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When it comes to resolving unwanted habits, the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous have become the most popular and widespread approach.
In this conversation, Greg Suchy shares some of his experience with AA and how he transitioned to the 3 Principles approach for dealing with unwanted habits and addictions.
Greg Suchy spent years in the Alcoholics Anonymous program before he found the 3 Principles. Now, he helps others to find the peace of mind that is innate within them that makes addiction unnecessary.
You can find Greg on Facebook.
- Noticing how differently the 3 Principles view addiction and unwanted habits from a program like Alcoholics Anonymous
- On Bill Wilson’s belief in healthy experimentation
- Does peace of mind come from working through the AA steps? Or is it innate?
Resources Mentioned in this Episode
- The Unity Church
- Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book
- Joe Bailey’s book: The Serenity Principle
- Dr. Amy Johnson’s book: The Little Book of Big Change
Transcript of interview with Greg Suchy
Alexandra: Greg Suchy, welcome to Unbroken.
Greg: Thank you, Alexandra. Good to be here.
Alexandra: It’s really nice to see you again.
Why don’t you tell us about your background and how you found the three principles?
Greg: I found myself in recovery for alcohol and other addiction issues back in 2012. And through that whole process of just seeking answers, that didn’t seem to be very easily accessible at the time, I ended up finding a group at a church that I was checking out at the time, a Unity chapel. Unity is more of an open-minded metaphysical church.
And, so it drew my attention, and I’m checking things out. And they had this new meeting. They just had three principles, didn’t even explain what it was. I felt drawn to it and showed up. This wonderful couple, Bob and Marty, that just seeing a lot of the webinars and whatnot, they just took me in and Bob especially just he pulled me aside and just like dumped all this information on me about how the three principles and how they apply to addiction and all this stuff.
And I’m sitting here thinking this is way too simple. There has to be more to it. Where are the steps, where are the requirements of how to do this and stuff. It was just so foreign to me the idea that maybe I’m already okay, that was such a foreign idea. Because, in 12 Step programs, it’s all about your disease, you’re always going to be sick, you’ll always be fighting this.
So this was, at first, it wasn’t much of a relief, just because I was thinking, this is BS. Can’t be that easy, yet simple, but in a very short amount of time, it really started just sinking in of like, a lot of the stuff I’ve experienced at times, when things were going well, and I wasn’t really reaching out to escape.
I’m like, Well, what’s that about? Why is if I’m truly addicted to this thing, and it’s this disease, and something that I’ll always have to fight, then why is it there are times I don’t have to fight it? And it’s not because I wanted to not fight it if it would just happen naturally, just like when you’re driving, and maybe you’re a little frustrated or running late or something, but you come out of some trees, and suddenly there’s this gorgeous sunset.
And everything just falls away, though you just return to that place of well-being that we all have. It was just the three principals really helped put words to what I already felt. What I already knew inside but didn’t know that. I knew if that makes sense. It was there. Just how do I how do we put this into words?
Alexandra: And you had been in the 12-step community for a little while before this meeting, right?
Greg: Close to four years at that point.
So the whole time I was feeling like there was something more, there was something else that was missing from that puzzle, there was a couple of pieces that somebody left down at some point.
Alexandra: And I remember, the last time we spoke you had a mystical experience before, while you were in the 12-step program? But before you found the three principles, is that right?
Greg: I did. It was I was actually exactly five months into recovery. I had gone to a meeting for Thanksgiving Day, it was just a gratitude meeting. And it was, 200 some people in a school gymnasium and everybody got 30 seconds to say what they were grateful for. And then it moved on to the next person.
It lasted about an hour and 20 minutes, hour and a half of just all these beautiful feelings and it was wonderful sharing and the energy that gratitude brings is so intense and so incredible. And when we ended the meeting and all joined hands to say our prayer as soon as I touched the people I wasn’t there in physical form anymore.
I saw the energy behind life. I saw the way that everything was one and that it’s the same energy presented itself at different vibrations. Whether it be you are the chair you’re sitting in, or the air around us, you even that is energy moving, we forget that fish don’t think they’re in water until they’re out of water. We don’t realize that air is fluid, scientifically speaking to it is actually a fluid.
