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Big Book 12 Steps ( live and let live )

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 Live! I get it. "Live" my life one day at a time sober in AA. It's the "let live" part that can have me whirling around bumping into things. I kind of thought let live meant muster up a sufficient defense so I wasn't affected by people, thereby letting them be whoever they wanted? Not really a total control freak, more like a manipulator. Bouncing from person to person fancied or real in my head,  placing them in a lesser position than me with justified resentment or justified self seeking motives. That whole they're screwed up and I'm ok thing. I couldn't just raise myself up, I had no self worth on my own. I needed to bring them down first and then arrange them to meet my needs.. Now I'm better than them so go ahead and let them slide as they stumble into my path in my world. Besides, it's one day at a time but we're all in different days right? Sure thing. I can justify anything for an emotional security boost. I really am the worlds Chief critic. The Captain of controversy....

Little did I know, live and let live was just my way of jockeying for position as I go through my day, selfishly creating my own security. Like my selfish interpretation of the sick mans prayer in the Big Book. Pray for the sick bastard. Yeah, poor thing has no idea what they are doing acting as they do. Why don't they simply consult me? Mr. AA. I can let them know what they're doing wrong. Wrong is something I know all about.  Probably not writing or did a lame fifth Step. Not working with others. Maybe they don't believe in God. Yep..I have no problem finding fault, making others pay for how I feel about myself so I don't need to look at myself.. If I'm feeling less than, I simply pump myself up with selfish delusion. That playing God thing. Or playing what I think God is anyway. There! Fixed! Going on through my day creating a trail of bleached bones as I pick everyone clean and create my high self esteem. 

The retaliation comes at many levels from as many angles. I rarely catch it on time, it's constant. All I see is people are in my way, against me, different. Like it's them, their fault first as I can't see myself at all.  That I'm standing on their head or I've kicked them to the curb with my selfish self-seeking attitude. When it comes to creating relationships or intimacy? I'm with a dog at a classic car show. Sooner or later I'm going to jump on a paint job or knock something over. People cringe when I come by. All the while defending my right to take my dog wherever I go as if it's a part of me. I simply cannot see outside myself..So really? The "let live" of the slogan "live and let live" is still all about me. I'm not about to let go of anything and risk vulnerability by letting anyone live their own life. It's the one huge thing in AA that I struggle with. Fear. Letting others be who they are and not being afraid of how they affect me. 

The 12 Steps suggest the spiritual path. I can get on it easy enough each morning in meditation, I'm willing to love and understand everyone.  But staying on it? That takes work for me anyway. "Constantly" I believe is the word used to describe my suggested efforts here in my Step 10. Constantly, as in, all the time? Damn! Who can do that!

 

Well..First off I'm going to stop focusing on others defects. That can't be that hard can it? The guy I work with is real fat so stop shaming him by poking fun all the time even though he starts it? I don't need to feed into it. I don't need to use his obesity to make me feel thin. Right, got it! And my old friend who recently came out as Gay? What the heck! Gay! Really? Weird thing is he's still my friend. That's it though. I have boundaries around the whole Gay thing don't I? Shouldn't I? My father would! Ok daddy, look at me putting him in his place! Daddy would finally be proud of me for a minute. Eh..Daddy's dead. No matter. I'm going to have to tell him not to have any boyfriends around me or public acts of....What am I thinking here? I'm not Gay so how could I even know what it's like, never mind control others? And the Daddy never loved me crap again? As if I know what love is supposed to be across the board. I don't know what love is myself for myself but somehow know what it's like to be Gay and in love? Or so extremely co dependent I get upset at another's weight problem? The anxiety is only because I can't find the right wrong. As if they need to do what I do and live right but I can't find anything I do that's living right? So, make them pay somehow so atleast they're less than me.  

What is this some Religious thing? Nope..I'm not Religious. Moral? From who, me? Oh yeah, I'm the moral standard. Christ! If only others knew what skeletons were left for dead chained down in my closet. Wow, I'd definitely be eating my lunch alone everyday. Come to think about it? I am eating my lunch alone. Seems like others would rather eat alone than sit with me. Think it's my selfish attitude leaking out? No, that can't be true can it? I'm just being self centered. As if self centered is really no big deal when it's me who's acting it out. Wait. Who the hell am I to judge anyone on anything really? I can hardly keep my own life in order living so, letting live? That's going to be more like letting go. Live and let go of the self centered fear. Somehow stop grabbing people places and things every minute. I'm beginning to see a pattern here with me and fear, selfishness and fear. The pattern is laced with a corroding thread. It's self centered fear. It's me. I steal my emotional security from my surroundings, I can't generate it on my own.

More of me making others pay for how I feel about myself..Yup, like me so I can like myself. He's fat or skinny or Gay or straight or rich or poor. Big, small, black, white, on, off, hot, cold, stupid, smart...I know something they don't know. Anything they can do I can do better. I can find something wrong with anybody so nothing is wrong with me. Oh.. I'm afraid of everybody equally so it's got to be me right? It can't be them, all of them? Well, maybe some of them but not all of them!  I'm the common denominator here, me. These others are just people living their lives. Maybe the Book was right. Selfishness and self-centered fear IS the root cause of alcoholism. The booze is just a symptom, an effort to control the fear. Medicate myself.. MY head is the problem. Not their heads.

Same old deep down I'm just afraid I'm not good enough for anything. I have no self worth whether I'm sober or drunk. Everybody is everything and I'm not. No wonder I turn it around so I'm everything and they're not. There is no middle of the road here, I have nothing to work with. Like everything else with me it's all or nothing. Kill or be killed, the survivor. Yeah survivor, like they talk about in Adult Child meetings. Yikes! How come I'll give anything I have to some yet am afraid others will steal from me? The selfish judge. Weird.

Ok, so..To let others live I must be honest with myself first. That's a given.. If I can accept myself I have no reason to use others. Bring them down to my level so I can rise above them and feel better about myself. But how do I accept myself. I've been a failure my entire life. Used to be you could just ask anybody but now just ask me.

Just the other day someone said they were sober and doing great but stopped going to AA meetings. My first thought was no way. That's impossible. But it's me? I go to AA so I believe AA is the only way? So not only am I the beginning and end of all thought but so is AA?  If they leave and go somewhere else that somehow makes me afraid, makes them better than me? They know something I don't know? So, what.. I need to validate myself by bringing them down to raise myself up? Damn, this selfishness is everywhere! Like if you don't believe in Jesus you don't believe in the one true God. I need to let this guy live the way he choses to live. I need to live my life which happens to be AA's 12 Steps and let him live his and show support too. Live, and let live. Wow, letting live is the hard part of live and let live that's for sure. Making others believe what I believe is a lot of self imposed stress.

I'm going to work on this letting live stuff today. First I'll do my best to surrender to my Higher Power for courage and strength. This hasn't changed since I got sober. This is how I live. I pray to feel good enough about myself to care for myself without using people. I am convinced God makes it possible for me today but that's not just some dream away plan.   To let live? I'm going to have to be honest with myself, with who I am, what I am. If I have security, even in small amounts? I can overcome the self centered fear. I am not afraid to let others be who they are. They are no longer a threat to my fragmented emotional security as if stealing something that is mine like hey! I'm using this! I'm using you so do what I say and act like I want!

I can feel good about myself and in turn let others feel good about themselves. I can turn it around today. I can give because I have something to give. I have no need to steal my self esteem from another's life. I will pray to let them live as they should for themselves and that my God direct me to who I should be..I can do this today. I am willing to grow in understanding and effectiveness, willing to live and let live.

 

 

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