I’m not going to list all the work I’ve done here. But, let me metaphorically take my pulse.
I have no desire to do anything selfish, dishonest, adulterous, or hurtful. I have no doubt that I am in control of my decisions. I have built as much transparency into my life, work, and marriage as I can. I have organized my time and my priorities in a way that focuses narrowly on the most important tasks relating to family, work, and maintaining a healthy mind, body, and soul. There is so much light and so much focus in my life that there is no room for selfish thoughts or pursuits. More importantly, my decisions are motivated by integrity, loyalty, and compassion.
So, what now? What work should I do now? And, how and why? I believe I’ve identified the thoughts, or types of thoughts, that are the prime risk factor, motivator, or cause of my long history of conscious decisions to be selfish, dishonest, adulterous, or hurtful. Those were thoughts of self-pity, associated with feeling inferior, jealous, or threatened with regard to sexuality, sexual history, and sexual experience. Those were the thoughts that made me angry, and made me feel entitled to “catch up” or “correct the imbalance.”
So, I feel confident, as I said in the beginning of this writing, that I will not respond badly to such thoughts of anger and entitlement. Is my next task to reach a point where such thoughts never even come to mind at all? If so, I’m making good progress. The last time I was really pursued by such thoughts was approximately June of 2014.
Is that good enough progress? I hope so. But, I don’t know. Since I don’t know, it might be best to keep trying to develop a way to prevent such thoughts from ever recurring. How do I do that? One good therapist talked a lot about the value of creating new neural pathways. In other words, practice makes perfect. If I exercise my “good thinking muscles” they may become stronger. If I neglect my “bad thinking muscles” they may atrophy. I should feed the good wolf. That seems quite logical to me.
Can I kill the bad wolf by starving it? Maybe. Should I? I think so. Why not? These questions are a big part of my work going forward. Does that seem like the right direction?
(Yes, I should ask my current therapist too. She, by the way, contends that therapy should be finite. I’m not yet sure why.)