Tuesday, February 23, 2010


The process of change is only easy if it relates to changing your socks. The process of changing what I might need to change to improve myself is less obvious and often hidden to me. In the 12-Step program, it is referred to as Step 4. It asks for “a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves”. It is a new focus. We have been really riveted to the inventory of someone else and that has been easy. An addicted person has much of which to be critical.
How many hours and conversations with friends involved hoping that the other person would change? Get sober. Get loving. Get helpful. Get home. Get up. Get with it.

It is both the good news and the bad when we finally realize that the only person we can change is standing in our shoes. And we need to. It is both exhausting and freeing to finally see the amazing truth that we can feel better when we tend to our own growth. Well-- there is a process to change. We cannot change what we do not SEE needs changing. That is when some light bulbs can turn on at a meeting as the person across the table triggers a truth in self with their own story, or you have a moment of clarity. I can remember the day when I pulled into our driveway and suddenly had a full, stunning awareness of how HE must feel coming home to ME. Not a pretty sight.

The next step to change is to actually hear yourself take ownership and verbalize what needs to change.
There is something about sharing it and hearing your own mouth express it all that makes it irretrievable and, surprisingly less awful. Somehow it all seems less powerful and more manageable.

Then the big step of DO. Can I replace judgment with perception? Can I replace reaction with response?
Can I replace impatience with patience? Can I replace resentful with forgiving? Can I replace disagreeable with agreeable? Unkind with kind? Indifference with loving? Not easy--but doable.

Addiction can bring out the worst or the best in us. Why let someone else’s disease make us less? I love this quote (do not know source) “Our goal is to have a relationship with both men and women that does not diminish the other and a relationship with others that does not diminish self.”