I wanted to write a happy post today that was filled with some good old fluff. But I can't really fool any of you. It is hard to come back to work after a magical weekend. It is hard to get reports done and to deal with stuff when my mind is wandering back to wooded trails and sandy beaches. But I am lucky enough to be at this job for 15 more weeks. And during that time, I have a lot of transitioning to do. So I had best suck it up and get used to it.
I had a tough meeting with a sponsee today. He has started the fourth step. He is where I used to be--not seeing my part, not wanting to admit when I was wrong, judging others, blaming the alcoholic. He feels as if he is a failure and sees things as right versus wrong. I sound like the proverbial broken record, trying to get him back to a place of compassion and to seeing that each of us has a part when resentments are born. I know that he was angry at me for pointing out that I don't have to participate in every fight and fulfill every expectation that gets tossed my way. If it doesn't have my name on it, I don't pick it up.
I understand that the fourth step is a hard one. It made me stop trying to fool myself. It helped me to come clean about a lot of things that I didn't want to think about. But at some deep level, I understood that it wasn't about whether I was right or wrong. I had accepted that my Higher Power wasn't judging me. I was judging me. And once I began to forgive myself, quit trying to tell people what I thought they wanted to hear, and kept my own truth, then I began to see that the fourth step wasn't really hard at all. It was a revelation.
Everything I am learning from each of you, my sponsor, my sponsees, meetings, and literature shows me that I am much better off by not assuming that my reality may necessarily be what another is experiencing. My default setting happens to be one that can slide into criticism and judgment. Mustering up some compassion and empathy goes a long way when dealing with people in general, not just alcoholics. And what I've found is that when I choose to take the high road in situations it is often the result of having taken the low road at an earlier turn along the path.