Monday, November 9, 2009

An Open Mind.

A reader very kindly wrote and suggested I try doing a fear inventory, similar to a resentment inventory as laid out in AA's Big Book, but with my fears listed in the first column.

I found this enormously helpful. (Thankyou, Mitch.)

I will be forever grateful to Al-Anon, for having made me teachable. When I am offered the precious gift of a suggestion about how I might deepen my understanding, of 12-Step, and of myself, I am well-disposed to listen, and to try putting it into practise.

My little blurb on my home page about "feel free to write to me" isn't just lip service - this has been my recurring experience in 12-Step - my Higher Power offering me a solution, through the words of a fellow member.

When I came into program, if you didn't fit my narrow definition of "normal" I'd shut you out. I may have been outwardly courteous, because I'm in that age group - we were taught to be polite to strangers - but inwardly, I'd be writing off anything said to me, because look who was saying it. I wanted to reject you first, before you got a chance to reject me. That felt safer. It was a lonely way to live, and I missed a lot of wisdom I could have learned from. I'm trying to make up for that now.


  1. That was the "safer" way to live wasn't it? However, I learned very quickly it wasn't the better way. I too missed a lot because of living that way in the past. Loved this.

  2. So true. I am in the heartache of a break up right now that I wouldn't be in if I had just written him off. Instead I got to know a kind and gentle person that struggles with life just as I do. And I will miss him. And though I don't like this pain, I am grateful.

  3. I'm sad that you learned early that the world wasn't a safe place to reveal your true self. I'm glad, however, that you overcame that fear, and I'm reminded how easily and thoughtlessly we wound others.

  4. The fear inventory (along with resentments and sex) is something that I did for my fourth step and that I get my sponsees to do. The things that I fear all relate to relationships.