Endigar 811

From Courage to Change of March 19;

I came to Al-Anon with a compulsion to focus on other people. I had a clear idea of how everyone should behave in every situation and felt very self-righteous when they didn’t follow my rules of conduct. When I realized that my own life was being neglected because all my attention was elsewhere, I had to make some major changes.

Today, I will have to be vigilant about minding my own business. I know that when my thoughts begin with “He should” or “She shouldn’t” I am probably in trouble. I don’t have the answers for other people. I don’t make the rules for appropriate behavior, good business conduct, driver courtesy, or common sense. I don’t know what is best for others because I don’t know the lessons their Higher Power is offering them, I only know that if I’m caught up in what they should or should not do, I have lost my humility. I have also ceased to pay attention to myself. Nine times out of ten, I am focusing on someone else to avoid looking at something in my own life.

Today’s Reminder

I grow in my ability to relate to others when I allow them to be exactly as they are. The greatest gift I can give to myself is my own attention.

“Clean your finger before you point at my spots.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

END OF QUOTE—————————————

Because of my co-dependent indoctrination in my family of origin, my religious experiences were perverted into an “us and them” mentality. My family was haunted by guilt-laden trip wires and justified abdication of seeking professional help when it was needed. I attempted to create a family government when I was a teenager based on the US Constitution, to get my father to sit at the head of the table and he would not, to regulate TV watching which caused my mother to strike out at my intrusion into her parenting, and so on. When I used religion to distance from my uncontrollable family issues, I found more interpersonal dynamics that needed controlling if I was going to feel safe. I labeled other humans as either a threat or an exploitable asset. I can look back and see that now. I could not have seen it then. I was too busy drowning in the currents of my unrealistic social expectations.

I suppose it took the marital rape of having my children kidnapped by a wife with untreated PTSD to find my own powerlessness. She was sick and I manipulated a semblance of health while using the devil as a scapegoat for marital issues that we should have addressed professionally. I had a creative way of abdicating responsibility to seek help. I hurt. She hurt. It went nova and the family suffered.

That is my mess. So what is the message? As they say in recovery, “focus on the message and not the mess.”

I, the individual me, needs my attention. And the Universe, this matrix built to foster free will, may send a chaos storm my way when I have thoroughly enslaved myself to internal misery. I can make that chaos storm unnecessary through fearless moral inventories, involvement with others who support the manifestation of the Self over the self, and a recognition that there is something, someone out there that cares about me and my mortal fellows. When I find moments of sanity in the rooms and recognize the need for professional help, I will not abdicate that responsibility.  I naturally give to others what I am able to give to myself. If I am not helpful to me, I can only offer manipulation to others. When I make myself a priority, I naturally value others. That is the message I needed to hear. If it is helpful to you, don’t waste too much time in fear. Make the chaos storms unnecessary.

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