I know when I’m not in the right place mentally because I start looking at how the behavior of others needs to change. Usually, the simplest way for me to see this flaw in thinking is to read a passage in, say, the Daily Reflections and I’ll think, “man, it’d be great if so-and-so read this!” That’s usually referring to my wife, but not exclusively (my wife is the closest person to me, obviously, so it makes sense she’s under the most scrutiny when I’m wrong).
Each and every time I think someone else would do good to read a passage I just read, the answer is to look at the one thing on Earth I can change; me. It’s not anyone else. It’s not my wife. It’s not my kids. It’s not my colleagues or cycling buddies. If I’m looking at how they need to change, I’m signing myself up for misery, disappointment and often misguided arrogance that leads inextricably to ignorance. There is no “yeah, but”.
So last night I’m reading the day’s passage from the Daily Reflections and sure enough I thought, about halfway through, that my wife needs to read this! I thought about texting it to her as a second thought. My third was, “Oh f***, I’d better read that again.”
It was then I remembered my old sponsor and the single greatest relationship advice I’ve ever been given; “Jimmy, sometimes you wanna throw ’em like a lawn dart but you just gotta love ’em.”
Recovery never gets old. I just get better at it.
The sun rises and sets on my wife, and I needed to remember that. I thank God for everything I’ve had to go through to get to where I’m at. Every lesson I’ve learned has led to the point where, if I just work on the fella inside my personal space, happy, joyous and free is normal. The old addict is still there, but I’ve gotten much better and faster at pushing him back in the cage where he belongs. After that I just have to remember the door to the cage isn’t locked.