Straining at Gnats and Swallowing Camels
Posted by themiracleisaroundthecorner
I am getting quite the late start in writing this post, to the point where I almost opted not write it, but we had such a good meeting this morning, I wanted to share it with all of you.
I wrote last week that a newer attendee of my meeting was celebrating 26 years of sobriety, and opted to share her celebration with my Monday morning group. I was both honored and humbled by this decision… I would imagine that after 26 years of attending meetings, there are all sorts of options available to her, so it means a lot to me that she chose my itty-bitty meeting! She brought some people with her, which will hopefully mean more future attendees!
So, first, there is always such joy in announcing an anniversary. You can feel the collective pride in the room, as if it were a separate entity, and it never fails to amaze me. I asked her to select the reading for this week, and she selected a chapter entitled “Watching Out For Anger and Resentment,” a topic that any alcoholic/addict should contemplate/read/discuss on a regular basis.
Now the only catch in her selection is that we had read this exact chapter last month when it was time to read from this particular book, so we all heard each other’s thoughts on the subject. For me, especially, as the first to share, I struggled to find something new to say that I hadn’t talked about 4 weeks ago. But, as in all recovery literature, something new pops out each time I read it,and, as usual, I gained some new insight on the chapter that I shared with the group, as did every person in the room (which is the best part of the smaller meeting!).
The best takeaway for me came from a gentleman who just returned to the meeting (he had been taking an academic course on Monday mornings, and now the course is over). He has a decent amount of sober time, and he shared that what he looks out for the most in this stage of his sobriety is not the large, dramatic resentments, but the small, petty little annoyances that come up with a much greater frequency. If he does not handle them, promptly and effectively, they will pile up and disrupt his serenity as surely as one rage-producing issue. At this point he referenced a bible passage, reportedly quite common (although you can’t prove it by me, I’ve never heard of it!), which is the title of this post.
This share hit me like a ton of bricks, because it describes me perfectly. Most of the other people at the meeting talked about starting their road to recovery with so much anger they couldn’t see straight. But this idea of straining at gnats but swallowing camels… this is something to which I can relate. The big giant issues in life, the crises, the dramatic moments, I can be as cool as a cucumber. But put me behind a driver who is breaking the “Road Etiquette According to Josie,” and I completely lose it. Prior to this morning’s meeting, I would just shrug off the road rage as one of my peccadilloes, but now I will look at it in a new light, and do my best to improve my reactions. Because enough frustration at the idiot drivers on the road, enough disgust at the flawed customer service in any given store, enough annoyance at the repeated mistakes of my children, could lead me back to a mind-altering substance. When viewed from that perspective, it seems almost ridiculous not to get a grip!
Well, technically it’s not for a few hours, but what the hell… Happy Birthday to me on the 12th, and what a miracle it is to be celebrating another sober birthday!
Posted on November 11, 2013, in Recovery and tagged 12 step, 12 step program, Addiction, applying the 12 steps, God, Meeting, Miracle, Monday, Reading, Recovery, Resentment, Road rage, Sobriety. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.