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Reflection piece for a meeting

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:33 pm
by Jeff
I've been writing reflection pieces off and on for  several years.
The main inspiration for them has been what I have heard from us in meetings.  Sometimes there are other things that inspire me, but meetings are probably responsible for most of what I've got.  Here's one I wrote based on what I heard in a recent meeting:

Progress not perfection
Reflections from the meeting
At the beginning of our recovery, perfection is far from us.  It’s hard enough to just stay away from games.  But after a while, our withdrawal lessens, and we begin to realize the damage that has been done in our lives, and how far we are from where we want to be. At this point (if not before), it’s possible for us to fall into perfectionism.  We may feel that we want to be someone different from who we are.  We may have unrealistic standards for ourselves, or feel that there is something wrong with us as people. 
This perfectionism can result in self-loathing, negative self-talk, berating ourselves for our mistakes, or in other ways. But all of this makes us feel worse, which can easily feed our addiction.  We need to stop doing these things in order to recover, but it can take a long time and a lot of support and kindness from others in the program.
What to do instead?  Commend ourselves for small things, and for the progress we have made.  Realize that there really is no such thing as perfection in this life; progress is truly all that is available to us.  So seeking perfection means we aren’t accepting reality, not accepting life on life’s terms.
The program teaches us to focus on doing what we can do in each situation.  We simply look for the next right thing to do, rather than focusing on the past.  Even when we have made mistakes, the program guides us as to how to clean up any mess we have made, or repair any harm as best we can.  Again, taking appropriate action becomes our focus.
In addition to dealing with mistakes and reducing our negative behaviors over time, progress involves making sure we continue to do the things that helped us in the past (like going to meetings and connecting with others in the fellowship) and add a few new things that might be helpful now.  If we think of progress in this way, then there is always progress to be found.
Questions:  Am I being perfectionistic with myself? What are some ways that I can be more accepting?  What progress have I made that I can be grateful for?
Prayers:  May I be gentle with myself today.  Help me to see my progress.  May I be grateful for my recovery today.
Actions:  Today I will accept one aspect of myself where I am.  Today I will be grateful for the ways in which I have made progress.