Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Maturity is about trying to come to grips with our flaws (quote from D. Gergen)

Maturity is nothing more or less than how one deals with their feelings. Or perhaps it is to spend your life trying to outrun lesser versions of yourself – which sounds a lot like not wanting to face flaws.

There is no better program than 12 step meetings to encourage one to look at their own inventory. I knew a man who put a mirror in his home that had two words written on the top: THE PROBLEM
and two at the bottom: THE SOLUTION.

I remember the first time I had a fleeting glimpse of myself. Married to a man with unrelenting alcoholism, I was full of unrelenting criticisms. I pulled into our driveway with no kids in the car and no distractions when suddenly I was hit full blast with how it must feel to him when he came home to me. Well, I naturally slammed the lid on the nauseous revelation and continued to be the whiner. In those days, I had a doctorate degree in sniveling, whining, nagging and pouting. All these years later, I have compassion for that former self and realize what a waste of energy it was. It is so common to see that cycle of inebriated person and angry other. Which comes first?

In a recovery program we learn that the only person under our guidance is our self. It is amazing how much better we feel once we face our own flaws and refuse to be a part of that cycle of the decline. It feels so good to really have some power over something once we catch on that the only outcome we can impact is our own. Like Alka-Seltzer says: Oh what a relief it is!