Recovery is all about developing new attitudes. I didn’t come to recovery until I had reached a point where I was forced to admit that my old attitudes weren’t working. Although this was extremely painful, it ended up being my first blessing of the program.
Keeping the focus on myself.
This was a new concept; one that seemed to fly in the face of all that I had been raised to believe. Didn’t “good” people spend all their time focusing on others? Wasn’t I supposed to lose myself in the service of my fellow men?
But recovery asked me to make the uncomfortable shift of focusing on fixing other people’s problems to fixing my own. What an uncomfortable shift in mindset.
This concept has made me realize that I often use other people’s problems to distract me from really looking at myself. Recovery has taught me that if I allow myself to become preoccupied with how to fix or rescue someone else, I will lose touch with my real responsibility. I am first and foremost responsible to “row my own boat,” and keep God at my center.
For me, this principle in action means that when my partner’s behavior triggers me, I put my focus on “Am I responding in a way that is Humble, Honest, Accountable?” instead of “How do I convince my partner how wrong they are?” I focus on, “What do I need to do to feel serenity right now?” instead of “What do I need to do to get this person to do what I think they should be doing?”
This approach is helping me to create healthier relationships with all people, whether it be my spouse, my children, my siblings, my parents, my in-laws, or my friends.
I have realized that the most loving thing I can ever do is try to keep myself in a space where I can be filled with His love, and the right action will come from there.
Like Proverbs 4:23 states, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
I try to mind my own business. I strive to Let Go and Let God.
This is easier said than done. Especially when I have to watch people I love really struggling. That’s when the pedal hits the metal and I have to decide, “Do I really trust God to hold this person I love so much in His hands?” or do I decide to take matters into my own hands and play God through criticizing or advice-giving instead?
I have finally had enough rock bottom to say that I want His way, whatever that looks like.
I can’t change the truth that “Pain is the pathway to progress” for everybody else just like it has been for me. But I can focus on myself and my connection to the God of my understanding, and believe that He will show up for the people I love in my life, just like He has for me.
What are your struggles, triumphs, and insights about the principle of keeping your focus on yourself?