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October 26, 2010

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Dave

I want some coffee too.

sevenup

Thanks for writing on it again. I read it yesterday and I was unsure about it. I don't own a 12 & 12, actually just got my first Big Book a few weeks ago, so I obviously hadn't come across that part. When I did my first 4th with my sponsor (in NA) I had written about having been raped at 17. Apparently I was supposed to find "my part" in that, and all I could come up with was that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even THAT is not my part, as we should all be free to go where we like. I agree that this is poorly worded.

I must say, as someone fairly new to AA literature, that I think most of it is excellent. I do have a friend gleefully waiting for me to get to the part "for wives" though. I might not ever go there. ;)

David S

Yesterday I shared your musings with some sponsees; today I will be asked about your change of tone. What I will share with them, is what Bill W. used to always say when someone disagreed.
"That's your opinion, and you're entitled to it"
And here is my opinion. That your ego got in the way of the process and allowed you to take a heavy handed public swipe. You made it perfectly clear that you did not agree in your first writing, coming back for "clarification" seems ego driven to me. Thank you for being out there, I read you daily, and will continue to.
David S.

Virginia

"My part" has always been that my go to place is building and embellishing any resentment large or small. Before working the steps and reading the 12 Step Literature I felt "entitled" to do that. Now I understand, not ruminating and engaging in a situation, experience or my history in that way, I am not nearly as "sore" and much less inclined to "feeling" thoughts that do not help me approach a happy, joyous and free life. This is how I have used my understanding of that axiom. Thanks to MSP and all for this interesting discussion.

Elizabeth

Well, I have found that particular bit of writing challenging over the years. There are, in my life, any number of situations from childhood to present day that clearly I did not create (at least as a small child). Just as I was writing this I thought how my life choices once I was making choices on my own at some point in my early years did create environments for many awful things to occur and the awful things did occur. The spiritual axiom addressed in your post is a difficult one to swallow. I have grappled with it many, many times. Yet, sitting at my laptop tonight, I cannot think of one thing that has happened in my adult life that did not have the mark of one of my poor choices stamped on it. Oh, it might be years later and far removed from the initial choice but a choice did at some point expose me to people, places and things that did hurt me and people I loved a great deal. So I think this axiom is meant for an adult audience and not applicable before the age of reason whatever that age may be. In my life the hard and immutable truths of the wreckage of self-will run riot echoed from old-timers and in meetings where truth abounded hurt me deeply and saved my life. Give me even one tiny drop of an opportunity to point a finger and I am off to the races. Finally!! I was a pure victim with no fault. WRONG! I was a battered wife, pregnant before I got married TWICE, married multiple times to increasingly irresponsible men. My precious children had to deal with an ego maniace with an inferiority complex and the nutcases I brought into their lives. So, o.k., maybe someone yells at me when I did not do one single solitary thing other than be in the right place at the right time. Maybe I have been innocent a time or two but, for this alcoholic, it is best I do not have that pointed out to me. Compassion? Yes! Self-righteouos indignation because I been done wrong?? You might as well put a drink in my hand. I cannot afford to be right when being right means I get to see how you hurt me and I didn't deserve it. OMG!! Sorry but I hated this axiom for a long, long time. I still think it is hard and uncompromising. So was my drinking and drugging folks. I'd rather cry uncle every now and then when I was right than be right and be drunk.

xty

When I read statements like that or hear them applied without exception or qualification,I find irony at the lack of open-mindedness I have largely encountered in the program. The concept of disturbance arising from oneself is very useful and often correct. It is also extremely dangerous, particularly to women, minorities, and others who may have a background of poor self esteem, abuse, or exclusion.
Anger is an alarm system - it can be abused, misplaced, wrong, and unhealthy, sure. But I also know it can alert me to situations in my life that I need to do something about. That something may have nothing to do with changing how I think about something. It may help me out of an unhealthy situation or damaging relationship.

anon

Its nice to see the Sponsorpants process at work, and brave of you to put yourself out there, imperfectly. I really relate to that. Thank you.
Early on I was like "well what if someone sets my house on fire?" Now I feel that instead of getting stuck in blaming/reacting--I can get the F out!

occhris

When someone does something that causes an emotional reaction in me, (ie. causes me to be "sore"), it is an invitation to turn inward and examine what is going on for me. You're right, Bill's choice of words was poor, because saying something is wrong with us invokes judgement, that I am bad in some way and must fix myself. My sponsor says that a big part of recovery is awareness, and therefore, my "sore-ness" is a blessing, an opportunity to get to know myself better and to hopefully clear the way to a more conscious contact with my higher power.

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