You Spot It; You Got It

There is an interesting aspect regarding people in 12 step programs. It seems that many of them are astute observers. You would think that this would be a blessing. Indeed it is, but not in the way you might think. Often what they observe are the failings of others. This one’s a chatterbox, that one is lazy and so on and so forth. Upon deeper analysis we often find an interesting phenomena. Frequently, they are correct in their observation of shortcoming in another. When they look a little deeper at themselves they often find that they exhibit the same weakness of character. Yes it’s true that she is a chatter box, but so is the person who made the observation. It’s almost as if they are impelled to judge those who exhibit the same weaknesses that they possess. This really can be a wonderful tool for self growth. If we do start judging others, we can use this as a signal for self introspection. For example, when I judge someone as a gossip, I can immediately examine myself to see if I possess this characteristic. Hopefully we can be as a good an observer of ourselves as we are of others. As we work this aspect of our program we can also expect a reduction in judgements in general.

Personal Reflection: What shortcomings do I frequently spot in others?

Negativity Is My Disease Asking Me To Come Out And Play

Recent scientific research has found that some of us are hard-wired to be more positive in outlook and some of us to be more negative. Regardless of wiring, while we were chasing after our drug of choice, negativity definitely fueled our addiction. It was very easy to encounter something during the day which threw us for a loop and cast a negative pale over us. We might then and there have said to ourselves, “a drink, or a drug, or my substance of choice will help wash these feelings away”. Sometimes we would let the feelings percolate for a while, or gather up additional perceived wrongs which stirred our negativity. Then we were primed for self medication with our substance.
In sobriety, we don’t rush to negativity as quickly or as frequently as we did in the past. As part of our step work we often identify negativity as a character defect. We begin to monitor ourselves for negativity. In particular, we begin to listen carefully to the words that we mutter under our breath, or the thoughts that race thru our mind. When we realize that our disease is asking us to come out and play, we get to a meeting, or call our sponsor.

Personal Reflection: How does your disease call you to come and play?