Saturday, November 21, 2009

Time - How Shall I Spend It?

"Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time - like to have a friend takes time.”

That quote from Georgia Okeefe has been resonating in my head today. At one of the meetings this week, it became clear to me that a newcomer who is also relatively new to town, is feeling desperately lonely and isolated.

I can feel God nudging me toward her, with me half-heartedly resisting, because I'm "too busy," even as another part of my mind is perfectly aware that I am going to call her and invite her over to meet my dogs, and have a coffee and a chat. I'd mentioned my dogs after the meeting, and her face lit up and she asked what kind? When I told her, she made that sound we dog-lovers make at the very mention of a breed we adore: aawwww!

God keeps making His point to me today, with little reminder memories of the offers of friendship extended towards me when I was at my most despairing. Back then I didn't have the nerve or the self-esteem to call anyone, and would have shrivelled and died on the spot rather than admit that I was anything but "oh, fine!"

There were some Al-Anon women who paid zero attention to my facade of fine-ness, and kept on inviting me to socialise with them, whether for small intimate chats in the garden with a coffee and a treat, or bigger pot-luck dinners - they included me. They shared their time with me, and that sharing of time was a blessing beyond my ability to thank them for, at the time.

They took the time to welcome me, to make me laugh; their sharing of themselves gave me strength, to go back home and continue to deal with the active alcoholism with which I lived then. Just knowing that someone truly saw me, and cared enough to call and invite me over/along was a huge boost to my shaky self-image.

Making someone feel welcomed takes time, and a small amount of effort. I pray that I never forget the way I was welcomed and given comfort in Al-Anon meetings, and outside of them, in social gatherings. I pray that when I hear someone in need of simple human companionship, I don't turn away, telling myself that "someone else is bound to call them, I don't need to..." I pray that when I have been blessed with an abundance of dog-love, and a lonely newcomer makes a comment about how much she misses having an animal, I have sufficient generosity of spirit to share them with her. After all, God has shared them with me.

We all need comforting - sometimes that consists of conversation with someone who knows what you are going through, while you sit in pleasant surroundings, hugging an armful of small warm dog.

1 comment:

  1. I think the newcomer is the most important person in the room. It is important to include them and to talk to them over and over.