Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Don’t Waste Your Recovery, from WHEN LOST MEN COME HOME, NOT FOR MEN ONLY

Don’t Waste Your Recovery

We waste our recovery efforts when we forget our failures. Forgetting failure is a form of delusional self-centeredness. Forgetting separates us from the responsibility of our failures, as if they never happened, or they no longer exist, when in reality they do. When we forget our failures, when we compare ourselves favorably with the faults of others, when we look to find imaginary non-existent success for ourselves, or when we trade an honest spiritual relationship with God for cheap religious pretending, the most insidious kind of self-centeredness develops — self-righteousness. When we avoid the reality of how we have hurt others, we become piously religious, self-absorbed and self-satisfied, disconnected from the difficult world we have created for those around us and for ourselves. We create inside ourselves the exact Pharisee we so enjoy condemning in others.

            An essential part of recovery is to recognize and admit personal responsibility in relationships. We must be willing to acknowledge and admit to ourselves and to at least one other person how other people have been hurt by our selfish attitudes and actions. Recovery requires that we seek forgiveness, honestly. It demands we help those hurt by the way we have lived our lives. This part of our recovery work makes it possible for us to reconcile with others. And regardless of whether or not others are willing to reconcile with us, we are always responsible to forgive others. We must forgive so we can grow in our recovery.

            So, we recognize our selfishness and resentments the best we can. If we can’t do this fully, we admit it. We admit our doubts and shortcomings of faith and intention to God and another person. Then, we begin investing in the lives of others, working to help heal the world around us one person, one situation at a time. Doing this consistently builds a positive momentum that changes the way we view ourselves, and the way we relate with others. We then expand this momentum of growth and change to our families, our communities, our workplaces and our churches. God will build a new personality in us. We will become more mindful of loving others, honoring them as people who are created for the purpose of knowing God and His love. Today, it’s not just ourselves and our circumstances that we want to see changed and improved. We want to see other people healed and their circumstances improved as well.

This is an excerpt from WHEN LOST MEN COME HOME, not for men only  ~ Copyright David Zailer, 2011

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