This blog is an effort to describe how my life has evolved over the last 4 decades plus while participating in a 12 Step program. What began as a simple recovery effort has opened up in my life as something that is far greater than just 12 Steps. It is called "LIFE!".
Friday, July 22, 2011
This word "but" can be a real killer !
How many times have I made a powerful personal statement only to find out I completely negated it with the word "but"? This word seems to pervade the human vocabulary at the wrong times, at least never at the right times for me. When I came to recovery I never once considered that I truly may grow up, mature and think of others. This process has really had a profound impact on my use of this word "but".
One of the best examples I can think of is when someone very close and loving to you says; "I love you, but...." But? So I thought I heard; "I love you" as in totally unconditional acceptance, tolerance, happiness, joy, love and then got stopped cold in my tracks with "but". I guess I really heard; "I almost and just maybe love you....however there are some areas which I hold in reserve....blah blah blah". so it appears that this word ?but" can be a killer in some instances.....well most.
Gosh, I wonder if I do this with that Power Greater than Myself? Would I? Probably not on purpose, well probably. I actually can think of sometimes in my life when I said things to myself like; "I really don't need God interfering right now, I have things under control". Very dangerous practice it seems. Also a mite stupid as I think about it now. I am now hearing in my head; "say what you mean and mean what you say!". Why is it those old cliches come back at the wrong times? Every time my grandmother uttered yet another prophetic saying I would cringe. I just knew that I would hear it in my ears somewhere in the future at the right but wrong time.
I have been reminded many times by my mentors in recovery and in Unity, my spiritual choice of practice these days www.unity.org that the word "but" may just mean "a human opinion to follow". Similar to; "Yes I know you are totally correct, but...." just fill in the blank with a judgement, opinion or something I really shouldn't say. It seems somewhere along the life path my ego decided it needed to be right either all or at least most of the time. There are moments when that is still true. By listening for and to that "still small voice inside me", I can become aware more quickly and take actions as necessary to defeat that process. Again a process that I never in a million years would have thought I would cultivate back when life changed for me so drastically.
Back to "but". It seems that by listening to and hearing others use the word I am becoming more and more attuned to how I do not want to be. I truly want to say to those I love; "I love you" and have that mean 100% without reservation. I truly want to say to God as I understand IT/Him/Her; "I trust in you" and again have that mean totally without hesitation or second thoughts. This takes practice, this takes awareness, this takes honesty. Those are qualities I did not come to this way of life with. Maybe I possessed them innately, I really did not consciously practice any of them in my way of life.
So, these days if I want to live a congruous life, one which is in consonance with all that I think I should be doing, I have decided like a few other words need to get lost out of my vocabulary. Words such as; "hate, never and of course but". It just seems that these absolutely negative words have no valid purpose at all in my life. I feel certain that those in my life would agree that they prefer to hear me speak in the most positive terms possible and not have to consider whether I am being completely or totally honest. I know it certainly makes life much more simpler and in fact easier for me.
It now seems that in my life today "the easier softer way" is in fact "The Way", The Way of Truth.