It’s Easy …

faceIt’s Easy … 

It’s easy to listen attentively … when you are saying words I want to hear.

It’s easy to offer more  … when I am certain you are giving more.

It’s easy to have patience … when the situation is not filled with noise.

It’s easy to give kindness … when your compassion is apparent.

It’s easy to let go … when it’s something or someone I don’t love.

It’s easy to be generous … when I have more than I need.

It’s easy to comply … when my back is against the wall.

It’s easy to agree … when you are offering what I want.

It’s easy to say “no” … when I am afraid to say “yes.”

It’s easy to say “yes” … when I am afraid to say “no.”

It’s easy to pass on more  … when I am already full.

It’s easy to go first … when you promise to follow.

It’s easy to smile … when you smile at me.

It’s easy to love … when I feel loved.

Who am I When …

Who am I when … you say words I don’t want to hear?

Who am I when … I perceive you are withholding?

Who am I when … the room is filled with chaos?

Who am I when … you refuse my love, my help?

Who am I when … your opinion isn’t mine?

Who am I when … you don’t like my answer?

Who am I when … there are several options and none of them suit me?

Who am I when … there is little to share and my needs are not yet met?

Who am I when … I have to face it alone?

Who am I when … it is suggested I try something new?

Who am I when … the smile isn’t returned?

Who am I when … I don’t feel the love?


Who I choose to be is what matters for me.

Who you choose to be is what matters for you.

Who I chose to be, today—this is the depth of my character.

It is not contingent upon you.

Do I know who am I?


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No Responses to “It’s Easy …

  • I love the message in this post, especially the “Who am I when” portion.

    • O09, This is one of my favorites. It’s even hard to write this without it redirecting my day. All I hear is, “Who am I?” Yes, sobriety is awesome, it’s life that can be hard. xox me

  • Who am I when things get hard? …
    That is a question I avoid answering but I’m getting to it.

    • The idea that you are ‘willing’ to get to it is a good first step. Keep looking. You will keep finding more answers and you will also find more questions.

  • *Mirror comes crashing down from the skies and lands at my feet. Smoke settles and I catch myself staring at the mirror, which is a foot away from me. I am breathless and unable to look away. Silence ensues.*

    That’s what your post just did for me when I read it. And re-read it as I am apt to do when you post your gems. Who am I when…damn. Flip the tables on me – where am I when the chips are down and things aren’t going my way? I know what the old answer (singular answer, not plural) would be to all of these. Glug Glug. In fact, even when things were easy, I would still drink, as I would think that the alcohol would *enhance* the good stuff. We all know that if a little bit is good, a LOT is better, yes? Oh boy was I wrong on that one.

    This is a constant lesson for me, Lisa. Never ending. And even when I think I have it, I am taught that I am not there yet. As you mentioned, who and what I am isn’t contingent on anyone else. My value and worth isn’t predicated on the worth given to me by others, perceived or not. I say this with my brain as the signals go to my finger tips to type that, but sometimes I get caught in the grips of being caught up in the “you-ness” of the equation, and it’s a losing proposition.

    I am tempted to print this out and actually write my way through the list. What a gas that would be. Seems similar to some exercises I did in my recovery program…hmmmmmm…turning over some rocks there. Reading some tea leaves. Getting to the heart of the matter and then sifting through it. Who am I when…



    • Paul, As usual, your words are generous. As I mentioned to OctoberONine, sobriety is awesome, it’s life that is riddled with challenges. I see so much value in separating me from the proposed instigation. This is my clearest vantage point. I hate it … it makes me responsible. I don’t know what to do with that kind of power, so I have been prone to cower. Heavy stuff. I have plenty of rocks to sift through over here. I often mention to clients, don’t be so quick to find all your answers because with the answer comes two more questions. Yes my friend, a “constant lesson.” One beautiful and challenging lesson. Blessings returned, Lisa

  • Ugh, this opened up something in me. A few months before I realized that I was an alcoholic I took an online class through Brave Girls Club called Soul Restoration. The basic idea behind it was to close my “soul house” for restoration and kick everyone and everything out. Through art/collage projects and journaling, I was encouraged to restore my soul house and decide who and what to let back in. When I pictured my soul house with just me in it, it was bleak and colorless. The only life I found in my soul house seemed to come from other people. You’ve reminded me of how easy it is to define myself by how I want people to see me instead of by who I really am. Sometimes it’s more important to me for people to see me as likeable, kind and smart instead of really being those things. It’s easier. Who am I when no one is looking? It’s easier to fool you that I am who I want to be than to love and accept who I am.

