I woke up this morning at 4:15 am. Sometimes I welcome this early start to my day, but most times I wish I could sleep just a bit longer. After flipping back and forth in bed I decided to get up. There was a light on at the kitchen table and, lo and behold, Cliff was sitting there with a cup of coffee and reading his AA book. What a sight! So, I grabbed coffee too and a great discussion began about our recovery's and God's touch on our lives.
Cliff is working his program really well, but I struggle at times because he isn't employed. I remind myself that his recovery is first and foremost. I remind myself that the economy is so bad that it may be a while before he has a job. The honeymoon is fading away as the reality of life sets in. We had a few words the other day about his place in this house. It was kind of funny because he started pulling out all the stops and tossing recovery phrases my way such as 'YOU need to do a step 4.........YOU owe me an apology for.....'
The more he demanded the less I responded. My old pattern would have been to stand my ground until he yielded out of respect toward me. Of course, it wouldn't have been respect for me at all but merely a begrudging action to get me off his back and it most likely would not have happened even though I would have expected it. After that little barrage of words, Cliff left to go to a meeting, which the old Cliff would not have done. Several hours later on his return a new Cliff walked in. Calmer, serene and apologetic. Recognizing our character defects is coming to both of us much quicker than in years past. The amends were made and life moved on. Cliff's attitude about being more responsible within these four walls has improved and it's showing in other areas of his life. My thoughts and attitude about Cliff's choices and my expectations are constantly being nipped and reshaped too. Learning to not offer the "you know, maybe you should...." and "why don't you...." expertise that I have (tongue-in-cheek) has improved our relationship tenfold.
With all that being said, I wanted to share something that I read this morning in Cliff's "Celebrate Recovery" bible. This bible has many "extras" for those in recovery such as daily meditations geared toward specific steps and life connection excerpts. Good, good stuff.
Under Life Connection it says:
"Before recovery, our substance addictions, our compulsive habits, or our codependency were our master. But God wants us to choose him as our master - not so he can pull our strings and control us, but so we can follow him freely as our great and compassionate guide. The first master forces us into slavery; the second invites us to experience freedom, healing and purposeful living." I love these reminders.
Have a purposeful day!
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