Suggestions are the core of how I get guidance in sobriety; it’s how I understand that we pass the message along. There are times suggestions can feel harsh, and I find that these are the ones that are the most necessary. Accepting these suggestions can be a process, which sometimes involves me getting a little defensive about my behavior.
This defensiveness is usually expressed by a phrase starting with BUT then followed by some serious rationalizations (aka excuses for my part). I have rationalized a lot of things before and in sobriety: drinking against my will (I had control sometimes – I only hurt myself), staying in unhealthy relationships (In enough time things will get better – Maybe this is normal), signing up for higher education without running it by my sponsor (Education is a positive and enriching activity – I got this).
One of the most effective relationship builders for my sponsor and I was when I retired (to the best of my ability on a daily basis) the word BUT and traded it in for words like “OK” and phrases like “I hear you”. This is where I find myself truly willing to go to ANY length. Kinda scary sometimes?!