Hi there! It's Mr. SponsorPants' alcoholism here. He's not paying any attention right now, absorbed in trying to help one of his little projects -- as if, right? -- so I thought I'd take this advantage and step up to the mic.
With all the nauseating focus on gratitude this month, I thought it would be most instructive if I offered a way to avoid it. After all, if you're busy being grateful then you're not taking care of Number One, right? And no one's going to take care of you if you don't right? (HP? Puh-lease. I thought you were too old for fairy tales...)
So here, without fanfare, is my helpful little list entitled:
How Not To Be Grateful
1. Focus on the things you don't have.
2. Compare what you do have to what other people have.
3. Remember, you never know when you'll run out of something, so stop giving.
4. Time is the most precious commodity there is -- and tomorrow you could get run over by a truck! -- so don't spend it on anyone but yourself.
5. Watch lots of television about rich people behaving badly (and there are so many wonderful choices, too!).
6. Dwell on all the things that didn't work out the way you hoped, (but don't look past that point to when things might have worked out even better than you planned).
7. Spend quality time comparing yourself to images in advertisements. (This is especially good to do either right out of the shower or while sitting in traffic).
8. Reflect on every time you've ever been rejected. (Don't forget to include professional rejections as well as personal ones!).
9. Stop reading anything which might turn your attention to some sort of so called "Higher Power."
10. Avoid 12 Step Meetings at all costs.
There you go! Just do that and it should keep you free of that ticky tacky treacle, "gratitude" which everyone goes on and on and on about this month.
It is possible -- even easy -- to take a perfectly good day and ruin it, through the power of your own mind and its lousy, stinking thinking.
The likelihood of this happening (or not) for me is in direct proportion to the amount of AA meetings I have been to in a week.
The quality of Willingness is like a muscle; without use it atrophies.
Some people are so determined to be victims that if no one around is victimizing them they will create a completely fictitious scenario in their mind which allows them to feel victimized. One of the most important things to consider about this is that, since, by necessity, they are blind to this mechanism at work, it is possible (perhaps even likely?) that there are dysfunctional mechanisms at work within any of us me which we I are am also completely blind to, and which create wholly fictitious scenarios to validate a personal, dysfunctional script/identity.
Again, the likelihood of this happening (or not) to me is in direct proportion to the amount of AA meetings I have been to in a week.
An unpleasant turn of events at work. A sick person doing what sick people do. I can see it for what it is. I feel like I can literally see the mechanism of their sickness driving them to make spectacularly poor choices, and work to damage their relationship with the one person (me) who's really been in their corner.
Though I hear the Siren song of drama calling to me, enticing me to respond in kind; or better (worse) use kindness in a cruel and destructive fashion to retaliate (and if you don't know how that's done you're a good person, and if you do... I'm glad you go to meetings), I find that the call is distant, and I am not terribly tempted. A blessing and a Hand intervening in that, I imagine.
Instead after work I spent time with a sponsee, and when they asked how I was doing I told them -- no one is helped when a sponsor pretends to be anything other than an alcoholic with their own struggles.
I came home and, thinking about the day, and replaying the conversation with the sponsee, remembered this piece below. It's been about a year since it has appeared here on Mr. SP. Attributed to Mother Theresa, there is some question as to its actual origin. I don't care who wrote it. Rereading it was just what I needed:
People are often unreasonable, irrational and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.