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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

Conquering Conflict

Updated: Aug 6, 2023


On a recent episode of a sober.coffee podcast Mike, Glenn, and Doctor John took a trip into the weeds, discussing practical response mechanisms for life’s challenges. This writing introduces a simple three-step process that, worked effectively, can deliver clarity and calm through a chaotic situation, peace through pain and resolve from the wreckage of a disjointed life development.


What follows is not revolutionary, as we have occasionally heard versions of this process suggested in varying forms. What struck us was its’ simplicity and practicality when practiced competently.


To set the tone, we must acknowledge that life will throw adversities at us; physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual, and financial challenges will dog us occasionally. These difficulties can and do result in health crises, emptiness, depression, anxiety, stress, and strained relationships, to mention a few negative associations.


So what to do when life throws life our way? We suggest practicing the following sequence:


FREEZE

Instinctively, humans are designed with a fight-or-flight mentality. This is our innate response mechanism. The term was first coined in the late 1920s to describe central behaviors that occur when faced with a threat to our existence.


On our road to recovery, we have learned that controlled awareness should trump immediate action. Our first reaction needs to be a pause in the moment, an analysis of the scenario, and an accurate inventory of the facts.


Our history has proven that our knee-jerk reaction is usually, at root, emotional. This base has produced undesirable results, often leading to more situational destruction. A pause can easily break the cycle; momentum stops when we quit moving.


Look, we can't stay stopped and progress in life, so we look for the next logical step:


Get Outside advice

In the program of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), this suggestion would read, “Call your sponsor.”


The real deal here is that it is difficult for one to read their own label. It's always easier to assess a scenario from afar. Once emotion is stripped, reality can be seen.


In addition, the singular objective of an AA sponsor is the sponsee’s sobriety. This purpose will prove invaluable as any advice will support the reason for the relationship.


This is a difficult step for most and was a difficult step for us. Asking for help or advice was not an instinct that was part of our makeup. Surprisingly, it has become our go-to and has kept us from many a jam.


What we are looking for is good orderly direction. We will know that the advice is right when our feelings are not. If we have proper counsel, we will probably not usually get the answers we want, but we will get the answers we need.


Practicing a pause and getting advice leads us to our next action item:


Pray for the willingness to move forward with integrity

This is where our new reality needs to become real. Armed with our newly guided bent, we must muster the efficiencies to execute the suggested direction.


The willingness to do the next right thing needs to be embraced for progress to be realized. We can stop the movement and get great advice, but the willingness to advance is the differentiator to bringing elusive peace into our presence.


We are almost always able but often not willing to take the hard road, acting rightly despite our defective intuitions.


This whole three-step process takes time to move from clumpy to greased. Like anything else, repetition and diligence are required. The payoff is worth the pain of pursuing this new pivot plan.


Try it – then trend it!



 


Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from a sober.coffee podcast “#123 Dr. John Returns: Part 1…” which dropped on 8/2/2023. Click here to hear the podcast.



BLOG DISCLAIMER:

Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.

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