So we are fish in water. And it’s just this energy flow around everything. And it was such a beautiful experience. And that was when my really deep desire to escape reality left, and I was left in this place in the 12-step programs where it’s like, I felt like I was okay now.
Like, I don’t feel like I have a disease. I don’t feel like there’s any more fight to it, but if that answer wasn’t coming from the rooms of, the 12-step programs that I was checking out, it wasn’t just an I tried a bunch of thinking maybe this one, I’ll have more of an answer maybe now.
But anytime you’re coming from the misunderstanding of having a disease, you can’t possibly point somebody in the right direction of being well, there’s always just going to be another technique, another step to work another, one more thing to keep doing just to keep from getting high or drunk or whatever.
And after that experience, I just didn’t feel like that was there. But, like I said earlier, I didn’t have the words for it, I didn’t have any way to express it. Except that I just knew that things had changed. I knew that I could never be the same. It’s not that once you wake up you can always go back to sleep again. But you never totally forget.
There’s never a total dream state after that. There’s always that slight part of you that’s now the observer. And will we see that, even if I’m still going through some of the paces of like my own habits or something, there’s still going to be a part of me that’s looking at those habits going that’s not me.
That’s just something I’m experiencing right now. It’s a symptom of something deeper. That’s really what addiction habits are. They’re symptom-showing. It’s like our internal GPS system telling us we’re doing something that we shouldn’t be doing or we’re heading in the wrong direction, mentally and emotionally, and spiritually. And it’s manifesting physically as this habit or as this addiction.
Alexandra: For my own curiosity, so after you had that experience, were you searching for people to talk to about that? I’m asking, because sometimes when I’ve heard people say they have an experience like that, then it can be quite lonely afterward.
Was there anybody you could share that with?
Greg: I definitely experienced that loneliness. Because it, I spent about another three years in the rooms after having that experience. And at first, I tried talking to a bunch of people that I’d already met there and felt comfortable with talking about that thing with, and the general response that I would get was along the lines of, “I don’t know what happened to you, but it’s probably dangerous and get you killed.”
Because I felt like it wasn’t a disease, it wasn’t a problem anymore that doesn’t fit into a program that is built entirely around a disease model, which was not what Bill Wilson talked about, at all. If anybody’s read the Big Book, he specifically says in there that the problem of the alcoholic is not in the alcohol, it’s in the mind.
That’s right in there, it’s that’s the truth. And Bill Wilson, I really would love to have met him. I have a feeling the reason why AA was so effective in the beginning was simply because anytime you were in the presence of somebody who is awake, not woken up this new world culture, whatever, but actually awake, aware, you automatically feel better just being in their presence.
You benefit from that end energy just because, it’s the whole idea, when we heal ourselves, we heal everyone around us too. So if you have this healed being walking around, exuding healing energy, you’re bound to heal if you’re open. So, those first 100 men and women, they were very open to it.
And at that time, it wasn’t looked at as you’ve got an addiction issue. I’m so sorry, let’s give you some help. It was no, you are a moral leper, you are a horrible person, and you should just get your stuff together, you should get your act together. It was very different back then. So these people were desperate.
That’s why they’re meeting in houses in secret. To start out, but as that fellowship grew, and as the program grew, you had less people having direct contact with Bill Wilson. And therefore not necessarily getting the initial benefit of being in that energy field.
Although energy does travel. But it’s not like Bill Wilson was necessarily aware of that, and sitting down and intentionally sending on energy to the alcoholics in Spain. That it wasn’t something that he was aware of at the time.
And that’s just from my own research and reading his letters and whatnot. So as the fellowship grew, you get people having direct contact with Bill Wilson’s, and now they’re relying specifically on the 12 steps, which, by the way, is the only suggested thing in that book, then that became the thing.
And Bill Wilson was not all about the steps he initially created, and just to have some framework to try to get, help people to have that experience that he had. But Bill Wilson was really big on what he called healthy experimentation. He wanted people to try other ways of recovering.
