On the way to the meeting tonight, I listened again to Lorna speak. I constantly learn new things on every pass. And she says, in the beginning of her shares …
“It would be arrogant of me to think that something I say could possibly help you, when in reality, God thinks I need a lot of help …”
We talked about giving it away. The reading from A.B.S.I was a wonderful read tonight. It brought back many wonderful memories for all of us sitting at the table. Among our group is our local rehab coterie of men and women who come from far away, to get a handle on their stories, and to stop putting gas on an already burning fire that is addiction.
We’ve taken them to our hearts in a way that we have not seen in a long while. They have endeared themselves to us, and we have adopted them into our family. In a little over a week, they will leave Montreal for places far and wide. And hopefully, something they have heard in the past twenty one days will stick.
Talk about memories, always gives rise to much Gratitude.
When this kind of discussion begins, everyone always starts with the day they walked into our specific room, feeling how they felt, when they walked in the door, and how warmly they were met and how they were cared for, in ways they did not imagine could be possible.
Lorna is apt to say, and she does say, that “Every time I speak, I must get my story straight, because every time I tell it, I see it differently, than the time before.” She goes on to say that “Only those folks with long term, LONG TERM sobriety, can really get their stories in a cellular way. We learn how isolated we really were in the bitter end of our disease.”
Working with others came up as well. Nobody has a firm grasp on how that works, because for every man and woman sitting in the room, there are ways of reaching out and working with others.
Some feel that stepping out of their comfort zone and chatting up a newcomer is daunting. And it is.
Over the last little while, I have been testing my chops in asking hard questions and seeking hard answers. Because I question what I know and how I know it, and how to apply what I think I know, against, what I do not.
I step out and ask questions, to which some old timers look at me cross eyed and tell me just to shut up and say nothing, keep my mouth shut and sit here and be shoveled shit night after night like they do.
It was twelve years before I walked into working with others, because I did not know what I did not know. I did not know I had what it took, nor that I really had a grasp on my own story, to be able to help another human being with their stories.
When I met Bob, and he turned me on to Intentional Prayer, the Three, Seven, Eleven shuffle, he told me that at some point, those words would work themselves into my heart, and out to the universe. And he said to me that if I did this prayer ritual, my life WOULD change.
And it did…
The first time my phone rang in the middle of a meeting, was a surprise. I did not know the boy on the other end, of the line, and I did not know how he got my number, but at that point, he was hysterical, and he called me, of all people.
I finished the meeting and went to him, which began a two year odyssey of sobriety. It was a hard slog, and we learned a lot about each other. But in retrospect, I think an entire group of people had an idealistic vision of me as a placid, non feeling, eunuch, that felt nothing and could do no wrong. And that was sustainable until it wasn’t.
One fateful business meeting was all it took, to shatter the placid calm, layer of myself, when in a moment of stress I raised my voice, and all of my guys went running for the hills, never to speak to me ever again.
That was not a very good outcome of working with others.
Business meetings will do that to you, eventually.
At least I have my guys today, that I have been working with for multiple years, and out of that work, came two best friends who care about each other, their significant others, fiancees, and wives.
Along the way, I have a friend, outside the rooms. A young man who we have cared for, for many years, who stood up for me at my wedding as my best man. Two days ago, his wife gave birth to their fist son, Benjamin.
His first wards to me were these …”Oh My God, his feet are so small!” And I replied, “Yes, you have a little person to care for now, do your best.”
I’ve seen marriages, proposals, and now children come for my friends. My best friend Juan and his wife were married last July and my best friend will be married in 2020. And my buddy in the states is a new father.
We could not be happier for all of them.
Lorna goes on to say that “She does not know if she even ‘has it’ until she has given it away.”
Working with others begins with a conversation. A common idea, a common feeling, a common story element, that brings two people together to talk about that commonality. What happens next is all up to our Higher Powers.
I have a friend, I’ve been working with for a little while. He is newly sober, and came to a meeting one night and begged God the Promises. And I told him to hurry up and wait !
That begging began a discussion, that is still on going.
You never know, one of my best friends said tonight, that something you might say, the littlest of compassion, or the kindest of words, can change the trajectory of someones life in a way we might never have seen, had we not stepped up and shared a little bit of ourselves with someone in difficulty.
It happens … Not very often, so when it does, people pay attention to little things.
Kindness and warmness of heart is key. We never know when someone walks into our space where they are, in their lives, so we talk, honestly and truly. The Friday meeting is a special meeting, because it is the only one of its kind, in “living room” appeal.
Tonight, we tripled our attendance. The weather is growing warmer by the day, and so people are coming out of hibernation, and returning to the old haunt once again, and we could not have been more grateful tonight.
You don’t know what you don’t know. And you don’t know that you have it, until you give it away. And if you don’t try, you remain ignorant of your own abilities. So we encourage our men and women to step boldly into their sobriety and step up and be counted.
You never know if something you have can change a life for the better.
If not Now, When ? If not Me, then Who?
Every day we have a chance to be kind. It is far too easy to be kind, than to be unkind. It takes more energy to be unkind and uncharitable.
Spend your energy wisely.
It will do you and the one you help more good than you ever imagined.
One Day at a Time.
Gratitude Overflowing …