Sunday, August 9, 2009


Someone suggested to me that I might be choosing to wallow in my own shit. I said that perhaps they are correct and I would check it out. Yesterday afternoon, I spent a couple of hours continuing to go through Bill Wilson's essay titled "Love" that I found in a booklet called "The Best of Bill" published by the AA Grapevine. The above scan are my notes (mostly Bill's words) scribbled while I was reading. Seems to be the best way for me to learn something.

The following paragraphs are the ones that stood out the brightest for me. Bill wrote:

Because I had over the years undergone a little spiritual development, the absolute quality of these frightful dependencies had never before been so starkly revealed. Reinforced by what grace I could secure in prayer, I found I had to exert every ounce of will and action to cut off these faulty emotional dependencies upon people, upon AA, indeed, upon any set of circumstances whatsoever. Then only could I be free to love as Francis had. Emotional and instinctual satisfactions, I saw, were really the extra dividends of having love, offering love, and expressing a love appropriate to each relation of life.

Plainly, I could not avail myself of God's love until I was able to offer it back to him by loving others as he would have me. And I couldn't possibly do that so long as I was victimized by false dependencies.

For my dependency meant demand -- a demand for the possession and control of the people and the conditions surround me.

I have to look at the things that are deeply disturbing me. The behaviour of my addicted child, being out of work for the first time in my life, trying to grapple with the education system, trying to figure out the unemployment benefit's maze, and realize that the only reason they are all disturbing me is that I choose to let them. I've been waking up, feeling like there is a wasp nest in my head, an angry buzz existing as back ground noise. "If only my life were different, I would be happier," seems to be the centre of my thoughts.

That wallowing is blocking the flow of love in my life. The flow of love toward others and the resulting flow of love in return from my Higher Power. Hard to love a child if I'm demanding or expecting a different behaviour from the child. Hard to feel loved if the world appears unlovable.

The solution? Walking in my Higher Power's grace and exerting every ounce of willpower I can muster, I can stop these dependencies. I can start loving others with no expectations of anything in return. I can try.

Thank you for letting me share.

Read the full text of Bill's essay "Love"


Annette said...

So so good. This part was meaningful to me...Hard to love a child if I'm demanding or expecting a different behaviour from the child. Hard to feel loved if the world appears unlovable.

Thank you. You keep on keeping are important.

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

brave post. i feel the same at the moment. i have a load of stuff to sort out t the moment. job, study, applications that involve many rejections!

"the only reason they are all disturbing me is that I choose to let them."

at one level you are right there, but i prefer to think of these things as 'habitual tendencies', or just habits. they do not disappear overnight. especially if we had not had much practice as things have been going fairy smoothly, but i find that description easier to digest without casting aspersions on my efforts.

if i have lots to do (like i do now) i end up concentrating a lot on the job at hand so dont get as much opportunity to think about if my perceptions are making it worse. i listen to amaro talks while i potter around if i think i am getting stressed and go to more meetings, spend more time talking to newcomers etc. just going to more meetings makes a big difference.

nice post :)

Lou said...

I have been listening to the self help podcasts of Michael W Dean (A User's Guide to the Human Experience). The theme song of the podcasts goes “Maybe I’ll be happy when I get there, maybe I’ll be happy when I leave here. Maybe I’ll be happy if you love me. Maybe I’ll be happy when we’re finally done….”

The point is the uselessness of "I'll be happy when." On the other hand, you have a lot on your plate, you can be a little selfish in thinking about your own problems. I don't think anyone can or should be selfless 24/7. I set aside (infrequently) a worry time, or sad time, or grief time..then I get back to living the present.

Mom of Opiate Addict said...

Great post. I so understand the expectations and that connection with our feelings of love and acceptance for our addicted child. I even have unrealistic expectations of myself, much less anyone else. I am finding that just taking things minute to minute, day to day and trying to stay present in the moment right now is the most help, that and the posts from others like you. Thanks also for your comment on my post. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this tonight. I have been through my big book, twelve and twelve, daily reflections, meetings, prayer, meditation, and cannot seem to find what I need to hear. I have this book and I will be taking to bed with me tonight. Thanks again.

Syd said...

I find that when I go into self pity I don't do so well. I wallow and don't get anything but dank and dirty. Great post about solutions.