Sunday, June 5, 2011

Provocation - An Opportunity To Work My Program

Some days, the only thing that works, is to fall silent, stay that way, and recite the Serenity Prayer to myself, until such time as I can escape from the company of a person trying to pick a fight with me.

I don't have to know why they are feeling argumentative or trying to provoke me; that's not my business, or my problem. My part of it, is to behave in a way that I can respect, and remember, without cringing or regretting. For me, that usually means to keep my mouth firmly closed.

It's a disease, and it has a myriad of effects upon a person. I don't need to spend time trying to decipher the meaning of their words or their behavior; I don't have to defend, protest, argue.

I can ask for guidance and Let It Go.

We're having some gloriously sunny warm weather, and that makes me happy. I get up each morning and go out to examine my garden to see how it's progressing.

"Earth laughs in flowers."

                      Ralph Waldo Emerson


  1. From experience, I have dealt with this truth, a statement from the alcholic,"I feel like having a drink". A frequent statement made during a time of stress, when feeling uncomfortable, or wants to escape responsibility or reality, or boredom or they are experiencing depression. Depression makes people cranky, aggitated and critical. Their world is negative. They feel crappy. It is the underlying factor for many.Isn’t that why drinking becomes a problem for some…… self-medicating to feel better? I have to let them take care of them self, give them space, and for me, focus on me.
    For me the best thing was to suggest they take care of themself either with diet, exercise, mental health care, talk to someone, get busy and if they were in an AA program go to a meeting.

  2. I read an idea somewhere, which is along this vein, and found it helpful. It said than when people are very reactive (be it "poor me" or "bad you"), and we respond in a way that is (like you suggest) calm, connected, grounded, spacious, not-reactive, it acts as a sort of invitation to the other person, an invitation for them to join you in your calm, collected, way-of-being.

    And, whether they accept that invitation or not, certainly declining their invitation to be reactive (rescue them, co-sign their proclaimed powerlessness, or to thrust disapproval upon someone or something) reduces the roller coaster ride (drama triangle intensity) for both. Because it's hard to go off the deep end if the other person is calm, collected, and (not passive-aggressive, but rather) responding appropriately.

    Yay for you on this one!

  3. I don't want to be around someone who is argumentative and irritable. It is best for me to get away until things settle down. I don't need to stick around.

  4. But the part that is my business, is how I respond or react. I can let the choices of others drive me crazy or I can work my program and keep the focus on myself.
    Today, I not only have the freedom to mind my own business I have the freedom to choose not to participate in someone else's insanity.
    What they think of me is none of my business!

  5. I had an opportunity not to engage this past weekend and thankfully, I took it. I am grateful for the opportunity to pause and analyze rather than jumping in to defend myself.

    Thank you for this reminder.

  6. Thank you for this reminder. I have slipped and jumped right in trying to reason with a crazy alcoholic. It didn't benefit me or him. I need to remember what I can choose - my reaction. My hula hoop doesn't include his insanity.