Step 4 of the Proactive 12 Steps
I look at my life systematically, to see patterns in how I have been relating to people and situations.
Step 4, above, is part of the Beta version of the 4th edition of the Proactive 12 Steps. A video commentary on each step has been released over the past few months. Now is the time to share with us your feedback on the commentary:
- What do you find helpful?
- What would you want more of?
- What would you add or change?
Your comments on each specific step and on the approach as a whole are welcome. Please share your comments.
To keep in touch with what's new, please subscribe to the newsletter.
So, now we have a tool to notice what it feels like, day to day, to do something: Does it feel good? Does it feel like the way you want to be? Does it feel like a stuck pattern? You have a body sense of it. It's not just an abstraction. And so we're going to take that knowledge and watch, as if it were a movie: Moments of your life, recent moments, past moments, Watching with that awareness of what it is that feels right vs what feels stuck, allows you to notice things that are probably behaviors that are good, and behaviors that are not so good. We're not talking about "good" in a moral sense, in a sense of, "oh, you're really acted badly." But: "Does it fit who you want to be? Is that something that you're, you're happy with yourself being?"
So, obviously, there's got to be some degree of moral judgment there... in a sense that, if your actions are really disruptive to other people, they're obviously not good and they should be changed. But I'm trying to encourage you to stay away from too much of a reliance on moral patterns because the temptation there is to judge the pattern: "Oh, this is really bad, this is really bad, I gotta change it, I gotta remove it, and this comes back into the trap that we tried to avoid in Step 1. That is, to avoid trying to solve a problem with willpower, because it really doesn't work when patterns are deeply ingrained. So the attitude we're taking here is one that's more one of compassion, of curiosity, compassionate understanding... So that, once we understand a pattern, it can shift almost organically. By pattern I means you're paying attention... as you're looking at your past history, as if in a movie... you're paying attention to: "Oh, this seems to be kind of a way in which I tend to act toward, say, authority figures... Or I look at how I behave towards my spouse and I notice I tend to have a certain way of acting. And so, you simply notice these patterns, and allow yourself to make room for them to unfold as you follow the rest of the steps.