Friday: I’m doing step 4, for the second time. It’s fucking hard. It’s difficult to take a look at my past (and my present, if I never let the past go) and see where so many things that I let define me and my personality are gossamer, imagined slights and battles made of flames that I fueled. In theory by cleaning out all these cobwebs, I will have more room for god. I imagine how I feel in my weekly AA meeting, with its high ceilings, feeling god so strongly in the space above me. That will be my head and heart, if I clear out all the baggage I’ve been hoarding. But as with literally de-hoarding, throwing old things out leaves me with a feeling of loss, of emptiness, of discomfort and fear. The hardest part in many respects is the humility – as badly as I wanted to be the best, the most, the biggest and brightest (or sometimes, the worst, the baddest, the most depraved) – I’m not. I’m a brilliant star in a universe of stars – no bigger or brighter than all the others, and most of my trouble was when I wanted to outshine everyone else. I still do. At least I’m figuring that out, now. It’s not a terrible thing but a natural instinct that I let run rampant and control me…and try to control everyone else in it’s path. I’m feeling blessed in the family and friends arena, although still competitive/comparative in this weird way. I can be so happy with my lot then see a friend went out for drinks, or a friend is traveling, and suddenly I wish, I wish. today the wistfulness feels overwhelming, I did a bit of yoga and meditation to try and move it around, which helped a bit. In general I’ve been meditating 20 minutes a day, rain or shine, which is really helping me I think.
Monday: Last night i had a breakthrough about step 4. On Friday night I met with my Sponsor and discussed the why’s of my resentments. One thing I was missing was fear. If someone is traveling, and I’m jealous and resent them for it, I thought the issue there was that I want to control them – make them not travel, or at least not tell me about it, or perhaps that I am looking to things like travel for outside validation. My sponsor suggested that the issue is FEAR – that ultimately I fear that I am lesser than, that I am not worthy. That is what leads to my resentment when someone else travels a lot. I may fear that I am too poor to travel (security is threatened) or too scared to travel (self esteem is threatened). So to look at where those fears pop up.
I had already made the analogy that my resentments are like a hoarders attic, and if I could clear that attic, I could have more room for god. Right now it’s so uncomfortable because I finally realized I had a very crowded attic, one I had been handily not thinking about. Last night I suddenly realized that what is scientifically (IMHO) going on IS: evolutionary speaking, when something threatens my security, threatens my self esteem, my lizard brain marks that down. It remembers it for later. Much like if a tiger threatened me, I would remember it for next time, that would be very important for my survival.
But what I, as an alcoholic, am dealing with is instincts gone wild. Instincts unchecked, gone too far. So I have so many marks in my brain. Endless times someone threatened me that I need to remember. That means I lay awake at night, in the shower, on the bus, going over these countless marks, analyzing them, trying to make sense of them, trying to negate the threat.
And ultimately, there is no threat. I marked it but my brain was overzealous. I didn’t need to mark it. There is no actual threat to my security, I am secure, I have never been in danger of starving to death or being mauled by a tiger. My self esteem is ok, if I remember that I am loved by my higher power and always worthy of that love. I can relax and, with effort, I can let all those marks go. Then I can live in what is essentially a state of the divine, as in, the present, without all this baggage weighing down my brain. I had the vision of the things I was hoarding being helium balloons – if I can toss them out of my attic, they will simply float up and away.
Right when I had this breakthrough, I looked up and saw a hummingbird. Case in point of the kind of thing I wouldn’t notice if I was mucking around dwelling in my compulsive thoughts of people I was jealous of/wanted more love or validation from/wanted to fix, or checking FB on my phone. So this revelation can spill over into the stuff I was trying to ease up on by going to al-anon too.
I can relax and just have fun. I can take on new challenges as they come, learning from them but not carrying them around forever. Getting wiser and freer. Living in the miracle that is me and the world around me. NEAT!