Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

Right Action, Right Thinking

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It’s often said that “right action leads to right thinking,” meaning that positive feelings often follow positive actions, rather than the inverse. For so long though my thoughts either led me astray from what that right action really was, or they rationalized questionable action in the name of something “right enough.” Such is the plight of an addict, I guess – not always being aware of what right action even looks like. And what’s developed out of that state of delusion is a general uncertainty of self, one which still exists to some degree despite having a few years of sobriety in the rearview.

To this day I interpret A.A.’s “my best thinking got me here” phrase with a little condescension, but I also recognize the truth behind it: Had I been open to asking for, and actually accepting, a little more help along the way, maybe life would have gone differently. Thinking back, I didn’t reach my low points by asking for help, soliciting advice, or listening to feedback from others – I reached those places when I cut myself off from others and listened exclusively to the feedback loop spinning between my ears. Right action leads to right thinking, but sometimes the most right action is asking someone else what that right action might be. And when that action is taken, right thinking is often soon to follow.