If the plane is going down, they say to put your oxygen mask on first then you’ll be able to help others. It’s not selfish it’s life or death.
If I don’t have my sobriety, I don’t have anything else in my life.
I consider that putting my oxygen mask on first.
Sometimes, in early sobriety, I felt selfish caring for myself—doing the things that now supported my new sober life, going to meetings, talking to people, working the steps with my sponsor, prayer, being in sober community, service to others, taking care of ME—after all, wasn’t I being selfish in my addiction in the first place?
So where is the balance?
Yes, I was only selfishly thinking of what I needed when drinking. After I got sober and started taking care of myself, then and only then, could I be of service to others. Get out of my own head to help somebody else. There is a space somewhere between being totally selfish and self-care.
That grey area is where I find growth and serenity.
I start my day with the Third Step prayer, which goes like this:
“God, I offer myself to Thee. To build with me and do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I might better do Thy Will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help, of Thy power, Thy love, and Thy way of life. May I do Thy will always. Amen.”
So—Get me out of the way. Help me with the faults that stand in my way, so that others can see Your love and work in me. And, Your Will, not mine, be done.
I am so grateful to have these tools.
I also have to be careful of service—too much service at the expense of myself—that becomes co-dependency, which I am really good at—the at the expense of myself part. Between these two, service and co-dependency, there is a grey area too. If I remain in that middle ground grey area, I find serenity.
Being ever-vigilant and aware of what is right in front of me, I can be in God’s Will just by showing up. Taking this world as it is, not as I would have it! He is responsible for directing my path, if I remain “hands-free” of the control. God is responsible for the outcome.
The pressure is off, whew! Simple, but not easy.
Step by step.
Lesson by lesson.
Day by day.
Prayer by Prayer.
Depending on God.
All the way.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
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