Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What Would Happen If I Didn't _____?

That question is one that we do well to ask ourselves. So much of our behavior is by habit, by rote, by unquestioning following of the same track round and round. So it has been done ... so it always will be done - plod, plod.

Al-Anon was the very first place where it was suggested to me that I could choose a different way. Instead of doing the same things over and over, hoping for a different result, I found sufficient relief from the pain, to be able to stop and consider: was this rational? Was this even possible? I think I moved through all the stages of grief in the ending of my first marriage - denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

I had to let go of all my old ways of thinking, seeing, and doing, and be willing to try something new - Step Two:

"Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

I didn't have to try the new at that stage, I only had to have reached a place where I believed it possible that a power greater than myself existed.

Arrogance is one of the normal human frailties, and one with which I've grappled in close personal contact; I like to be right. (No, be honest, I love to be right.) My maturity has been a slow progression:

- from denying my arrogance, heedless of  the pain dealt to myself and others by my being oblivious to this character defect,

-to awareness of my arrogance, and the shame and remorse which ensued,

-to working to "practise these principles in all our affairs", meaning that I strive to catch myself much earlier in the proceedings: let go of my arrogance and desire to be "right",

- to finding a different way to be satisfied.

If I am satisfied only if I "win" an argument, I have no motivation to stop fighting. I have had to choose another definition of "satisfied" - one in which I accept my powerless over other people, and am satisfied when I see that this time, I have chosen the healthy way to deal with conflict. I can feel self-love and self-respect when I make these different choices. I can then save up the energy which would have been expended upon the conflict, and splash out with it, on a pleasurable activity, whatever that may be for me.

I pray to be paying attention more often, and to decide that this time, I am not going to ____, I'm going to work my program.

1 comment:

  1. I suffered from "being rightitis". And I am afraid that it would come across as being arrogant. I was actually afraid to be less than perfect. Imagine! Now I fully admit to not knowing, don't care to press my point, and can let go of the outcome. Recovery is a great thing.