Knowledge… Fresh Picked

I am an extremist.  I get this honestly, from my father.  He smoked two packs a day for years.  Now, he can’t stand to be anywhere in the vicinity of a cigarette.  One day he is extolling the virtues of salads and lean chicken breasts, the next week he has decided that men eat red meat.  Thanks, Pops, for the propensity to swing like a pendulum through life.

I try to contain my extremism… to level it out, if you will.  But it is this kind of stark black-and-whiteness of things that leads to my inner turmoil over conflict.  Sure, conflict itself makes me a bit nervous.  But what really makes me batty is the polarization that goes on in my mind.  I am either 100% right, and I refuse to back down–and think to do so would be to sell myself out, or I am wrong, wrong, WRONG and must fall all over myself to make things right.  Sometimes I choose the role of victim and get so caught up in self-pity that I almost drown in it.

This type of inner ping pong makes me question when to stand up for myself and when to gracefully let something slide.  It has been said that I never admit that I am wrong… that I won’t apologize in any meaningful way.  Sounds charming, doesn’t it?  But I know sometimes I act like I have been kicked… and like I am incredibly contrite for taking up space in the world… when I haven’t done anything wrong at all.

One of the major thrusts of AA is personal responsibility.  I have learned to look for my part in problems I face … but I am still at a loss for when to stop looking for my part and when to stand up for myself.  I am sure this knowledge will come…  I just wish I could buy it pre-packaged or something.

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