Diet & Weight Magazine

Recovery: Principles Over Personalities in My Recovery!

By Sobrfit3
Written By:  Cathy Shuba
"Happy Tuesday!"
I thought about writing this today because I had over heard some people at a meeting complaining about a person that had made a comment.  I sat there quiet and just listened.  I sat there without interfering.  I sat there just observing but not judging.  I sat with Principles over Personalities.  The one member was new to the program while the other two who were doing the complaining, judging and not so nice accusations of this individual had been in the program for quite some time.  The first thing that came to my mind was "Principles over Personalities!"
I feel that "Principles over Personalities" is so important in order for us to accept, grow and stay focus on the principle rather than the personality.  I feel that we find ourselves discontent at times which leads us to ignore or forget this important subject we had learned in our 12 step program.  You may ask, "Why didn't you say something?"  My answer would have been...I was practicing principles over personalities.  I was minding my own business from a far!  I was learning from it!  I was allowing myself to take my own inventory!  I was being reminded of this!  In doing so, I was able to see the two members who were complaining as discontent with themselves or perhaps just feeling only good when doing such complaining.  On the other hand, for the new comer, I later came up to her and explain that you may not like all of us or our comments but it is the principles in which we are here in order to stay sober and at peace with ourselves.  She asked me, "What do you mean?"  I simply told her that we come to these meetings to help ourselves stay sober and find peace but when someone says something that rubs you the wrong way it doesn't mean the whole program is not good!  It does not mean that person is no good, either.  It does not mean we do not stop going to meetings,...there are other meetings!  It does not mean we stop trying, sharing, reaching out to others just because someone was,...rude, overbearing or controlling.  Then again, what we may think of them or what they said to us may be a way of avoiding and denying the truth about ourselves.  By doing this, enables us to keep doing the insanity dance with our self, instead of "HALTING" to what they said,...we may react!  We may fight back!  We may talk behind there backs!  We may become sarcastic and rude!  We may judge them when really in all truth they were really helping us...see our self the way we never did!   We may cast them out as a friend!  We do not allow our self to accept and have compassion for them.  We allow our own self not to grow from it!  We stay the same,...we continue the insanity dance!
How can I change my attitude with "Principles over Personalities?"  I can listen to what they said and allow myself to take my own inventory, my own truth of me, my own opportunity to change into a more understanding, loving and forgiving person.  I can ask myself will this suggest better my situation?  I can ask myself will this suggestion help better me, my soul and my spirituality?  I can ask myself am I avoiding this truth about me because it is to hard for me to deal with, face or work through?  If, I could answer yes to any of these questions and I am being brutally honest with myself,...I must take heart and change my attitude of anger, resentment and irritation for that person.  I must change my attitude into appreciation, gratefulness and respect for that person.  It is Principles over Personalities that matter in a situation like this.  I, then allow myself to face and deal with "Principles over Personalities!"
Sometimes when someone says something that bothers you it is, in my opinion,...God's way of telling you the truth about yourself,...sometimes!  Meaning, if someone is calling you names or being verbally abusive to you,...this does not apply to what I am saying.  Although the principle would be telling you to get out of the relationship or situation and the personality would be telling you they are not a true friend,...they are abusive and toxic to your well being!  On the other hand, when someone suggest something to you in a positive way and you may see it is to hard to deal with or to much for you to handle at that moment, is really a truth that you still do not want to deal with or a truth you are in denial with.  Whatever the case may be try to focus on the message and let go of the toxic message that brings you down or uneasy with yourself.  Ask yourself. "Is it true?"  "Do I believe this?"  You are only able to answer those questions.  You must find your way and that our suggests are only based on our experience, strength and hope.  Moreover, the other two members that were the ones complaining I simply said a prayer for them and let it go!  Did it bother me?  Yes!, for the new comer, for they do not know all of our policies and are very vulnerable.  For the other two, No!, for I know and try to practice Principles over Personalities!  I practice Principles over Personalities by staying focused on the topic at a meeting.  I practice it by taking what works for me and leaving the rest.  I practice it by understanding the whole meaning of why I am coming to a 12 step meeting, not misunderstanding the meaning which would lead me to stop going.  I practice it by knowing that the progress I will make within myself when principles are used and personalities are pushed aside will result in me to grow spiritually, mentally and physically.  Lastly, it will allow for me to become "less" thin skinned and give me the ability to accept others for what they are or perhaps how they are still struggling with issues within themselves.
Principles over Personalities will allow me to pray for those still suffering with their addictions or their own character defects.  I will choose to place "Principles over Personalities" and know I will be true to myself and in my recovery!
Do you sometimes struggle with this when you are at a meeting or perhaps life itself?  How do you handle it?  Do you stop going to meetings or stop attending social events all because of one person's personality?  If so, ask yourself what is more important...your lively hood or their control over you?  Find the true meaning of why you need to attend a meeting and hold on to that until you are free of the bondage of someone's personality.
Today, I will run knowing I can allow myself to look at me, accept others and know I have choices in whether someone has control over me or not!  I will run with principles over personalities!
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Sobriety Fitness by Cathy Shuba is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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