Endigar 370 ~ Character Building

From Today’s Daily Reflections;

Demands made upon other people for too much attention, protection, and love can only invite domination or revulsion . . .  (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 44)

When I uncovered my need for approval in the Fourth Step, I didn’t think it should rank as a character defect.  I wanted to think of it more as an asset (that is, the desire to please people).  It was quickly pointed out to me that this “need” can be very crippling.  Today I till enjoy getting the approval of others, but I am not willing to pay the price I used t pay to get it.  I will not bend myself into a pretzel to get others to like me.  If I get your approval, that’s fine;  but if I don’t, I will survive without it.  I am responsible for speaking what I perceive to be the truth, not what I think others may want to hear.

Similarly, my false pride always kept me overly concerned about my reputation.  Since being enlightened in the A.A. program, my aim is to improve my character.

END OF QUOTE

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In the recovery rooms I have often heard my alcoholic disease personified.  King Alcohol.  Lower Power.  It wants to cut me off and kill me.  It desires this, like some living, snarling devil.

In my churchian days, I used to blame a lot on the devil.  It was a good way for me to avoid dealing with difficult issues head-on.  I can remember telling my former wife when we argued that this was Satan working to rip us a part.  So we avoided issues that should have been brought out into the open.  We had money difficulties and I framed it as our own personal martyrdom in the face of a devil that does not want us to prosper.  So I gave to the church in hopes of a magical solution rather than working to change my approach to life.

I believe that the taproot of my addiction is a continuous level of anxiety.  If the normal non-threat level of natural anxiety is a 01, I walk around with a 03.  A stress producing event that ramps up that level by another 3 points would cause a normal person to be at 04 and would cause me to jump to a panic level of 06.  This causes my emotions to have an exaggerated effect on me.  Learning to find serenity is not just a good idea for me, it is life and death.  I want what every one else wants, I just want it more and quicker.  I have to be able to process life on life’s terms as opposed to life on fear’s terms.

In order to find serenity, I have to know the truth about me.  I must learn to process my emotions as servants, not masters.  If I do this, the presence of a devil is irrelevant.  My addiction is unplugged at the source.

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