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Pity or Love


Once, Ruth and I were hanging out at Cosi's, a place close to a meeting we'd just attended. We were going over my Step work when she interrupted me with a question, allowing me to look more honestly at my experiences through my reality rather than my thinking, which was really just mostly reactions and comments about reality: "Why are you doing all this stuff? Pity is not love. It's a kind of looking down upon something or someone, thinking and feeling they have no capacity to respond to their own circumstances. Are you doing it out of love or obligation? Do you genuinely want to do the things you're doing, or do you feel like you have no other option at the moment? Have you taken the time to understand YOUR truth, your way of seeing, experiencing, and feeling reality, rather than other people's truth? You can do what you're doing, but whether it's coming from a place of pity or love makes a big difference in how we treat others."


Ruth, my sponsor, mentor, friend, and tour guide of my own life, had a remarkable ability to make me slow down, stop multi-tasking, sometimes cry, and set down the endless array of balls I was juggling in the air. This was my weird way of distracting myself from my feelings. She helped me to be present in my experience and internalize it so that I could stop living by habit and default and start living with intentional and conscious choice-making based on my values.


That was important. Why? Because for me, it was about cultivating the ability to distinguish between meaningful and meaningless action. It was the difference between doing the same things over and over, expecting different results, and moving forward so that I could have the honor of making new and different mistakes and mis-takes, which for me was a reflection of growth.


一Dignity and Grace

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