I know that depending on the situation I can either be demanding or gracious. Sometimes I wonder whether I can even be demandingly gracious. For so many years I exacted a demanding toll on myself. I did not cut myself or anyone else any slack.
And there are still moments when I find myself in that same role. It happens less and less, but I know that there are certain degrees of slackness that I find hard to let go.
I realize that I was trying so hard to bring order into a life that was filled with disorder. By being demanding of myself and others I thought that I could create peace. It makes me sad to think of the barriers that I created with others.
I know that I fall short of meeting my own demands. And it is obvious that others will not follow what I want. I can accept that and not use the opportunity to brow beat someone or shame them. It is a fact that I do not have the answers for others.
So when I feel the indignation of unmet demands rising in me, the question becomes "How am I going to respond?" I have choices on whether to react in self-pity or anger; retaliate and make a bad situation worse; or respond in a sincere manner in which I let others go about their business. That is the gracious part that comes in recovery. And it is by the grace of my Higher Power that I have a good life today.
"What usually happens? The show doesn't come off very well. He begins to think life doesn't treat him right. He decides to exert himself more. He becomes, on the next occasion, still more demanding or gracious, as the case may be. Still the play does not suit him. Admitting he may be somewhat at fault, he is sure that other people are more to blame. He becomes angry, indignant, self-pitying. What is his basic trouble? Is he not really a self-seeker even when trying to be kind? Is he not a victim of the delusion that he can wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if he only manages well?" from Alcoholics Anonymous