Thursday, June 10, 2010


From the ODAT, page 161:

"What wonderful things could happen in my life if I could get rid of my natural impulse to justify my actions!"

I only fall back on justifications when I know I'm in the wrong. It truly is that simple. When I hear myself justifying, I know I have something I need to examine, with regard to my actions, motives, thinking, behavior.

Why do I justify? Because I feel uneasy.

Why do I feel uneasy? Because I know I'm pulling a fast one.

That was quite a concept to wrap my mind around, when I was new in Al-Anon, and full of self-righteousness, self-pity, and bitter resentment.

I wanted retribution, compensation, something, for the childhood I'd experienced, and if no-one was willing to give it to me, then I was going to hate them. All of "them," everyone, myself first on the list. I was desperately unhappy,  achingly lonely. I had no inkling that my character defects stopped me from receiving the love and acceptance for which I longed, by making me a rather unpleasant person to be around, with my litany of complaint, and my ever-present anger.

In Al-Anon, I have learned that if I want to have good company, I need to be good company. To get, I must first be willing to give.
Service feeds my soul, while keeping my ego firmly in check.

I'm grateful for all the excruciating lessons along the way, because they've made me compassionate and willing to be there for the same kind of complaining angry newcomer that I was. I accept the coffee invitations, and the phone calls, and I do so with a heart full of gratitude.

This program has given me so much more than promised. I didn't believe 1/1000 of what I was repeatedly told, would come my way if I worked the program honestly, and I've surpassed my limited expectations in every area.
I have a good life.
12 Step has made that possible.


  1. I experienced the flip side to this the other day with my son. I was disappointed he did not follow through on something and he began to "justify" and explain why he did not. I realized my tone was making him feel defensive and once he got through explaining his very valid reasons, I felt sorry and immediately apologized. I did not have the whole picture. For my part, if I hear someone justifying something to me, I need to examine my tone, and my attitude and ask myself if something I am doing is causing someone to feel the need to justify...the justifier (!) is not automatically in the wrong, as I humbly learned.


  2. Oh yes. I catch myself justifying many things, and sometimes I don't catch myself until it's too late. Luckily, in the program it is a matter of progress and not perfection. And we are making progress :) thanks for sharing.

  3. Well said. Thank you for your post!

  4. I agree. I am glad to have the 12 steps to a better way of living.