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Embracing Poor Decisions...

I am one of those people who has not really ever wanted to own my poor decisions.  Before recovery, I couldn’t do it.  I would spend the rest of my life if it took that to convince you that what was showing as a poor decision was actually the best thing ever....let me show you!

And I spent a lot of time defending, explaining, justifying and arguing about how whatever stupid shit thing I just did actually made complete fucking sense.

Recovery showed me how important it was in this life to show up and just own my shit.  I can remember the first time I did something wrong and instead of creating a huge story around it about why, I just said, “yep, totally screwed that up...sorry.  I will do better next time.”  I remember cringing waiting for the blowback...but it never came, whomever it was that I was admitting this to just nodded and moved on.  No repercussions.  No lectures.  No condemnation.  I just owned my part and the world did not end, I was not held up to ridicule and forever cast out of the human race.  Which were all things I was absolutely terrified of until just that moment when I was willing to grow beyond my comfort zone.

I have gotten a lot of practice in the intervening years of owning my shit.  Poor decisions being at the front of that proverbial line.  And I wish I could say that I have owned them all and learned from them.  But, alas, no.  A great many of them I justified, argued, defended and explained away, mostly so I could continue doing stupid shit without you hating me for it.  I am not sure why your condemnation of me was more important to me than my own, but it was.

Today I know that every single stupid shit thing I did was essential.  And the healing is proportional to my ability to own my part and to, in effect, embrace the poor decision making and see how I could maybe, possibly do that differently next go round.  I mean, in my life, there is always a next go round.  My experience is not that I get a lesson, make a stupid decision and then get another opportunity to address the issue then do it completely differently, so differently in fact, that that lesson is forever learned and checked off on some sort of spiritual lesson list.

Nope...Not me.  I am the fucker that only learns about .01 from that particular lesson and so I have at least another 99 rounds to go before I even have a fucking clue what is going on and that I am actually supposed to be learning something.

But as I age, and live life sober and based on some spiritual principles (I really do try to live according to them, I swear), I see that what I am doing a great deal of the time is coming to terms with my poor decisions, embracing them if you will.

Often times the poor decision is the only way I will ever be able to heal that which still plagues me.  Often times the poor choice is the only vehicle available to deliver me to a place of surrender on a particular subject.  It would be really nice if I was one of those people who was presented with an issue, addressed it and moved on.  But I am not one of those people.  I am a “I am going to have to skid the bottom of this particular issue until it almost kills me” kind of people.  I don’t know why, I just know that is true.

And so when your own poor decisions about a great number of things in this life land you in a place of repeated surrender, you have to learn to have some compassion for yourself, otherwise the whole of your existence is just one big fucking descent into the bottom, over and over until you are dead.

That seems like kind of a hard witness to this life.  I clearly do not know what I am doing a great deal of the time.  I do not.  And that is demonstrated by my ineptitude in resolving issues that other people seem to have no problem with or handling.  But here I am with the same fucking issues kicking my ass for round 7,193, 383.  I only learn a little at a time so it would appear that it takes what it takes to get me to place of relative safety on some of my greater defects.

This whole poor decision making process used to really be what underlie my poor self esteem but as I have aged and lived life sober, longer, I have come to see myself (and you) with much more compassion.  And all these poor decisions I make have provided me great and seemingly unending opportunities to hold myself accountable while also giving myself a break for being human, and flawed and healing.

I continue to learn from all these poor decisions I make.  And I know there are a few of you ringside seaters that would love for me to knock some of this shit down in Round 1 or 2.  But I am apparently a Round 30 kind of person and there really isn’t a way for me to change that...not with some issues or decisions anyway.

Today I see myself not as bad or fundamentally flawed, or irreparable but instead as human and living.  I screw it up and then I have to fix it.  I leap then look and swear the next time I will look THEN leap.  And then comes the next time and I am all leaping then looking again.  And I have a certain level of acceptance about it all now.  I embrace my poor decisions because in spite of me, they have allowed me to have a pretty good life. In fact, the best life I have ever known.  Perhaps with more pain than was actually required, but nevertheless, here I am, still here, still sober, still learning and loving and living.

I used to spend a great deal of time wishing I was different, like fundamentally different than who I am...and I really don’t do that anymore.  This is me and these are my bad decisions and if you love me you are just going to have to accept that I am a poor decision maker sometimes, even though by all accounts I should know better.  I am stubborn and I am going to do it my way, wrongly, repeatedly sometimes just because I can.  There is this perverseness about me that seems to need to mess it up so that I can clean it up...



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