You may have heard the classic AA catch phrase, ‘stick with the winners’ more than once. Like most other idioms circulating the rooms, this one is pretty straightforward – spend your time with sober people who take their sobriety seriously; people who have accumulated a fair amount of clean time, who seem to be spiritually fit and dedicated to constant self-betterment. And it does seem to be true – we tend to mimic the attitudes and behaviors of those in our inner circle, and keeping the company of strong supports in sobriety does bode well for long-term recovery. From a deeper spiritual standpoint, sticking with the winners could affect our entire psychic outlook. And seeing as undergoing a comprehensive psychic change is our ultimate goal, keeping positive and beneficial company may do us far more good than we could have ever imagined.
What Does ‘Stick With the Winners’ Really Mean?
The phrase ‘stick with the winners’ does not merely refer to the external company we keep, however. We must recognize that we also keep the company of the thoughts, feelings, and core beliefs circulating through us – deep within us. If we keep the constant company of self-loathing thoughts and deeply negative feelings, we will radiate insecurity and disapproval. Those we attract will probably be consumed by the same, and our ability to grow will be harshly compromised. If we attempt to gravitate towards those who exemplify strength where we feel weakness, we will be far more likely to flourish and become whole. Think of a cold piece of iron sitting against a hot flame – the iron will eventually take on the luminous properties itself, slowly transformed by the intensity of the fire. If we surround ourselves with men and women who offer us warmth and wisdom, we will certainly learn a great deal, and transform from within.
Guy Finley, best-selling author of numerous books on self-transformation, outlines four main types of negative spirit that will hinder personal progress and growth. In terms of addiction recovery and ‘sticking with the winners’, we can learn to avoid these four types of people in order to maintain fulfilled and meaningful sobriety.
“Those who aspire to light need to recognize these sick spirits and reject their poisonous expressions.”
- The Muckrakers.
These negative spirits take great delight in digging up old, painful memories, and reveal deep-seated feelings of resentment and anger regarding these memories. These spirits, whether they reside in others or within yourself, will cause you great emotional harm by forcing you to re-feel past damages. Avoid resentment – the number one offender.
- The Dirt Throwers.
These spirits raise themselves up by tearing others down. They will criticize and and judge others, feeding off of gossip and stirring up drama. They attempt to lessen their own pain by focusing their attention on the business of others, and are disloyal even to those they call ‘friends’.
- The Mud Dwellers.
These warped spirits are often visibly sick and suffering to those they associate with, and appear to have a dark and twisted sense of humor that frequently arouses immense discomfort. Mud dwellers make inappropriate sexual jokes, arouse disturbing mental images, and seem to behave in an irrational and upsetting way merely to evoke reactions.
- The Life Haters.
These spirits seem to constantly complain, listing off the many reasons why life is unjust and unpleasant. They are typically envious, and derive great pleasure from persuading others to hate life as much as they do.
Making Positive Changes
When we clean out the dank and dark parts of ourselves in which these spirits reside, we make room for the light – for a psychic change and spiritual awakening. When we ‘stick with the winners’ – avoid these dark and malicious spirits and surround ourselves with pleasant, optimistic people who are doing right and trudging forward in gratitude – we become far more likely to adopt a positive outlook ourselves. So do your best to spend the majority of your time with people who will influence you in a positive way, and clear your own mind, body, and soul of detrimental negativity. It is never too late to make positive changes!