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Old 06-14-2018, 07:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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"Relieve me of the Bondage of Self"


As an Alcoholic I was and still am occasionally completely selfish and self obsessed at some points. When I was in active addiction I thought that the world revolved around me and if you didn’t act accordingly it was your problem not mine. This bondage of self was a toxin that created resentment, fear and many other character defects. It also created this illusion that I could control other people, places and things. As I walk the road of recovery I have realized that a lot of my problems are of my own making and that a lot of it is about acceptance. If i can accept people, places and things as how they are then I will as a result have more serenity. I have also learned my higher power is integral in relieving me of this bondage of self daily. Let go let God and get out of the way. I’ve also been told that a good way to relieve yourself from the bondage of self is to help other people. I’m interested to hear about anyone elses experience with the “bondage of self”.
Thanks Everyone!
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I am not good at multi-tasking. When I am concerned about myself, there is no time to think about others. When I am concerned about others, there is no time to think about myself. I use my inability to multi-task to my advantage to relieve my bondage of self.
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think having 3 young kids really helps me. They really on me to care for them and there are a LOT of times when I have to put myself last.
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Great topic and pertinent to me right now, Comtnman.

This is something I study in the BB daily (among other important things on p 84-88 and 417-418). Getting away from the ego is .. critical. And I know that I can be- am- vain, bc of insecurities that are long standing and in moments I can be objective, unfounding. Because I ... that list goes on.

Right now, I am struggling with a serious back condition. It has hit me like a ton of bricks for a lot of reasons. One is because since I quit drinking and had been told I had a yr, 18 mo to live if I didn't, is that my physical health has just proven amazing over these almost 28 mo.

In the past 36-48 hours I have suffered a lot physically, a big 'down' part in the ups and downs of what is hopefully a non-surgical-ending recovery....and have been trying, today, to let this be turned over- and instead focusing on the important business trip my husband is on, rather than be petulant as his "lack of emotional support" (insert eye roll) than I read into his texts.

I know there will be the continuing need to address this character defect- in fact, our Bible plan reading today was about WORRY, especially our typically self-focused kind....

Thanks for the thread. It hits home in a constructive way.
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Learning to live this way gives me relief from stress and worry and resentment.

Whenever I'd be crying about my latest terrible problem I was going through and focused only on me, my sponsors would suggest I needed to get out of myself and go do something for somebody else. It worked. A lot of my problems really are only in my head and a result of distorted thinking and false beliefs.

When I trust my higher power, I don't have to run the show anymore--I can relax and let things be and it's a much more peaceful and easier way to live.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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No God, no AA here, but plenty of seeking for the same solace you are from the bondage of self. Meditation and reading works for me when they are combined with embracing the responsibilities and obligations I have as a father, husband and man.

I find that the "self" that I would like to be free from - the emotional, self-centered, anxious, critical, defeating self - is reduced by the work I do to be better in the areas of my life that have value.

I'm finding the book, Under Saturn's Shadow, has been helpful at this stage of my life, and relates to this post and my sobriety and my past of giving in to my addiction to alcohol. Jungian analyst with lots of interesting analysis.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I've found Richard Rohr's The Art of Letting Go to be very useful in exploring this stuff. Might be worth a look.

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Old 06-14-2018, 07:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have a suggestion. Find someone in need. Fill that need anonymously and without EVER telling anyone what you have done (including the person you helped). Live with the desire to tell others without acting on the urge.

If you are like me you will find this more difficult to do than it may first seem. I suggest that you may learn more about yourself than you can imagine.

Then, with a successful first try do it again, but this time with a greater degree of self sacrifice. If you are like me you will experience some true sense of freedom from the bondage of self,

as fleeting as that may be.
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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A very deep question that goes right to the heart of my problem. It is easy to see now how my functioning level as a human being had been reduced to instinctual drives only. This fear (that an instinct might not be satisfied) drove very little decision, and was behind every little reaction to life. It is the most selfish way to live that I can imagine and it put me in constant conflict with the world. Either people were unhappy with my behaviour (external) or I was unhappy with theirs (internal). Most things did not fit with my unrealistic and selfish expectations, so I was constantly let down and unhappy. I am talking about my behaviour between drinks and it made sobriety a miserable experience. Other selfish attitudes like expediency and entitlement got me in trouble too.

Relieving me of the bondage of self seems to be a work in progress, in God's time. Everyday I realise I am still selfish, and pray He will take it away. On the otherhand I am grateful for what He has done so far. So many selfish attitudes and ideas have been removed or adjusted. I no longer steal or lie. I don't procrastinate, I mostly drive to the rules, I pay my bills, I have been able to live up to my sex ideals. There is a long list of behaviours that have changed for the better, yet I am a long way from being entirely free of self.

Ego, the false self, would be the main manifestation today. I have been learning that ego is the enemy of self esteem. When I get pushy and trample others to advance my own point of view, I don't feel good about myself. I have to make amends to those I hurt,and I have to do it quickly. That has a way of cutting me back down to size.

At the end of the day God uses us all. He can use me either as an example of what to do, or as an example of what not to do. I prefer the former.
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