Recovery results in our becoming more flexible and accurate in our thinking – to see and react more effectively and accurately to our emotional and relational environment. Its physical analogy is like having light on so we can see the opticals and vehicles along our path. This is a result of walking more and more closely with God. As one example, I have found a softening in my sense of being separate from others.
In speaking with many young or immature religious Catholics, Baptists, Mormons, Muslims, the religiously atheistic, strict political conservatives or liberals, or the rich or poor who identify with their class (etc), I find a common emotion… a sense of not only trusting their in-group, which is fine – but also an elitist sense that they are somehow fundamentally different and separate in their humanity from the non-believing.
For me as a Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), this elitist tendency found various justifications just as I am sure it does with others who identify strongly with an ideology. In my recovery I found this tendency toward separateness and elitism softening without my having to abandon the strengths of my beliefs in the least…
This common emotion among us (with an immaturely developed or understood ideology) makes others less than human, alien. I have come to not like this feeling. I have discovered in recovery that it has roots in obsessiveness and personal narcissism rather than in God or in my beliefs. I would rather like to see myself as relatable and in relationship with others – all of whom are on a continuum of progress or regress in all the various issues that I myself am or could be.
The very obsessive/elitism vs. relatable/connection continuum I speak of here is one of these many issues by which I can connect with others – having compassion, identity, or admiration for them in regard to their place, as I might see it, on this continuum. To see that we are all tied together as literal spiritual brothers and sisters struggling with various shades of the same issues. That maybe I can get help from you or you from me on this or other issues.
Do I get frustrated at the judgmental?
I myself can be judgmental.
Do I get resentful of the undisciplined and selfish?
I myself can be undisciplined and selfish.
When I see that whenever I am disturbed, it is a reflection of something in me…I can surrender the things more easily within me that I do and think – and stay in peace. This comes from working the steps which improves our conscious contact with God – making all this wonderful new life possible.