Alcoholics Anonymous Blog/Video Oct 7 DonInLondon Step 10 "Reality Check"
October 7, 2013 Step Ten Month: "continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it." Just because your answer works for you, please don't instruct me or teach me or coach me to be like you. Just because you don't like the way I share about recovery, please don't try to shut me up, please don't try to control what I share, please don't, please don't and I won't either. If I don't know what is right for me, then I don't know what is right for you, mind you that is just for today.
Step ten month and all about personal inventory rather than taking the inventory of other people. I was sharing with a friend yesterday that I had been completely wound up by the behaviour of somebody who gossiped about me to them. They pulled me to one side and suggested I should stop doing something because it was wrong. And in a fit of pique and anger and resentment, I told them to fuck off and mind their own business. A week later I shared with them that I was wrong and that I should have said, "I need to fuck off and mind my own business." After all what he thought of me was none of my business. Especially as it was all based on gossip.
We can be blindsided in recovery thinking we know better than other people. A current example is trying to measure the amount of time another person shares in a meeting. And this can only be based on some resentment within the timekeeper or the gossiping timekeepers who want to shut somebody up. Not very kind, but then again, some people, they do go on and on and on. And that was what they were told to do, to keep on sharing and keep on sharing and keep on sharing, experience strength and hope as it happens on a daily basis. I suppose some of us including me; do go on and on and on. That's how it works! So if you are not able to go on and on and on yourself, arrive early be in the right place and get talking and sharing as soon as possible. Share about your anger and resentment at other people sharing too much, and then try and turn it around, what really bothers you today in your own life. Usually it's about powerlessness, the madness, not able to let go and a whole pile of shit which needs to be dealt with one day at a time until it's gone or understood.
How hateful can fellows in fellowship be towards each other? People full of hate, are capable of hateful attitudes which then become their behaviour and their actions. Hateful people can behave hatefully. Especially when "they" barb their hate in a loving commentary of doing this for your own good. Reminds me of my father and the pick me ups he used to get from the chemist and force us as children to drink. He found it hilarious, we found it frightening. Hurt people, are likely to hurt people because that's what they know. Competitive people often put their own values on others because they are often in desire of a win, having chosen a losing strategy in life. We will not feel better by putting other people down? Well, examine your own behaviour and judgement of others, and then look in the mirror.
We cannot stop the process of other people learning tolerance and love. Especially when the world is unfair, we bring the world's attitudes and behaviours into fellowship always, we don't understand unity, service and recovery are the bedrock of survival which is underpinned by love. Challenging people is quite acceptable, providing you know why. And developing a mob handed approach to undermine one individual and their recovery is about as harsh and horrible as it can get. The yellow card: all about the understanding that gossip can kill. And when you make yourself a representative of other people within the fellowship, hold on to your hat and expect the worst of behaviour towards yourself from those you choose to criticise. You have no right to undermine another person and speak on behalf of other people. If you want something to change, the group conscience is the vehicle as guided by a power greater than a faction or worse the schoolboy bully looking for somebody to pick upon today.
Why am I so emphatic this morning? I have not been hurt recently, but I could be. And there is a recurring theme which is often forgotten that we are in a fellowship based on love, not control and not exclusion, all about inclusion, freedom and love. Step ten suggests we take personal inventory, and not the inventory of others or we will get judgemental and very unhappy. After all how can we possibly measure up to the world, especially when the world has no particular interest in us? Why not be an equal sized person in an equal sized group of people? We all have a right to be here don't we? And if somebody is getting on your wick, you are allowed speak for yourself at your own peril, and it is good thing to do to work out how to do it. It is not good to speak on behalf of other people just because you think they can't speak for themselves. As you suggest you speak for other people, you are impeding their emotional and spiritual progress, and certainly losing sight of your own.
So sometimes it might be the right course of action to feel the anger, to understand the nature of what is going on and still recognise all the feelings you experience in the moment of now. In the spiritual kindergarten, a lawless place and very antagonistic sometimes, where else can we learn how to live life one day at a time. Progress, courage to change, faith in learning the next right thing and confidence to make mistakes and be forgiving is the step seven path of life. Humility rocks.
Pride ego and fear, the bedrock of defects of character, when pride and ego rise up in resentments and anger, underneath fear lurks. Fear of not being good enough, fear of not being taken notice of, fearful of other people in general. Fear eats away at courage to change, faith in action and building confidence. If you are judging other people, are you missing the point of recovery? And when you make yourself larger than other people and speak on their behalf, what is happening to you as a person? I cannot make it better, I cannot change you and I cannot undermine you. I simply won't follow you into the abyss of self-pity and grandiosity.
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