“For the wise have always known that no one can make much of his life until self-searching becomes a regular habit, until he is able to admit and accept what he finds, and until he patiently and persistently tries to correct what is wrong.”
– The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (pg. 88), by Bill W.
The Tenth Step of the 12-Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous states: “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” “When” we were wrong, not “If” we were wrong. Let’s face it, we are all human beings. We are all going to make mistakes. We are all going to harm each other – whether we intend to or not. We are all going to say something stupid, ignore a friend’s request for help, cut someone off in traffic, or show up late and miss our kid’s part in the school play. Sometimes we have no intention of hurting someone else; it just happens. Other times, we selfishly go about our own business, forgetting that the rest of the world is revolving as well, and we end up stepping on the toes of those around us.
When that happens, what do we do? Do we point our finger at the person closest to us? Do we blame our parents for not raising us properly? Do we condemn society as a whole for something – anything – that can take the onus off of us? Or, do we take responsibility? Do we say, “I’m sorry,” or “How can I make it up to you?” Do we ask God to help us amend our behaviors and our thoughts so the same thing doesn’t happen again?
The quote above isn’t just for those who are trying to recover from an addiction. The practice of keeping a daily journal is as old as paper. The Examen was created by the Jesuits to review their day in the presence of God. Many religions and therapeutic practices have similar exercises that involve self-review and acknowledgment of wrong-doing. If a person is honest, serious, and willing to change, the rewards of daily self-appraisal are never-ending.
This is not new information. So, why don’t we do it? Why is our first reaction to any situation to point our finger at someone or something else? Perhaps it is because we desire to be perfect. Or, maybe we think that if we point out someone else’s deficiencies, no one will notice ours. Worse yet, it could be that we don’t want anyone to know that deep down inside of us, there is something that really needs to change. No matter what the reason, we need to get over it.
We all need to look within to find the answer. We all need to search ourselves to discover the reason for our unrest. We all need to accept that we are not perfect and we do make mistakes. Once we can own up to that part of ourselves, we can make amends for our behaviors and begin the process of changing into the people God created us to be. The inner peace that comes from this way of living is real. These ageless practices would not still be in place if it wasn’t. What are we waiting for?
I’ve journalled for years and I used to be an alcoholic/addict. You should read my post about Awakening.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hi Phoenix: Thank you for your feedback to my blog post: “The Answer Lies Within.” I wanted to let you know that I was unable to find your post on “Awakening” as the search feature on your site seems not to be working. There were actually only four posts that were available, which seemed odd, since you said you’ve been writing for so long. Just wanted to give you the heads up that I was having difficulty navigating your site.
I’ve journalled for years privately, not on my blog. I’ve been blogging since like April 2017. I fixed my search on my site. Thank for letting me know.
Here’s the link http://wisdom4freedom.com/awakening/