Taking your own inventory
Have you ever been trying to help someone out by telling them how they can better themselves or their life and all of a sudden they pop out with, “Take your own damn inventory!” My response was always, “I’m only trying to help.” But am I really? When I share my tidbits of wisdom is it for them or is it for me?
Let’s be honest. I’ve always been my number one concern, which is why I try to do so much service work to try and even things out. When I’m “helping” you by giving you unsolicited advice, there’s always a self-seeking motive behind it.
- I want to look smart or wise
- I want to feel smugly superior
- I want you to stop complaining
Being a smarty pants
By bestowing some of my great wisdom on you I would like your adoration and respect for my unique perspective on the situation. Sad, huh? I need you to respect me so I feel worthy. Not a very altruist motive is it.
Superiority or inferiority?
If you are f*cking up, and I am giving advice, that must mean I’m not f*cking up, right? WRONG! Do you know how many times I have told people they need to go to more meetings, pray, meditate, write inventory, ect and I am NOT doing those things? Too many times to mention. But when I’m talking the talk it makes me feel somewhat superior than you because I am “helping” you fix your life. It also is a great way for me to not have to look at my own life. There have been times that I have needed to feel superior in order not to feel inferior. I use you to boost my own self-esteem.
Stop Complaining and Do Something!!
I’ve wanted to scream that at people sometimes, and in order to get them to stop complaining, I will give them solutions to their problems. But who am I to play mini-shrink? Unless I have had a similar experience where I came out the other side mostly unscathed, I have no business spreading my OPINION around. You know what they say about opinions…
Stealing Someone’s God Moment
This brings me to my point. Unsolicited advice and opinions are just that, UNSOLICITED. Sometimes people just need to talk. I’m a person that thinks outloud. If I talk to someone about a problem I’m having, many times I will work it out for myself. Typically, it’s an AH-HA moment or what I like to call a “God moment.” Those are powerful moments for me. Now if I tell you how you should be doing things, aren’t I taking away YOUR God moment?
What I have learned through the years is good friends listen, support and sometimes allow their friends to make their mistakes, and they never say, “I told you so!” Ugh. Those are the four worst words ever.
Experience, Strength and Hope
Another thing I have learned is to (try) and keep my advice and opinions to myself. What I can give is my experience, strength and hope. If you ask me for advice and If I have had the same experience, and if I can share a solution, then I can be helpful in a sincere way. Recovery taught me that.
Now… If I’m your sponsor, you are getting unsolicited advice. That’s a whole different ballgame, but I also know you probably won’t follow it anyway.
So if you find yourself spewing out your opinion on something, stop and ask yourself why you feel the need to do this. Is it for them or is it for you? Did they ask for your opinion? Are you sharing about a similar experience or just what you think might be a good idea?
A sponsor once told me that I needed to turn my will and my life over to my higher power because I did such a bang up job managing my own life (sarcasm). So if I can’t manage my own life, what makes me think I can manage yours?
I think I’ll just stick to taking my own inventory.
Peace, Love & Sobriety