Before we begin let me clarify: we’re not talking about ballerinas forced to become ballerinas in dancing gulags behind the Iron Curtain. This is about ballerinas who, from an early age, decided to devote their lives to dance, and through dedication and hard work, eek out an existence just to do what they love.
Where do they get off?
Step 4: made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
And though I don’t necessarily want to dance ballet, I’m definitely jealous and resentful at those who pursue their dreams. I’ll mirror others’ passions against my own, only to discover that they are roughly 100 times more excited about whatever they are into than I am about my own stuff. Like enthusiasm counts for something. Are you trying to convince me that it’s super-great, or are you trying to convince yourself that it’s super-great?
I never allowed for the idea that something could simply be super-great, just because. I needed to put up my depressive, alcoholic thinking (which painted my disappointments as personal failings and my successes as maintaining the status quo), against the dreams and aspirations of others. One phrase would permeate my mind when dealing with these people: who do they think they are? Don’t they know I’ve tried and failed at other things? How dare they flaunt their newest flavor? I feel myself turn inward, the mind attacking the self, the human before me now a construct of all my personal defects.
So why all the jealousy and rancor? Well, for starters, I make everything about me. So what if you’re really into camping now? I’m busy with my own things. I always needed to judge myself against your excitement, and, falling short of that, knock you back down to what I felt was an appropriate level. I’m an expert at understanding and maintaining appropriate levels: I’m an alcoholic.
Here’s where the change comes. This program has taught me to fake it till I make it, and so, yeah,camping, huh? That sounds fun! Where did you go this weekend? Oh, you just set it up in the backyard? I bet your children loved that! Beautiful weather for it. It doesn’t take long to actually achieve something like a positive human emotion through even the smallest amount of effort.
What I’m starting to learn: not everyone is bragging twenty-four seven. Most of the time, they are simply sharing. And thanks to this program and the fellowship, I’m starting to see the difference.