Seek First to Understand

by Daniel · 0 comments

“A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.”  Proverbs 18:2

St. Francis of Assisi in the Prayer of St Francis prays,   “… O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;   to be understood as to understand;   to be loved as to love…”

I believe that Spiritual progress is the foundation of our recovery.  Becoming the best person we can become takes diligence, humility and effort.  Probably the toughest part of our lives recovered or otherwise is our relationships.  Personally I have grown enormously from my most painful of times in my relationships.  In the beginning years of my recovery life, early on in the pain I would attempt to understand what was going on so that I could change the situation and the other person.  As I have grown I have become better at seeking to understand the other person so that I may reflect on my issue, reaction, or stance.  I have learned to use step ten to reflect and not to react.  I learned to bounce serious issues off of people that have been through similar issues.

I learned to use, I/E that is I over E, intellect over emotion!  Then I learned to look directly at myself, to determine how did I create this issue?  What is my part in this?  How important is it?  Why is the person so determined or angry?  Then I offer a humble response from the heart.  Unfortunately for me it took the loss of two marriages to get here and still growing I might add!

My  first marriage was a train wreck, riddled with alcoholism and addiction.  It stood little chance and in fact only lasted a few years.  However, today the mother of my first two children is a friend and all hard feelings have diminished.  My second marriage is a different story, this was a relationship that I grew up in, I recovered in.  I owe my maturity to this relationship.  In fact, today I have zero ill feelings and do not regret the experience.  Truthfully I am grateful for the experience.  Although there were serious issues that could not be overcome I simply admire her integrity and commitment as a Spiritual human being.  I have also learned that sometimes we must agree to disagree.

Life is meant to be enjoyed and not to be endured is the mantra of my friend and mentor Jack Jackson, coming up on fifty continuous years of sobriety.  Yesterday is the past it is gone, tomorrow is a mystery, but today, thoroughly enjoyed and lived with integrity and vitality is the present “a gift”.  As we all grow Spiritually let us first seek to understand than to be understood!

Go, Go, Go…

Dan 🙂

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