There is a popular saying in addiction recovery. Your best thinking got you here.
You did what you did …you’re always doing what you’re doing…because it seemed like the thing to do in that moment.
Your best thinking got you here.
That doesn’t mean part of you didn’t know there was another way. When you have several drinks every night, or you take your frustration out on your kids, or you find yourself anxious or depressed or worse, your best thinking got you there. You might know a better way exists, but if that better way isn’t part of your current thinking it’s not going to help.
The fact that your best thinking got you anywhere you’ve ever been sort of makes it all okay, doesn’t it?
Could you have really done things differently? Or have you simply done what was the best looking option in each and every moment?
I can look back and see how every harmful action I ever took looked like the way to go on some level. Many years ago when I was putting nicotine in my body, lighting the cigarette was what my best thinking led me to do.
Of course I knew it was harmful. I also thought it would be way too painful to quit, so I smoked. Although I knew smoking wasn’t the best way to go in the big picture, the bulk of my thinking at that time led me to light up over and over.
Until it didn’t. When my thinking shifted, my best thinking got me to quit.
If it’s true for you and me, it must be true for everyone, right?
All the things people do that we don’t agree with.
All the things we view as their mistakes.
All the things we see and wonder, “What in the world were they thinking?”
We may never know what they were thinking and we may never understand their choices, but we can be sure that their best thinking got them there.
Even when they should have known better. Even when they did know better. Their best thinking led them to do exactly what they did.
It’s hard to argue with someone just doing their best (thinking).
This post was originally published in March 2014