October 23

DISCIPLINE MONTH: DAY 23: “The notion of freedom proclaimed by the modern world is anti-discipline. But true freedom cannot be separated from discipline.”― Matthew Kelly

Ask a 12-year old child what freedom is. They will answer with things like “not eating my vegetables” or “staying up later than my bedtime.”

A sure sign of an individual who is emotionally immature is their defiance in the face of self-discipline. They are the ones (like me!) who are out partying on a work night, not doing their homework when they are in school and somehow believing that they are “getting away” with breaking these rules of social behavior.

No one cares if you burn the candle at both ends, except the people who pay you to perform functions in their agency at a certain level of competence and attention. We wonder why we get fired from these jobs and why we are not paid more. The same goes with working these steps half-assed or not at all. It displays that same sense of immature development.

A friend of mine says that AA meetings are like “Romper Room with wrinkles.” I know some of you don’t know what Romper Room is, but you are the Google generation anyway, so use that. It is true. We are so immature emotionally and developmentally that we are all about 4 or 5 in our ways of thinking and behaving.

The idea is to grow up here. To develop a sense of integrity and honor when no one is checking on your work. To be honest with self and disciplined enough to NOT eat the donuts when you know they are killing you. To pay your bills before you spend money on toys you want. Yeah, even shoes.

But to know that freedom is the thing that gives us the ability to walk through the world knowing we are cleaning up our past mistakes and not continuing the behavior that created them in the first place. We are checking ourselves in every area with Step 10 to make sure we are who we know we were created to be. The best version of Me that I can be today.

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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