One of the greatest gifts I have received through being a sponsor in Al-Anon, is seeing the people with whom I work, grow in their love of self. As the old confused thinking, and automatic assumptions about themselves, are scraped away through the practise of this wonderful program, the self beneath begins to emerge, with the beauty and dignity that is the human spirit.
Perhaps we've been assigned roles in our dysfunctional families, which we've accepted as - just the truth - never questioned. I find it awe-inspiring, to work with a person who has accepted this kind of family labelling, (and felt great personal shame about it,) and watch them begin, through working Step Four, to discover that it's not the truth, it's a convenient fiction which made it possible for the family to keep limping along in the same unhealthy groove. When a sponsee is granted that kind of realisation, it changes the way they see themselves, and with the dropping away of shame, comes a new peace and serenity. When I watch a sponsee working through the falling away of old shame, I gain a clearer picture of the ways in which shame kept me a prisoner, behind my public facade.
I love it when a sponsee begins to understand that they can't control anyone but themselves, and they can't change another person. With that realisation, they can drop the reins, because they realise that the darn things aren't, and were never, attached to the horse.
Letting go brings space and room to turn their attention to what they can change for the better - themselves, their own lives, their search for knowledge and understanding. Every time I share in their delight, it deepens my understanding of my own journey.
With each person I have sponsored in Al-Anon, I have gained a greater understanding of myself: how I think, what I fear, how I compensate and arrange, the ways in which I attempt to control, who I am when I'm alone with only my dogs and my Higher Power for company.
Your sponsor will benefit, just as you do, in your work together - that's one of the miracles of 12-Step. When you ask someone to be your sponsor, you aren't being a bother, you aren't intruding upon their time; you are offering them a great spiritual gift - try to keep that in mind, if you are feeling anxious or worried about asking.