offshoot of the "powerless" part of the first step.

LOL... don't mean to offend anyone who regularly uses that phrase. If you do and would like to explain why and where you got it, I'd be interested to hear it.
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:04 PM
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I always assumed it came from this:

"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or 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."

I suppose it isn't saying it's impossible to change those things, but rather that we should accept them. Some are, of course, impossible to change.

(BB 1st ed.)
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:08 PM
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I should add..... I'm/We're not necessarily powerlFUL in all the areas we think we are. I find many areas I think I can control.......that I really can't. For an egotistical and self centered alcoholic, it's probably better to temper the beliefs we have about how powerful we think we are.
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:07 PM
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The only thing we can control is ourselves, our actions and our responses (not reactions) to the things around us. We can influence many things by our actions.

As someone who drank at home, I certainly don't need to change my friends, or the places I hang out (can't change where I live). As for things, all I can change is how I respond to things.
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:28 AM
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The statement about people, places, and things has nothing to do with AA. I believe it is from Hazeltine or one of those places. Anyway, changing friends didnt work for me, I tried about 6 different states with no success, Im not even gonna get into the things part. Bottom line everywhere I went I took "Me" with "Me" Until I fixed that I was doomed. Just sayin...
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:15 PM
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"saying something at a table that sounds impressive than saying something of substance" Very true, but
'What ever works" or kiss (keep it simple.) Thanks again; Great reply
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:09 PM
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Yeah, my understanding is the "people, places and things" idea is not from the AA program in the sense that it's meant today ("you need to change people, places and things to stay sober.") I heard it in rehab over and over.

That said, it's sound, practical advice. But it should not replace the critical inside job that needs to get done.
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:25 PM
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You can change the way you look at things.
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