Sunday, May 10, 2015

I See Myself in Other People

I see myself in other people and sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes it's not.

A long time ago I really thought that people were all like me so if they did stuff I didn't like I thought they were doing it on purpose to annoy or hurt me.  That's very immature and borderline crazy I later learned.

Now that part of recovery is to share with other people my experience with using the principles of the 12 steps in my life, I still identify with the people I share with.  I remember very well why and how I began to change how I thought and how I lived - I was hopelessly miserable and willing to do anything to get out of the emotional pain I was in.  I forget that I'm somewhat wimpy and can't really take a lot of pain.  I have a very low tolerance for it. 

So I think, "Why is this person so resistant to changing their point of view and doing things differently?"  I forget that although I imagine I would be living in hell in their circumstances, they might be doing okay and their complaining might just be their way of making conversation. 

I actually consider myself lucky to be able to identify with other people - that's the good part of seeing myself in others.  Maybe I'm also lucky that I have such a low tolerance for pain because I've been motivated to make a whole lot of changes that have led me to the beautiful life I have now. 

Nevertheless, I sometimes have outbursts of amazement and say stuff like, "Oh my God!  You must really be suffering!!  Here let me tell you all about the ways I got out of suffering like that."  Sometimes that's well received but a lot of times it's not.  People think I'm criticizing them, the poor babies. 

So, I just write posts like this and feel like I've done my duty to pass on what I've learned.

Here are a couple of things I've tried to give away recently that came back to bite me:  If someone is taking advantage of me, I have choices.  If I'm just complaining about it, I'm just as much at fault as the other person.  I'm really creating my own misery.  I have learned to do what I want, to give what I want, and if I stop wanting to give, I stop giving. 

Also, if the people in my life act ugly to me or even just in my presence, I can go somewhere else.  I have 100% of the control of how I'm treated by other people (which might partly explain why I've been married three times).

Of course, I have to pay attention to my own behavior too so that I don't take advantage of others and don't act ugly to them or in their presence.  I've also learned if I do that, I attract what I put out there.

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