Well there it is friends, the token I which was so far away just a mere year ago.
I have blogged about my feelings back then but I had no idea how draining the Birthday Celebration last night would be on me.
I feel like I’ve been hit by a ton of bricks both emotionally and physically.
First off I love my 1 year coin, I had troubles coming up with the inscription on the back but I am so pleased with what I’ve chosen:
Accept God’s Grace & Respond with Love.
These are both action statements to me, ones that I didn’t comprehend for years….or I occupied myself with activities driven by self propulsion so thoroughly I hadn’t stopped to consider them. Whether the desired outcome was money, prestige, ego boosts, other people’s happiness as I perceived them….I thought I had good motivation but wasn’t even aware of the fact that my primary focus was upon myself. Ultimately most of my efforts would benefit me in some way.
I was always driven to be in control.
I didn’t know what people meant by God’s Grace and I thought bottling up my anger and not reacting in the moment but burying my feelings were responding well.
If you’d said Respond with Love to me I’d have a list going in my head of all the things I’ve done for you or bought you.
Not always or with everybody but enough for it to be a drastic difference than today.
When people let me down or hurt me in some way I wasn’t the type to just lash out in the moment. I bottled it up, stored it and then it would all come out at a later date, usually after a few bottles of Shiraz and fall upon the lucky Joe who was in the room with me.
Drunk Julie wasn’t fun then.
These days frankly I do pause when a situation occurs and may not respond immediately, often I take the time to do a mini 4th step or a large one if I need to but in a timely manner.
Then I do respond with Love for the other person and for myself.
Often that’s calling or meeting with the person to talk about it, sometimes it’s just praying for them or myself.
I was upset when I mentioned to someone that I wanted to have a lazy day with no commitments and that someone made a comment basically saying isn’t that what everyday is like for you now?
I didn’t say anything to this person but I was immediately offended, felt insecure, felt like everyone thought I was a slacker.
On and On.
I got tired of myself inside my head within minutes.
So I had to admit that I was doing the “what do others perceive me as and how dare they” thing.
Wanting to be well regarded.
Had to admit that to some people my very slow lifestyle now may appear exactly as I feared, lazy and lacking effort, something to be desired.
Had to reflect on why my life is slow.
Had to acknowledge my limitations again.
Looked at the person and their life or what I know of it, very active and busy. They were there after my very first 5k run supporting me.
Know that they have a great sense of humor and what I perceived as them being insulting while fronting it as a joke could just be them being funny in their mind. Had to acknowledge that they may have just been taking the Mickey out of me.
Look at the fact that I wish I could be active.
See my part in my anger and my frustration.
And let it go.
Give it up to God and pray for direction.
So progress is happening and I’m sure will continue to as will these mini 4th step sessions through my life.
Page 62 of the AA Big Book says:
“Selfishness – self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.
…..Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! God makes that possible.”
Here in the slow lane there is time to reflect, read, re-read again and again and hopefully absorb some of this wisdom which this 12 Step Program gives me.
For a long time I didn’t know God’s Grace and even when I thought I did acceptance hadn’t happened, however when I finally did my world changed for the better, I finally felt that feeling of being humble, having serenity in myself.
I don’t plan on losing that and seek to share it with others, it’s better than any good times I shared over a glass of wine with a friend.
Tonight I’m drained from physio, going to the gym, celebrating my 1 year, and being a wife and mother but I’m okay with that. I embrace it all, I will be kind to myself and allow my body to rest a bit. I’ll try not to make plans for a few days outside of therapies…..in other words please don’t invite me to anything fun.
Oh and I just remembered I’m having a get together on Friday evening….OK I’ll give myself a day ;)
So no I won’t be succeeding at my plan of conquering the World anytime soon but I will Accept God’s Grace and Respond with Love.