February 9

HOPE MONTH: DAY 9: “My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here.” ― Jim Henson

And look at how he did that! Wow! Recovery has taught me that my own happiness is based on how much service I am doing in the world around me. How kind am I to others I encounter on the road, in stores or places I travel?

What do I leave others feeling about themselves and having encountered me today? This is a great way to build good self-esteem and worthiness. We don’t have any when we get to this place. We work these steps and find ways to serve others out of the sense that we are being served.

I remember wondering why on earth my first sponsor would spend so much time with me and listen to my little wah-wah stories when I called her. She was so patient and kind. And always put me into another step to work. She also applauded the fact that I jumped into service in the meetings and at the level of Area when I was very new.

She made me wash ashtrays at the biggest meeting in the area, at least 200-300 people every Saturday night. I was certain she did that to ruin my opportunities for dating, but it wasn’t like that at all. I was learning to let go of my incredible self-centeredness and become a bit more humble. After a year of those horrid ashtrays, I got to be a greeter and hug people. What a great step up! Then of course, she got me to clean Mean Betty the Bitch’s house every Saturday and NOT tell anyone! Yikes!

When I am focused on how I can make someone else’s life a bit better or what I can do for them, I am less worried about my petty little BS problems. I must serve. I have received so much and am so grateful. There is no other way to REALLY manifest these things into the world.

Sponsoring is another good way to serve, but I find that most people are not into that for service. They truly use it as an opportunity to hold hostages and look good in meetings because they have the most sponsees or their sponsees share about how awesome their sponsor is. That is not service, except to someone’s ego.

So I do not include that in my service. It really isn’t. But it does lessen my selfishness when I take an inconvenient phone call or spend hours with a newer member. And I receive in those times way more than I give. We all do.

I remember the first time I read this quote. And I thought of the millions (or more) people who have been touched by Jim Henson on this planet. His creations are everywhere and children (along with so many adults) have had laughter and joy for so long from them. It would be a great goal to shoot only for having a positive impact on one other person. Anything else is also ego, but I hope deeply for that one.

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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