Because he knew that one of two things would happen, either think, fail, and end up coming back to the 12 steps, or AA or whatever, anyway, and coming back to the fellowship, or they’d succeed, and AA should adopt their principles. That’s directly from Bill and I am paraphrasing, but that’s from Bill Wilson himself.
He’s talking about this healthy experimentation. And that really got me looking at I tried running a couple of three principles-based meetings. At least being in Akron, Ohio, where it was all started. That’s not there’s no open-mindedness around that thing here. So but it was an interesting experience.
It was a fun couple of years just trying to be there with it.
Alexandra: As I understand it, Bill W had a spiritual experience himself, and then tried to reverse engineer what had happened to him to help other people. Is that true?
Greg: He even experimented with psychedelics trying to duplicate that experience, so he could give it to other people because he was that passionate about helping others have that experience. Not realizing that each person has to have their own experience.
I know he’s going to have his experience of it, and, and I do have some experience with psychedelics, and I feel like in when they’re used in the right settings, and with the right guidance, they’re very helpful and very useful for uncovering subconscious patterns.
Because that’s really a lot of what psychedelics are accomplishing for us is that they’re breaking down that barrier between the conscious and the subconscious mind for that period of time.
And that’s why you hear people saying that they had a bad trip. No, you didn’t have a bad trip, it’s just something from your past showed up that you didn’t want to deal with. So that’s why I say it should be done in the right setting and with the right guidance and everything to help people work through those things that may come up.
But, Bill Wilson did a lot of experimentation, a lot of trying different ways to help people wake up and see the truth. And he didn’t have the verbiage to simplify how to talk about it. But he did his best to talk about it anyway, whatever way it came out.
Alexandra: One thing about AA – and I talked about this on a previous episode with Christian MacNeil – is that it’s really known worldwide now. It really spread very quickly really.
And, there’s something about just the 12 steps themselves the fact that that’s like a framework or an outline, and somebody who’s suffering can get their head around that. And, if you just do these 12 things, then everything will be better.
Whereas the three principles approach, is different than that. We’re pointing in a direction, there isn’t really that framework or guideline. And it is really an exploration at least that’s been my experience.
I don’t have a question for you at all.
I’m wondering out loud if that’s why the principles haven’t spread the way that something like AA has.
Greg: Absolutely. Because people in general like the idea of being diagnosed with something, Because then it’s not their fault. They don’t have to take responsibility for it, they can say, it’s just my bipolar disorder, it’s just my manic depressive disorder, it’s whatever.
Then when those things come up, instead of having to look at it and deal with it and work through it, they can push it aside. Again, it’s no different than using a drug. Because there is no such thing as actual mental illness. We get off track, and, in AA, they have, the 12 steps to get somewhere.
Whereas in the three principles, we’re saying if you stop doing all the stuff that’s taking you away from it, you just naturally return there. And that’s a difficult concept to grasp if you haven’t experienced it in some way in your life that you can recognize.
So it makes it intellectually and egoicly very difficult. Because it’s too simple, like I said when I first met Bob and Marty about, I mean, it was like 20 minutes, and I got 20 years of three principles.
I was sitting there, my brain’s going this is too simple. Where are the steps? There should be 112 main points in this thing. Where do we get to that part like this? Okay, you’re getting the in the door, but then he’s gonna sell me some package, right?
Like, there’s something else I have to do. It’s like, No, you just have to be. And a big part of the reason why 12 Step programs work when they work is simply because people are trading addictions, trading habits, they’re going from getting drunk and high to going to meetings and working the steps over and over again.
I must have worked through the steps more than a dozen times in the almost four years that I was in there. Thinking I got it wrong, I must have done it wrong, that was what you were told to. It was like if you hadn’t found your peace of mind yet it’s because you didn’t work the steps thoroughly enough.
I’m sitting down each time and I’m trying to go through my inventory. And like, it got to a point where the last sponsor I had, I told him afterward he laughed.
He thought it was funny. Because like, I had to make stuff up to put in my, to put on my list. Because at that point, I work through all that stuff. And I’m like this, isn’t it? The reason why I don’t feel peace in my heart has nothing to do with what I feel I’ve done wrong in the past or people have done wrong.
