A journey to embrace, explore, and honor the Freedom and Power inherent in active recovery.

No more shame...

No more shackles....

No more secrets.

The path--and the Power--are within. Be Free.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"Expecting a Different Result"

A Blast from the Past...
but still relevant, unfortunately.

Bit of a purge here, so if your are disinclined to
partake in one, you have been forewarned!

"Turn around now for the safety of you and
 your passengers!"

I attended my local AA meeting last night, against
my better judgment. I was so lonely and wanted
some face-to-face interaction. I thought it would
be good for me to work on my interpersonal
skills (being diplomatic, managing differences, etc.)

Things were okay and casual before the meeting.
Light humor, chit chat, sharing some general
stories. Then the meeting started. I had to, of
course, listen through all the talk about how I
can't do anything myself, how the 'one' is God
and may I please be 'blessed enough' to find
HIM now, and how those that can't comprehend
this simple program just don't have what it takes;
there's something wrong with them!

And then it really happened.

Everyone broke into their old canned spiels
from every catch-phrase ever uttered from
program-speak or that they had memorized
from passages of Big Book.
"All you have to do is turn it over to God."
"God will help you if you just LET Him."
"I can't do nothing for myself--it's all God."

I just sat there listening, and realizing how little
I have in connection with these people. I felt
so displaced. I also knew that if I spoke up, it
would only receive the same anger and
condemnation of the past, and I am really so
tired of conflict and fighting.

I have learned something else, too, and I have
a healthy respect for it. These particular folks--
I will refer to them as zealots, not intending
criticism, merely identification--they are
completely consumed by their idea of a savior.
Their identity is wrapped up in it. Their purpose.
Their future.
Their sobriety.

I have no wish to inflict pain, hurt, or criticism
on anyone. Not anymore.

I may feel like I am engaging in normal explor-
ation of the purpose of the program and the
alternatives available, but these people are
unable to separate me 'having a differing
opinion' from me 'condemning and attacking
their position.' And as I think Churchill said,
"Don't ever try and take away a man's beliefs."

I didn't need to be right, or a 'better' AA,
or show my discontent. I simply listened
politely, excused myself before the prayer
circle, and quietly left.

I don't belong there, and that saddens me
greatly that I no longer feel at home with
people I had thought of as friends. But I
need to be where I can either relate or at
least be respected for what I do believe.
Thankfully, such a place exists.

I am a whole and complete human being
unto myself; I have no need of anyone or
anything external. We are all the perfect
self-contained machines of organic
construct. We need only renounce the
dependent conditioning and weakness
that permeates this culture.

I do not want what I have not got.

Life is good and perfect exactly as it is,
and part of my universe is doing what I
can to improve my lot...but to be accepting
of what I am in the meantime.