Nothing sums up the gist of this post better than this old classic Clint Eastwood scene.
What do I mean by that? You have to be self aware and honest enough with the person in the mirror to see what’s going on, what’s good and right for you, and then live within those limitations.
Take the time to self examine, identify your weaknesses and your strengths and decide the best way to cope with them.
As I’ve gone through my journey, I’ve literally done that. I’ve stared at my self in the harsh bright white light, staring at my own face, noticing the imperfections and blemishes, attempting to look into my own eyes in search of the soul within. Trying to see inside myself.
I’ve done it in regards to many things. Whether it’s drinking related, hard decisions I’ve had to make, facing my own mortality as friends, coworkers and acquaintances have died, attempting to simplify things so I don’t get overwhelmed with the complexities of life. I’ve done it with many things.
One of the greatest benefits of this exercise, is that eventually, you should begin to see the truths of who you are and what’s important.
When it comes to some issues, I’m truly lazy and don’t want to face a lot of hard work. With other issues, they truly matter to me and I may go overboard with my efforts. I faced the reality that I am inconsistent with my interests and how I spend my time. I’ve also faced the harsh truth that I have limitations.
I can’t drink as I used to and ever hope to be as healthy as I believe I want to be. I can’t drink as I used to and still avoid the traps I’ve seen others fall into, destroying their health physically and mentally. I can’t drink as I used to and believe that I’ll be around to get to know my grandchildren. I can’t put myself in trigger situations with drinking without first becoming personally resolved and strong enough to say “no” with honesty, conviction, and without decrying those around me. I don’t want to allow myself that one drink, because I know my drinking brain believes if one drink is good, a dozen are better. And if a dozen are better today, a dozen tomorrow would be just as good and the backward slide begins to erode all the progress I’ve made.
So those are some of my limitations. Have you found yours? Like Dirty Harry says, “Man’s got to know his limitations”.