It is just simply a misunderstanding of where peace comes from, and I love Joe Bailey’s book, The Serenity Principle. His was the first three principles book I read, because he was the only one out addiction at the time. And Amy Johnson’s book, The Little Book of Big Change was huge, too.
I’m reading through and one line really stuck out to me. Joe said:
“Serenity is our natural state of being when we stop doing the things that take us away from it.”
I just dropped the book, right? And I’m like, are you kidding me? Like, it just made sense. It just felt right.
It was like, Oh, that explains why you get lost in a sunset and you’re told you’re no longer worried about anything. You’re just in that present moment. Just enjoying what is and that’s what all the sages throughout time have been telling us is to be present to be here now.
But society tells us to worry about the future, you have to plan for every catastrophe that could come, and you have to plan for this magical thing called retirement that nobody ever seems to really actually reach.
We go through life with all these societal standards and beliefs given to us. And we just go with it, because that’s what everyone else is doing. So it must be correct, right? The war on drugs is going to end drugs, isn’t it?
Hasn’t yet. No matter how much money they put into it, no matter how many people they throw in prison, it hasn’t changed anything. Because the mindset is still there, people are still worried about the future people are still not present.
And that really is the key. And that’s what Syd was really talking about is just being with what is rather than being with what appears to be the illusion is pretty convincing sometimes. Oh, really, it really can be, that’s those are the times, but that’s like in every major fate. That’s where they talk about having faith.
To trust in those moments, it’s easy. When you’re having a great time and you’re sitting rough friends, it’s easy to be in a good space. But when you’re already running late for work, and you’re not only got one flat tire, now you have two and you only have one spare. What do you do when life really tests your belief, when life really tests your faith, that’s when it really actually matters.
We should be practicing the other times just to understand how things work. When I say practice, I don’t mean like doing there’s just a notice. And observing. That’s really what the practice of the three principles are really.
Honestly, any major philosophy that ever comes along throughout human history is always pointed back to that same thing. But just like Bill Wilson and the 12 steps and the whole fellowship, you’ve got Jesus came along and had his message regardless of how you believe he came to be whatever.
I feel like he was a human being just like us who woke up and saw something and tried to share it. And then you look at the fellowship that grew from that and how far off track the message has gotten. And now it’s all about judgment and all this like negative stuff and stress.
It’s that’s really what it’s creating for a lot of people. And yes, they feel relief from that stress when they go to church. And they hear the preacher preaching or, they’re listening to Christian music, and they hear a good message in the song and it reminds them of that particular path.
But what about in between? What about when your job disappears? Are you going to remember who your true employer is?
Are you going to fall for the illusion that this company was your employer? Now the universe is our employer, God is our employer, whatever word you want to use for that mind, whatever, it’s we’re all connected to this energy. And there’s abundance for all of us. And I’ve really experimented with it quite a bit.
And it’s a fascinating thing to I started concentrating on pennies quite a few years ago. Okay, these pens are easy. There’s no negative attachment to it. There’s nothing like I will never find a penny.
You start out with a million dollars. You’ve got something in the back of your mind saying I’m not going to get a million dollars. So there’s no firm belief in that but I know I’m gonna find a penny right?
And at first, I’m like, whatever. It’s a penny on the sidewalk. It’s a penny in the parking lot. It’s no big deal, but then Penny started showing up like in my laundry, and I don’t put change in my pockets.
So there’s no way for pennies to be getting into the laundry and it wasn’t pennies and nickels and dimes and quarters it was paid and actually set a reminder in my phone it went off three times a day and all it said was pennies.
It was just simply just to get my mind back on pennies. Then things started showing up and then I graduated after I did that for a few weeks and really just saw like, Okay, this is me doing this is me attracting this, the pennies are already there.
But I’m just opening myself up to acceptance. And then I moved on to coffee, free cups of coffee showing up all over the place. Really? Wow, I’m not up to the million dollars yet. There’s still something in there that says it’s not going to happen.
