Tonight, we talked about Selfishness and Self Centered-ness.
Alcoholics have a particular ability, when we are IN The Work.
At some point, we are part of “community.” We find our places, we like to go. We find the people, we want to be our friends. We find a sponsor, who is going to be the sounding board for all of our nonsense, and bullshit. I heard a friend say tonight, that the man he works with is a noble, kind and loving human being.
Many of us, in that room, strive to be noble, kind and loving.
Being Noble, Kind and Loving, should be prerequisites to working with others.
They say that alcohol and drugs are but the symptom of a more serious problem. Those key words like: Selfish, Self Centered, and Fearful, are some of those things we deal with on a daily basis. Ego is anther one of those things I heard mentioned tonight.
The Big Word my friend used in this context was:
Concupiscence. Ardent, Longing, Desire.
He mentioned the word in, not the sexual connotation, but in the “Wanting More for himself.” And not in a selfish way. I think, that once we get a handle on our addictions, and we begin to rebuild our lives, from the ground up, at some point, we begin to become Right Sized, then we can safely begin to entertain … Wanting more for Ourselves.
If you are just sitting in a room, hoping Osmodically, that you are gonna GET IT, or FIND IT, you aren’t … One has to put in the work.
Some people, some of my friends, all they want, out of this life, is something more for themselves. Some of those wants might be grandiose, or grand. Been there, done that myself.
I’ve learned over the years, that I do want more for myself, but within reason.
It may not sound like I read the book, or practice all that needs to be practiced, on any given day, but in sixteen years and a few months, I have internalized a lot of the book, and what it tells us to do, on any given day. I’m no MONK, and I am surely not a SAINT.
But I try, on a daily basis, to be right sized. Working with others, keeps us right sized. Because I have known some, whose heads get too big, and they outgrow their pants, and when that happens, people are in trouble.
Over the last little while, an old timer with serious time, has gotten on his high horse. He’s outgrown his pants. His ego is riding the hog. And he shot his mouth off at a business meeting, and everybody sitting there witnessed it.
Last week, as alcoholics are won’t to do … I called him on his bullshit. Who else, can spot bullshit and ego at fifty paces ? WE CAN.
That old-timer told me to go fuck myself.
Who was right and Who was wrong ?
That particular old-timer tonight said that He did not believe in Altruism.
When we take an hour out of our nights, and go make coffee and set down chairs and tables, and we set up a meeting, ONE, we are helping ourselves, First … TWO, we are doing it because we are helping those who are gonna show up, on any given night.
Every time we put the needs of another before our own, we think altruistically.
I know, sure as the sun rises every day, that the day I decided, many years ago, in early sobriety, that the needs of my then boyfriend, were more important than my own, when he got terribly mentally sick, and I decided to STAY and not RUN away, I put all my eggs in his proverbial basket. And I took care of him.
That is when This Boy Became a Man.
I am sure as shit, I know this for sure. Because I spent the better part of my life waiting for the moment when I would cross that proverbial bridge, into my Man Hood.
It was only, in the service of someone I loved, that I became the man I am today.
Being in the rooms, helped me more than I could ever have imagined. Watching and Listening to other addicts and alcoholics, get clean and sober, and grow up themselves, helped me grow up myself.
All these years later, I can call bullshit and ego at fifty paces. Many of us can.
It takes courage for someone to say to themselves, and maybe to you, that,
“yeah, I think I am being an asshole …”
Rather than the affirmative response, you get told to Go Fuck Yourself.
How dare you call me on my shit, when you only have sixteen years of sobriety ?
Well, I am in the book, I do the work, I do the prerequisites, and I am sober. Sober to the degree I am at, at the present moment. And YOU my friend are an asshole and you have outgrown your pants, and your ego is getting a little grand for the rest of us. And not many of us are going to take the time to say something because they know you are going to tell them too … To Go Fuck Themselves on Holy Sunday …
One of my friends plays a “Selfish Game.”
She opens a conversation and talks until the other person, stops; and asks about HER. If it takes too long, she cops a resentment. Because for a long time, life was all about HER.
That’s why, the first question I ask of my friends, is All About Them.