I DID IT MY WAY...
My father had a lot of antisocial habits. He was a dairy farmer, with lots of cows, a few hundred acres, six live-in hired hands, some less-than-sterile habits, and he was sightless.
I remember when he was measuring liquid into a container, whether five gallons of milk for a customer, or coffee in his own giant cup, he always stuck a finger or a thumb into the jar, cup, or can, so he could tell when it was filled. In a restaurant, he'd stick his finger into his cup (or stein) to see if it had been refilled. If it was hot coffee, he'd say "OUCH" so loud that many would hear him.
These years were the early 1940's when he was beginning to experience serious hearing loss. I was between age 8-12, and began to copy his behaviors, as if they were "normal". So by the time I got to college, I discovered it was difficult to impress a date, when you stick your finger into her beer, and then lick it clean.
Many years later I entered an AA meeting room. I was like "born and raised" in a new way of life. Before there was Inter-Group in Naples FL, before local treatment facilities, before the now-all-too-familiar 90 meetings in 90 days, before the shouting out of "What's the POINT?", "It Works if you WORK IT!", before a LOAD of nuevo practices, rules, and regulations became effective, I had been taught simply, that if I drink I die. That was basic. And I believed then and continue to believe that, with all my heart.
And so when we in Alcoholics Anonymous began arguing about whether a drug addict was allowed in our rooms, what we should do about a "Jesus" special messenger, and do we say--or not--the (non-AA) Lord's Prayer after a meeting, I was dumbfounded. The first time I heard the meeting topic "My boyfriend moved out...what should I do?" I was stunned. And the first time I heard a leader at a 9th Step meeting say, "But FIRST "my sponsor" told me to forgive myself (so I would 'feel good')", I thought WTF, this is NOT the way I was raised in AA. I felt at once so alone, rudderless.
AMENDMENT: Shadow wrote the following good point-a question:
"...what is it about change that makes us so uncomfortable. what is it about another's way, that makes us want to pull back..."Shadow...Isn't it FEAR (Pride?). Fear of maybe you finding out my way is not the 'only' way. Fear of me finding out my "thinker" needs adjusting. Fear that in my experience, you will only "get it" if you do it the way I was raised. Fear of me finding out "my way" is not the best (finger-in-the-beer)...I may add these couple lines of amendment to the blog. Thank you SO much.
I crusaded to "change things", all for naught. With "adult supervision" I decided to seek out meetings which adhered to the Principles and the Traditions, as they had been taught me. Admit powerlessness, kneel and surrender, trust a Higher Power, turn my life over to Him. These acts culminated in my working the next eight steps, so in fact, that is how to really work step three.
The point here is that I am comfortable when things are going my way--the way I was early-on taught--and very uncomfortable when I see some of the changes happening right before our eyes, which--to me--are how we might one day be destroyed, from within.
It is then when I realize that we are all--sober, drunk, or neither--in God's hands always, and forever. And with God leading the meetings, the membership will learn, and will stay sober, in spite of all efforts to bend the meanings of our meaningful steps, to suit every flavor of taste in every room of recovery.
Oooops, I just spilled some HERSHEY'S chocolate syrup on my thumb...(slurrp...slurrrp!)--all clean now!
May God's Loving and sober Peace be yours today, my cherished Peeps!