Knowing that I wanted to write about this soon, I’ve been considering it in different contexts. The first context that jumps to my mind is that advice given to newcomers to “act as if . . .” There’s a whole world of acting to be done then. Act as if you believed in a higher power. Act as if you liked meetings. Act as if you were a responsible citizen/neighbor/parent/spouse. Fake it till you make it. Bring the body and the mind will follow.
It is the truth for me that I can’t only think myself into right acting. I also, and mostly, have to act myself into right thinking. If I waited until I wanted to and/or felt ready to get sober/lead a meeting/eat right/do my job well/be a good pet parent, I’d still be waiting. By acting as if I am those things, it pushes me along the road to becoming them. Just like smiling or laughing makes me happy.
I’m thinking about where I still need to improve my actions today. There are many places. I took Carole to the eye doctor today to have a hole in her retina lasered closed. Really. And while I was in the waiting room, I took this picture of the TV. That is Pat Robertson. That made me mad.
Politics is something I feel so strongly about. It is very, very difficult for me to “love” someone with opposing views. I am selfish and greedy and I want to get married, damn it! I have only one hope for that and Pat Robertson is firmly against it. Against letting me do it. How does it hurt him? How?
Beyond the selfish greedy part of my politics, I believe strongly that our best chance for protecting the environment, taking care of the poor and disabled, those types of things, lies with the Democrats. Like I said, it is very difficult for me to feel positive about someone who disagrees, but I come closest to that positive feeling in AA, about fellow members of AA.
Closer, but no cigar. I know this is a defect of mine, and I know that I want to have it removed before (and without) it causes me deep pain. It actually hurts my feelings that some people don’t want to let me get married, and the fault for my hurt feelings is all mine.
I can picture the truly loving, always forgiving person I would like to be and that I should be. She is not triggered by Pat Robertson in the waiting room. Which brings to mind an interesting dilemma. I was completely alone in that waiting room, and I didn’t express my dislike to a single person. I thought, briefly, of asking someone to change the channel. I thought they should not play this propaganda in the waiting room, it might actually influence some people who are not as hard-core about their opinions and beliefs as I am. OK, who are not as smart about their opinions and beliefs as I am. But when a character defect is activated in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
It makes a mark on my soul, and even in complete isolation I need to keep trying to get over these things, to be more patience and loving and kind and tolerant than I am. To see the other side more and to see the goodness in the other side, more. Acting as if I am already that person is one tool that will move me farther in that direction (because really, I don’t expect I will ever arrive).