No matter what we’re sick and tired of,
We don’t have to continue being sick and tired. There is a process capable of igniting change in our lives. The irony is that as soon as we make the decision to begin the 12 step process, we realize our fears of change, where groundless. This process offers a gentle program of change, one step at a time. No single step is so frightening that we can’t work it, by its self. As we apply the steps to our lives, we experience a change that frees us.
This whole time I’m sitting here thinking, it took a whole lot of sickness and a whole lot of being tired to get me back into this process of self-awareness and spiritual awakening. I think the reason was that my ego has allowed me to have a high mental/emotional pain tolerance.
My ego is my worst enemy.
The most dangerous thing for me today is not being able to recognize when I’m causing pain, whether it’s to myself or other people. It’s not until I get sick and tired of the repetitive consequences of my actions that I become aware of my defects of character. And that’s my problem. I’m not aware of my defects of character until it’s too late. I’m oblivious to them. I can act out on the same defect of character for years until something happens, that I have no choice but to become sick and tired once I realized that it’s happening.
My ego affords me a high pain tolerance. Today I’m trying hard to remember that I don’t have to wait for the pain to make a change. My dad used to tell me early on,”there is no pain in change, there’s only pain in the resistance to change.”
I’ve never really been one of those that have subscribed to that whole philosophy that,”pain is necessary, misery is optional.” Unfortunately, pain has been the primary motivator for most of the changes in my life. I found that there’s another motivation for change, and that is Love in the form of Desire. Today I look for opportunities for change. I look for, ‘what can I do today?’
I hardly ever sit down and watch the TV anymore.
We have sort of a regular routine. We don’t even have cable these days, because it’s not worth it. TV doesn’t usually get turned on – (outside of kid’s video games) – until I get home, we have dinner made, and everyone is settling down for the evening. We watch TV for a little bit just to unwind and have a little moment of mindlessness. I prefer Hogan Heros,(only because M.A.S.H. doesn’t come on late enough). My wife prefers Will & Grace or Modern Family. That’s it. And I can laugh about that today.
It’s a huge deal for me to be that active in my own life today. Life no longer passes me by; I’m engaged in it. I hardly ever sit down from one moment to the next. When I’m at my office, yes, I’m sitting down. But I’m behind a computer, and I’m working, and I have an app that tells me it’s time to get up and move.
Once I get home, rarely do I sit down until everyone is sitting down to eat. Once dinner is over with, and after a few moments to let my food settle, I’m back up on my feet. Now it’s summertime, so I don’t have to make kids sandwiches anymore, but I still make my lunch for the next day, help clean up the kitchen, put dishes away, etc.
The point is, I’m active in my life.
I don’t have to wait to be sick and tired anymore. Guys, being in recovery means continuously changing. Recovery is an active change in our ideas and our attitude. If we are not changing our ideas and our attitude, then we’re not living we’re just existing.
Today what I focus on is wanting to change.
Every year I take on a new theme for the year. What I most want to change in that year. I’ve been successful most years. I haven’t had a cigarette now in over five years. I’ve changed my eating habits. I’m a lot healthier today than I’ve ever been. (In some ways that’s a little bit more apparent than others.) This year it’s all about essentialism, only keeping what’s essential to our lives today. And getting rid of all the excess.
The Principles of recovery offer so much more than you would expect. We still have to be careful; our egos will still keep us from reaching out when we should. We don’t want to wait until we’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. We can choose to reach out to change at any moment. Including this one.