It's quite possible, gentlemen, that the only bondage there is in this life is absolute freedom under law.... You can do anything your immagination can conjure of if you are willing to pay the inevitable consequences of your thought and action.
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
I remember an incident some thirty years ago. My husband, his parents, our young son and I were in a fast food restaurant on Ben White in Austin, many years before Ben White became a freeway. Some part of the food or service displeased my husband, and everybody in the establishment knew of it. I was so terribly embarrassed. I don't actually remember how that event became an object lesson, but in my mind it marks the concept that nothing anybody else does, even family, is my responsibility. I'm only accountable for my own acts. Of course that's reinforced by OA and Twelve-Step work.
Yesterday, Thanksgiving, was not an ordinary day, not even an ordinary Thanksgiving. We spent the morning in an emergency room, husband bringing me home to do our part of the lunch to take to share with other family members, while he went back to wait for our patient to be patched up and released. I cooked the rolls. Too well. I burnt the rolls. The tops were fine. Some of the bottoms were too brown. Some of the bottoms were too burnt. I took them and the other three dishes I'd put together and, when husband and the patient arrived, we sat down to eat. He asked me if I was responsible for the burnt rolls, and I said yes. He said when we got home he couldn't believe I'd burnt the rolls. He got up this morning demanding to know why I'd burnt the rolls, what I'd been doing. I had chosen not to give my explanation of what happened because it was an excuse, not a reason, a justification, not a fix. I did give it to him, answered his questions. And felt sorry for him. He's in the position I was those long years ago, embarrassed by a spouse's wrongs. I can forgive myself, did rather easily, though it's not that I don't regret what happened. Yet I did not and have not obsessed over it, and the others at lunch took it in their stride. We didn't go hungry.
I started Thanksgiving from a shaky platform of one day's abstinence from computer games (again) and that day's clean compliance with my food plan. I wasn't perfect. I no longer have to be perfect. I made some choices that may not have been my strongest choices, but they were miles ahead of the choices I'd made Tuesday and days leading up to then. And I'm okay with the choices yesterday. And today will be as clean as Wednesday was. The bondage of absolute freedom under the law resonates with me today. I'm not willing to make the poor choices that I can make, absolutely legal (speaking in the traditional sense, not the sense we've used the word in our household for years to describe "in compliance with the diet du jour") and acceptable. The rest of the world can take my errors in stride. Nobody, not I nor husband nor even God, needs to bemoan them. But I do not want to pay the price of not working this program, not walking the steps to the very best of my comprehension and ability and in God's absolute will today. Or tomorrow. Or for the rest of the days of my life.