In the inventory process of our 12-Step recovery program, one of the things we do is to identify our personal resentments, also called grudges. Resentments can be thought of as re-lived anger, even though the external instigating cause is no longer present. Resentments create unpleasant feelings in us when the thoughts about the situation are brought into our consciousness. Many a relapse has happened because resentments surfaced with their pain and we reverted to fixing the unpleasant feelings with mind altering chemicals. For the recovering alcoholic, it means to drink. Other than the short term euphoric feeling, this fixes nothing. Usually it brings further difficulties, and our resentments simply lie in wait for another day.
Getting and staying sober can seem like a lot to the newcomer, and sometimes we forget about all the joys that come with it. For example, being surrounded by a group of loving and compassionate people who have been through the same feelings and experiences that we have. We are told from the very beginning of our journey to “stick with the winners” and this is what that means and why you should do it.
It’s funny that I am about to write a post on gratitude, and, if I’m keeping things real, I am feeling anything but in the current moment. I dropped a weight on my finger during this morning’s workout. At the time, I was grateful it wasn’t my writing hand; now I am realizing in this day and age I need all 10 fingers to write. An extremely frustrating customer service call five minutes ago plays in my head, with no obvious solution on the horizon.
Were entirely ready – are we ever entirely ready for anything? Do we ever stop to ponder that before we undertake something of major import, or do we just dive in headfirst?
Maybe personality is a factor but in my olden days of addiction I used to plunge headfirst in to anything I thought would bring me relief from the squirmy discomfort of the moment. I went with the “it’ll be fine, it’ll work out” attitude with little or no thought as to whether it actually would or could.
In the world of 12 steps, Step 6 is one of the shortest – 12 little words which, on first glance, seem simple. But as all steps, they are simply profound.
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experiences can benefit others. The feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear.
To you amazing like-minded people who somehow found your way here, this blog is humbly offered as a way to explore, contemplate, and discuss a simple yet profound message. Basically this: a spiritual approach to life – and especially to full-spectrum sobriety – is a key, an access code, and guidebook for living peacefully, exuberantly, and marvelously – however you define those things.
They call this one ‘the beginning of the maintenance steps.’ If I continue to spend as much effort maintaining my sobriety as I spent maintaining my drinking, I wholeheartedly believe I can one-day-at-a-time it to infinity and beyond.
The spiritual side of me is fully aware of Namaste – that I am made up of pure, open, and loving energy and it connects with the same genuine essence in you.
Humanly however, it is not always evident. Real life presents real different experiences.