Thursday, August 18, 2011

Navel Gazing in the Extreme

I saw myself in a book one day when I was 36. Drugs and alcohol had driven me into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, and there, in what we call the Big Book, the text of AA, on page 62, I read this:

“Selfishness—self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate.”

It was an aha moment for me. I recognized myself, my essential problem with life. My role as a victim ended that day. Not long ago, I read a comment on a blog and it sparked a poem about what my life could have become had I never set foot in AA.

How to Be Invisible

Her vaguely alarming
binocular soul-searching
was tedious to her friends
of whom there were few
and fewer still as the years
trudged onward
and her lenses fixed
ever more inward.
By the time she shuffled
off this mortal coil
she was minute, a mote
of dust on a microscopic
lens, and her soul
had vanished.

This is a Friday Flash 55. Go visit the G-Man for more tales in 55 words.


Doctor FTSE said...

Beautifully put.

G-Man said...

Your soul ain't quite vanished yet!
Fantastic intraspective 55.
You are always such a class act.
Thanks for sharing this AHA moment with us, and have a Kick Ass Week-End

Brian Miller said...

i feel rather sad after reading that...i would hope no one ever saw them selves so small...i believe in humility but...

Mama Zen said...

This is outstanding. Perfect 55.

izzy said...

Microscope, binoculars- same difference! right you are. However the steps have given us a way to sweep it all up and put it in perspective! Nice work, thanks.

Pheromone Girl said...

If you're like me, you find yourself in many places, throughout the day, that you thought you'd never be. It's nice when those places are good ones!

Steve E said...

Chris, I SO felt in tune with most of this fine 55. But my agreements went awry as I read: "...her soul had vanished." Sorry, I just cannot believe that will happen.

If my soul will not live I might as well get and stay drunk...and die.

Maybe I misunderstood?


hope said...

I've had days like that. Sigh.

And yet you phrase it so elegantly.

izzy said...

The "Whoosh " was my coming in on the wind of clarity to really see this place-
Thanks for visiting and sharing!

Titanium said...

Too much of a good thing... can end poorly.

Glad your outcome is a far cry from soul-vanishing! :)

Monkey Man said...

Fortunately, we will never have to live "what it would have been like if".

RNSANE said...

I'm sure we all have moments where we feel like a speck in the universe but, fortunately, they don't last...or maybe they do for some folks. Incredible 55.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

We just went over that page last night at my homegroup meeting :)

Invisible, sigh... yup that is a poigniant creation!

Magpie said...

I'm glad you found yourself that day and turned things around. A staggering thought that we might just disappear.

moondustwriter said...

I appreciate the honesty of people in recovery - we are all (hopefully) in some form of recovery.
You are so right -We will either become inward focused or outward focused - the focus makes all the difference
thanks for the 55

Morning said...

reflective and insightful 55.

well done!

Margaret said...

So glad you are off that roller coaster. You have way too much to give! Awesome 55.

Albert Einstein Quotes