learned some lessons quickly. I learned other lessons very slowly and painfully. And I'm certain I have plenty of life lessons yet to learn.
When I see someone else falling victim to the same mistakes I've already made, I have an instinct to warn them. But more often than not, those warnings fall on deaf ears. Just like my ears had been closed when others tried to warn me!
Someone said to me one time "who are you to take someone else's bottom away from them?" He was trying to show me that I was getting lost in "Playing God" while trying to be helpful to others.
So here I hit a paradox in recovery. Where we are granted an amazing gift and ability to be capable of helping others out of the pits of Hell but where that ability must be perfectly balanced with humility rather than authority in order for it to be effective.
No alkie or addict likes to be TOLD what to do!
Whenever I find myself forcing my opinion on others, "for their own good", or pushing my experience as the "right way" to do this recovery thing, I ALWAYS receive resistance and find myself getting all twisted up emotionally.
But when I simply present the facts of my experience and allow others to take it or leave it with no strings or impact on my life, things always work out the way they are supposed to.
That is one of the beauties of 12 step work. Learning to ALLOW others to experience exactly what they need to experience before they change their minds and follow the path that millions of recovered addicts and alcoholics have traveled before them. Just like me, they will have to walk as far down the path to a living Hell as they need to in order to change their mind.
Today I am trying to focus on being tolerant and loving to those who are still lost in the difficult lessons yet to be learned. I must learn to offer my experience, without imposing my opinion.
When I think back to the men and women who were patient and kind to me during my early and tumultuous years, I remember how the ones who are still in my corner today were always supportive and welcoming to me, even when I kept digging myself deeper into chaos.
Those folks set a true example for me. Kindness. Tolerance. Welcoming. Forgiving. No judgment. They just carried the message and showed with their actions that this thing truly works. Those guys are all still sober today!
When I was ready, I began to listen and do what they had done.
Today is a good day to work on being more patient with the sick, more tolerant of the difficult, and more humble in my approach to recovery.
Are you being kind to the suffering today?
Enjoy the journey
By Jeff W.
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