Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Clouded Thinking.

My thinking is clouded when I am in denial about my character defects. When I'm convinced that my way of thinking, seeing, relating, acting, feeling, is the one and only correct way, I have lost my ability to keep an open mind.

Yesterday's reading in Courage to Change, is about this - getting stuck in the closed-minded rigid belief that we are right, and the other person is wrong. I like this:

"I don't have to invalidate anyone else's views in order to validate my own. It's all right to disagree. Today I will respect someone's right to think differently."

and this quote from Voltaire:

"Think for yourself, and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too."

Many people become defensive if offered a view different from their own - I know I did this for many years in Al-Anon. I don't know where it happened, but somewhere along my road to freedom, I let go of that. I can make my point, and hear the other person say that they firmly believe the exact opposite, and it's ok. It no longer feels like a challenge that I must meet and a fight I must win, it's only their opinion, in the same way that it's only mine.

I'm grateful to have received this gift from working the Steps, because it means that I don't lose my serenity when I discover that someone doesn't think as I do - I can be good friends with those with whom it might be said that I have nothing in common at all, but our shared committment to 12-Step, yet how marvellously we get along, and what wonderful far-reaching conversations we can have. I take that somewhat for granted, I think, until it's pointed out to me again, and then I marvel at the way this program unites us, even with all of our differences. That, when I stop to consider it, is purely amazing.


  1. I can accept different views and opinions. Where it bothers me is when another doesn't accept mine but wants to control me. I balk at that. It would be good if everyone really worked the program.

  2. Thanks for this post. After I spoke my truth I would feel guilty that I was making someone else feel uncomfortable. Damn
    Today I try to remember I don't have to take care of the world everyone has their own higher power.
    Keepin it simple for today