I’ve never shied away from an argument, at least until I started letting God work on my rough edges. I found that after taking the 9th step of the Big Book, I don’t need to debate so many things. I can choose to let people say things that I don’t agree with or I don’t like and just let it go. I used to console myself with thinking they had a right to be wrong, but now, I realize they are just saying things that are right for them, for their viewpoint. I no longer feel compelled to take their viewpoint away or need to set them straight.
Surrender and acceptance are a big part of my Step work and my program. I no longer need to debate the topics I feel strongly about. To be honest, I used to debate all topics, even the one’s I’d never heard of before.
Want an opinion? I’ve got one and it doesn’t necessarily have to be relevant. That was me.
Fighting is no longer necessary.
And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone — even alcohol.~ Page 84 AA
I don’t give up and go along just to avoid conflict, but I go along with life as it is. I don’t keep trying to make people be who I’d like them to be, or try to make them think like I do. In fact, I enjoy people who are different from me.
What I don’t tolerate any longer is users, abusers, and takers. I avoid them instead of trying to change them. I could have learned all that love and tolerance from my Mom but I didn’t.
When my sister was just learning to walk, we lived in a 10×50 trailer. Mom, Dad, two junior high kids and my little sister, Sandy. My mom was talking on the phone by the refrigerator while Sandy ran, toppled, fell, and ran some more. She was babbling and tripping back and forth between the back bedroom and the living room. Every once in a while, she would use the new large Naugahyde ottoman as a landing pad. At some point, it got really quiet and Mom noticed that Sandy was decorating the center of the white ottoman with a black ink pen from my bedroom.
I’m not sure what the consequences were for ruining the white ottoman, but probably not much. My mom’s favorite saying when things don’t go her way is, I just go with the flow. Irritating. That was never going to be my philosophy, or so I thought until AA.
That evening my boyfriend stopped by on his motorcycle and mom asked him inside. She handed him a nice black indelible marker and said, “We need your autograph!” She then pointed to the ottoman and explained, “Sandy already initiated it, but you can be the first guest to sign it!” By the time we moved, the ottoman was wobbly, but well-loved and covered with the names of all of our friends.
I now see the wisdom behind mom’s philosophy.