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- December 15, 2013 at 12:31 am #4192088
“Men are much more unwilling to have their weaknesses and their imperfections known than their crimes.” Lord Chesterfield
Isn’t it strange how some of the things that weigh most heavily on us are the tacky, embarrassing, childish things we’ve done rather than those really serious behaviors and missteps which occurred in the past?
This reminds me of a tale told in an unexpurgated version of the Arabian Nights:
There was once a Caliph who was holding a very large audience in his palace. Suddenly, he broke wind with an extremely audible outburst. He was so humiliated that he fled the royal city and went into hiding for years, certain that everyone was discussing his embarrassing performance.
Finally, after a number of years had passed, he decided that the incident had probably been forgotten, and he made his way back to the city. Just as he was approaching the palace, he passed a woman in the marketplace explaining to her little boy that he had been born on the day that Caliph Abdul broke wind. The poor man turned around and headed back into the desert, where he became a hermit for the rest of his life.
An outrageous example, perhaps, but how often have we acted like Caliph, and allowed our own fear of embarrassment to prevent us from taking the necessary steps to free us from isolation and shame.
Today’s Step: I keep my past behavior in perspective without overdramatizing it.
Step by Step. Muriel ZinkDecember 16, 2013 at 9:48 pm #4192089
“All I want is the best of everything, and there’s very little of that left.” Lucius Beebe
As we review “The Promises” we discussed in Step Nine, certain words stand out that merit a closer look. For example, “If we have been painstaking aobut this phase of our development…”
As we worked Step Nine, were we entirely willing to make complete amends to others? Or have we held back to some degree—telling the truth, but not necessarily the whole truth?
Have we refrained from placing blame on others? Or have we, by innuendo, given them the message that they are also guilty?
Have we freely admitted to manipulating situations so that we could salve our own consciencce, whether it caused discomfort to others or not?
Have we admitted our wrongs to others in a cold and dispassionate manner, giving them the impression that we’re condescending and superior?
If we fault ourselves on any of the above ploys, Step Ten gives us an opportunity to rectify it before we compound any more half-measures or evasions that will come back to haunt us.
Today’s Step: I reconsider whether I have been painstakign enough in making my amends.
Step by Step. Muriel ZinkDecember 17, 2013 at 6:46 pm #4192091
“Never bend your head. Hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.” Hellen Keller
If we’re doing a spot-check inventory, we must remember to: credit ourselves with the progress we have made, and the ghosts we have exorcised; accept and acknowledge our assets as we put them into action, and practice the technique of “acting as if” that we learned in the Sixth and Seventh Steps as an aid to rising above our shortcomings. For example: If we’re afraid, we ask ourselves: “How would I ‘act as if’ I weren’t afraid?” That’s it! We act as if we’re not afraid.
Once we’ve laid certain issues to rest, and we know they will no longer come back to haunt us, we experience a surge of freedom and satisfaction with ourselves. We know we have accomplished something major. We begin to feel more confident that we can move freely among our peers without the fear that any minute they will discover our guilty secrets.
Many of us have been in such a blue funk about ourselves for such a long time that we hardly recognize happiness when it’s right in front of us. Freedom is certainly a major component of happiness, and we’re beginning to experience that feeling more and more.
Today’s Step: In my daily assessment, I have the freedom to acknowledge my accomplishments.
Step by Step. Muriel Zink
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