My last post was about opening up about addiction in our lives. And, it seemed to be a very important issue for many readers. For me, one of my proudest moments as a mother, was at family group when my son said, "Hi, I'm ____ and I'm an addict." I know that may sound strange to many, but it's true. It was because this young man hadn't taken responsibility for anything in such a long time, that this was music to my ears. I will admit that I was in the safety of a room full of family members who were going through the same thing.
For the most part, I am very direct. I don't usually beat around the bush and I tell it like it is, good, bad or ugly. I am not patting myself on the back for this character trait/flaw. I usually wish I had tempered my comments. I'm not too concerned with appearances. This could be considered a strength or sheer laziness. I am pointing out these traits to illustrate that on the surface, I'm not very prideful.
But, I've been studying pride and humility during this lenten season. Humility is a virtue that is opposed to pride and related to the cardinal virtue of temperance. It is the foundation of spiritual edifice. When we live humility in our daily activities, we don't care what others think of us. We find living our lives as God intended more important than what another person thinks. But, it goes deeper, it extends to our need to be appreciated or loved or respected. These seemingly harmless" needs" are bits and pieces of pride.
It takes a lot of energy to keep up an appearance. And, when we do, we are robbing others of lessons that we have learned. We are continuing the stigma that is associated with addiction. I am not trying to suggest that anyone go out and put out a press release regarding their loved one's sobriety. I am just saying that if we start small with those we trust, and we are honest many good things happen. First of all, we lighten our load. We are sharing with others who might be afraid to admit that their lives are less than perfect. And, we show others just how pervasive this disease is.
There will be many who will give you the condescending looks and phony concern. But, if we are truly humble, this will not matter. In the twelve step program we learn that addiction and other's reactions are out of our control. We learn to take care of ourselves. We do this by getting to know ourselves; Our true authentic selves. Why would we care what others think? I used to think that I was protecting my son.....but, maybe I was protecting my pride.
I love Blessed Mother Teresa. She was simple, direct, tenacious and humble. She modified a saying that I work daily on trying to live. It is a great example in living humility. I hope this helps.
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis,
it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
I'm so proud of my son. He's not perfect. He has so much to learn. But today, he's trying. He is a child of God. God has a specific plan for him. He might not have chosen addiction for him, but I believe he will use it for good in my son's life, if he allows God to.
Today, I have a prayer of thanksgiving for this painful clarity I am being given. I pray for all of our Henry's to look for healing in the arms of God. I also offer this simple strong prayer to our Guardian Angel.
Angel of God, My guardian dear, To whom God's love commits me here. Ever this day be at my side to light and guard and rule and guide. Amen