Apr 08: Seeing the World Through New Lenses

Seeing the World Through New Lenses

Before I came to the rooms of AA, I had a very terrible, horrible, icky, way bad attitude about life. Mind you, I wasn’t an alcoholic. I just drank too much because life was so wickedly unfair, people were always out to get me, and I always ended up in the slowest line at the grocery store.

Once inside the loving arms of the AA fellowship, I was shown that most of the unhappiness in my life was caused not by other people or circumstances, but by my negative reaction to everything and everyone. It was “suggested” I get a new pair of glasses with which to view the world. I might want to tint the glasses rose.

I immediately understood the concept: The implementation took a long time. I had to start by understanding that no one woke up in the morning musing, “I wonder how I can annoy Nants today?” Traffic was not created on the freeway to specifically irritate me. A slow store clerk was not out to make me miserable. Most things in life were not about me at all.

When I finally moved from merely having faith in a Higher Power to absolutely trusting my Higher Power, it got easier. My mom used to say, “This is the day the Lord has made.” I began to see that life was not a series of events I needed to judge and determine this situation is bad, this is good, this is acceptable and this isn’t. Instead, it was an unfolding dance of experiences which my Higher Power used to teach me lessons. I could choose to live fully in each moment and learn the lesson, or I could bemoan my fate and be miserable.

Since that old attitude still wants to stick its head out of the cave and cause trouble, I work at keeping a positive outlook on life and its peccadilloes. I count my blessings instead of my woes. If someone does something to annoy or hurt me, I consider what might be going on in his or her life to cause this action. I perform random acts of kindness (letting the pregnant mom with a toddler go in front of me at the grocery store). I smile at strangers, help other alcoholics and try to be the change I want to see in the world.

My rose-colored glasses have helped me see a brand new world where love is abundant, kindness is the rule rather than the exception and my Higher Power has me safely protected in loving arms.

What about you? How has being a member of AA shaped your attitude and outlook on life?