But that’s the beauty of this whole process. None of us has to be perfect. And honestly, if you talk to somebody accused, if he’s presenting that to you, as if they’ve got this, walk away, just walk away, find somebody who’s willing to admit that they’re still human too because it’s no different than, we all have some basic understanding of gravity.
But we still trip and fall, sometimes we still drop things and break them. Understanding how gravity works doesn’t mean we’re outside of the laws of gravity. So understanding that we live in this illusion and this projected reality doesn’t stop us from falling for that illusion.
Because we still sometimes believe that our eyes are working like cameras, but they’re actually working like projectors.
All of our beliefs and ideals are being projected onto the things that we’re seeing around us and we’re not seeing anything for what it truly is. We’re just seeing it for what we believe it is. And that’s evident.
Everywhere you go. In every circumstance, every situation, if you’ve got 100 people at the same event, you’ll have 100 different stories of what happened., how do you explain that?
Did the event change for each person now? It was the exact same event. But as each of those people went in with their own preconceived ideas, their own illusion, their own belief system. And guess what? They found things that matched their belief system.
And if I believe I’m always going to be poor and addicted and struggle through life, and guess what, I’m always going to be poor and addicted and struggle for my life. But the moment that belief changes, my life will change to match.
That’s the key. We keep running around. I watch it in society, school shootings, and who’s paying in which bathroom and who wants to be called he, she, they whatever. I love everyone. We’re all here to do what we want to do.
But it’s like we get so caught up in those things and putting out the little fires that the embers that are popping up everywhere. Meanwhile, we’re ignoring the big bonfire in the middle that’s throwing all those embers. And if we would just put that fire out, all those embers would stop.
So if we could get together and build a society where people feel valued and appreciated. Hold that stuff would go away. If you take away guns, guess what? Someone’s gonna get really good with knives and shop at a school and probably kill even more people with knives.
When are you going to ban knives, get banned knives, they start building violence, or we, the Oklahoma City bombing, you can go out and get fertilizer and stuff and make bombs to take down entire buildings.
The problem is not what appears to be the problem. It’s a much deeper seated issue, which is that we’ve created a worldwide Society of separation. We took on the Darwinian theory of competition rather than cooperation. That’s where society really went wrong. was going with that competition mindset.
There’s so much abundance. It’s just being hoarded by a few people because of that type of mindset. Versus at that point in history, we’d all decide what, no, we’re gonna go with this cooperative society.
We’re going to continue because that’s how things were. There was a transition period in between but you look at like, like native cultures to any native area, not even just birth America, but any of the native cultures. Those tribes work together.
And there were some spats between tribes, but for the most part, the tribes would cooperate to know, and if something happened, and there was something happened, one tribe lost all their food, and the neighboring tribe would put them out. So there was this cooperation built in.
But when the European Westerner mindset started spreading, by the way later, Americans had a term for what Tico, w e t IC O. And they, they said it was the most contagious mental illness that existed, that it caused greed and aggression and separation with people.
And it did spread. That’s how we are where we are now, and then the unfortunate thing is that the Western world ended up with a lot of technology fairly quickly, at one point, just started really moving forward with that.
And, yes, it makes life easier in some ways. So I could understand why the rest of the world and look at it and be like, oh, we need to be more like America. We want the American way of life.
But now we look, decades later, where did that lead us? A failing economy, with the whole competition mindset with it, is always going to end in failure, always.
Because the universe is abundant, and anything we do to act outside of that is just going to cause us problems.
Until we all get together and look at cooperation as being how things naturally are not just the way we need to be, but like we already are cooperative components in this thing. We just need to stop believing we’re not.
That’s it. That’s why the three principles haven’t spread. In a big part. It’s just simply because there’s nothing to do. And it’s very hard to believe that all I have to do is just stop hitting myself with the hammer, and the pain will go away.
Right? It’s really that simple. But it’s hard to see when you’ve been hitting yourself with a hammer for 30, 40, 50 years. And the whole time, you’ve been told, Oh, no, you’re bipolar. That hammer is not your fault. It makes it very difficult to switch that mindset.
