When I returned from a local SA convention yesterday, I felt reasonably happy, connected and peaceful—though not fully. The presence of one fellow had disturbed my serenity to such an extent that I had been struggling with obsessing about him and his behavior throughout the whole weekend. Even more, when I had heard of his registering for the event three months ago, I had already been in fear and disturbed. Upon coming home, I wrote an inventory on it in order to share it with my sponsor in the evening.
The inventory brought to light that I had been judging him for showing off, sucking attention, wanting to do and be special, trying to give a better-than-the-others share, wanting to be the leader, wanting to be the old-timer … whereas these character defects were in fact mine! The countervailing virtues of these would be humility, modesty, anonymity, seeking God, looking to serve, being just another bozo on the bus.
In sharing all of it with my sponsor it became even more obvious how I had acted out those character defects at the weekend, by trying to give unrivaled shares while at the same time keeping an innocent poker face and by interrupting the meeting or talent show with loud, “funny” comments and remarks. I saw that I had been focused on taking instead of giving; on being noticed instead of being unassuming; on wanting to be listened to rather than listening to those in need with an understanding ear and heart.
I had been acting from a place of self-reliance instead of God-reliance; ego instead of love. I realized that, had I been focused on giving and anonymity, I wouldn’t have cared about the other fellow. I wouldn’t have been disturbed after the convention but fully in peace and joy. I had been disturbed by his presence because in my mind he had been a rival to my being the number one, while, had I given up my desire to be the number one, his presence would have lost his power over me as an imagined rival.
My sponsor told me how I can consciously choose to be in the Kingdom of God, which is the place in me where God is King. If not, I am again in the kingdom of self, the dark place of taking from others in order to try to fill myself. He also reminded me of a practical tool I can use for any event which promises to be challenging:
- First, before going to the challenging place, visualizing the venue and people that I will meet there, and sending love to the place and people
- Second, right before entering, asking God to help me be exactly the way He wants me to be
There is a God, and I’m not Him. I thank Him for choreographing this whole chain of events and for my sponsor to help me unravel this jumble of distorted motives and projections. I thank Him for this new chance to grow into a more humble and giving servant instead of a dry drunk who acts out his disease under the disguise of service.