According to Karen Casey, “happiness is the result of right actions”. This reminds me so much of one of my favorite lines from the Big Book which states that the world judged us by our actions while we judged ourselves by on our intentions
When I first got sober, this line was a rude awakening for me hence why it is one of my favorites. It was a common occurrence for me commit to being three places at the same time. It made me feel loved and popular to be wanted so many places. I left so many unfulfilled promises to my loved ones and myself. I really planned to show up for them. Even when I could muster the strength to show up, I was usually late or in no condition to do whatever it was I had promised.
The result? No self-esteem and so much guilt!
Karen Casey’s one liner brings to mind one of my favorite pieces of wisdom for my sponsees; esteem-able acts builds self-esteem. This is usually proceeds my offering a suggestion (hint hint). When it comes to my recovery, I have taken so many suggestions, and many of them I did not understand at the time they were suggested.
You want me to clean my room? Eat right? Stop cussing so much? Show up on time? Pay bills? Act like a lady? Exercise? Be nice to one person a day and don’t tell anyone?
What the hell do these things have to do with stopping drinking?
Today, I believe the answer is EVERYTHING! When I am successful at accomplishing small achievable tasks something magical happens. I like myself a little more. I connect to my higher power and the meaning of “the next right thing”. My world gets knocked off the axis of me, and I am more able to see my place in the world (humility anyone?).
I believe that on top of happiness, which I value as a great reward that the other promise I get from taking suggestions is a spiritual awakening. I become who I am meant to be not who my bondage of self keeps me imprisoned as.
The quote doesn’t say happiness is the result of actions resulting in my favor. It says happiness is the result of right actions. There is a hidden disclaimer that sometimes it sucks. I learned that even though it’s not easy it’s always worth it. I admit I am not perfect at it. I just do my best to choose whatever is my next right thing each day.