Recovery Journal Archives:
2009 3rd & 4th Quarter
Ed Speaks at
the Toronto International AA Conference 2005 (MP3 Audio)
While serving in the military, my semi-annual fitness reports almost
always graded me low in the field of judgment. I think that was a
gross error on the part of my superiors in rank as I was one of the
most judgmental persons you could meet. My judgmentalism and critical
observation of others worked perfectly and I should have been rated
My desire to be evaluated higher than all others caused me to be very
perceptive in discovering the flaws and mistakes of others. After all
it was my responsibility to find things that needed corrected and
assure that everything be brought up to perfect standards.
Upon entering AA I found that this was a character flaw along with my
other gross handicaps. I was told that I needed to pursue such
despicable aims such as surrender, acceptance and tolerance. The idea
that I should tolerate and accept less than perfect performance was
distasteful and foreign to my established criteria for success in life.
Further more, surrender was a totally unacceptable choice and should
not be considered under any circumstances.
Sponsors told me that I was one of the sickest people they had
encountered in AA and I needed to change not only my way of acting
but also my thinking and state of lack of awareness of God's love.
I had already dismissed religion as a crutch of superstition that
would weaken my subordinates and ridiculed any who would be naïve
enough to fall for such an apparent method of control by religious leaders.
So it was obvious that my leaders who evaluated me as lacking
judgment were suffering under their own misunderstanding and
certainly not capable of demanding the standards of excellence that I possessed.
Establishing myself as the enforcer and determiner of perfect
standards for others was as AA told me "the exact nature of my
wrongs by playing God" and I needed to set myself free of such
bondage and quit the persecution of self and others.
What I began to understand was that this state of mind kept me in
constant conflict with others and the frustration of not being able
to accomplish my goals of perfection would eventually take me back to
drinking. In trying to remain willing to receive new ideas and ways
of enacting those ideas needed to come from A Power Greater Than
Myself. My solution had to come from a source more intelligent and
more loving than my established criteria for life and surrender to
that source of power was my only hope.
Continuing to be willing to seek the direction and empowerment of a
loving source has been my salvation for the last 37 years of life in
sobriety and my hope is that I will always remember that the judgment
that I held in such high esteem was the implement of pain that made
me somewhat willing to be changed along loving ideals of perfection
and not the perfectionism that brought me to my knees.