Category Archives: 7th Step

Taking Steps 6 & 7

In the final scene of the epic film, The Wizard of Oz, the heroine Dorothy learns a surprising truth from Glinda the Good Witch — that the elusive power to get back home had actually been right there within Dorothy’s reach all along her journey through the Land of Oz. Ultimately, Dorothy never really needed the assistance of the Wizard, nor of anyone else, to return to her beloved Kansas.  When the Scarecrow angrily asked why this critical information had not been revealed to Dorothy sooner, the wise witch laughed and stated:

“Because she wouldn’t have believed me; she had to learn it for herself.”

As I look back on my own life journey, now in the light of Steps 6 and 7, I am certain that many of the problems that I have faced persisted because, like Dorothy, I too was ignorant of the solution which was within my reach all along.  Far astray from home, I looked outside of myself for quick fixes and for roads leading away from the despair.  I was told, but I did not believe, that my method of attempting to align people and circumstances to my liking would prove fruitless.  I was duped by the illusion of control created by me in my own Oz-like fantasy world in which I was the absolute center of attention.  The fact that I did not end up flattened by a falling house as did the Wicked Witch of the East, nor ravaged by her sister’s winged monkeys, is an indication of true grace.

Fortunately, my honest surrender came before my certain demise.  It was only then that it became possible for me to learn — and more importantly, for me to believe — that the elusive power which I had sought for so long was always right there inside of me.  This I could not be told, but had to learn from my own experiences along the Yellow Brick Road.

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The Philosophy of Unconditional Acceptance

Dr. Albert Ellis (1913 – 2007)

The Greek Stoic Philosopher, Epictetus, wisely observed that

“Men are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of them.” 

Though the statement itself may be short and simple, the philosophy behind it is profound.  It is a philosophy that was not lost on Dr. Albert Ellis who, as a result of his own neurotic self-disturbing, learned at an early age what Stoics like Epictetus had known long before — we are, with few exceptions, responsible for our own psychological well-being and that, for the most part, we create our own neurotic tendencies.  It is upon the foundation of this simple philosophy that Ellis created the forerunner of all cognitive-behavior therapies — Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT).  It is a therapeutic approach which empowers the individual by exposing the myth of self-esteem, and by offering instead the philosophical approach of unconditional acceptance.

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