December 29 Through Others' Eyes
 
"When someone points out a shortcoming, our first reaction may be defensive....[But] if we truly want to be free, we will take a good look at input from fellow addicts."
Basic Text, p. 35

At some point in our recovery, we come to the awkward realization that the way we see ourselves is not necessarily the way others do. We are probably neither as bad, as good, as beautiful, or as ugly as we think we are - but we are too close to ourselves to really tell for sure. That's where our friends in the program come in, caring enough to share with us what they see when they look in our direction. They tell us the good things about ourselves we might not know - and they tell us the hard things, too, that we might not be able to see.

We may react defensively to such "help" and, in some cases, justly so. However, even malicious remarks about our supposed shortcomings can shed light on aspects of our recovery that we cannot see ourselves. Wherever a useful insight comes from, for whatever reason it is offered, we cannot afford to discount it.

We don't need to wait for others to spontaneously offer their insight. When we spend time with our sponsor or other NA members we trust, we can make the first move and ask them to tell us what they see about particular areas of our lives to which we are blind. We want a broader vision of our life than just our own; we can have that vision by seeing ourselves through the eyes of others.

Just for today:  I seek to see myself as I truly am. I will listen to what others say about me, and see myself through their eyes.

Just for Today (Revised) - pg. 379
Copyright © 1991 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All rights reserved.

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