Monday, February 29, 2016

Living the Fullest Life

In so many of the AA speaker tapes on YouTube, the speakers will talk about the fact the alcohol was not the problem, it was the answer to the problem. The problem, as often described, was the feeling of being less then, not fitting in anywhere, a knowledge that you are somehow different than everyone else in the room. They often describe the first drunk as making them feel taller, prettier, funnier, sexier and just plain smarter than everyone around them and, finally, being able to take a deep breath and feel apart of. Unfortunately, the feeling is fleeting and can eventually lead to using the substance to an excess. Bottom line is that AA and Al-Anon, organizations that were formed by people whose lives had become "unmanageable" because of alcohol, call this a spiritual malady.

As an Al-Anon, it occurred to me that I have very similar problems to the alcoholic but I deal with those awful feelings by trying to control what is going on around me, by forcing the behavior of others to conform in a way that allows me to be comfortable again. Early on, I saw what damage alcohol did to the drinkers, their entire families and the lives of innocent people. It occurred to me then that answer was to simply not drink, DUH!!! It's so obvious! The truth is that my controlling nature IS a spiritual malady. It's a lack of faith in God and my loved one's ability to care for themselves. My brain is yelling at me to fix it, fix it, FIX IT!, so that I can be comfortable that I can take my deep breath and relax.

The 12 Steps have helped me be aware of  my controlling nature and where it goes awry. After all, you cannot fix what you don't know, There have been so many AHA moments at meetings when another person is sharing and I realize how their experience, strength and hope has hit me like a bulls-eye. It may hurt a little but grateful is what comes to mind when I think of those women that have helped me change my life course just by saying, "This is what happened and this is what I did". Giving it to God, saying my Serenity Prayer over and over again helps. My malady is that I did not trust that there is a plan and, if there was a plan, it may not be what I want. I now know it is my job to accept, be grateful and live, to the fullest, this life I have been given.

Taking a deep breath, I'm heading home for the day. Hope your day is peaceful and happy.

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