Comparing Self to Self
This week the kids and I had the opportunity to spend a few days with some family members that live a few hours away. We had a wonderful time… the house sits on the waterfront, they have a beautiful boat that we were able to take rides in, we caught fresh crab, cooked it and ate it. In short, a lovely family vacation.
For me, the most wonderful part of the experience were the conversations I was able to have with my aunt and uncle. While neither of them are addicts of any kind, they are both very spiritual people, and have the same dedication to their religion as I do to my recovery. These conversations brought me insight into what I can do to enlarge my spiritual life, and thus enhance my recovery.
There were times, however, during the various conversations we had, that I felt almost intimidated by their strong convictions. Momentarily, I felt “less than,” that my progress wasn’t anywhere near where it should be.
And then I mentally slapped myself back into reality. This is classic “old me” thinking, the exact train of thought that ultimately has me giving up on whatever project I have undertaken. I am the typical go-getter in the beginning of any new challenge. Then, the first time the going gets tough, I talk myself into believing that I can’t get it done, or that I just don’t want to, and I quit.
So this time, I consciously thought my negativity through. First, these people have been involved in their spiritual program for 30 years, I have been involved in mine for 6 months. Second, life is not about measuring against other people, it is about measuring yourself in the present to yourself from yesterday, whichever yesterday you want to use. When I compare myself today to myself 6 months ago, I am, to say the very least, quite pleased with my progress.
Finally, their thoughts, ideas and suggestions were just that… theirs. And the beauty of my life today is that I can clearly look at all their ideas, sort out what works for me, what makes sense, and what I can choose to leave with them. And that is a power I’m not sure I ever possessed before in my life!