Do As I Say…Watch What I Do

A few weeks ago I was taking my son to camp and was running extremely late. Wanting to make sure that I dropped him off on time and make it to work on time, I began to break…a few…traffic laws. My son would remind me of what I was doing was wrong and how much I wouldn’t like it if I saw someone else doing it.

I heard his words but ignored him for a short while until…I began to try to explain to him why it was fine for me to do what I was doing. He listened in silence until I used an old saying, “Do as I say, not as I do.” As the words exited my mouth I felt bad for having said them but my son made it worse. He sweetly and respectfully said, “You are a hypocrite.” Ouch!

I had no words, no response, nor a retort. What could I possibly say to him? After collecting my thoughts I said, “You are right. That is hypocritical and I am sorry.” I began to explain the merits of the lesson and thanked him for the reminder that mommy and daddy have to be good examples to him. His reminder of being an example at all times hit hard.

I shared all of that to say that in my every day life I have to be careful in the choices that I make and the actions that I take. Working with my clients in addictions reminds of actions that I must take for success in this journey of life. If I expect them to have a plan when they are feeling overwhelmed then I should have one. If I expect them to have a support system that is attempting to achieve their daily goal of sobriety then I should have a support system for my goals and dreams. If I expect them to have a sponsor or mentor that can walk with them on their journey then I should do the same.

I can no longer give advice and not take it for myself. No my journey is not addiction but our expected goal is the same. We both expect to not do things the same way expecting different results. If we want change, we must do something different.

Just another day’s journey of not simply asking others to do as I say but to watch what I do. Peace.

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