April 28, 1997
I’ve been in turmoil lately because of my selfishness and self-centeredness. I realized that my “lovingness” is usually only there when there’s a pay-off for my ego. How sickening to realize the depth of my self-centeredness. It even disguises itself as love. Anyway, needless to say, I have a tendency to feel hopeless, but I know better. I truly believe that God has a plan for me.
There are two types of selfishness. The first type is the one where I give myself the pleasure of pleasing myself. That’s what we generally call self-centeredness. The second is when I give myself the pleasure of pleasing others. That would be a more refined kind of selfishness. – Anthony DeMello
May 7, 1997
For the first time in years, I have felt really confused about what’s going on inside of me. I have been seeing some stuff about myself that is very disappointing. Even worse, I realize that I am powerless. I guess that’s not “even worse” since “powerless” is a good place to be in a Twelve Step program. I’m at Step One with some character defects that are becoming quite debilitating.
I have a tendency to be hurtful to the people I care about the most. My hurtfulness basically stems from nitpicking (perfectionism), down talking (superiority/pride), and complaining (self-centeredness). Basically, I’m bottoming out with self-centered, perfectionist, control issues. Ouch!
I’m tired of being a hurtful grouch. I’m either high on the mountaintop – superior to everyone—or a total jerk. I complain that I don’t want to be like everyone else, but that’s just my ego telling me that I’m unique or different. I am like everyone else. I am a child of God.
One of the things I really respect about Randy is that he has limits concerning the amount of unacceptable behavior that he is willing to tolerate from me. That scares me sometimes because I fear that I can’t change, but it also stops the tornado and helps me gain clarity. I know that I can’t change myself, but I truly believe that God can and is changing me according to my willingness to surrender.
That’s what blows my mind: I can be an alcoholic tornado whirling destruction through the lives of those I love and not even recognize it. Talk about denial! The good news is that rather than wallow in self-pity because, once again, I’ve realized that I’m not as nice as I fancied myself to be, I can be grateful that I’m at a turning point for new horizons.
My journey has taken me so far that sometimes I tend to think that I have “arrived,” but I remember now that it never ends. There is no permanent plateau. That’s exciting and even a bit unbelievable. I’m already at places I never dreamed of. However, when Randy talks about “building a life” and I feel confused because I don’t know what he’s talking about, I see that I have a long way to go. I remember when the word “loyalty” baffled me. I remember when I didn’t understand the concept of the word “consequences.” I remember when the word “God” made me angry. I have a long way to go, but I have also come a long way. At least now I understand that if I don’t understand what someone is talking about, I’m the one who’s in the dark. It doesn’t mean that they don’t understand what they are talking about.
More good news is that these issues are messing with me like never before because, for the first time, I’m attempting to form a true partnership with another human being – however feeble the attempt. I just need to get with the program and forget about what it is I think I want and need. Sometimes I totally forget that I blew my chance at running my own life and that I have no right to complain about or dictate the circumstances in my life. Left to my own devices, I would be dead.
Dead, Paige, Dead!
God saved me. I am here to represent Him.
I’m realizing how selfless a person needs to be to have a real life. I see that one of the reasons that I never tried to step up to the plate was that I didn’t know how. Another was that I was just too self-centered to bother. I find myself thinking, “If I keep spending my whole life just doing for others, what will be left of me?”
Just the REAL you – silly fool!
So the difference between “the boys and the men” is the difference between striving for a self-determined objective and for the perfect objective which is of God. – Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions