– Michael R.
Being able to anticipate my own “growing edges,” defects of characters or whatever else I may wish to call them is indeed one of the greatest advantages of having the clearer mind that comes with getting and staying clean and sober. As Bruce—who also happens to be my Grand-sponsor—also likes to say, “just because I’ve been sober for a little while doesn’t mean that I’ve suddenly lost the ability to do stupid.” While I may not be completely immune from falling into my character defects, having the ability to get ahead of them is still a big step forward. After all, not that long ago I was flying totally blind in this regard.
Still, having knowledge and awareness of a thing without taking the necessary action to address the consequences is hardly worth the effort of bringing up the matter in the first place. When I’ve been gifted with the ability to see my worst instincts rising to the fore, I’d best do something about it. And then again, of course, sometimes the most powerful action is to do nothing at all, what the Program calls “restraint of pen and tongue.”
When I can “see me coming” (and that usually means perceiving that my still-outsized ego is in the driver’s seat!), the most valuable practice I’ve learned is to hit the metaphorical pause button and keep quiet. One of the great benefits of both getting older and staying clean is that I no longer feel the need to insert my thoughts and opinions into every single situation. Utilizing the practices that come with the ability to see myself coming also saves time and energy and, even better, reduces the size of my daily 10th Step list.
If that doesn’t qualify as a “win-win situation,” I’m not sure what does.