|Self Portrait by J. Binford-Bell|
I am a graduate of multiple 12 Step Programs. In my thirties I decided I was a total mess. Something clearly had to be done. And since it was sanity or insanity I did it. I force marched myself through three programs. I don't do meetings any more. At least formal ones but it seems that all my friends are recovering alcoholics, or adult children of alcoholics, or recovering over-eaters, or are or should be in Alanon. So from time to time over coffee a step gets mentioned in shorthand or the quote on Acceptance alluded to or the Serenity Prayer paraphrased in a humorous way. And events constantly remind me I am not the center of any universe but the one of my own making which can be imaginary.
I live by step 10 - Continued to take personal inventory and when wrong promptly admitted it. But I am the first to admit I can abuse it too because if I am guilty then I have to power to change it. Powerlessness can be an issue. Sometimes powerlessness is easy. I was a really good Buddha this winter. Rolled with all the punches - renter from hell moving out, washer ruined, winter depression, month with no renter, new renter behind on rent, friends dying, etc. I kept on keeping on. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
God, I hated all those trite little statements clear back to my childhood. Mom always had a few handy. Curiosity killed the cat being one of my least loved phrases. More than once I got slapped for responding with, "But satisfaction brought it back," loud enough she heard me. On Step four the third or forth time (you have to do one for each program) I finally admitted I had a smart mouth. Something Dad told me constantly. I don't listen. I am also lacking in patience. And I can be really intolerant of those that don't measure up to my own high standards. I am a perfectionist which is an asset or flaw or for my friends a liability. And humility is the lesson the universe is constantly trying to teach me. But I am really good at admitting I am wrong. Course my reptile brain immediately added, "but I am so seldom wrong."
There is a path through this swamp of words - my friends must be as perfect as me or at least as good at admitting their mistakes. Some friends have been disappointing this week. In part because of a stark contrast with those that have been really great. The disappointments have been because of an inability to admit their mistake(s) or to, at a minimum, say they are sorry. In at least one instance, the lack of taking responsibility means I get to fix it. And on their time frame. Did I mention stubbornness as a major flaw? Sorry, my bad.
This morning writing this blog I looked up a website - www.Justanswer.com/Craftsman - which may help me diagnose the problem of the riding lawn mower. And I am trying to swallow my self-righteous attitude. I clearly need some distance from the problem and the friends so today I am going to Taos to shop for groceries and things for my high poly tunnel. I solved the problem of how to keep the plastic on the frame but make it so it opens up for air and light at 2 a.m. this morning. In all humility I have to admit it was a solution presented on one of the half dozen or so YouTube how to's I watched on the subject. Maybe the mower will be as easy when I get to it. And I promise to be more tolerant of my neighbor that wants to lay on hands and heal it.
Sorry if my self-absorption this morning bored you.