"On the Beam" or "Off the Beam"?

Dec 10, 2014

 

How do you know if you are making progress in sobriety?

Try this test:

Ask yourself, “Am I On the Beam or Off the Beam?”

Many years ago I volunteered at my local 12 Step Intergroup in Dallas, Texas where people came for recovery literature and called the hotline for referral to meetings in the area or advice about how to help someone with an addiction.  They had an old, yellowed sign on the wall way up close to the ceiling.  It was an illustration of something they called “On the Beam / Off the Beam”.  Each time I was there I pondered that sign.

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} On the Beam

 Hope

Love

Duty

Faith

Courage

Charity

Patience

Sympathy

Kindness

Generosity

Aspiration

Forgiveness

 

Off the Beam

Resentment

Fear

Envy

Worry

Anger

Greed

Vanity

Hatred

Jealously

Criticism

Prejudice

Selfishness

Taken from Dallas Intergroup

 

I would think about how much balance is required in order to walk a beam without falling.  I thought about how gymnasts begin developing that balance by practicing walking on a beam very close to the ground. When they lose balance, a toe touch to the floor can help set things right.  With much practice, a gymnast will begin to work on a routine that tests their focus, strength, courage and balance, moving to a higher beam as more skill is developed.  Then comes a routine, learned in small segments and practiced over and over until mastery is achieved.

Early recovery requires the same thing from us.  We must begin with simple moves that test and increase our ability to stay on the beam in our lives.  It requires willingness and support from others in the recovery community to help us learn new patterns of thought and behavior.  We should be gentle with ourselves as we learn how to navigate a world without the crutch of substances.  Every newcomer will lose their balance from time to time, the important thing to remember is to get back on and keep practicing until the ability to stay On the Beam has been developed.  Before long, you will be able to stay on the beam longer and with less effort.  You will walk through the world with more grace and poise as you develop the vital spiritual and emotional attributes of recovery. 

--- Marcella Scott, Our Hope Association

Share
Give healing. Give Hope. Donate Today!