“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.”
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Step 10
This quote reminds me of an analogy Zig Ziglar uses in his motivational talks. If a plane takes off from Seattle, flying to Dallas, it will only be a matter of moments before the wind, the rotation of the earth, and other factors pull the plane off course. In my old addictive ways of thinking, if I was the pilot of this plane I wouldn’t have noticed I was off-course and would have been unpleasantly surprised when I landed in Phoenix rather than Dallas. Or I might have turned the plane around, landed in Seattle, and try all over again. This is another form of denial, as well as perfectionism: I assume if I try hard enough and often enough, eventually I’ll be able to fly from Seattle to Dallas without any course corrections. Rather than use these two absurd (but tragically common) ways of thinking, my recovery program is teaching me to open my eyes and see when I’m off course. The program is also giving me the courage to make daily ‘course corrections’ rather than turn back and start over, again and again. The only way I’ll ever reach my destination is to trudge the road of happy destiny, and that means making mistakes, learning from them, and moving on.
As I reflect on the past week I see quite clearly that my pride was a major issue. I was prideful about my work, my sobriety, my appearance, and my performance as a husband and father. Thanking God for these blessings and for making my success possible came rarely, if at all. I can correct this wrong by thanking God now (done!) and by remembering in the future that God is in charge. If there are blessings in my life God is responsible for them, and I should thank Him daily rather than assume I am responsible.
What course corrections can you make today?