Thursday, May 28, 2009

A small thing...

I truly get that, in my life today, the only "big things" that exist are things like "love", "humility", "God", "relationships" - those things that I used to ignore completely or that had little or no meaning or value to me.

The rest of it - house, job, tools, toys, money - are all small things. Probably the smallest of things in my life today (when I am truly recovered and living the spirit-led life that I aspire to) are my judgments (opinions) of myself and other people. Don't get me wrong - I'm clear that I'm not a saint and you probably aren't either - but, most days, I'm willing to give you (and me) the benefit of the doubt that you're doing the very best that you can do and that you are (and I am) willing to grow along spiritual lines. Those that I meet that are not on some sort of spiritual path of growth don't deserve my judgments - in fact, they don't even warrant my consideration at all. They are on their own path and God is in charge of that - not me.

In one of the blogs I read this morning, I was reminded of that part of everyone's share in AA that I still listen most carefully for: do they say that they are going to share
"what it was like, what happened, and what it is like now"
...or, do they say they are going to share...
"...what I was (we were) like, what happened, and what I am (we are) like now"
Again, this is a really small thing to me but I still find it an interesting distinction and may, if someone says it deliberately or mindfully, indicate whether they've signed up for this program in the same way that I have. Perhaps their choice of words could indicate, as Mary posted the other day, whether someone is in Recovery from Alcoholism.

For example, I could share (and have shared) at a meeting that:
  • I was born in a small town in eastern Colorado into a family that was more a business than a family - that I started drinking in high school and had this weird life where it always seemed like I was getting somewhere and then would fail at the last minute
  • I stopped drinking
  • I've had this weird life after drinking where it seems like I get a lot of stuff and relationships and then my life changes (I lose stuff and relationships) but that I don't drink - no matter what
...or, I can relate the same story (life) by saying:
  • I was born into a world where I constantly felt odd and off balance - like my people had dropped me on this planet where I just didn't fit in - I found that, when I drank, I could "fit in" but it seemed like this only worked sometimes and that, in general, I just felt worse and worse around my life
  • I had an experience where there were 2 undeniable facts about my life and my drinking:
    1. I (and everyone else) would be better if I were not alive
    2. maybe it was true (as I'd maintained for decades!) that drinking was not "the problem" in my life - but - what was equally and undeniably also true was that drinking was not part of "the solution" to the problems in my life
  • Through joining AA, finding and working with an excellent sponsor, working the steps, being available for AA service - I've been changed as to who I am in my world today and today I live a life that's beyond my wildest dreams. Most days, I can't think of anyone on the planet that I would rather be than me.
Again, same story but one reflects what "it" was like++, the other reflects what "I" was like++.

Unless I sponsor you and hear you share or you make the mistake of asking me, I would never point out the difference. It's just a game I play in my head at meetings sometimes.

It truly is the smallest of things...


Steve E. said...

Thanks for an interesting, well-rounded blog, covering a whole bunch of what we in Naples, call "Good Shit"!

Syd said...

I guess that each time I've told my story, it has been the latter of the two. In Al-Anon, we are told to keep the focus on ourselves. I guess I've taken that literally.

What does the "it" refer to? Is "it" the old life with a spiritual and emotional malady?