Subtitled: how to becoming willing
I’m gonna jump right in. Because that’s what you do when you’re me.
Writing my Eighth Step list was easy enough to do and so was becoming willing to make the amends on that list.
Except to one of my brothers.
I’ve always felt like what I did to him paled in comparison to what he did to me, my friends, and the rest of our family. I’ve prayed for the willingness like you’re supposed to do but afterward I’m just like “Nah, I’m not ready to do that.”
Flashback to 2013 and the family and I were in St. Louis for the weekend. This particular brother lived not far from where we were staying and I thought about calling him. Went back and forth, debated, wasn’t even 100% sure I wanted to see him. But I did because he’s my brother and even though he can be an asshole I still love him.
Being realistic about he and I, there’s more good than bad in our relationship overall but in the here-and-now the last few times I’ve talked with him have tried my patience and hurt my feelings. He can be mean.
Anyways, back to the 2013 St. Louis visit. I called him, we hooked up, and ended up hanging out at a park. Maggie playing on the swings and it was good, low-key, no drama.
At one time in life I looked up to him as younger brothers do and it was nice to see an older, gentler side of him bubble through. But he can blab on and on. He always does. I mean he talks a lot, like nonstop talking. About himself. I know he’s lonely and misses everyone so I just listened.
While he was yammering my mind wandered to… this would be a great chance to make my amends to him. If I could get a word in.
But then something unexpectedly amazing happened. Something that made me start listening with both ears. He made amends to me. In broad daylight. Right after talking about something else. No build up, no “I got something on my mind and need talk with you about it.“
And it was really cool. He was sincere with the things he said and I believed his motives to be pure, filled with authentic remorse. Still gives me warm fuzzies when I think on it.
Then my conscious nudged me again that “this would be a great time,” bring mutual closure to our past lives.
But I didn’t.
There are a couple reasons why. The first and foremost being I’m not that spiritually fit to do something when put on the spot. I don’t ad-lib when under pressure. Talking out loud has never been my strong suit.
The other reason was because I kinda felt like this was his time to shine, make his amends. I wanted him to have his moment and not jump in and follow with my own. It almost felt like I’d be piggy-backing.
I don’t know.
Should I have owned up to my stuff? Probably. Do I regret not saying something? Yes. Do I hate myself? Of course not. I can live with it. We don’t always get to do the “right” thing at the “right” time. That’s how life goes.
Whenever Step Eight comes up in meetings my brother and me making my amends to him is always front and center. It’s one of those things where “how free do you want to be” walks in the room and then I roll my eyes. It’ll be something left undone until I do it. Another dangling string of responsibility. And I hate responsibility.
So today do I feel willing to make those amends? Not really. I’m still sore from he and I’s last exchange over text message in 2015. The one where I ended up blocking his number.
Really, it’s not about having willingness on my part. It’s about having forgiveness. He can be a self-centered, self-absorbed asshole. It’s like you can make your amends but if you keep being an asshole, then piss off.
Yeah, I know… Recovery is all about me doing the things that I need to do and not focusing on other people and what they need to do.
But I have too many mixed feelings about it. I shut the door on our relationship and am hesitant to re-open it. I haven’t missed him the last few years and am not interested in resuming where we left off. Life’s too short and I got other shit I’d rather being doing than listening to drivel.
Okay, so my point. Spoiler: it’s nothing new.
How I feel is based on what I do. If I act like a good person then I’ll feel like a good person. If I take a higher road in life I’ll feel better about me. And then feel better about you.
Sometimes I can get stuck on praying for the willingness because “I’m not there yet.” But more often than not I just have to do it, quit floundering, quit getting ready, and get the shit done. Regardless of anything that’s happened in the past or where I’m at in the present.
Did I really want to go to the DMV a couple of days ago and renew my driver’s license? No, but I did it anyway. I’ll never be “ready” to do something that I don’t wanna do.
Do I have something that I need to say to my brother? Yes. I mean he went and got the shit done and here I’ve been floundering with it. For years. I do admire him for that.
So next steps? I’ll let the cosmos be my guide. And I’ll be ready when the stars align.
Yeah, I can get caught up in my own stuff when I’m excited but I try reel it in when I’m talking with somebody else. My brother has no reel. No rod. ↑
One time he called me and the first few minutes were like…
Him: Yammer, yammer, I did this, I did that.
Me: Hey, did you know it’s my birthday today?
Him: Yeah? Happy birthday mother fucker. Yammer, yammer, I think this, I thought that.
I’m a big fan of shutting the door on people when they get abusive. Or when they even get close. You rampage through people’s lives, their whole lives, and there gonna be long term consequences. ↑