The other day I shared about how un-likeable a character I am. This is a clarity gained through abstinence. But while I think it’s important that my character gets transformed – not least in order to maintain my abstinence! – I also have a tendency to beat myself over the head with all the things that need improvement. As a Christian, I read the Bible… and I often use it to beat myself over the head with it. As a recovering addict, I read the Big Book… and again, beat myself with how much more I ought to work the steps and help other compulsive overeaters more. Beating myself with a stick doesn’t support my abstinence.
What I want is a serene, joyous abstinence. As a fellow GS’er is fond of saying, “having fun in abstinence”! So, I looked at happiness.
Happiness, I’ve read somewhere that we don’t get it by looking for it but by focusing outward – *away* from my own personal happiness. I believe that’s true. So how could I experience more happiness in the everyday activities of my life? I have learned so many good things from the program of AA, and those tools I believe can help bring about happiness…
- staying in the day: staying in the NOW. Not projecting into tomorrow, next week, next year, next life…
- cultivating gratitude as an attitude
- focusing on, and enjoying, my delicious meals
- focusing on, and enjoying, the fellowship and relationships with fellow recovering addicts
- focusing on the needs of others
- truly listening to others
- asking for help
I can think about all the tools of the Fellowship as something I need to “achieve” – that’s beating myself up about them. Or I can look at them as gifts that I have at my disposal to become happier – then I will be.