Beauty is something to look for, something I miss if I am preoccupied with getting things done, or worrying about something that will happen. If I am out of actual danger right now, I have the option of looking, just for the tiny slice of time it takes to raise my eyes and scan the wall or to look outside. Something beautiful will catch my eye. It doesn’t take training or special skill to see sunlight shining through the leaves of a tree, or pausing to notice a photograph of people that I love, there, on a bureau top. My inner authentic self is waiting for a chance to focus my attention on what’s good around me in this world.
My habitual attitude is what is addictive in me, not really who I am. What is real in me is fresh and curious and very willing to seek out what blows that little spark of happiness into a flame that lights the room, wherever I may be. It isn’t dangerous to welcome this fireside of who I am if I am careful to keep the focus on being warm and bright, not out of control, destructive, or too overwhelming to sustain.
I have been taught to fear what is curious within myself by parent figures or authorities that punished me or laughed at me when they could see me doing things “out of myself,” not under their control. They were afraid of something — usually an old idea that things and people need to be controlled or else they quickly break things or fail to get things done. The idea that people cannot be trusted because they are basically no good is a dysfunctional approach to living. It isn’t true, but it is a lie that I make true by treating others — and myself — like lazy, dirty, underhanded criminals who are just putting on an act of being nice. How wrong and silly is it, to train each other, generation after generation, to be suspicious and defensive all the time? But that is what has happened, and this dysfunctional idea has taken over in me, through my addiction(s). I internalized these attitudes, toward myself.
In Step Twelve, carrying the message of recovery, I model trust and kindness to myself by allowing my inner kids to look out the window, to get up and stretch, or take a break. I model faith in knowing I will come back to finish tasks because I want to do what it takes to make the world run smoothly. This is who I am. My self-trust attracts the inner children in my circle’s shy and often doubtful curiosity. This is a fruit of being in a fellowship where it is the principles I agree to honor that provide my safety here. As the Navajo proverb says, “We walk in beauty; we speak beauty; we live beauty.” I ask a Power Available to Me to give me courage and wisdom to prevail against the fears and doubts within me, knowing I can succeed in this, just for today.