Life Anonymous: 12 Steps from Starving Hungry to Beyond Full

Starving Hungry. I heard that crazy term while working at the post office. That is some serious emptiness I thought and something I would never want to experience. Just what level of hunger is required for one to be both starving and hungry, if that is even possible? Well, today I was Starving Hungry and became quite full, all without having ever put a single morsel of food in my mouth. By now you all should know my stance on judgment; I don’t have any because I won’t have to answer for your actions. But I learned today that if one isn’t careful, judgment can creep in by way of some everyday, superficial un-Godly attitudes and behaviors.

Beyond Full. Today is my grandmother’s birthday and I am full from all the humble pie she and God served up to me today, candle in it and all. I am humble. When it comes to my work, my creativity, things I have, things I’ve done, etc., I don’t brag. I share, sometimes, and often I’m reluctant to do that and when I do it’s only with a select few. I’m private, a born and raised Singleton where sharing was a foreign as well, foreign. I am Wilbur, hear me oink! This is who I am, or who I thought I was until it was revealed to me that being a perfectionist, resistant and impatient (just to name a few) are just as bad if not worse than being judgmental and they are most certainly not of a humble nature. I admit when I’m wrong (humble) but just leave it at that, no need for you to say or add anything to it (not humble). Time was given to me today to examine my body language, voice tone, responses, you name it and let me tell you, on more than one occasion was humble booted out by perfection, resistance and impatience, and I wasn’t even aware of it. Apologize, yeah, I do. When I feel I’m wrong. Sometimes. Apologize if I feel I’m right? Ummmm, no? Nope.

Have you ever read and contemplated the 12 Steps? You know, the 12 Steps associated with AA. I’m no alcoholic but being resistant, impatient and a perfectionist are some pretty addictive behaviors. I always knew those things about myself and thought I worked hard at removing them. Turns out, I wasn’t working as hard as I thought I was. I’m lazy. I’m human. I’m a lazy human because life and everything in it takes work and I don’t feel like working ALL the time. It takes a lot of effort to live let alone live a decent life and not decent by monetary standards either. Oh don’t get me wrong, I work and don’t mind putting forth effort but its human nature for me to want to do it when I want to do it or better yet, have someone else do it for me (can you say Brrrraaaattt!)

Martin Luther King said “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”
Step 4 is Moral Inventory. The constant attitude of taking stock of all traits, good and bad and if and how they have transgressed us. Traits of dysfunction that served us well in childhood that cripple us in adulthood. Traits that need to updated, outsourced, reconfigured or just altogether scrapped and new ones shipped in. Businesses take inventory all the time, if they don’t it is unlikely they will be very successful for very long. We humans, rarely, if ever take inventory because it is too much work. To search through the confusion, contradictions and convictions – that have been fed to us from breast and bottle (milk or otherwise), served up on religious cones and community plates – to find that which is truly decent, AND to do it on a regular basis, takes a great deal of work. Some of us are less lazy than other but lazy is lazy. I guess that is why in AA you have a sponsor. Someone who has been where you’ve been and experienced what you’ve experienced. Someone who put in the work, took inventory and is in recovery. Someone who, by all accounts, has been Mended.

I have a sponsor. I have several actually but my main sponsor had every reason to be a perfectionist, to show resistance and impatience and yet he was and is the definition of humility. In AA they have The Big Book. It serves as a guide during your recovery. In life we have a big book. It is difficult to read, often misinterpreted and frequently misused and it serves as THE guide during our recovery. Everyone, regardless how small it is, everyone is recovering from something. Everyone needs to Get Mended.

Life and living take work. Continuous, effortful and courageous work. Working makes you hungry and Humble pie is quite filling. It is dry, without taste or of the worst taste imaginable depending on who’s serving it up and you definitely do not want seconds. Even now, I must fight the urge to scrutinize each line and word, sentence structure and spacing until it is perfect.

AA is about recovery. Life is about recovery from all that is thrown at us each day. I wonder…If I went to a meeting, stood up and said, “Hello, my name is EJ and I’m a lazy human” would they look at me like in disbelief? Would they be angry, thinking I was making a mockery of their program? Or would they simply say “Hi EJ”. If they’ve completed Step 4, I’d bank on the latter.

Step 9 is Making Amends. I made some amends today. Some may be accepted, some may not, but acceptance is not, cannot and should not be the goal. The goal was, is and should always be to put in the work – continuous, effortful, courageous work.

I’m full. Pie anyone?

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