I escaped my wifely duties yesterday just in time to make it to an Alanon meeting and get out of the trap in my head. The meeting I landed in was as organized as a class! It helped me to hear at the very start, the warning (and the laughter) not to go into a strange neighborhood alone.
On a challenging day, the neighborhood in my head is strange enough... Maybe the real problem this past week is that I have been there too many times alone, without the Higher Perspective of program to light my way.
When I remember not to fall back on my habit of fearful thinking, the Program's steps, traditions and other tools can guide me so as to take new safer routes to travel in my “strange” neighborhood.
Simple stuff is good. I was introduced to the program Pyramid yesterday by the wise woman's meeting chairman. She told us it was derived from Hope for Today's September 11th reading. I think the pyramid suggests to each of us to put their HP first above all else. Interestingly all these good things that connect me with other people are at the base of the triangle. The idea is that when when I put my Higher Power (whom I call God) at the top of the triangle, I am guided towards choices from the second tier, which contains all the program tools I might want to use. Once I have a usable tool or two, I can use it to take care of my physical and emotional health. Only when I have cared for myself can I finally give to my job, family, friends, and hobbies.
After puzzling this out, I immediatelydisagreed with just about everything I’ve just written.
What were my difficulties with the Pyramid? For one thing, the HP at the top of it seemed so far removed from the friends, family and community that I think I need to support me. Why were they at the base of the Pyramid? Don't hobbies, friends, work... came first in seeking joy? Then I looked at that damned Pyramid and saw myself on the third tier and demanded, “I can't take care of me first?”
Then, I had the lightbulb moment.... and could see how the pyramid might be worth using.
For no, I often can’t put me first. When I am anxious, I don’t know know my true Self very well, I have no clue what to put first. On an energetic day I may still have my priorities off. Trying too hard in recovery, even overachieving, I may overdo the emphasis on me. On a bad day, I put my weight on my friends helping me. Or I may be overdoing in giving to friends, so that they will have enough to give back to me, later. Hmmmm…..
Today the imagery of the pyramid clears up the tangled web I would weave on my own. It helps remind me of the relative importance of attending to my needs, honorably, without over-spending on me, or others, with money or energy. I can learn to take care of me within measure, with the help of my Higher Power.
After yesterday's meeting I mulled over a few things. I think most folks in Alanon learned to take care of others before taking care of themselves. But was I brought up to take care of me first and everyone else, last? Sometimes I can't tell what I was taught in my family of origin and how much I taught myself out of sheer rebellion!