Staying Sober Using a Performance Appraisal

One of the most powerful tools we can use to get and stay sober is a performance appraisal. This is something we want to learn to do on an on-going, daily basis. Performing a self-appraisal will lead us to peace.

We are looking at all our curls, our shades of tan and rust, so-to-speak, as well as our shadows, our dark side. Right in the middle of it all, we will find our heart, shining brightly.

How do we do a performance appraisal? We begin by listing out our positive points, the ways in which we treat ourselves and others with kindness, tolerance, and respect.

We add to that list the things that we do well. We do this objectively and honestly, knowing that we are not bragging or flaunting our positiveness; rather, we are getting to the bottom of who we are at our core.

Next, we write down all the ways in which we have hurt others, ways we have been intolerant, unkind, disrespectful, ways we have hurt them spiritually. It takes courage to admit to these things, yet, it is necessary to illuminate our being.

Remember, we are looking for our heart that shines, like the knob in the picture above. Once we have listed out our positive and negative aspects, we want to next list out people with which we are angry or resentful, and why. Look at this list carefully. This is the key to the performance appraisal. This is the key to peace.

We look at the third list and notice what has angered us about others’ actions. Now, consider all the times we did the very same things for which we are angry. If we are honest with ourselves, I believe we will find that we have, in fact, done most or all of these things ourselves.

Once we discover this, we allow it to sink in to a very deep level. Recognize that we, as well as the other person with whom we are angry, is human, that we are displaying our humanness. We take this information and “be” with it for a while, not to beat ourselves up, but to realize that we, too, do things which are not kind, not tolerant, not respectful. We don’t like to look at these things about ourselves, yet, they are key to finding sobriety and peace.

Given this realization, we can feel our “aha!” moment. Once we realize that we do the very things we are angry at another for, we can let go of our anger with compassion for both the other person and ourselves.

There will be things for which we are angry that we have not done ourselves, such as abuse. For these, there is a way to get to forgiveness, and we will discuss that when we come to forgiveness.

With our lists, we have a good idea of who we are at a soul level. We can celebrate our positive points and resolve to do things differently to manage our negative side. To do that, we ask for help from our Source. We also talk to someone that we trust to relay what we have found so we don’t keep it bottled up inside to “stew” on.

Today, look at yourself in a new light. Take the time to conduct a performance appraisal and discover the delightful and not-so-delightful things about yourself. Use this list objectively, to improve yourself. Know that once you have looked at yourself in this new light, it is something you want to do daily to keep yourself on track.


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