HONESTY MONTH: DAY 27: “Never allow your ego to diminish your ability to listen.” ― Gary Hopkins
This, for me, is something that resonates as deeply, or even more so than the quote in the beginning of the BB that speaks about “contempt prior to investigation.” I love this quote!
It is so hard to hear things we do not want to hear in the beginning of this thing. I remember my first inventory; such a weird set of circumstances and how it all unfolded. I had a sponsor who I really loved. She guided me through so much of those early days of crazy. She was a great friend and mentor; but, unknown to me at the time, had NOT done this step. (???) Her sponsor was a different kind of woman, so they did what they did. I had been writing for over a month on my inventory and did not know what to do with it.
A friend who had worked at the recovery home where I got sober was giving me rides to meetings and being supportive. He called me one afternoon to make our arrangements and I was all nuts. He asked me what step I was working. I explained to him how long I had been writing this monster inventory I was doing, and he immediately told me to call my sponsor and see if he could do a 5th step with me right away.
She said okay, so we did. It took two nights to get through all of it. He had some really interesting feedback for me, and I wrote it all down. My sponsor came clean about her lack of participation in the actual working of 12 steps. Oh! So, I began to look for another sponsor right away.
There are SO many take-aways from this experience. The first one is that I was dedicated to staying sober, even though I was self-propelled into and through the first 9 steps. I shared everything with the woman I had chosen as a sponsor. I stayed sober and clean and got through all of that with only the direction I got in step studies and BB meetings and with the help of my peers. It gave me the foundation for the kind of recovery I have had ever since. Although I follow direction whenever I get it, I do NOT make someone else responsible for my recovery.
I still work steps every single day. I go through this process over and over again. I don’t do it on demand. I do it because I want the best and highest kind of life I can find. I am a maniac with these steps. I listen to the feedback I get from anyone who I trust. I look at who they are and how they are living, and if they are doing what I want to do, I listen. Otherwise, I take what they say with a big grain of salt.
I have done (literally) hundreds of big and small, short and long, inventories. On my addiction(s), on my codependence (Oh yeah!), and on everything from jobs to homes to pets to men to shoes. Whenever I get uncomfortable with what is happening in my day or week or month, I write it out and see where I am in trouble.
And I listen. I may not smile while I am listening, but I listen. I never, ever like hearing some of the things I have to hear. But I listen. And by doing so, my life gets really good. Surprisingly good. Overwhelmingly good. The highs around here beat the shit out of anything I ever got, any other way. It cannot be bought, smoked, worn, or drunk. It cannot happen without letting go of that ego that tells me you don’t know. It can only happen when I listen and learn and accept that I am the problem. My thinking is not any good, my attitudes need to shift. And then it gets even better…I love it so much!