I always wanted to go to an AA meeting, just to see what it’s like. I wondered if it would be like what we see on TV and in the movies. Have you ever wondered about that?
A friend said I could go with her.
“Really? I can go?”
“Yes,” she said “but there will be some rules.”
I’m thinking, Okay, I can live with rules. Lay it on me.
“You can’t talk.”
My thoughts again, I guess I can do that. I knew it would be a challenge for me not to talk but if that’s a rule then I’ll comply.
“You can’t tell anyone what is shared and you can’t tell anyone who was there. If you recognize someone you can’t let anyone else know they were there.”
“Okay, I can do that.”
And we went. To an AA Meeting. I was a bit nervous and excited. It was a women’s only meeting.
And you know what?
I loved it!
And I will tell you why.
First, I was welcomed literally with open arms. I received a handshake and two hugs before I took two steps in the door.
I was embraced and I felt welcome immediately. My fear that I would be rejected because I was an impostor, there to support my friend, was quickly dismissed.
As the meeting started, everyone was courteous and respectful of others and didn’t talk out of turn. Hmmm, I like that!
As women shared everyone listened, were supportive, and laughed when appropriate. When someone spoke they only spoke about themselves, not others. I love that!
How often are you in a group of ladies and one or more will get to talking about other people who are not in the room? So uncomfortable!
Everyone had a limited time to share, and no one monopolized the time allotted. I loved this more!
How often have you been in an organized group where one or two people dominate the whole conversation not letting others talk? Frustrating to say the least!
But the thing that struck me the most was how when someone shared a challenging thing in their life no one tried to give advice. They all just listened!
How many times have you been in a group and as soon as someone shares a struggle in their life numerous people give advice and tell them what to do? Just be quiet please!
Sometimes the best thing we can do is give someone a listening ear.
What I learned:
-I learned there is tremendous power and healing in talking and letting out your feelings.
-I learned there is exuberant power in listening.
-I learned that holding grudges only handicaps you.
-I learned that the best environment for growth and healthy living is one with acceptance, love, and forgiveness.
What if we applied this to our family?
What if we listened without judgment?
What if we accepted unconditionally?
What if we recognized that we all have flaws and failures?
What if we loved unconditionally?
What if we offered grace and forgiveness before it was asked for?
What if we welcomed everyone with open arms at every encounter?
What if we were vulnerable with our feelings and expressed our deficiencies?
What if we always felt safe?
How much better would life be?
How much better would you be?
Until next time, show love, extend grace, and listen.