When Our Character Defects Get In The Way

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Life would always be a bowl of cherrys if it wasn’t for our character defects getting in the way. Sounds boring right. Not really. I for one would love to live in a perfect world, then reality sets in and these darn things called defects of character knawl at me like a dog on a bone. It wouldn’t be that bad except for the fact that I’ve tried to ignor the outfall of my behaviour.Then there was the guilt. Oh my God it seemed as though I had slayed someone with the amount of guilt I was carrying around with me. Wouldn’t you know it another character defect shows up because I’m trying to look good. PRIDE, what a terrible defect. Well the whole mess could have been avoided if I just did the next right thing and was honest. But no, my addict was rearing it’s ugly little head by this time and I just sat there afraid of my own shadow. Thank God for sponsors. Mine of course was quick to point out all of my defects after I told him what happened, with gloves of love. He reminded me why I was in program and what program meant. He says the right thing so it seems, at always the right moment just enough to get me to realize the truth of my behaviors. I love him for that. So we have a good laugh. I stop beating myself up and I remember why program works. The best is that I can move forward having learned a new lesson and know that being honest is always better than lying and that PRIDE always makes you look worse not better.

 

Commitments…A Way Of Life

One word in the english vocabulary that tends to shy people away is the word commitment. While I must say I shunned it most of my adult life, I finally learned to embrace it when I got into recovery. There’s something about it that really got under my skin after I started in the rooms. I guess because it really means so much in a positive manner. I’ve become committed to my higher power, to my recovery, to my marriage, to my sponsees, and to my friends. I gained a whole new perspective on what used to scare me to death. Oh I was committed to my addiction all right, but not nearly as committed as I am to my recovery. Being committed to my recovery allows me to reap rewards of the mind and soul. A commitment to my addiction just got me more chaos. The trade off is not equal whatsoever. Today I choose to be a man of honorable commitments and have watched my life soar with miracles. Thank you Papa.

Intimacy…God’s Little Gift

One of the truest miracles of recovery is learning how to be intimate with another human being and with myself. Now you’re probably asking yourself, “How do I become intimate with myself?” First we had to learn what the word intimate meant, and then after we learned that we start to follow our hearts and share ourselves with people in an intimate manner. Slowly at first, but as time grew I became more fluent. This was a special time. I was sharing myself emotionally with my wife in ways I never dreamed of while I was in my addiction. We became closer. My sharing in meetings began to blossom with real value. I was allowing my emotional self time to engage with others. This is different from the ways I allowed myself to engage physically with people while I was in my addiction. Sharing one’s heart and feelings has meaning different from sharing one’s physical self in an anonymous hook-up in our addiction. This was a learned trait only while I was in recovery, truly one of God’s gifts. Spending time alone reading a good book or out on a relaxing jog is being intimate with one’s self, even a truer gift.

Sharing…The Gift Of Recovery

One of the most natural things to do in the world is to share our feelings. Whether we’re are mad, sad, and happy or glad sharing our feelings is a natural response for human beings. Then there is addiction. That black cloud that envelopes our lives. All of a sudden healthy sharing stops. Sideways sharing begins…we growl at our partners, our children. We kick the dog. I remember becoming the monster my wife became afraid of when I was in my addiction. I scared her terribly. The guilt and shame drove my feelings to dark levels. I lashed out verbally in abusive tantrums. Then a miracle happened, I found recovery and all my shame and guilt slipped away. I began to naturally share once again. Each time the shame and guilt slipped further and further away. The rooms helped me a great deal. I found a safe place to share and be understood. Today I share my feelings and open my heart towards understanding. The gift of recovery.

Step Eleven…God’s Will

What a great step…”Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.” Wow what a mouth full. What I took away from this step was that as I prayed and meditated to a God of my own understanding that I would be hit with “God Shots” of knowledge, which actually has happened to me on more than one occasion. As God has guided me through these flowing waters of recovery I have made a spiritual connection with my higher power, which I refer to as, “Papa.” I’ve learned to listen to my heart and follow my instincts which He has guided me with. It’s at those times I have had some real awareness and wisdom shoot my way. My Papa is loving, supportive, understanding and doesn’t show me the answers I need right away, sometimes I have to look for the signs a little harder as He is directing me. My hope is that all who look for His ways hear Him as I have and enjoy the path of serenity I have been so fortunate to walk.