    • You are likable, kind, and smart. Maybe not ALL the time, but who is? Nobody. At least no one I know. I love opening up these feelings in you because I get to open them up in me when I read your reply. I see a fuzzy line between being true to self versus expecting perfection from self. Is this what you are talking about? I mistakenly define myself by what I want others to see and can hide behind this facade. But the truth is, the real me, even when someone isn’t looking is a very nice person. I bet the same is true for you. You bring so much soft energy to your blog. It seems almost impossible there isn’t a gorgeous woman behind it all. I hope you don’t mind my intimate reply. It is written with good intention and love.

      • Perfectionism has always been an issue of mine and it’s something I will probably always work on. I guess what I’m feeling is that there are qualities about myself that I don’t like but which other people love about me. I’m really trying to accept and love those things about myself instead of trying to fit in. For example, I’m a seeker by nature and it drives me crazy. Sometimes I wish I could just stop seeking. When I see my seeking nature as a weakness, I get caught up in defining myself by what I think other people should see in me. When I see it as a strength, I can just be. Thank you for your reply. It’s helping me clarify my thoughts. I need to think about it more!

  • The “It’s Easy” part hit me. When things don’t feel “easy”, it’s often because I perceive a shift in one of those second halves. I always thought it was more random, but now I see that internal struggle stems from my fear of not having enough or getting what I’m willing to give. Sometimes the fear is real and sometimes it’s based on another fear, so it’s tricky, but this is all good food for thought, as usual.

    • It’s interesting you write this. I have a notebook (several, or scratches of paper) where I compile these ideas as they arise. I have experienced myself in every one of the above situations and through my inquiry (journaling) I was able to see how filtered (and often manipulative) my response was. I love that you think about this stuff when you read it. Sometimes I get feeling tentative after I post. I am always glad that people relate I have found this journey away from alcohol-as-the-end-all-solution to be incredibly profound.

  • Lisa, you are, truly, an inspiration for me. I read your work, and my mind is opened in ways I had previously not realized possible. As I read the list “who am I when…” I see much work that needs to be done. For me personally, I don’t like the answers to who I am when people say the words I don’t want to hear, and also who I am when you don’t like my answer. Yet, even though I see the work that needs to be done, I am encouraged, rather than discouraged, because I see the progress I have made in recovery with some of your other questions. You ability to prod me along, while at the same time applauding my accomplishments, makes you a genius, in my humble opinion!

    • Thank you for the kind words. Your writing moves me as well. You’ve brought back to me those memories of steps, meetings, loss, amends, progress/non-progress, legal issues, sober friendships. It sounds crazy, but just wait. Over time you are no longer the new comer. The subconscious begins to truly release the ‘alcoholic’ mentality. You become a person in the world living, living and trying to figure out life. Drinking is no longer a real option. Sometimes, it’s not even a fleeting memory. Dare I say I have moments of forgetting I was ever an addict. I simply say “no thank you” and I don’t bat an eye. It’s so easy for me to see how people drink again after 5,10,20 years of sobriety. You start thinking you’re better. And while you are better, you still can’t handle alcohol in your body. Period. You may never know how much you have given me, but it’s a lot.

      Every time I write a post I grow. Every time I read a post I grow. Sounds so silly, but it’s true. xoxo

  • Lisa, your posts always make me think and give me much to reflect on.

    “Who I chose to be, today … is not contingent upon you.”

    This has been so hard for me to learn. As an only-child and an adult child of an alcoholic home, I have always had codependent responses and have always defined myself as other people saw me. I actually prided myself on my chameleon ability, to change myself to fit my surroundings. But I am my own person–I have my own identity–and who I am is a direct result of my choices and actions and future decisions. It has been a blessing and curse to realize this, but mostly a blessing.

    Adore you and your posts! xo

    • I love when I see my co-dependency, because that is always my starting point for change. I’m number 5 of 6 kids with an alcoholic dad (who happily found sobriety) and a co-dependent mom (who happily found serenity before my dad found sobriety). Interestingly I have both of their personalities strong within me. I am a bitch, doormat, charismatic, enabler, filled with strength,compassion, and drive. Ahhhh, the joys of self-inquiry. You already know I adore you too, but I’ll say it again. I adore you. You bring much to my sober life. Know that your friendship is noticed and appreciated.

  • xnavygal9916
    11 years ago

    Great read!! will have to add this to my Tenth Step Daily Inventory!!

    • I appreciate the latest installment on “Sober Oxymoron’s” … I need to keep my notebook with me, I’ve thought of two more, but I forgot to write them down. Dang. Oh well, they’ll return. They always return:) Hey, saw your list of “enabling” over at at … brilliant list. It reminds me of the universal laws and how non-addicts (is there such a beast? hmmmm) have their work to do too. Enjoying getting to know you. Thank you for your support on this site. Love your perspective.

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