image credit... paul frecker
i believe that working with others has become the cornerstone of my sanity. i struggle so much with many many interior aspects of being sober, but they fall to the wayside when i engage my heart with the well-being of someone else.
this truth has made its way to the front of my daily routine. sadly, i cannot help everyone i encounter, nor is everyone looking for help- either from me or anyone.
but being available to assist is paramount and that is how i spend much of my time. it is definitely a departure from my indulgent focus of my past- and at times it is both a joy and a chore.
the following is an excerpt from "faith, hope, and courage" published by the fellowship of ca. this has also come to represent much of my philosophy. or better my philosophy has been shaped by words such as this reading.
I made it into this Program because someone else worked their Twelfth Step on me. Someone passed it on to me. Someone was out there after they got clean and sober, caring about others. I need to never, ever forget that. Had they simply gone on with their lives and forgotten about people like me who were still out there using and suffering, I wouldn't be here today. My gratitude begins with that fact. It is with that gratitude in mind that I reach out to others, especially the newcomers. I need to have them in my life. That is where my spirituality begins.
For me, spirituality comes from caring about others. I have found that the more I focus on improving the quality of the lives of others, the less I am into myself and my will. I feel a freedom and peace from within. The gifts I am beginning to receive in my life are greater than I could have ever imagined.
Something else I have done is that I have forgiven myself. I have forgiven myself for being an addict. I have forgiven myself for all the damage I did to my life, to my physical health, and to my career and finances. But most of all, I have forgiven myself for all of the horrible, negative and unloving things I have felt about myself. It was not until I offered and accepted my own forgiveness, that I was truly able to grow in my sobriety.