Sunday, May 19, 2013

More on Not Taking Anything Personally

I’m happy to report that my efforts with Step Six and Step Seven have provided relief. Now the hope that I will remember this next time. But that’s the progress of recovery, isn’t it? We don’t always remember but we get there a tiny bit faster each time.

This week I’ve been making note of other things that are helping me with the “Don’t take anything personally” plan. At the top of the list is a hard one: Let go of being right. Yes, you are laughing. Just wait till it’s your turn.

But our insistence on being right is at the center of taking things personally. We want to be right. Our primitive brain would have us believe that our life depends on it. A new book—just in time—is helping me to loosen this belief. I have started reading Kathryn Schulz book, “Being Wrong” which is about our belief in rightness, why we insist and what happens when we face situations in which we are wrong. She details why being wrong is so painful and how we get trapped and stuck in our rightness. The chapter called “Heartbreak” which is about the ways we are wrong in love is worth the read: “Of all the things we like to be right about, none is so important to us as being right about other people.”

A couple of other things came to me this week as adjuncts to my “not personal” practice. One is this oldie but goodie from early recovery: “If it doesn’t have your name on it don’t pick it up.” I can practice not picking up other people’s business, their opinions (including their opinions about me) and not picking up fear, jealousy, comparison etc.

And then, recognizing that our Third Step is important, I heard and love this quote from theologian Richard Rohr: “We cannot say Thy Kingdom Come unless we are willing to say My Kingdom Go.”

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