There are three essential questions that we must answer for ourselves in order to live emotionally healthy lives. Others may try to influence us with their answers, but we – – as separate beings – – must find our own.
These essential questions are
- Who am I?
- Why am I?
- Who are they?
Ponder them well.
Turn it upside-down: if late, practice patience; if put upon, understanding; if hurt, forgiveness. Seek always to learn what virtue can be applied so as to turn a problem into an opportunity to grow.
This is a good day for gratitude and what-ifs: what if Bill had been offended by Bob’s issues with other drugs; what if Bill had just taken the drink he so desperately wanted, instead of looking for an alternative? What if they just hadn’t been sympatico – the high-pressure Easterner and the Midwestern physician? Would I still have my sobriety to be grateful for? What about my other 12-step fellowships?
Happy 82nd Birthday AA!
There’s an old saying something like, “Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.” That’s certainly inarguable logic, but most of the time it fails to lead to a valid conclusion. Most people don’t care about us one way or the other. Those who do care usually wish us well, as long as we’re not standing in the way of their comfort somehow. The fact is, we’re not powerful enough — most of us, anyway — to make ripples in the lives of those who aren’t pretty close around us.
Assuming that we’re not annoying other folks enough to make them want to take time to mess us up, things continually going wrong in our lives usually mean that we aren’t properly interpreting the lessons that life is trying to teach us. There are a lot of reasons for that, but most often they boil down to our not wanting to hear what the teacher is saying. After all, it’s not only easier but far more comforting to attribute our misfortunes to bad luck or to someone’s ill-will or mistakes, rather than to look honestly at the part we had in them.
Everything that happens in our lives is a lesson. Good, bad, or indifferent, there is always something to be learned. The big question is not “Why Me?” but rather, “How can I honestly interpret this lesson and learn from it?”
If our brain is a deck of cards, we are a few cards short in the reasoning and maturity suits.
~ “A Skeptic’s Guide to the 12 Steps”, by Phillip Z.
It has been said that opinions are like wrinkles: everyone has them, and the older we get the more we have. We give them a great deal of power. Some of us are practically ruled by our opinions, and the opinions of others impact our lives daily in myriad ways: politics, individual human rights — even what we (or our significant others) believe we should be wearing.
When we really think about it, we can see that “our” opinions often aren’t really ours.The majority of the time they are based on the opinions of others that we glean from conversations, the news and infotainment media (usually those that tell us the things we are comfortable hearing), our clergy, friends and social sites. Seldom do we bother to conduct unbiased research, drawing from sources on both sides of a question so that we can form original opinions of our own. In fact, most of the things we “believe” or “feel” are things that someone else wanted us to believe and feel. Rarely can we honestly say that our positions on issues are solely our own.