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What could I have done better?

January 20, 2014

I do a tenth step every morning, well at least I aim too.  Most weeks I do 5 a week.  For those of you unfamiliar, a tenth step is taking a personal inventory and when we are wrong, promptly admitting it.  There is a checklist I use that pulled information from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  On there it asks, What could I have done better?  What could I have done for another?  Often times I write, nothing, because I am a wonderful human being that does nice things for others all day long.  Ha, if that were only true.  But really, usually I write nothing because I can’t think of anything.  Sometimes there are obvious things like, not yell at person on freeway or helped someone in a meeting that looked sad.  The person that sponsors my sponsor tells her that there is always something better we could have done because we are selfish by nature.  This weekend I learned she was right.

For Christmas, I bought my dad, his wife, my boyfriend and I tickets for a historical food tour.  We walk around to different restaurants, learn about the history and eat little treats from each place.  That is something fun I found to do in sobriety, learn ways to make eating an activity.  On our tour we went into the Chapman University theater, I think that what it was, there was no food there so I sort of zoned out.  Inside, there was a man in his 20’s I would say that looked to be living on the streets and talking to himself.  He was wearing white jeans that were clearly unzipped and were falling to the middle of his thigh, exposing his underwear.  A lot of us on the tour noticed, we made faces and giggled at his expense.  I will admit that I was one of them.  A few moments later after our guide finished his talk on the history of the building and he let us free to walk about.  He walked up to the guy and simply asked him what was wrong with his pants.  The young guy told him that they ripped and he didn’t know what to do.  Our tour guide took off his own belt and gave it to the young guy.

Wow.  Am I an asshole or am I an asshole?  Here I am snickering at this guy when he really just needed help and a complete stranger was willing to give him his own belt off his own body.  How nice is that?  I didn’t even think about helping the guy.  It just made me realize that I can always do better and I want to do better.  It was so nice to see humanity at its best and witness that kindness still exists.

We continued the walk but every ten minutes or so my boyfriend and I would remember the belt and shake our heads in shame for not thinking of doing the same. It’s so easy to separate ourselves from the people we see on the streets that are hurting. Its much easier to look away then to put our hand out to help. I have a friend from the rooms of AA that is sleeping on the streets now and it breaks my heart. I have never known someone before that is homeless, like personally known them. It is very heart breaking. Sometimes when I have a hot shower and get into my warm bed I think about her and pray that God is watching over her. I think him immensely that he graced me with so much and ask that he puts her in my life again so that I can have the opportunity to try to help her.  My sponsor tells me that God will always answer this prayer, “God, please put someone in my path that I can be of service too”.

On the walk I also bought another little Budha statue to add to my collection

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Isn’t he cute?  I want to be just like him.

 

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5 Comments
  1. This happens to the best of us. That is, we stumble. We lived a certain way for a long time. For me, quite a long time. We don’t just turn around and become saints overnight. Do I do some character assassination sometimes? Sure I do. Do I try to avoid it, look at others with compassion? Sure I do. Do I succeed? Sure I do. And sometimes I don’t. Ego and Pride are powerful things. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy. And that’s something I have learned, and am still learning.

    Early on in recovery I did the right thing because I didn’t want to deal with it on my 10th…ha ha.

    We do our tenth any time of the day. Sometimes I write it, sometimes I do it in my head. Quick prayer. Make amends if needed. Talk to someone (sometimes I don’t). I do my 11th at the end of the day (“before retiring”). Get pen and paper out. I do my 11th in the morning (“upon awakening”). And of course, any time I am agitated, I pause and ask for guidance. All the wicked stuff of the 11th outside of the meditation and prayer that is normally associated with it.

    Anyway, don’t mean to make this a BB study…lol.

    But be gentle on yourself, and see that this takes time. We all learn from our mistakes. Sometimes it takes a lot of mistakes (I can attest to that!)

    Great post – thanks for sharing 🙂

    Paul

  2. laviniadl@hotmail.com permalink

    Ummm, no I do NOT find Budha cute AT ALL. Your, story however was a great reminder. xoxo

    • Why isn’t he cute?

      • laviniadl@hotmail.com permalink

        Girl, I can’t find anything about a fat Asian guy with his belly showing. I also don’t like their ritual of setting fruit in front of his shrine. That’s just me.

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