Saturday, August 1, 2009

Life Lessons.

One of the rather more disconcerting ways my Higher Power has to ram a message home to me, is to present me with someone else behaving towards me, in a way I used to behave before learning a different way in Al-Anon. I've had this happen a few times in the last couple of years, dealing with one particular aspect of my personality, and every time, I cringe, because seeing it from the other side of the equation, is not pleasant.

I get a brutally clear understanding of what it must have been like to deal with me, for people in my life. I have a good program friend with whom I regularly "reason things out" and we managed to work through the fallout from this particular character defect, when I went to him after several years of being estranged (by my choice, he was always willing to talk) and made amends, which he had accepted not only graciously, but joyfully. He was delighted that I had made this leap forward in my compassion, ability to empathise, and understanding, and told me so.

I find him an invaluable resource when I'm on the receiving end of the same kind of behavior from others, as we can talk about how my doing what I did felt like for him, and how I feel experiencing it myself.

It's painful, but the lessons taught in this hard fashion are not ones I need to learn twice. I can be a slow learner in some ways, if willfullness and denial are operating in me, but these life lessons aren't the kind I am able to forget. Before I had my growth in this area, I judged other people very harshly in my fear, and I was a grudge-holder of monumental proportions.

When I talk to my friend, he says kindly, "I knew you were afraid, but I knew you were working your program, and I knew you'd grow through it sooner or later, and then we could talk again."

That brought a lump to my throat, and the sting of tears to my eyes, that even when I was shutting him out of my life all those years ago, he was preparing to welcome me back into his.

I didn't understand how he was able to do this, when he did it for me, but I understand now, because I can see where so much of what we all do is fear-based, and I can't hold it against another person that they act from fear. Paradoxically, I am becoming more accepting and more forgiving as I become better at setting and maintaining my boundaries . I am so grateful for Al-Anon, and the people I've come to know and love through this wonderful program.

1 comment:

  1. It does take time to work through things. I am grateful when fear doesn't run my life and I simply let go. I had a step one moment last week. I'm glad to be in a better place today.