Old school week continues! (Apparently I'm on a kick.)
There's not a sober alcoholic I know who hasn't had some version of this happen to them in their recovery:
There you are, sitting in a meeting, and someone says something -- maybe not the speaker, maybe just in a regular old share, or while they're taking a chip or something -- and it opens you right up. It goes right into your heart -- or your head, or your gut -- with a little >Ping!< and shines a light where a light needed to be shone. Maybe it triggers an insight, or maybe it just lifts your spirit, but regardless of how, it helped you.
And although it did, it felt like a private little thing maybe, or you were too shy to speak to whomever it was that said it, so they don't even know they did that -- that what they had to say was helpful to you.
That's fine. That's totally fine that you didn't speak to them about it. They probably weren't looking for any feedback anyway.
But the thing is, maybe now it's your turn to say something; to smash through your carefully manufactured distance or your studied, defensive aloofness, or your lovingly nurtured low self esteem, or your acute (if somewhat common) fear of speaking up and speaking out.*
If you don't hear what you need to hear in a meeting, for God's sake, raise your hand and say it.
You'll certainly help yourself, and you might even help someone else -- though you may never know it. If you don't hear what you need to hear in a meeting, maybe it's your turn to say it.
*But also, let's not pretend some of us didn't have to develop a stay-under-the-radar thing as a survival mechanism somewhere along the way. I'm not mocking it, I'm just calling it out.
I've referred to this and posted it here on Mr. SponsorPants several times over the years -- it has become a personal touchstone for me. In fact now I read it every day as part of my regular 11th Step practice.
In the spirit of the Season I offer it again, on Christmas Eve Day, as a gift to anyone who might find it as powerful and helpful and hopeful as I have.
Mother Teresa is widely credited as the author of the prayer below, and it is written on the wall of her Home for children in Calcutta, India. Some sources claim these words were also written on the wall in Mother Teresa's own room. It seems to be based on a work called "The Paradoxical Commandments" by Kent M. Keith, though this version is more spiritually inclined, and has gained world-wide popularity due to its association with both Mother Teresa herself and the Missionaries of Charity, expressing as it does a philosophy very close to the spirit in which Mother Teresa and the Order, live(d) their lives. In general the prayer is referred to as "Do It Anyway."
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.