It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us.
When there’s something wrong with me, there’s something wrong with me.
This idea has been a linchpin of my sobriety, something absolutely vital. The Twelve and Twelve goes on to explain that even when I’m all right, and the other person or circumstance is completely wrong, I still need to get over it and find serenity in order to practice the program and live well.
There are examples throughout this book and the Big Book of times when life can be very very hard. Here it says what if I’ve been cheated? Elsewhere the books mention having a marriage proposal turned down, or losing a son in war. These are tough and terrible things.
The idea if I’m disturbed by them there is something wrong with me seems wrong. If I’m not disturbed by them, there’s something wrong with me! What the concept means in my life today is that I’ve got to walk in the direction of getting over it, whatever it is.
This spiritual axiom (which means, by the way, something that is true) appears in Step 10 and is meant as part of the spot check inventory taken when daily events cause negative emotions. A rejected marriage proposal or a son killed in war would obviously take more time and work to get over than a staff shortage —
I searched through my blog and I found when I had written about this before, almost ten years ago. Back then short staff was causing me anxiety and so, one decade on, it still is….
So, freshly trying to apply these principles to all of my affairs, it has been good to revisit and reread and retry to understand. When other people are wrong, which they frequently are, I’m to remember that I am often wrong as well. I am to forgive them.
It is also here where the phrase”progress, not …. perfection” is used. Jealousy, envy, self-pity and hurt pride are also listed as triggers for bad behavior.
When I look at myself in these situations, I have some hope of improving and changing for better, and so being happier. When I look at others, and the wrongs they are doing to me or to the universe, the only chance I have is to become more angry or depressed or self-righteous. I can’t change the other person or the universe.
(PS – just before writing this, I called my senator to tell him what I think about an issue at hand)