As I was letting the stack of pancakes that life has become of late sit, and allowing the consumed stuff to settle. An opening for gratitude arrived and it is never a bad time to share those pieces.
The shares, and talk in recovery is almost always followed with being a better person as the goal. The wishes for a better life, and allowing the whole person to have a full life in the process. That isn’t only shared in the rooms of recovery, it is something that many strive for in their everyday lives as well. Whether it is to be a better parent, or a better spouse, a better employee, or a better societal example, a more successful person in what is done; As much as that is all a part of the story, part of the individual journey’s on this road trip we’ve decided to take, there is one part of this that doesn’t always get the acknowledgement that it deserves, the better people principle.
There is a part of all of this becoming a better person business that develops as the work is done and time is allowed to pass, even when the winds of change don’t seem like they are blowing. Through it all, from the first meeting, the first opening of the Big Book, to the step work that begins in earnest or tepid advancement. We are allowing, and experiencing people in a different manner than before. In our willingness to become willing, we have turned on a new perception point, a new light bulb in the darkness. In the Big Book it is said, We are people who normally would not mix. But there exists among us a fellowship, a friendliness, and an understanding which is indescribably wonderful. That thought in context is about the people involved in the program, but it also contains something for everyone else as well. That fellowship, friendliness, and understanding, doesn’t stop at the confines of the rooms. That learned and practiced behavior has a waterfall effect. It allows the mind and heart to push open the doors of understanding, compassion, and acceptance wider than ever before. Especially in recent pieces, I have stated that the most powerful tool I have to understand others begins with the best gift I have ever been given. An understanding of a higher power, the gifts of self knowledge, self awareness, and the capturing of innate pieces of wisdom that I use to engage the world with. In my engagements now, as to the way it used to be, the difference is perceptible, more meaningful, and honest.
As I have become willing, and began learning so much about myself, I have also learned much about you, she, him, them, and us. Finding out more about my own humanness has allowed me to see others in a very wonderful manner. It is like not being able to read, and within a time being able to understand the written language. It is the forgiveness, and acceptance that was developing applied to all. People were tools, People were just shadows, and didn’t affect my selfish mannerisms in the past. I could feel them, I just couldn’t see them as I do today. As I was becoming a better person, I began to notice the whole persons I was interacting with. It was as if it was coloring in their silhouettes, taking them from shadows to full view. The depths and breadths of experiences people share and the empathy, and sympathy that comes with those insights chip away at the mannerisms in which I used to view the world before. The navigating the world and my abilities to cope and accept also opened up in the process. I found myself halted at the objectifying notions in my thoughts. I found myself critical of my criticisms, and I did not care for some of the prejudices that I found lurking right under some thinking. One of the first times I noticed these things starting to set in is when I didn’t care for people making fun of others, I was being the emotional knight for them kind of thing. I noticed my internal complaining and selfish mannerisms were more and more ridiculous to think about, to speak it out loud, so I steered myself from that part of my old ways. I noticed that others didn’t share some of my thinking, they weren’t like me in this way or that… It was ok.
As the years pass by and that innate awareness sets in more and more, that introspect of how you are, and were, sets into your interactions with others. It creates your appreciations, your understandings, your compassions, and your grace. It erodes the angers, it alleviates the anxieties, and it opens your mind to include others in those same understandings of self. Others are going through life too, others are not tools, or objects that should ever be treated as such. To encompass all of that perspective within the introspect allows room to adjust your course when life leaves you confronted with its challenges, its differences, and its hard to accept changes. The willingness, and all of these things that began as a decision, allowed the world to gain mass, gain color, and fill in the shadows that once made it a very different place. The differences in thought from the beginning of my recovery to now is astounding, amazing, and filled with gratitude that the clarity of things has always been there. It was waiting patiently for me as I was off the road of happy destiny. Engaging the world today is not filled with the same anxieties, the fears, and the wariness that I had so much of before. Every person is a point of light, a full story, and allowing that to be a part of my journey has been the most rewarding part of the trip.
Knowing that people really didn’t just change, and the world didn’t take a happy pill when I decided to sober up is the key thing though. Through just a few changes, a few decisions of thought, and a little bit of practice, the world absolutely opened up to be so much bigger, and so much smaller all at the same time; It gained a beauty that is exponential, where definitions were shattered, and limits shredded. It allowed me to see the math of the human equation, the divisions and subtractions, the multipliers and the fractions. It allowed me a place in that equation as well, and in doing so I found a better purpose to it all. So this gratitude of practicing a better way of life has led to a better place to live in as well, better being, better thinking, better people…
Authors note: My apologies on the previous version. I have found that it is usually best not to publish while in the throes of a steroid overdose. Accidental ER thing that threw me for a bit. 🙂 Edited for content…