Sunday, March 29, 2009

Listen and Learn

I love this slogan. It speaks to the part of me that can be judgemental, unaccepting, or critical. I was raised in a family with a very critical worldview. Everyone was measured, and either accepted or dismissed, based upon certain criteria such as education, financial stability, place in society. People were either above us, to be fawned over, or below us, to be objects of contempt. Because I was adopted, and had some vague idea of my origins, I had a suspicion that I belonged in the second group, and felt ashamed in my deepest inner self.

Al-Anon, in contrast, teaches that each of us is worthy, and each of us has something valuable, meaningful, and helpful to share.

People with whom I might never spend time outside of meeting rooms, can be the very ones who express a thought which gives the lens through which I see life, a sharp twist. Suddenly, the foreground of the picture blurs, some part of the background comes into sharp focus, and I gasp to realise what is revealed.

I have had this happen repeatedly in meetings. I don't know if it is the fact that we have so little in common that makes their sharing so powerful in its ability to illuminate, or just how this works; I only know it does.

I'm so grateful for this. It has taught me to listen uncritically. I can do the sorting-through later on, right now, sitting at the table, I keep an open mind. When a thought is handed to me, looking like a muddy stone, I accept it with appreciation, and sit shining it up on my shirt, just in case it happens to be a treasure. As it so often is.

1 comment:

  1. I hear a lot of pearls in meetings. I carry a little book and write them down. Great post.