Wow! Thank you so many who responded to what apparently was a hopeless sounding (reading) rant yesterday. I was given insight that, perhaps something is interrupting my spiritual health, maybe some unaddressed resentment growing. That got me doing a more in-depth Step 10 evaluation of my current status, which led me to peruse my journal. On July 15th I wrote that I had not gotten my ration of sleep in the preceding eleven days, and that I was going out to eat with family to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. What I did not write was what happened that evening. Eager to share hopeful experience and strength, I left out some ugliness from my journal. It had to do with one of my family who hurt my feelings. I know that this family member is spiritually sick and that I did not owe any amends of which I was aware. It involved a wrong done me for which I had no right to, or intention of, expecting amends in return. After all, amends are to be made, not collected. Apparently, it is possible that part of me, spiritually cultivated by physical exhaustion, has been home to a germinating expectation that, left unfulfilled, may have sprouted disappointment that, if allowed, would fully grow to be a resentment.

In the “Working With Others” chapter of the Big Book, I read tonight that my motive is only “thoroughly good” if I am thinking not of what I can get out of the occasion, but what I can bring to it. Spiritual fitness demands that I remain alert to what is called the “alcoholic mind,” as an indicator that something is the matter with my spiritual status. Perhaps my distortion was in my determination that I did not owe any amends to a spiritually sick person I love very much. By sitting back and folding my hands when hurt, I allowed the pain to come between us. “To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self-sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action.” (p.93, AA) I need to find a way to mend the fabric of my relationships regardless of who did the damage, and to clean up messes as a service to God and those around me, no matter who made them.

The truth is that anyone who will still associate with me after my self-centered mistreatment of them over the past four decades deserves a measure of living amends. I will find a way to reconnect and live peaceably with this relative to whom I owe great honor. After all, if it’s not one thing, it’s my mother!