What would happen to our recovery if it depended completely on one or two well-intentioned but fallible human beings?
How Al-Anon Works, p. 123 (tradition 12).
My recovery would fail, that is my answer to that question. I think that is why I used to be so “unserene” before my recovery program. I used to make people my Higher Power and in doing so, I idealized them. I would expect perfection. I did them such a disservice, but doing this. I did myself a disservice, too. I refused to accept them as human. I put them up on a pedestal and, in doing so, placed the responsibility of my serenity and happiness upon their shoulders. So, when they fell short of my expectations as was inevitable, I felt betrayed and hurt and that my needs weren’t met.
The flip side of this is that I wanted to be this to others. I wanted to their Higher Power. I wanted to fix their lives, I wanted to meet all of their needs, I wanted the responsibility of their serenity and happiness to fall on me. When this was the case, I felt validated and valuable. But, when I felt short of my expectations of perfection, I felt guilty that I had failed others and fearful that this meant I had no value.
In all ways, forcing the responsibility of my recovery and my serenity on others or taking that same responsibility from others and placing it upon my own shoulders only serves to separate me from that serenity that I so desperately sought. Even when I did feel serene in these circumstances, it was often short-lived. Now, in recovery, I know that I was looking externally for a fulfillment of an internal emptiness. In the end, all that could fill that space in me was a Higher Power of my understanding. Thanks to working the Steps with my Sponsor and continuing to practice these principles in all my affairs, when I lose my serenity today, I am able to regain it again when I shift my focus back to my Higher Power and my serenity. Now I am able to do this and as such, I can love and accept the humanity in myself and others and not seek validation from those relationships any longer.
A meditation for June 21, 2013.