One of the lessons happening at an almost subconscious level since quitting, is that of respecting the “otherness” of others, understanding where I end and they begin and defining that difference. This may sound very vague and cerebral, and maybe it is, but I think in most people, this is just a natural part of growing up. Drinking and drug use may have stunted my growth in this department creating a steeper learning curve.
Quitting gave me the gift of getting over myself. When I drank, I didn’t realize how caught up in my own shit I was, how little I could see outside of my own experience. Now, I care less what others think about me, while still being able to care about them (and maybe more so, now that I’m out of my own way). I take things less personally. Others’s moods and behavior are not my responsibility, my only responsibility is how I react to them.
With meditation – even 20+ inconsistent days into this journey, I can see how this might evolve to the next level.
Defining the space around myself better, accepting the world around me without trying to change it, it’s as if I’m slowly replacing the unhealthy, numbing, erasing, insular bubble I’d built around myself with a healthier definition of personal space: what part of the world is Me, and what part of the world is Not Me.
This new bubble doesn’t mean I’m disconnected from the world around me, like when I drank. It means that I can be more fully connected with the real world without it hurting so much.
I’m not there yet, but I can see the road that leads there.