Friday, July 3, 2009

Hating, and Weakness.

Cynicism, bitterness, hatred - all of these sap our strength, and our ability to deal with life. The objects of our hatred and bitterness aren't affected by it; we're the ones sitting in that acidic stewpot, slowing tanning our hearts to leather.

I couldn't see this for the longest time. I had some wierd, deep-seated belief, that keeping my hatred and bitterness alive was a way to resist, or fight back, against all that had been perpetuated against me.

Accepting the past, and letting go of it, felt like weakness. To my surprise, this turned out to be only possible from a position of strength. I had to have grown and matured a bit through working the 12 Steps, before I could begin to understand that my hatred was a continuation of the abuse.

I didn't live with those people anymore, but I might as well have, since through my hatred and bitterness towards them, I was keeping that terrible time freshly alive, and walking like a zombie through my present life, face turned always backwards, looking over my shoulder towards the past.

Al-Anon has taught me that I may be angered or distressed by the behavior of another human being, but I don't need to wallow in bitterness and hatred about it. I can take whatever action is within my power so as to maintain healthy boundaries, and I allow God to deal with all the rest of it.

It's not up to me to see that another human being receives their comeuppance, or karmic lesson. I want to be free of bitterness and hatred - that requires letting go of all that doesn't belong to me directly. That's my choice.

I heard in a meeting, when I was very new to Al-Anon, the phrase:

"Be where your hands are."

I loved this, it allowed me to grasp an area of 12-Step philosophy, in an easily-recalled reminder.

Where are my hands? In July 3, 2009. All right, that's where my mind will be, also.

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