Saturday, March 3, 2012
Being willing - Amends and other stuff
I just got a call from someone I still un-officially sponsor. She is sad because her brother is in town and hanging out with her sister and she wasn't invited.
She hasn't been the easiest person to be around (her words) most her life but now the program has changed her and she wants to be included.
It is hard to accept the consequences of your own actions sometimes. In Al-Anon we are taught to not get between the alcoholic and the natural consequences of drinking your life away. We don't like to admit what the drinking has done to us and the consequences we may have to face.
Living with the affects of alcoholism in my own life made me bitter and resentful. Really unpleasant to be around because I was helpless and wrapped up in trying to make someone else act right. I only had time for the alcoholic in my life and everyone else, including myself were left on the shelf to collect dust.
Even when I didn't live with active alcoholism for the 13 years after my marriage ended I wasn't willing to see how my part in my alienating myself from my own family. I wanted them to be there for me but I really wasn't there for them and I made no effort to mend those fences.
Just the past year I have been able to see that I have been just like them. Totally wrapped up in myself and my own pain to think about anyone else. Even though I fully expected my sister to reach out to me.
I wasn't mature enough to get over myself and see that I could choose a higher path and accept them the way they were. I could work with what I had instead of waiting from them to change. Instead I sulked for most of my life, like a child waiting to be noticed.
I am not beating myself up, don't get me wrong, it was just where I was and now I am free to be happy without it depending on the actions of someone else. I is no one's job but my own to make myself feel good, worthy and loved.
You might think well shouldn't I expect to be appreciated? What I have realized is only as much as I appreciate someone else. I expected other people to appreciate me even when I didn't reciprocate those feelings.
I was focused on convincing myself that I was valuable by pointing out all the things I did for other people and how little they noticed me. I needed to be noticed desperately because this is where my value came from otherwise I was nothing.
I am not sure where all that came from. I think my conversation with my friend today made me realize how far I have come. I have made some amends to my sister and her kids for not really being there. I accept my part in our relationship.
I did my best and I know my friend has done her best too. We are lucky if we can see our own part in a situation and don't get stuck in blaming someone else for our woes. It is a miracle to see just how far we can come if we are willing.