I was talking to an Al-Anon friend yesterday, about the elderly gentleman who had been so utterly convinced that he knew exactly when "The Rapture" was coming. She made me laugh when she said, "How's that for a life lesson on "Don't project! and "Stay in the moment!"
I replied that he didn't seem to be a person who learned from his mistakes, since this is his third failed prediction about the end of the world. My friend had seen him interviewed a couple of days before the date he'd picked, and the interviewer had asked, "What if it doesn't happen?"
"Oh, it will happen."
"But what if it doesn't?"
"It will happen."
But what if it doesn't, what then?"
"It WILL happen!"
She said she'd remarked to her husband at the time, "Imagine having that guy in your family, and trying to get him to compromise on something." Her husband had looked over at her, and said lovingly, "You were sort of like that, before Al-Anon." She'd threatened him with a small pillow, and been about to make some smartass response, but stopping to think about it, she had to admit - it was true. She'd always been predicting some dire outcome to her husband's drinking, in an effort to control him. Not only that, but she had the same stubbornness of thinking that the elderly gentleman had seemed to demonstrate.
We had the giggles by this time, but she got me thinking, and ... I was sort of like that, myself. I had decided opinions, was very rigid in my thinking, and when I wasn't regretting the past, I was looking to the future. The present was just something to "get through" as best I could. I was unable to allow for other people's ideas or points of view, I was controlling, I was always looking outside myself for happiness.
I was more concerned for my pride than for my spirit.
In Al-Anon, I have learned to accept that one certainty in my life, however long it may be, is that I'm going to make mistakes. I'm so grateful to this program for having taught me to find the humour in that fact: to be able to have a way of viewing it, which allows for have laughing fits with my program friends and my sponsor, when we discuss my human frailties.
My pride no longer trips me up, because it no longer matters what other people think of me. What matters is what I think of me. As long as I am honestly working my program, I can feel serenity and content, and let all the rest of it go, turn it over. I can live in this moment, and that's enough.