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.

Prayer Girl

(Photo credit: Revelation by


Kim A. said...

I resist less these days. In taking care of myself, I no longer let myself stay in a painful place as long. Progress!


Anonymous said...

Good morning PG ~ I've been off the blog for a couple of weeks while visiting family in Sarasota. I have promised myself that next time I am so close to you I will make the trip south.

I SO relate to your post today. My purpose in returning home was to do a 4th and 5th step with my US sponsor. Now moving through my 6th and 7th, I am brought a peace like I have never felt. I penned a bit about it myself today.

I like your yardstick metaphor. I have always had one too. I refer to mine as an external one. I pull it right out and place it beside the person I compare myself to and let them be the judge, never trusting myself to know better. I've never measured up either. I no longer pull it is tucked inside and only visible to me.

This is growth for me.



Brian Miller said...

very nice...takes quite a bit of humility...

Andrew said...

Oh yes, I can so relate.

You have a way of expressing what I am feeling.

Love to you and Steve.

Jennifer said...

Your writing and your words are tools of healing for me. I wonder if you know just how wonderful they are!

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

humility, thank God, is continuing to bloom in life experience lived out soberly daily.

And thank God too for those who are also a part of the fellowship here who are so aware of God's forgiving spirit! :)

(((((Anna))))) HUGE Hugs to you today! Thanks for being a wonderful reflection of Grace!

Syd said...

I think that awareness is what keeps me from making the same mistakes in thinking over and over. I can now stop myself before I become lost in old behaviors and thoughts. Great post!

Zanejabbers said...

I love that deeper level of awareness. It Rocks.

Lynda Young said...

I like, "Be gentle with ourselves". This really speaks to me. Thank you.

Paula said...

My triggers are my treasures. Love from my heart to yours.

G-Man said...

You are so eloquent...

It's obvious that you have your head on straight now PG.

Such a beautiful soul...:-)

Lulda Casadaga said...

Sounds like your mother and mine were related! :D
Seriously, I'm proud of husband just celebrated his 5th yr anniversary...2nd time around..1st was 6yrs. He is discovering new things about himself everyday and trying to ditch the childhood bs.
You see his father is related to your mom & mine! LOL

Superfluous Brunette said...

What a great post, I totally resonate with what you are saying. The things we do to hide our deep truths or as I say in my recent blog "the lies" we believe about ourselves", i.e. not good enough, keep us stuck in painful and dysfunctional patterns, or addictions. And these feelings can be so deep that we aren't even aware of them...until something breaks us open and we HAVE to feel that pain.
I love your insights.