Sunday, April 18, 2010
Monday 4/19/10 - "DISCOVERY"
I'm thinking about what happens on our journey of recovery and the exploration of deeper and deeper levels of ourselves. We discover truths that have been buried most of our lives. There are reasons we have kept them covered up.
My hidden defects were the seeds of my mental, emotional and spiritual illness - the escalation of my alcoholism and my co-dependence. These hidden truths were so grotesque to me that I could not afford to acknowledge them. The more I resisted them, the bigger they grew. I was creating mountains out of molehills and those mountains were crushing me.
In childhood I developed a sense of not being good enough, of being not just imperfect, but worthless. I acquired an internal measuring stick that was always present and caused me to be ever comparing myself to others and forever coming up on the losing end of the measurement. How did this happen? My mother raised her children in what she thought from her own experience was the best way. She was critical, judgmental, and compared us to others frequently. I believe she thought it was constructive criticism, judgments, and comparisons that would show us the way to a good life. It didn't work out that way. It produced low self-esteem and even self-hatred at times.
The twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon allowed me to begin the discovery process that has set me free from the damage of my past. Many of my sponsees are frustrated by the fact that after completing the twelve steps and finding some peace and serenity, they find themselves back at that place again of seeing a defect in themselves that they abhor.
I have heard in the rooms of AA and Al-Anon that the pain is in the resistance. The more I resist new knowledge about myself, the longer it takes to move to a better place mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and the more painful the process is. Just because we find ourselves at a place we label as 'back there again', it is not really that same place. We have just reached a deeper level of awareness that provides the opportunity for further spiritual growth.
What to do when we find ourselves very aware of yet another character flaw?
Be willing to acknowledge, accept, and take action to correct it.
Take care of ourselves.
Be gentle with ourselves.
Hush the self-critical and self-judging voice.
Ask God to reveal character defects and humbly ask Him to remove them.
(Photo credit: Revelation by Masterwks@deviantart.com)