About Me

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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I'm sorry but I don't really like AA compliments (for want of a better word) because I find them a bit Ego Feeding

I hate to sound ungracious or be rude in my acceptance of compliments. I understand that they are offered out of kindness and are meant well. Or perhaps are just an amusing turn of phrase. I don't know.

All I know for CERTAIN is that I am DEFINITELY NOT a 'Spiritual Giant'. Whatever that is...
I keep forgetting that people who don't know me in person get to draw their own conclusions about these posts. Most of the time I'm really only thinking of explaining something to sponsees. Or their sponsees, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, without meaning to cause offence to anyone who has said anything complimentary to me on this blog. Because I do see compliments as a form of kindness.
I'm afraid I do not normally encourage people I know to say complimentary things to me. You could say I was not the best person at receiving compliments. But there is more to it than that.

The important thing to know about me, is that if I were to be sponsoring someone, and they were to start putting me or my ideas on a pedestal IN ANY FORM AT ALL, I would very swiftly and certainly make it VERY clear that I do not subscribe to that attitude to ANYONE in AA. And that I think its actually very unhealthy to have that idea about people.
Essentially I do not tolerate that attitude from any of my Sponsees. I think it is bad for them, bad for me, and essentially DISHONEST. The Buddhists would call it 'wrong view'.

I don't really want to labour the point. I understand that this approach may not be commonplace, but I have good reason for choosing it.
The BEST Spiritual life is the ORDINARY life. I REALLY believe that.
I have NEVER admired or looked up to ANYONE who would allow people to put them on a pedestal. I am very passionate about the people I admire and I try very hard to follow in their footsteps, so this is why I choose this approach.

I understand that people who are new-ish in recovery very often are desperately impressed by people in AA. I was when I was new.
I only feel my work with sponsees is complete, or nearing completion when they are very Unimpressed with AA. See AA as very ordinary and simple.
Yes I know it sounds strange, but it makes sense to THEM. After I've taken then through the steps anyway. Its not a common interpretation, I couldn't even begin to explain how I get them to that point. Mostly through step 11 work and mixing with 'well' non alcoholics.

Anyway, sorry if that seems ungracious or rude. I hate to make other people feel awkward when I KNOW they mean well. So thank you. But please, do not make me 'better than' you. I'm not. We REALLY are all the same. I know I describe weird stuff from time to time, but I believe utterly in the ordinariness of the human condition.
Besides, I have been fortunate enough to meet REAL 'Spiritual Giants'. WOW. What can I say? They are in a class all of their own. They are not even remotely 'normal'. I don't think I have met one in AA. I would not expect to find them there to be honest. Just one, that seemed a bit special, but its hard to say because it was a while ago now, and I don't know if my perception was correct. So basically please don't compare me to really cool people, not even in jest. It reinforces spiritual pride for me, and it means you may suffer terribly with disillusionment at a later date when you realize that everybody has terrible flaws.
Who knows. Sorry if that is patronizing. I'm better at having this conversation face to face. Its more awkward to do in this form.
In the AA 'letter of the law'..'what other people think of me is NONE OF MY BUSINESS', so it is NOT my place to comment on your interpretation of what I say. I only say this because I know idealism causes GREAT pain later on, and I hate to condone anything that might reinforce my ego. I really hate my ego! It sucks! I work HARD to make it as insignificant as possible, and its not always easy to do! So please, don't make it any harder for me to keep my STINKY ego at arms length!!!

I DO like it when people say 'I tried that thing you suggested, that I thought sounded like utter sh**e, and it worked! Thanks for that!'
Perhaps that explains the difference. The latter makes the INFORMATION the 'good thing', not me! I am just the 'messenger' passing on what was freely passed on to me. Its like the game 'pass the parcel'. Anyway, my ego is not massaged by the second option. I know I'm a bit unusual in this respect, but please humor me even if you think it all sounds like kack! Thank you!

I don't expect others to share this view. Its just something that I like and have grown used to. I'm sure there is some truth in that I am not very good with compliments, but in addition I am very mindful of anything that reinforces my pride, because it has been a serious liability for me in the past, and I want to encourage it as little as I possibly can. Its one of the reasons I dislike doing chairs, or 'leading a meeting' as you call it.

Besides there will ALWAYS be people who think I am talking utter KACK too! I don't want to encourage bitterness and criticism, but I'm just saying, no matter WHAT I do or say, there will ALWAYS be SOMEONE who PASSIONATELY objects to my worldview and strongly suspects that I may have 666 tattooed on my head someplace... Oh well....
I'm afraid it is indeed IMPOSSIBLE to satisfy everybody's preferences..

Sorry for going on far too long as usual!

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