It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also. But are there no exceptions to this rule? What about “justifiable” anger? If somebody cheats us, aren’t we entitled to be mad? Can’t we be properly angry with self-righteous folk? For us of A.A. these are dangerous exceptions. We have found that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it.
WordPress’ possibly related posts generator often links me to anti-AA blogs. I’ve read some of the stuff at those sites out of curiosity. It’s tempting to me to address the issues they bring up. But this blog is for me to advance my sobriety and increase its depth and value. I’ve been sober for a long time, and thankfully I’ve gone past many (if not all) of the objections that are raised against AA. Passages like the quoted one have not turned me into an AA-bot.
I have it ingrained at this point, I think, that when I am disturbed there is something wrong with me. There may very well be something wrong with the other person as well. In fact, mostly likely there is. That is not my concern (unless it’s someone I supervise or gave birth to).
In the worst instances, the feeling of being wronged, cheated, victimized and hurt can be devastating. My recent ruminations on the topic of gay marriage are a good example. The unfairness of it bites me in my heart. Without going into details, I can honestly say that it has cost my family thousands of dollars over the past few years because we are not heterosexual. I strongly believe it is unfair.
I’ve developed some coping mechanisms over the years. I’ll remind myself that life is unfair, and in the whole of human existence, the unfairness I have to live with is minor. Mostly I know that I have to move my mind along after acknowledging to myself that it is unfair, and thinking briefly about if I can or am doing anything real to rectify the situation.
A frequent hard spot for me is at work, when staff is short. It happens often, and I’ve tried often to find a good way to deal with it. When this happens some people act greedy, some act altruistically, and some seem very self-centered and clueless. A few brave souls just accept what’s going on and do the best they can. After years of struggle with this I still get bent out of shape. My most constant tactic is to try to avoid it, if I can, and let someone else assign staff and try not to notice. When the selfishness of others is apparent, I try to remember that they have other good qualities. That yes, I am loving and giving and all around wonderful, but there are people in the world who are far more wonderful than I am. What good is it sit and count how wrong other people are? The best thing I can be is an example.
So the knowledge that when I am disturbed, there is something wrong with me, is a good concept that at least helps me move on in my mind when I feel I’ve been wronged. That, and I also remember that I may not see the situation, or see it clearly, or see the whole thing. And I have to move on.