It’s been a challenging time, the last few days. I have had little opportunity to sit down and write. Not that I have had much come to mind to place on the page either, due to the demands of day-to-day, nuts and bolts. But that is how life can be, and when we are not (thankfully) immersed in crises, life’s smaller needs take over and need attention.
I used to say that while other people had problems, I had crises and drama of epic or operatic proportions. Go big, or go home. Why go half crazy when you can take that sucker all the way to the wall and bounce it off a couple of times? I almost reveled in my pain, drama and suffering, because it gave me definition. It was my identity and I could wrap it around me to keep people at bay. I also used it as an excuse for poor behavior, toward others and with myself.
One of the first habits I worked on dropping in recovery was the “fun” tendency to dump my mental purse on your couch and let you see how crazy I was, so that if you were gonna run, you were free to do so, and I could feel sorry for myself. Another purpose this served was EGO. I loved to watch your face as you heard the lurid details of my tawdry story, with no purpose other than to elicit a reaction, of shock and awwww. No, I didn’t misspell, I was looking for pity and sympathy. My self-centered being did not acknowledge that your story was possibly just as traumatic for you, however, I had practiced the art of packaging mine for maximum effect.
My pre-recovery soul was parched and dry. I didn’t water my own ground with anything that would sustain me, so I looked to others to provide this. When I started understanding the concept of owning my own recovery and the nourishment of body AND soul, I was less apt to press those around me for approval and validation. It became more important that God and I were okay with the process and where things were at. I had frequent check ins with my sponsor about my releasing the need to seek attention and approval too.
Seeking approval and attention was, and is a hard character flaw to let go of. It still challenges me, and if I am not watchful, I will find myself tripped up in trying to get you to like me. It’s great if you like me, but that’s none of my business, and I need to just be the best me I can be, and let God take care of what you think about it. If I am not seeking others validation, it frees me to walk the path chosen for me by God, instead of feeling like I have to conform to the masses or follow the crowd.
This is putting the sword to EGO for sure, because at the core of it, we all want to be liked and thought well of. But we have no responsibility for the feelings or opinions of others, only to God and His opinion of us, and taking responsibility for ourselves and our thoughts and behaviors. This does come with a caveat. While we are not responsible for someone else’s feelings, we can take appropriate responsibility for causing someone else an offense. Nothing in this is an excuse for poor or insensitive behavior to our fellow sojourner.
Dearest Lord Jesus, help us all as we seek to walk in peace with You and with ourselves.
Much Love and peace to you all.