Thursday, 20 June 2013
'To conclude that others were wrong was as far as most of us ever got. The usual outcome was that people continued to wrong us and we stayed sore.' (Pages 66)
If people do certain things and I become and remain sore, I have a problem. Or if people repeatedly do certain things and I repeatedly become sore, I really have a problem. That would mean I haven't recovered from the condition described in the Big Book—I haven't recovered past the top of page 66.
The Book will later talk about a new freedom (page 83).
Do I have this freedom?
'We began to see that the world and its people really dominated us.' (Page 66)
If you upset me or cause me to be agitated, I have relinquished the reins of my life and put them in your hands. If, furthermore, I'm upset or agitated on account of the foolish or malevolent, these are precisely the people I'm the emotional slave to. In this case, I'm the real fool.
If I want to be free, I need to rely on God, speaking through my conscience; if I do wrong and feel bad, that is an appropriate response requiring remedial action. Whether or not I get respect, validation, admiration, agreement, or civility from others, whilst sometimes useful as a sign, cannot be taken as a consistently reliable barometer of anything.
Next time someone upsets me, I hope I ask, 'what do I want—freedom or slavery?'