 

Happiness is….

You know another year has gone by and all I could think of was what I was happiest about. What truly made me happy? What had I learned from the last twelve months? Believe it or not I was able to put together a little list of things that made me happy. Happiness is a quiet evening with the one I love relaxing while I’m reading a good book. Happiness is knowing that I have nothing to fear because I haven’t lied and need to watch over my back. Happiness is having friends that understand me and support my views without judgment. Happiness is that I can go out on the town and know how act in a crowd with respect. Most importantly happiness for me knows that I have a higher power that watches out over me and guides me on a daily basis. All these little gifts are just a glimmer into a world that I come to understand is where I belong, far away from the trials of addiction. Thank you Papa for all your love and support.

Step Ten…Perseverance

Wow…we’ve made it to step ten. A milestone in our recovery, but not nearly the end. Step ten introduced me to the spiritual housecleaning of the steps. I was forever beholden to my Higher Power in search of speaking the truth in all matters and if I did not then I had to promptly admit my wrong doing and correct my actions. A tall order but one that I willfully accepted. This is the base for the spiritual healing. Step eleven and twelve are the two other steps that solidify the spiritual portion of the steps. It was an honor for me to be at this point in my recovery and one that I work on keeping as rigorously as possible. The steps are about the honesty we bring to the table and how much I share that depends on how honest I’m being with myself. It’s the perseverance that keeps me in check. I look forward to all of my sponsees coming to this place in their recovery so they too can learn the freedom from the honesty they bring to the table. God bless you all.

The Gift of Giving

This time of year always brings me to tears for the love of giving. In my addiction my self talk was always, “What’s in it for me?” never thinking about others in the world, only about my selfish needs. I could be heard saying, “It’s all about me.” Thankfully for my higher power today I hear the needs of others and offer assistance whenever possible. Recovery has taught me to look outside of myself and lend a helping hand. Whether it’s support for my wife or a suffering addict, God has shed His light on me and has blessed me with listening to others. I now hear, whereas before I heard nothing at all. I see now whereas before I was blinded by my own selfish wants. Today, my will is not my own, I follow a higher calling which has taught me to sacrifice my own desires in order to help others. I can’t thank my Higher Power enough for this gift. He has shown me that the rewards are worth more than gold when I help someone else and now I share my gift with all who follow me. Thank you Papa

Step Nine…The Healing

Here we are at step nine, a place of making peace with those we have harmed. The real question is how do we address those we’ve harmed so long ago and who it would bring harm to them if we contacted them. We don’t contact them. I have so many people that I will never contact. The difference is there are those who I made direct amends too. These were my living amends. My wife was one. It was difficult in the beginning to think about giving an amends to her because of all the pain I have caused her. But I learned that this was not the case. Once I began with the amends it got easier to complete. Her response was so compassionate it made me cry. Doing amends is not for just us, rather to heal the wound that has divided us from those we love or loved. I loved doing my ninth step once I got over the initial fear. This step is a very healing step.

Healthy Living

One of the things that I have noticed is the lack of discussion on healthy living. In essence what we all strive to live by. I know for me while I was in my addiction the last thing that was on my mind was healthy living. Why would I want to spend more time with my wife or kids…they cut into my acting out. For the longest time I would wonder where all my hobbies had gone to. Why wasn’t I enjoying reading that good book? Why wasn’t I relaxed spending time with just me. Today, I am blessed to be in recovery. The solution to my unmanageable life. The gift that keeps on giving just one day at a time. I know from my experience that if I was left to my own devices I could quickly crash and burn. God knows I’ve seen too much destruction in my short life. Today I love spending time with my family and hobbies and know how supported I am by my higher power. My lifeline. Today we should celebrate healthy living and the rewards of recovery.