Monday, April 6, 2009


I have learned that I am most in need of paying close attention to a suggestion, when I find myself starting sentences (either aloud, or in my internal dialogue) with, "Well, that's because..." or some variation thereof. As soon as I catch myself being resistant, that's a touchstone for me. I'm not often mulish over a suggestion that bears no real relation to my behavior - it's the ones that are spot-on that get my back up.

I've learned in Al-Anon - when I feel that stubborn desire to argue, or push a thought or idea back away from me, it's because I'm uncomfortable. And why am I uncomfortable? Most likely, because I recognise truth when I hear it, and it's something I need to examine and accept, for the health of my recovery.

I have that human frailty, of wanting to believe that I'm always right, and don't need any more work. My kneejerk reaction to criticism, justified or otherwise, is that no, I'm a finished product now. (Those of you who are howling with laughter, please keep your voices down...) But working my program allows me to just sit quietly, in silence, and wait that feeling out.

I've learned that if I do, the next response is more open-minded and accepting, and I will be able to hear what's being said to me. I had this experience just recently with an email from a friend - I felt great resistance to his ideas, even though I'd asked for his input. So I didn't reply immediately. I left it to percolate, and this morning, reading it with my Al-Anon filter firmly in place, I can see that he has a point. I can see wisdom in his thoughtful writing. I can see my part in the situation I'd described to him.

We are surrounded by wisdom and gentle guidance in 12-step - experience, strength and hope. In my recovery, I've made the greatest gains, when I can get out of my own way.

1 comment:

  1. Very true. A good thing that I've learned is to say, "You may be right" when someone is taking my inventory for me. Most likely they are!