"The chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear--primarily fear that we would lose something we already possessed or would fail to get something we demanded. Living upon a basis of unsatisfied demands, we were in a state of continual disturbance and frustration. Therefore, no peace was to be had unless we could find a means of reducing these demands. The difference between a demand and a simple request is plain to anyone." Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 76.
As far back as I can remember, I demanded my needs be met. I demanded my brother pay attention to me as a child. I demanded my mother buy me expensive jeans like my best friend's mother did. I demanded my body look like Brooke Shields in her Calvin Kleins. I demanded my boyfriend never speak to his ex-girlfriend. The more demands I put on myself and others, the more paranoid and fearful I became.
Fast forward a good twenty years later and I have learned how to reduce my demands. There has been no quick fix-rather a very painful process of trying to push my way through brick walls until I finally surrendered and became willing to act in a new way. The more I was forced to act differently (or else drink again), the more I came to trust that my Higher Power always knew what was best for me. The things or situations or people I thought I wanted ended up being wrong for me. The things or situations or people I thought to dispose of ended up being best for my personal growth.
Whenever I become frustrated or disturbed, I ask myself what I am afraid of. I remember all the ways my life has expanded as a result of working the 12 steps and changing my behavior. I stop pounding my fists, take a deep breath and calm down. Almost as soon as I relax, a new miracle occurs.
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