~ LISTENING ~


Dear Friends on the Journey ~

My name is Mari and I am a compulsive eater in recovery. I am grateful for my program and for your allowing me to share my journey to recovery with you.

I have learned silence from the talkative,
tolerance from the intolerant
and kindness from the unkind.
I should not be ungrateful to those teachers.

Kahlil Gibran

Verbosity is one of my personal characteristics ... especially in the past. I remember so well discussions in which I found great joy in talking. I also remember my prayers to the God of my understanding in which I had a litany of things prayed for. As I became more and more entrenched in my program, I noticed I began to listen more and talk less. I also began to listen to what God was saying to me more ... and meditating became a way of life.

As I go through my life encountering the talkers of the world, I now try to listen to those who are silent but who have much to say. The loud voices of my past life were but loud ... but the quiet voices have taught me volumes.

I was in the grocery store the other day and noticed a woman with a basket of groceries in the check-out lane. She was one of the loud voices but also one of the intolerant Gilbran speaks about. She complained from the time she entered the line about how incompetent the cashier was, how people were in the wrong line, how poor the store manager was in allowing such long lines and how she would never shop there again. Oh joy! Her intolerance made all around her uncomfortable and she taught me a great lesson about patience. All her ramblings didn't help speed her check-out one second faster.

And then there is kindness. I don't believe most people set out to purposely be unkind. But I do believe that for those who are authentically brusque, there is a learning curve that must be met. Self-absorption is the reason for a lot of the unkindness we find in the world ... some people are so taken up with self, they just don't stop and think what they're saying ... even at the expense of others. Have you ever gone to someone and started to tell them about something important that had happened in your life ... only to find them half-listening? That is unkind. Have you ever had someone tell you something nice but you knew that it would be following by a "but" and you brace for a long list of negatives? That is unkind. Have you ever received a letter in which someone chose to rip you apart in front of others rather than privately? That is also unkind.


Dear God,
Thank you for my teachers ~
the unkind, the talkative and the intolerant.
Help me to be the opposite.


Love in recovery,
Mari
My Journey to Recovery
The Recovery Group





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