Ouch. My Ego is Making It Hard to Breathe.

I am a prideful sort.  I believe myself to be intelligent.  I expect my opinions and input to be valued and respected (and I am fortunate that 9 times out of 10, they are).  But good God at the wrath when I feel dismissed, shut down… devalued.

Last night, I was sitting in an AA business meeting.  Yes, it is as fun as it sounds.  But I know that I need to offer my input and suggestions for the organization to work the way it should.  So, there I sat.

I was already a bit ruffled about the way the meeting had run.  We zipped through the reading at lightening speed for most of the meeting–which meant people didn’t have as much opportunity to talk about their experiences, share their fear… participate in the meeting.  Although I usually remain silent in these meetings (I find it best to watch others talk around each other and then vote my opinion at the end), I had already decided that something needed to be said about the pacing of the meeting.  A lot of the girls that attend last night’s meeting are in treatment (aka rehab), and they might only learn how this type of meeting should be run if we show them.  And, I really do want people to feel free to speak without someone cutting them off in order to read the next paragraph in the book.

I had also decided to suggest that we have the super-rainbow colored chip system, where you get a different color chip for every month of sobriety in your first year.  People get excited about the chips.  And most groups only give them out for the first three months…then no more chips until the end of the first year.  That kind of time frame seems like an eternity to most recovering alcoholics.  So, why not offer them some hope… and a nifty chip… every month?  Solid, right?  Yeah, I thought so too.

So, I offer up my chip suggestion.  Shot down.  Immediately.  No discussion.  Just, “No.  We aren’t doing that.”

Uh?  Okay. I said something about them being a tough crowd… then I stewed.  I was pissed.  No one else had gotten shot down.  Other people’s ideas were considered.  But my rainbow chips?  Dead to them.  Immediately.

Meeting went on around my internal sulking.  I don’t think anyone else noticed.  They are alcoholics, too.  We are notoriously self-involved.

I stopped nursing my wounded feelings long enough to suggest that we outline, at the beginning of the meeting, that this is not a speed reading competition… you know, to encourage discussion and all.

Nope.  Apparently that was a stupid idea, too.  The meeting will just fall into place (?).  Really?  Because the first half of the meeting SUCKED tonight… or was I the only one that noticed?  Maybe God will direct people when to speak and when to read?

Mercifully, the business meeting ended shortly thereafter.  And I proceeded to rail against everybody and everything all the way home.  Poor Monkito was just dodging the failing fists and feet while I had a full on tantrum.  (Don’t worry.  She escaped relatively unscathed)

I woke up this morning and sat down for my morning meditation.  I mentally jotted “pride” down on my list of character defects.  And I uttered a brief thanks that Monkito was the only one subject to the Ego as Godzilla Special from last evening.

And then I laughed at myself.  It felt good.

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