February 4, 2011

February 2: No Ladders in Paradise

Yes, this is another day in paradise, where I am giving myself a reprieve from my Mother-lode of self-recrimination....

I was raised to view myself as if I were on a ladder.  As the author of February 2nd's CTC writes, "Everyone was either above me—to be feared and envied—or below me—to be pitied. God was way, way at the top, beyond my view."   That was an estranging way to live,  making relating to my fellow humans as equals almost an impossibility.  In this way, my mother and I were always stepping on each other's toes: I would step up on her rung so as to see eye-to-eye, and she would bark at me,  trying to get away.  She wanted always to be above me.

It really helps me  that in program we join hands in a room without ladders.  "In the circle of fellowship, were all on equal terms, and God was right in the center, easily accessible."  Newcomers are welcomed too, by simply widening the circle.

"Today I no longer look up to some people and down at others. I can look each person in the eye, squarely and honestly. Today, being humble means climbing down from the ladder. I've stopped judging myself and others, by taking my rightful place in a worldwide circle of love and support.

I agree that my thoughts are my teachers.  Growing up,  I adopted some ways of thinking that have led to unhappiness.   Today I have a choice: I can ask myself  if my thoughts are teaching me to accept and appreciate myself and others or if  they are teaching me to practice isolation? With practice, I can choose my teachers with greater care.

“'Live and let live' sets us free from the compulsion to judge, condemn, and retaliate..[which] can damage us far more than those against whom we use such weapons. Here we learn tolerance rooted in love.” This is Al-anon

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

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