Monday, March 14, 2016

12 Step Advice

Yesterday something in me snapped a little and I wrote a *very* long email to my dad. I just needed to talk. Typically when I get in those moods I end up emailing myself (complete non-sequitur: am I the only person who analyzes her grammar as she writes? As in, looking at that clause I just wrote and thinking there really should be commas around "when I get in those moods" even though I am kind of emotional just remembering writing that email? Does anyone else look at what they are writing, dispassionately critiquing as you go? I'm genuinely curious here...), but yesterday I really needed to know someone was on the other end (yes, of course I pray and I know that God is on the other end, but I needed to hear someone tell me it would be okay. God, being a perfectly pure spirit, doesn't speak by vibrating air over vocal cords. He's a bit more subtle.).

In any case, my dad reminded me of the two things he has been telling me my whole life: Let go and let God and take it day by day. I don't know why I need reminding of those things so often, but I do. The other things he told me, which I was desperate to hear, are that my kids will be okay (I am not breaking them or ruining them with my massive screw-ups) and that I can't be all things to all people and that that's okay. I am not wholly convinced of the first, but I know that the latter is true - in spades.

My dad was not perfect when I was growing up. Things happened that I am still not okay with. However, I knew then and know even more now that he did the best he could with what he had. And (never start a sentence with a conjunction) and I never doubted that he loved me. Now he is one of the only people I can trust - really trust. I am so, so blessed.

I have never been in 12 Step, so I can't speak to the efficacy of the program, but they do offer some very sound advice that I use in my every day life. That letting go thing is very, very hard, but oh-so-necessary. As usual, I wonder how people who don't believe in God cope. I, for one, don't have enough faith to be an atheist.

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