Oct 22: Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

Before I came into the rooms, I thought I didn’t have much of an ego. When I butted into conversations or gave advice, I thought I was just doing my “Mama Bear” thing.

Once I started working with my sponsor, a whole new side of me came to light. She showed me how my Mama Bear-ism was nothing more than my big, fat ego raising its ugly, nosy head. I was shocked! Me? Self-centered? WHAAAA??! I truly had no idea.

At 2.5 years sober, I’ve developed a keen awareness of how unsolicited advice can often be seen as criticism. I must restrain always. However, I can ask, “Are you open for input?” This gives the person the right to grant me permission or to decline. If they agree to it, I go forth. If not, I repeat to myself, “Not my circus; not my monkeys.”

“Not my circus; not my monkeys” has made a profound difference in my life. It keeps me in my own lane. It tells me to ignore conversations and situations I have no business inviting myself into. It stops me from judging. Talk about freeing!!! Talk about serenity!!! Talk about peace!!!

I must admit, though, this newfound peace can feel uncomfortable at times. The lack of stimulating drama and not making everything about me has been quite an adjustment. I’m slowly getting used to a quieter and more present self, as are my family and friends. When they ask if something’s wrong or if I’m okay, I simply give them a smile and say that I’m just listening, which they seem to appreciate.

My efforts to send my Mama Bear back to wherever the h*## she came from are far from perfect, but I am making progress. I’ll keep doing so if I’m completely willing to mind my own circus, mind my own monkeys and no one else’s.

Thank you, my sobriety sisters, for letting me share and chair.

xoxoruth 4/13/15