These obstacles, however, are very real. The first, and one of the most difficult, has to do with foregiveness. The moment we ponder a twisted or broken relationship with another person, our emotions go on the defensive. To escape looking at the wrongs we have done another, we resentfully focus on the wrong he has done us. The is especially true if he has, in fact, behaved badly at all. Triumphantly we seize up his misbehavior as the perfect excuse for minimizing or forgetting our own.
This was true for me when I first came in, thinking about a person I had not talked to and wouldn’t talk to. That thought and fact kept me stuck on the sixth step for a long time. Recently, a neighbor came into AA with this same kind of reservation. He has a person he will not forgive, and so he often voiced that he’s not going to work the program (including steps and following suggestions) because of this. I don’t know if he’s drank, but he’s stopped going to meetings. I was afraid that would happen. I saw it happening. And, because he’s a neighbor, I think of him many times a day. And I hope he’s OK.
And it strikes me that right here, right in the step book, is a description of my problem and his. We are not unique, we are no exceptions, and we have directions to follow.
So again, thinking of work, the twisted and broken relationships are ones in which I blame the other person almost entirely. I am right, they are wrong. I am good, they are bad.
I am so fortunate to have AA to point out to me that this simply isn’t true.
Two recent things. One, I made a mistake and I’m afraid to be caught and lose my job. I did something wrong, something bad, something the others didn’t do. So I am wrong, and bad.
Two, I have the death of Sebastian earlier this week. He was truly a shining example of love in action. He was so much better at it than I am. One of the “bad guys” probably literally saved Sebastian’s life a few years ago.
I think I get it now.