When someone is willing to dig deep for the reality of their lives and keep molding the truths onto steps that lead from addiction and pain to sane living and rejoicing, it’s called recovery work. The title to this post comes from such a work by Sherrie Theriault. I am often inspired by her recovery poetry. I hope you check out her site.
Her advice is to pick a retirement home for your critics. That is a challenge for most of us. How do we help our critics retire? They need our assistance!
Critical statements abound. Indulge me here. What was the last critical statement that bothered you? The following items are those I’ve heard from friends in the last 48 hours. They weren’t said to me, but they were said to people I care about.
- You’re too controlling.
- You can’t make a decision.
- You’re a doormat.
- You should get a better job.
Who last criticized you? Place their name on a sheet of paper in column 1.
Do you have the critical statement in mind? Put that on paper in column 2.
Choose which of the following areas of your life were threatened: self-esteem, security, ambition, personal or sex relations and list that in column 3.
Decide which of the following of your character defects is involved: selfish, dishonest, self-seeking or frightened and put that in column 4.
When you’re done, you’ve found our what you need to know. You have taken the sting out of the statement and learned more truth about yourself. Instead of walking around with the inebriation of anger and pain, you have found emotional sobriety and restored your emotional stability.
Here we begin to practice all Twelve Steps of the program in our daily lives so that we and those about us may find emotional sobriety. ~ Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, 2011 p 106
Focusing on our own part of the relationship and in a effort to restore it or to clean up your side of the street, do you owe the person an apology for anything? Is there an amends that needs to happen?
Once we have done the Steps all the way through, we find it is simple to keep up with the sporadic irritations that come along. We know what to do.
By this time, at Step Ten, we had begun to get a basis for daily living, and we keenly realized that we would need to continue taking personal inventory, and that when we were in the wrong we ought to admit it promptly. ~Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, 2011 p 108
Taking regular personal inventory has helped me find emotional sobriety. I’m so thankful for this wisdom of AA. The Twelve Steps are my daily guide for living.
PS: By the way, you’ve just found a retirement home for your critic. It’s called the 4th Step Assisted Living.