Inner Torment

Inner Torment: Excerpt from "It's Monday Only in Your Mind: You Are Not Your Thoughts" – Pg 70
Being busy creates a diversion, but it doesn’t fix the problem. It’s only a temporary solution to the problem.
My inner torment was eating at me most of the time. Not all the time, because when I was preoccupied with some activity at least my mind had another focus. And as long as my mind was busy I didn’t think about how I was feeling. I may not have been doing things that were conducive to my spiritual well-being, but it was better than feeling discontented. Being busy creates a diversion, but it doesn’t fix the problem. It’s only a temporary solution to the problem.

In a new town I was still attending the twelve-step program, but I was not going to as many meetings as before — maybe to only four a week. I was still coping with life through my Conditioned Mind Patterns, so my defense mechanisms were solidly in place. I was still in the grip to these Conditioned Mind Patterns that nearly destroyed my life, but I was still unaware of this.

I continued to feel great resentment of people, past and present. Someone in the twelve-step program suggested that I do two of the steps that directly deal with other people: “Made a list of people we harmed and become willing to make amends to them all,” and: “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” I became willing to do this. I mention this because willingness is so vital in our process.

I paid back everyone I owed money to. I met with people I had harmed and made amends. I felt better, and I was glad that was over with. I thought I would never have to do that again, but I was wrong. Because the Conditioned Mind doesn’t need a substance to be self-centered, it was just using other things to create drama in my life. There wasn’t nearly as much drama as when my life was consumed by alcohol and drugs, but there was drama nonetheless.

Michael Cupo
I grew up in Newark, New Jersey, one of six children. I have been married for 25 years. I own a home, and I have two children. I have been at the same job for 28 years. I am the happiest I have ever been and it is all because of the Love that has always been in my life. I attribute all that has happened to me to that Love. None of what has transpired in the last five years of my life has anything to do with any accomplishments on my part. There was always a lot of love in our home as I grew up, but for reasons unknown to me at the time I was always in trouble. I was at the top of my brother-in-law’s “Who My Sister Shouldn’t Marry” list. I drank alcoholically, gambled, abused drugs and painkillers. I bounced from relationship to relationship. Even after I stopped abusing alcohol and drugs in 1987, my so-called outer troubles stopped, but my self-centered behavior never changed. All I did was substitute one compulsion for another. Although my addiction became more respectable—taking the form of material possessions—I was still trapped, migrating restlessly from one obsession to another. I went to Twelve Step meetings, derived some benefit from them, and then fell away. My loved ones got me into de-tox and rehab programs. But once I was released, the cycle of insatiable craving started all over again. This cycle seemed to work for me . . . until it didn’t. And then my life changed — not instantly or magically, but profoundly. I share this change in It’s Monday Only in Your Mind: You Are Not Your Thoughts. I discovered that I wasn’t dependent upon a substance or activity, but ruled by my ego. My need to reach outside myself for fulfillment was created by a false perception of deficiency. If this sense of lack didn’t exist in me, there wouldn’t have been a need to reach and grasp. My credentials for writing this book are simply that I live this change each day. My view of life is so different from the way it used to be. Through the practice outlined in my book, I have learned to quiet my mind enough to allow my heart to open. The quieter my mind becomes, the more Love becomes the default setting of my life. This is truly a modern-day miracle, a miracle that can happen to anyone who has the urge to change.
Michael Cupo

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