Sunday, September 23, 2012

Question about Trust

"I asked someone to be my sponsor, but my first meeting with him, he did a lot of talking about a sponsee who fired him, and criticising him. What do I do?"

At a meeting I attended recently, someone spoke about the fact that a long time in program doesn't equate with a long time working on one's own character defects. It's like the old joke about sitting in the garage doesn't make you a car - sitting in meetings for many years is no indication of a good solid grounding in the principles of the program.

The relationship between sponsor and sponsee needs to be one of trust - without the trust, not much can be accomplished. I would not be able to bare my soul to a new sponsor who was breaking the confidentiality of someone with whom they'd worked in the past. I don't have to shame, judge, or blame them for it, I can accept that in this area, perhaps they haven't grown as one would hope, but I'd protect myself, and most likely I would find another sponsor.  We don't always have to be sponsored by someone who's been in Al-Anon for more years than we have; I've watched newcomers leap to understanding about things which took me years to learn. But I would suggest a member who practises program in all of his affairs, not just at meetings, and often, that takes a few years to truly grasp.

I've reached a place in my life where I no longer feel the need to share my opinion on many things with those around me, although I do have a couple of friends with whom this is a wind-down ritual - a little moaning and groaning on the way we think the world could be better conrfigured for our taste. But with those I sponsor, I consider the relationship inviolate, I do not share anything they've told me with a third person, and I do not take the easy road of being critical, when I am still so flawed myself.

1 comment:

  1. I don't see my local sponsor much as he seems to be pretty busy. I still call my old sponsor. I think though that there were some breaches of trust that bother me. Humans being what humans are--it is difficult to not have character defects get in the way.