It is not impossible at all by any means. I’ve seen some pretty miraculous turnarounds with people who, quite honestly, a lot of people thought were, waving on hope. Like they’re just gone.
But then, in an instant, they just see something different. Even look at said how, at least from what I gathered from his writings, and when he talked about it, he wasn’t a happy person before he discovered the principles.
He was a pretty miserable person, like many people living nowadays. But in an instant, he saw things differently.
And he didn’t do anything to make it happen. It was just at that moment he became willing to drop what was in exchange for what is.
Alexandra: I want to circle back to something you said a little earlier about, and it was about where habits come from, or addictions.
You touched on the fact that addictions are a spiritual sign that we’re headed in the wrong direction. Can you say a bit more about that?
Greg: This is all like my gathering experience. My take on it. But I see it as a movie. So like, we were just talking about, we’re in this society where there’s separation, and there’s competition and we go by the Darwinian theory of survival of the fittest, which he stole from somebody else.
And it was originally the elimination of the weakest, which is a very different concept than the survival of the fittest. Because of the elimination of the weakest, you saw cooperation, and you can still help the weakest.
But when it’s survival of the fittest, it’s no. I need to be the best; otherwise, I’m gone. So there’s a big difference between those two mindsets, so we live in this society of if I’m not the best, then I’m gone.
So how many of us are the best? Go only be one or 2%? I mean, that’s kind of the way numbers work. So that means the rest of us are junk. We’re not necessarily directly told that. But if we’re not the wealthiest one or 2% in the world, we know where we stand.
So people live with this. And it’s a subconscious thing. We’re not walking around thinking I’m a horrible person because I didn’t make $10 million last year, but it’s there. It’s there, things like that.
And even as young children, we have those kinds of thoughts, especially getting into our teenage years, when our brains are developing a little more, and we’re becoming more sentient beings within society, we start to feel really out of place, a lot of us, there’s discomfort, there’s feelings we don’t like there’s ways that retreated by other people that we really don’t care for.
And for many of us, we reach out for that drink, that drug, that cookie, that cake or whatever. And we get that moment of relief. There’s this subconscious thing that happens, or brains are really incredible machines, what we can justly focus on turns into subconscious thought patterns. And that’s really all addiction is.
There is a conscious focusing becoming a subconscious pattern, then that sounds like it’s like the scary thing that’s out of our control or whatever, but it’s absolutely 100% within our control. So let’s say I’m 13 or 14 years old, and I’m sneaking my first drinks; I think I was like 12.
But so I drank three beers, and the first time, guess what, when you’re tall, you don’t need three beers. I was gone. I was really drunk. But I felt great. As bad as I felt from the alcohol. I felt amazing because of the relief from my thinking.
Because I was no longer worried about what people thought of me, even though now I’m acting a fool, and definitely, people are thinking about me at that point, chances are before they weren’t, but it created something, subconsciously, where my brain says, okay, anytime I feel that way, I don’t like to feel this is something that helps me feel better.
It doesn’t matter what that thing is, whatever your habit is, whatever your addiction is, it doesn’t matter.
It’s just something that, at some point, helped you. And this is actually it’s the exact same thing for what we call mental illness, where there’s a coping mechanism that was useful at some point in time. And it became a habit, and then we continued using it after the situation is gone. So it’s no different. It’s, it’s a thought pattern.
It’s a subconscious thought pattern. And it is the approach that society generally takes on that is that you need to attack that pattern. And it goes back to, like I was talking about earlier, stomping on the embers rather than putting up fire.
So you should go to a 12-step program, okay? Well, I put down the drink or the drug, but now I have to go to these meetings in order to feel okay. And for a lot of people, it doesn’t really work because, quite honestly, most of the meetings are pretty boring.
And it’s a lot of people complaining. So, that’s why a lot of people are in and out of the 12-step programs, because it’s not an addiction that appeals to them. The other one’s much more effective.
And that’s a key thing when looking at healing, addiction, and mental illness is that you cannot directly heal that symptom.
