One of our traditions says we must place principles before personalities. In my f2f meeting the other evening, my mind began doing some mental exercise about finding another meeting to go to because of a strong personality in our group which I have many differences with. Actually the only real difference is that I don't like the strong willed, opinionated, off hand way of conducting a meeting, (my perception) which this person seems to do more often than anyone else. In my (not so) humble opinion, it's just not being done right, too structured in the approach, too automated, too stale, too confining...
My mind began going through a lot of mental banter about how to "fix" it, if I should just go to a different meeting, if I should just not come to meetings, after all, "I" am doing great, "I" don't really need these meetings anymore, "STOP THAT THINKING!!!!! YOU JERK, WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? YOU THINK YOU'RE CURED, YOU POMPOUS A**?" a not so little voice said.
It continued, "You can't find anything positive about the sharing that is going on? Did "you" volunteer to lead a meeting? What is it really about doing it this way that bothers you?"
Well, it made me think certainly. This is a meeting that I began over 10 years ago, and when "I" was, um, err..... "running" it.. (geez, what an eye-opener), this is not the way "I" did it. Well, about 3 years ago, I was unable to attend meetings anymore because of my physical condition, and this meeting did go through some doubtful times as to whether it would survive or not... BUT IT DID!! It is still going, there are new people coming in since I've been gone, and since I've been attending again, and that's great. I am also sure it is NOT because "I" came back to it.. as I have not offered to chair a meeting in more than a year, and I used to do that "alot", some of the reason is that part of me that says, "I did more than my share for those 7 years before, I don't have to do it now" thinking, what a self-centered jerk I am sometimes.
There were a few other people there that were "old timers" to that meeting, and their support of the old way we used to do things helped support my old thinking.. but as I rethought this, I had a couple of other thoughts and questions.
Why do I go to meetings in the first place? I go to stay in recovery. I KNOW that I have to be there if I am to remain sane. It is absolutely essential to my well-being to constantly take myself into the light of recovery so that I don't fall back into my own stinking thinking. I will not like everyone that comes to the meetings, but I can still learn from them, I can still offer my own esh, and I can practice tolerance, compassion, and love of those who may differ from me. We are ALL sick people trying to get well... nothing says I have/am going to "like" everything I have to do in order to accomplish that.
So, the thought of finding another meeting has left me now, and I will sign up next week to chair a meeting in the near future, and I will continue to listen to others and glean what I can use for my own recovery.
Thank you HP for helping me see this so clearly now..
love and hugs,
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