Like most people, we have found that we can take our big lumps as they come. But also like others, we often discover a greater challenge in the lesser and more continuous problems of life. Our answer is still more spiritual development. Only by this means can we improve our chances for really happy and useful living.
I’ll stop there (as we say at literature meetings). *****Standard disclaimer*****I have, as of this writing, been sober for 27 years in Alcoholics Anonymous. I am writing about the oldtimer experience, not the newcomer experience. No matter how great my challenges today, they do not cause me to be tempted to drink. I’m not cured. I’m not safe. I’m not immune. I keep coming back. But alcohol no longer tempts me. *****
Big lumps are awful, but thus far mine haven’t been too big. The lesser and more continuous problems of life are, to sum up, my character defects. For over a year I’ve been trying to jot down my triggers, as they occur, to be better able to deal with them without the excess of negative emotion. To develop, spiritually, more.
A sample of my lesser and more continuous problems:
- students at my work place – I have to keep them busy and tell them what they’re doing wrong
- a coworker I don’t like, I don’t want to spend time with, I have to spend time with
- my wife being bad-tempered in some way
- philosophical differences at work
- my pets misbehave, get sick, get old, die
- my kids keep growing and developing, forcing me to always be adjusting to a new phase of their adulthood
- my work partner and I hire people who other departments “steal”
- people I dislike get in trouble, have trouble, and a tiny little part of me is glad
So I’m sitting here writing this, developing my spirit, as it were. One kitten is sprawled in front of the keyboard purring very very loudly. Another just attacked my sleeve for the third time, and I shoved her off of the desk. But here I sit, listing my petty complaints, thinking about the 12th Step, and how to do it better tomorrow.