Look In The Mirror!

Do you ever find yourself getting angry or resentful at someone else because of some behavior they’re doing? What you may find hard to believe is that there’s a strong possibility there is only one reason why you’re feeling that way…

That person is a mirror that’s doing nothing more than reflecting one of your own behaviors back upon you!

For years I found myself getting angry with people all the time for various reasons. One of the biggest ones was when I perceived someone to be totally controlling. It was quite easy for me to always point that type of behavior out in others. But I was completely oblivious to the fact that I was doing the very same type of behavior in every area of my life as well. That led me to believe that the age old adage, “It takes one to know one!” is true.

As I continue to work on my spiritual development, I find I’m not so angry and resentful anymore at things people do. I think that’s because I started looking in the mirror a few years ago at myself anytime someone bothered me immensely. It was then I really began seeing how much of my own anger and resentments were always about myself, and the things that were unresolved within me.

It seems as if I’m on the other side of this now because occasionally people come at me with accusations and a lot of their own anger about something they perceive I’m doing. In the past, this would normally turn into a heated argument because I wasn’t willing to look in the mirror at my own behaviors. Thankfully, I handle things like this quite differently these days. Case in point, a former sponsee recently got seriously angry at the simple guidelines I had for the people I sponsor. After spouting off many judgments in raised tones, that person said I was a control freak and hung up the phone while I was trying to work through the situation with them. The good thing is that not once did I raise my voice or yell back at them. I chuckle at situations like that now because I remember that was me not too long ago when I couldn’t see that all of my issues with others were really about myself.

So if you should ever find yourself looking at others and judging their behaviors with any type of anger or resentments, I encourage you to take a moment, breathe, and then have a look in the mirror. There you will see a reflection of the real person that your issue is truly about. Start working on yourself and grow closer to your Higher Power, and maybe then you’ll start seeing the mirror has always been right in front of you.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

We “Tried” To Carry This Message To Alcoholics

One of the main focuses in all forms of recovery from addiction is get healthy enough to help those who are still suffering from the disease. That usually begins with a person sharing their experience, strength, and hope in the recovery meetings they attend. As they mature in their recovery though, newcomers will often ask them to be their sponsor. Essentially what that means is that the newcomer is looking for guidance in their recovery program.

Sponsoring another individual helps to meet part of the following criteria that’s written in the 12th Step:

“… we tried to carry this message to alcoholics…”

I’ve purposely bolded the word “tried” because of something I went through recently with a sponsee I was trying to carry the message of recovery to. But before I get into that discussion, it’s important to note that how someone sponsors another is different from one recovering individual to the next. In my case, it primarily means two things.

1. Taking someone through the entire 12-Steps as they are written in the literature.

2. Helping someone discover a deep connection to his or her own Higher Power.

It is a spiritual gift when any person is asked to help sponsor another individual in a 12-Step recovery program. Many don’t realize how much it helps a sponsor’s recovery grow, as much as it does the sponsee’s, in the work they do together. Unfortunately, there are times though when the sponsee-sponsor relationship doesn’t work and isn’t a good fit. But unless they both try, it’s impossible to know whether it would work or not. That is why I bolded the word “tried” in the above excerpt from the 12th Step.

I believe the most important thing I can ever do in life with anything that challenges me is to try doing it. That principle holds true even in my sponsorship of others in recovery from addiction. When I am asked to help sponsor another individual, if I have the available time, I generally will say yes. Recently, I did that for an individual only to realize about a month later, that I wasn’t the best fit for them. The result was that I had to stop sponsoring them.

There are many reasons why the sponsor-sponsee relationship can end up not working out. In this case, I wasn’t equipped with the right tools to handle this sponsee’s needs. While the specifics aren’t necessary here as to what tools were needed, the bottom line was that my increased frustration, stress, and arguments with this individual were signs showing it wasn’t the right fit.

It truly is important in recovery from any addiction, that we do our best to “try” carrying the message to others. But that should never come at the expense of our own health and recovery. It was hard for me to initially see that this was happening with this individual. It was even harder for me to overcome my pride and ego when I did. Cutting the sponsoring cord to this person was truly humbling because I don’t like giving up on anyone. Thankfully though, my sponsor helped me to see that I wasn’t really giving up on them, I just wasn’t the right fit.

The lesson I leaned in all of this is that I can’t always help everyone. The best that I can do in my recovery is to “try” carrying the message to others. While it is a gift to do that, especially when I’m asked to sponsor another, I see today that I may not always be the best fit for them. I have gratitude for my Higher Power in helping me to learn another spiritual lesson in recovery…

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Mantra For The Day – For Surrendering Your Will

Probably the greatest battle any of us face on this planet when we are walking a spiritual path is that which wages on between our self-will and our Higher Power’s will. I spent years trying to win a make-believe tug-of-war game with my Higher Power, whom I refer to today as God. I say that because I understand I have always had free will, except the more I’ve lived in it, the more I became miserable. That’s why I decided four years ago to begin turning more and more of my will and life over to God. To get there, one of the things I started utilizing was the use of a mantra and I know it’s worked. While I may still get frustrated at times with where God has my life, I find it’s a whole lot better than it was before I ever began using this tool. So if you want your Higher Power to take charge more in your life, I encourage you to try using the following mantra on a regular basis as well.

“I release and surrender my entire will and life over to (my Higher Power, God, etc.)”

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson