One of the earliest lessons I learned as I returned home from treatment was trying to accomplish too much and failing. Having just shed my old self and suddenly filled up with spirit and willingness, I suddenly wanted to accomplish everything that I failed to in the first 28 years of my life. I wanted to immediately pay off debts, start new AA meetings, help everybody, get a counseling job, quit smoking, write a book, produce an album, pick up a martial art, join a monastery, and start a treatment center modeled after the one I’d just come from.
I’m sure you can guess what happened next. Uh, nothing. Just the next thing in front of me.
If we try to do too much at once, all of it may just blow up in our faces. I’ve heard several clinicians suggest that we should implement all the changes we want at once. They’re probably not addicts.
First of all, it isn’t possible. Secondly, if we try to accomplish a million things at once, nothing will get our full attention and therefore all will suffer. Third, we will fail at a number of them, which will stress us out and selfishly focus our attention back inwards as opposed to outwards, where it should be. We may feel easily overwhelmed and begin moving backwards mentally, spiritually and emotionally. We will feel depressed and fearful. We will become anxious. Perhaps we will relapse. What the F is the point of that? Isn’t the reason we got better so that we could a) be free, b) live in peace, and c) become useful and helpful to others?
So what I learned is that I had to accomplish one thing at a time, relax into that for a while, and then tackle the next. Plus, where are we rushing too? Eternity?
God, help me to be where my feet are…