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In any Introductory Improvisation class, the first rule of thumb is to always, always, always respond with, “Yes, and…”.  Nothing kills a scene quicker than a “No” followed with nothing.  I’m finding that this little game works equally well in the real world, when I remember to use it before thinking.

Step Seven: humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

My initial response to everything is no.  Any and all invitations are immediately negated before they get a chance to be fully understood and thought out.  It’s the knee-jerk mentality of this alcoholic that causes the instant damage – like I’m anxiously waiting for the question to be asked so I can decline.  It’s an odd way to create a mystic around myself – the separatist, the loner.  What’s his story?  So mysterious.  And the longer I stay in one place, the more difficult it becomes to remain distant and aloof, and not come off looking like a complete dick.

Once I decided that I’d never be a joiner, finding time to isolate became easier and easier.  Hence, doing anything with anybody became a nuisance; something that took away from me and my drinking.  Even if the invitation was to go out drinking I’d decline, as that still wouldn’t be quite up my alley.

Not surprisingly, the results are in favor of what I’m against.  Even if it feels alien, and even if my brain screams while my mouth says it, I’m finding that the end results of a participatory “Yes, and…” are, on the whole, positive.

Today: Preface as many interactions as I can with the Seventh Step Prayer.  Sure, sometimes I can’t recite the whole thing before some dum-ass salesman starts asking for things asap. What I do in those situations is repeat softly in rapid-fire succession: Do Your Bidding, Do Your Bidding, Do Your Bidding, Amen.

What I’ve learned:  Helpfulness and willingness resolve issues much quicker than staunch opposition to the issue itself.  And to resolve an issue without drama means to free up time I used to spend on resentments.

The Seventh Step Prayer: My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.

One thought on “yes, and…

  1. Perhaps a cliche’ used in movies but sometimes I have to adopt a “say yes to everything” approach, especially with family, otherwise that reflexive “no” takes over for me too. Sometimes my “yes, and …” comes out as “yes, but …”. Better than a flat “no” but not truly positive.

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