M(3), 3/10: If the Grass Looks Greener on the Other Side, Water Your Own Grass

A happy and healthy Monday to all!  The literature for today’s meeting was from the book Living Sober, and I selected the reading based upon a great meeting I attended last week.  The topic centers around anger and resentments, emotions that can be disastrous to alcoholics and addicts if left unchecked.  In the 12-step program to which I call myself a member, resentments are “the number one offender” of alcoholics.  If we do not learn how to properly manage our anger, it can and will lead us back to our drug of choice.

When I read this chapter at a meeting last week, a gentleman shared his remedy for dealing with anger, and he used the saying in my title.  At the time he said it, I was actively dealing with a resentment of my own, and I dismissed the thought as irrelevant to my own problems.  Because, you know, my anger is justified… you all can water your own grass!

But throughout the weekend, the saying stuck with me, and I had some follow-up conversations about my issue, which subsequently caused me to revisit the chapter for today’s meeting.  In my heart I knew I had not “gotten” what I was supposed to “get.”  Yes, I am bothered by the different actions/behaviors/ways of thinking that others exhibit, and I may even have a decent leg to stand on in terms of my own anger.  BUT… is my side of the street really, totally and completely clean?  In this particular case it is not, and until I clean it up, then I need to let it go.  Once I was able to untwist my thinking in this way, I felt immediate relief!

Some other wonderful gems from today’s meeting.   One gentleman shared that what he loves best about our 12-step program is the renewable power found within it.  We are given the tools to recover from addiction, and then to live a life beyond our wildest dreams.  And on any given day we can use the tools to the best of our ability, ignore them entirely, or somewhere in the middle, and our serenity will respond accordingly.  But the best news of all:  no matter how far we stray, no matter how rusty those skills get from misuse, we only have to apply some willingness to using them again, and the power comes back, in an instant.

Another gentleman shared that when he gets angry, he applies a 3-step program to the problem:

1.  He prays to have the anger removed

2.  He speaks to one person, and only one person, about the source of his anger.  Talking to more than one person will simply magnify the problem

3.  He does whatever he can, in that moment, to be of service to another person.  Even if it means something as simple as holding the door for another, he does it consciously to get out of his own head

He says it never fails, and it makes perfect sense to me.  I am definitely going to give this one a try!

Finally, the best source of wisdom came from a friend of mine who arrived late.  I put her on the spot to share (everyone else had already spoken).  I try never to force anyone to speak, but I am so glad I did today.  She said that anger and resentment were a big challenge for her in early sobriety, because she used those emotions like a protective shield to keep her “safe” from the world.  After a few years, and a serious personal inventory, she was able to acknowledge that she was grateful for those coping mechanisms, for they helped her through many a tough time.  But now, as a sober woman, they no longer serve her, so she could let them go.  I love this thought, because I have a few defects that continue to pop up, and I think it’s time to look at them honestly, and decide once and for all that as a sober woman, they are no longer serving me!

I guess that’s the highlights for today, hopefully there’s something new for you to apply to your life!

Today’s Miracle:

The grass is most definitely greener in my part of the world, on my side and everywhere else, and I will get to see it for an additional hour tonight!  Daylight Savings Time is my favorite time of the year!

Posted on March 10, 2014, in Monday Meeting Miracles and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Oh Josie!! Just what I needed!!!:-) Thank you for reminding me!!!!

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  2. This is really fantastic. I love the man’s #2. I am guilty of “rallying the troops” so to can justify my anger. I mean, after all, if six people think I should be angry, then I should feel that way, right? Perfect reminder. The post is great. Thank you.

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    • Oh man, oh man, can I relate to this! And I will hand pick the people I tell my story to, so that I am getting the desired response! As soon as that man said “and only one person” I knew where he was going with it, and I knew I needed to hear it.

      Thanks for the comment!

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  3. Fabulous post! It comes down to personal responsibility, doesn’t it? Each of us being responsible for the health of our own little plot of grass. For me, the biggest driver to justifying drinking was resentment, not overt anger. Resentment that ‘the world’ was asking me to do all these things, resentment of…I’m not really sure what. But I sure spent a lot of time feeling like a victim who deserved to drink because life was so very tough. As a physician, I see a stark contrast between those patients who seek help managing medical challenges, and those who seek to be ‘rescued’ (“I can’t stand this cough anymore, why can’t you just put me in the hospital until you figure out what is wrong”). This ‘I’m a victim, someone has to fix me’ mindset predisposes to escapes like drinking.

    Watering our own grass- I love it!!

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    • Thanks, Carrie, and what a unique perspective. I have to say, I never thought about a doctor’s reaction to that victim mentality… it would drive me up a wall if I had to deal with that kind of patient all day! I am going to have a great deal more empathy the next time I am in a physician’s office!

      Thanks for the comment, and for broadening my perspective!

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  4. runningonsober

    Amen. 🙂

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  5. What great strategies for regrouping from feelings of anger. I don’t get angry too often but I’ll keep those strategies in mind for when that emotion makes its way into my life.

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  6. Thank you so much for this post – I am getting out my watering can!

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  7. Thanks Josie, this is a great reminder, and i love it because i love to garden, so i’ll just be over here tending to my garden and maybe i’ll go and help the neighbor. LOL. And I’ll try not to tell you how to keep up your garden, either. Love it. Hugs.

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