Stumbling Blocks

The purpose of Step #10 is to identify and remove from our path

today’s stumbling blocks. ~ Anon

I call Step #10 my sanity step. Each day, I get a clean slate and a fresh start. I love it. I never understood, or maybe I just never wanted to understand that there was a way out of the insanity I called life. I just thought misery was what life was all about. I came by that naturally with an alcoholic father and a mom who was the uncrowned martyr mother of the year.  I don’t blame them. They did the best they could with what they had. They never had the opportunity to recover and even know this program existed. I got lucky. Some kind people (I call angels) came into my life from time to time to deliver the message of recovery. I got lucky with the wonderful sponsors I was given who directed me toward the daily exercises; that to this day I practice.  Who encouraged me to look at my part, keep my side of the street cleaned off, see the patterns, recognize and remove the stumbling blocks, and to stop living as if life is a burden to be bear.

Thank goodness and G.O.D. that I have AA. I have some solutions some of the times. Before doing a daily Step #10-11-12 daily; my life was a series of catastrophes of my own making. I would let the little stuff simmer until they were unmanageable by me, so when the big stuff happened, there I would be with boiling over emotions and feelings; and  paralyzed to do anything about it. With a daily Step #10-12, I have a solutions. I get to look at things logically, hand them over and go about my new day unburdened and unfettered by any unresolved problems. When I get stuck, I ask for guidance. It helps to filter things through my sponsor like I did today. For all of this, I will be eternally grateful. I hope you find your path leading toward a daily Step #10-12. Keep reading pages 84-88 in the Big Book daily. The solutions are at hand.

 

Amends to Self

     We have learned that complete willingness to make amends to ourselves and to forgive ourselves or past mistakes has been essential to our recovery. ~ Anon

I know this goes against the grain for most people who perceive self-love to be selfish and self-centered, but believe me when I say, that unless we love ourselves unconditionally and accept ourselves with no ifs or buts, we will struggle with ego based problems such as judgmentalism, fear, social insecurity, etc.  How do we go about this thing called “living amends.” There are certain things we say to ourselves in our heads and out loud, that if said to another person, would be grounds for a law suit for defamation of character or outright abuse.

So, how does one overcome this self-abuse? The first thing is to catch ourselves in the act. In other words, jot down each time a negative thing falls out of your mouth or pops into your head, as an example: “I’m stupid”, or “there I go screwing up again.” Once you have a few on paper, identify a positive affirmation to counter what was said or thought. And put the word “absolutely” in front of it. For instance, “I am absolutely smart enough.” I find it helpful to write these each day, until the falsehood is removed. Another tactic that works, is to catch yourself in the act, and then correct it on the spot. I did this once in the middle of a sentence. The person I was speaking to chuckled at my affirmation and said, “I agree!” Be kind and gentle especially to yourself. As one friend says, “I have to be on my own team.”

 

 

 

Self-Love/Compassion

God, please help me see the truth about myself

no matter how beautiful! ~ anon, 2011

The secret to success in AA is in believing you are worth it, acting as if, and staying sober; so that you can appreciate this fact fully. I have said before, and I will gladly say it again: I do not respond well to criticism. I am not motivated by negative reinforcement. And, all the self knowledge in the world will not get and keep me sober. I must practice day after day, and year after year this thing called absolute love and compassion for myself and others. How can I be compassionate toward others when I beat myself up and find only fault in the mirror? I can’t.

Last night, I witnessed a conversion between a healthy member in AA and someone who does not embrace the concept of love and compassion toward self and others, yet is dry. What I heard a lot were excuses, blame and self sabotage when healthier options for living were introduced.  My questions for you are: is it enough to just be dry and drag yourself to meetings? Or is being healthy, happy, free, and truly sober a better objective? I choose the latter. So long as I treat myself like garbage, I will fee like garbage, and eventually I will say, “what the heck; I might as well be drunk.” Eat well, live well, and be well one day at a time.