You have to put out a fire. You have to stop the bonfire that’s throwing those embers out in the first place. Otherwise, you’ll spend your whole life running around, stopping, and never getting anywhere. And you’ll wonder why man, I haven’t had a drink in 20 years, but I still want to put a bullet in my head.
And I saw that day, a soul monitor that people have been in for a long time were miserable. They could speak well at meetings, and you have these great messages, but it’s like you’d see them outside of a meeting. You could just tell it’s like they’re not happy.
Living their true full potential. And the reason, like I said earlier, one of the reasons why a 12-step program works is that since we can’t get rid of the habit directly, what we have to do is replace it with a new one.
That’s the main key is establishing a new habit in its place. nature abhors a vacuum. So you can’t just, I’m not going to shop anymore. I’m done. That’s it; it might work for a few days. You get there on willpower for a while, you certainly can.
But if you haven’t replaced it with something else to fill that void, it’s gonna come right back. And another thing to remember is science has proven this, and Amy Johnson actually talked about it in her book,
The neuroscience behind it; when you use a neural pathway over and over, it actually becomes larger, and it becomes easier for information to travel on. So when I liken that to accent, you like to be outside, so like trails through the woods, a well-traveled trail is clear.
You’re not going through the briars and the thicket and all that stuff. It’s just clear traveling. But what happens if you decide you don’t want to travel that one anymore and you want to start a new trial?
So it’s not clear. It’s much harder at first. Because now you’ve got these downed trees to clear out, you’ve got the thicket to get through, and you get obstacles in your way in order to establish this new path. But once you do and continue using it over and over again, the other one overgrows, right?
Just like in the woods, it’s the same thing is happening in our brains. The more we use the new habit, the more though the old one just starts fading away. But in between, we have this wonderful thing that we’ve decided to label as relaxed. And all that really is you’re on your new path.
And now you come up on this fallen tree that’s 40 feet high and 1000 feet in every direction. And it just looks so unsurpassable the right in that moment, that old path that is still open. Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? It doesn’t men, the new path is gone. It doesn’t mean we’re always going to use the old path.
That’s where that was one of the things I didn’t really like about the 12-step programs is the shame that is put on somebody who relapses rather than saying, oh, cool, did you learn from it? Awesome. Let’s just move forward. It’s this shameful thing. And you have to, least around here. And I think it’s a fairly common thing.
But, like, you’d have to reintroduce yourself at meetings. Even if you had, 15 years, and went out have one drink. Now suddenly, you have zero days. And it is such a blow. And it’s not true it means that you’ve got 15 years of establishing that new trail. So what if you stepped on the old one for a little while?
As long as you get back on the new one, it doesn’t matter. It’s not an indicator of anything. It is simply an old path, and it’s easier to follow. That’s it; there’s nothing more to it. Get back to it; eventually, you’ll chat through that 40-foot-tall log that’s laying in your way.
And that’s the some of the stuff that comes up that people don’t like to deal with, like I was talking about earlier with psychedelics when people say they have a bad trip. Like no, that was just one of your subconscious things that came up and became conscious, which is beautiful, because when it’s conscious, you can deal with it.
When it’s subconscious, we’re not aware of it, and it’s just happening automatically. That’s the beauty of the subconscious mind. But it’s totally within our control to program that subconscious mind. And that’s really what this all comes down to our own programming. And I had the fact a couple years ago, I had this really incredible experience of becoming nothing.
I literally had to drop everything in my life because I suddenly wasn’t true what was real. And I had to question everything. And I’m not just I’m not really talking about like the physical world because I know that’s not actually real. I already knew that but as far as like, what beliefs Am I holding that aren’t mine? What was given to me by my parents, my friends, my teachers and old boss, whatever.
What am I carrying? That isn’t serving me. That isn’t mine? Then a lot of those answers came really clear to simply by typing everything and seeing what came back, what was what was going to stick, what was actually going to come around. And every time one of those things would come back, I would look at it and observe it in question; it is this mind that I literally stopped in the middle of my day when I had a thought.
And I’ll stop, and I’ll go, is that really mine? And the funny thing is, when you actually stop and genuinely ask yourself, you just know. And it was helpful for me. A few, quite a few years ago, I was told to start recording myself when things like that happened. And just talk to myself about it. This is what’s going on; this is what I’m feeling.
