Monday, March 29, 2010

Tuesday 3/30/10 - "LIVING THE MANY SHADES OF GRAY"

"LIVING THE MANY SHADES OF GRAY"

I used to live life in black and white. I remember the first television my family ever owned. I was about four when it arrived in our house and it's picture was in black and white. It was fascination at first sight and I loved it. Life was played out in black and white on that set and in the same way my thinking developed in those two stark contrasting colors.

One of the ways I coped with a chaotic mind and erratic emotions was to quickly classify unpleasant or disruptive thoughts and feelings into categories of black or white. If I could pigeonhole them then I did not have to think about or experience them anymore. Things were either good or bad, evil or holy, all or nothing, smart or dumb, wise or foolish, pretty or ugly, perfect or worthless, etc. etc. I had no idea this method of coping was destructive.

Living in this world devoid of shades and colors of thought and emotion was crippling. I engaged in many types of behaviors that I did not recognize as self-destructive. I lived in a world of escape.The final blow to my denial was my deadly confrontation with alcoholism. That got my attention. It brought me to my knees and I surrendered.

Recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon has shown me a different way to live, think, and feel. I have discovered the many shades of gray that exist between black and white. However I retain one black and white item. I am an alcoholic, alcohol is poison to me, I don't drink, no gray.

Otherwise life today is full of an infinite variety of shades of gray. In meetings I hear, "There is a little bit of good in the worst of us and a little bit of bad in the best of us." I understand this today.

Life is full and rich. Life is good.

Prayer Girl
(Photo credit: tears of a rainbow 2 by tristefleur@deviantart.com)

10 comments:

Wanda's Wings said...

I so get this blog. I was especially that away what was sin and what was not. I now know I don't have to worry about that part. It's not my job!I do know I am no perfect, but I don't think anyone else is either. I'm many shades of gray.But that's okay too.

Sherry said...

It seems society teaches us to judge everything, like you said. I liked the way you used the T.V. as an analogy!

Shadow said...

interesting. i've always considered myself to be a black/white kinda person. even now. it clarifies things for me though.

Kathy M. said...

Wonderful post. Life is so much more interesting in color. Blessings to you.

chitowngreg said...

Thank you so much for this. Really nice post!

Syd said...

How true about that--we have both some bad and some good. That's basically what the topic was that I lead last night.

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

I understand.

sarah said...

this is such an awesome post. I can totally relate. Sarah

Secretia said...

Really are so many shades of the basic gray!

Superfluous Brunette said...

That sounds like me: a chaotic mind and erratic emotions. The last break up brought out all this in me again, along with obvious self-defeating behaviours. The exact behaviours, I have uncovered through deep self exploration into my reactions, that I had in childhood: self-pity, victimization, feelings of inferiority, inability to "save" myself and looking to others to save me and validate me. Yup, my reaction to a chaotic mind and erratic emotions ... that likely came about from living with an alcoholic as a child.
Thanks for your insight, it really means a lot to me!