Posted by: innerpilgrimage | September 6, 2011

Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way

      This colloquialism tends to be used when self-will is on the line. Sort of an, “I want to control this,” mantra.

      Yet when we’re put in a leadership position, it seems to be a gift. Leading, in essence, is walking ahead of people. I am not really sure I am ahead of anything or anyone, seeing as newcomers often come up with self-awarenesses I haven’t even conceived of in the two years I’ve been in OA. Plus, since we’re all walking together “One Day at a Time”, each minute is the same as each minute for every other person. While I relate better to people who have taken on any 12-Step’s Tradition Three as a lifestyle choice? I get the whole, “I’m in the moment and so are you,” awareness. However, the time I’ve spent in program has given me an opportunity to show what program over time does. There’s no cure; there’s only a solution–if I commit to it for my personal sanity.
      Following is that first point where I start to look toward others for help. While this is a personal journey, ultimately, dealing with people is vital to my recovery. Last night proved that. I’ve been out of the rooms for a few weeks, and I am feeling the strain. While it’s my SLAA stuff that’s falling apart all over the place (my abstinence is still strong), the character-defective behavior is in full force. I get irrationally angry and fearful right now. My sense of security is threatened because I am seeking security from external sources. Security comes from within, though. It actually seems to come from the third part of this colloquialism.
      Get out of the way. It has a lot of meaning, if one considers it. First, it can be seen as an attack on ego. When I feel devalued as a human being–which is a huge ego-trigger for me causing me to compulsively act out despair and frustration and anger–I go on the offensive. I definitely do not get out of the way. Getting out of the way is also a good concept in terms of surrender. When I don’t surrender to a Higher Power, that means my ego is in my way. I trip over it. I get into manic thinking about how to fix, fix, fix the world. The incessant chatter and problem-solving within my own head, running social experiments at mach speed, does nothing but cause my body to toss chemicals all around and leave me more frenetic than before–in mind and body. That chemical soup within works great with the brain. Unfortunately, that brain can have serious issues. So, when I surrender, I am getting out of my own way. I don’t need to lead or follow. I just AM when I get out of the way.
      This is a quick entry, just to get used to writing. I got a hat and scarf set finished and completed a second one yesterday. I’m well on my way to 42 completed sets for donation, and the bag I have collected them in is actually full to bursting. The balls of yarn are getting smaller, and I see the light at the end of the tunnel (not a train this time, either) in terms of having a human-being sized space cleared out of my home by the holidays. That it’s going to help others (even if they don’t accept it–but that’s not between me and HP, because my only part in it is making the hats and scarves and releasing them for distribution) makes me feel I have worked my purpose.
      I have a friend visiting for a week as of this weekend, and I am feeling tense because my home is messy. I still have that as a character defect. While I do have the character asset (?) of wanting a smaller life, and therefore I am ready to release much of what I own into the Universe? I am still tense that my home is a tight fit. Add to it that I have two other people I can’t control the space of, plus a dog, and it’s pretty stressful.
      However, opening my house to her at all is good. And, if worst really came to worst, there’s a motel just down the street. If she needs space, I can make sure she gets it. So, there are options, and there are solutions.
      All I gotta do is get out of the way.
      My name is Jess, and I am compulsive about food and toxic love–a binger and an anorectic. Not sure why I chose the title for this entry, except that it was what dropped into my head. I suppose it had to do with that “Follow” button on the task bar. I don’t really follow blogs because I’m pretty mentally scattered. But I should really do it. My HP may have something to say, and while my fingers are in my ears and my eyes are closed and I am singing, “La, la, la, la, laaaa!” I am missing some potentially powerful healing that’s waiting for me to receive. As a gift, which I have to remember more often.



  1. I’m not confident enough to lead, to proud to follow & too stubourn to get out of my own way. All things I need to work on.

    • I totally understand. When I feel that way, it’s a signal for me to surrender and relax and let the Universe do its thing. The irony is that I end up trying to surrender–which, of course, cannot be done. Surrender is surrender; any effort toward surrender is trying to control it.

      Thanks for coming by, Meegan, and definitely thank you for the comment! I definitely hit times when I have zero confidence and am afraid to lead (because I fear I will screw up), when I am proud and am unwilling to follow (because I might “lose” that perceived control of a situation), and I definitely dig in and brace for impact when I should be stepping aside instead of trying to be a bulwark.

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