And then listen to it with, with earbuds in or something. So, you really get the full sound of your own voice. And you can call yourself out on your BS so easily that way. It’s just like when you hear somebody else say something, and you’re like, No, like, that just doesn’t seem right.
When you hear yourself saying it, just know whether or not you decide to keep moving forward, and facing it is another thing. But, that’s the important thing. Because that means it’s no longer completely subconscious is no longer outside of our awareness circle. Now I’m aware of it; even if it’s the tiniest bit, that’s all it takes.
Just that little weak, that little hole in the illusion where I can see through and I can peek through and be like, wait a minute, there’s something else there. There’s another way of looking at this.
Alexandra: I had a very similar experience when I left cult I was in in the early 2000s. And very similar to just taking every belief that we had, and I describe it like having a house made of bricks and pulling down every brick and deciding, did I come up with this? Or was I indoctrinated to believe this? Absolutely, it was a very valuable exercise.
Greg: We’re all part of the biggest cult in history called society. The biggest cult that, that’s ever existed. So it is important, I believe, for people to stop and question those things, not to the point where you’re driving yourself crazy with it, but just genuinely stop and consider.
Am I really upset about this? Because it’s something that upsets me. Or am I being a carrot? For lack of a better term at this point in time, but I think everybody understands what that means. It’s like, am I just following the newest trend of things we’re supposed to be upset about?
Am I getting on the bandwagon of who’s peeing in which bathroom, which you don’t hear about anymore? It was the biggest thing like, big corporations are changing their policies around their bathrooms and stuff. And it was this huge thing. And then suddenly, it was going because there was another thing to focus on.
And there will always be another thing to focus on. If we don’t put out the fire. It’s always going to be another Ember, another flame starting somewhere. Yes, we just run around in this big cult going; everything’s fine. As long as we just make sure people are paying in the right bathrooms.
And some people get upset with me because I do view things differently. But I see it as humorous. Because, in all reality, none of that matters. I really don’t see the problem of somebody going into whichever bathroom they feel comfortable, and they’re not harming anybody else.
And that’s just an example. It’s not, and everybody should be allowed to find their own path in life. Everybody should be allowed to explore what their interests are not following. Oh, my dad was a lawyer, so I have to be a lawyer.
My dad went to this school to be a lawyer to have to go to that school. would be a lawyer. That’s like, how much does that happen? And, with me growing up, it was put in my head that you had to go to college, but I really didn’t want to. I hated school. I didn’t like the way they taught, and I still don’t.
It’s too cookie-cutter. And it’s like, I don’t learn that way. I would rather learn other ways. It may be an unofficial avenue that I’m taking to learn this thing.
But, and that’s another thing is we put too much emphasis on the certifications and stuff that people have. Well, who was the first doctor that came up with? What it would require to become a doctor?
Who certified them? Are we questioning this? No, we’re not questioning it. We just go with it and be like, well, they’re certified as a doctor.
But how? Who decided that’s what makes somebody a doctor? And who decided that, this, this woman who grows 500 different herbs in her garden and comes up with tinctures, the cure all kinds of stuff for her friends. She’s not a doctor. She’s healing more people than these doctors. But she’s not official, so she can’t be a doctor. Like, those are the things we should be questioning. Is this really true?
Alexandra: Well, this is this has been really nice. Greg. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation. We’re running out of time.
Do you have a website or anywhere where people can find out more about you and your work?
Greg: Best way, honestly, at this point, is just through Facebook,
Alexandra: Facebook, okay.
Greg: If they just looked me up on Facebook, my email is Greg suchy @ gmail.com. I keep things simple. So I mean, okay, maybe wants to get a hold of me. If they’re not on Facebook. I’d love to hear from people. Always happy to connect.
Alexandra: I know you are, and I really appreciate you being here to let people know a little bit about you and the things that are important to you. So thank you so much for being here with me today.
Greg: Thank you, I appreciate it, Alexandra.
Featured image photo by Eric Masur on Unsplash
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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