A sponsee and I have tried a couple of open AA meetings of late, trying to find a good fit for us, and seem to have hit upon a meeting at which we both feel comfortable. We went to it this evening, and now that I'm back home, I find myself in a rather pensive mood, remembering the shares of those who spoke so honestly and openly about what it was like for them, what happened, and what it is like now.
Tonight's meeting brought up some feelings for me around dealing with the alcoholism of my two sisters, both of whom are still in active drinking, in mid-life. With my eldest sister, I can find a way to relate to her because she shares with me a strong spiritual belief, and that has been the place at which we can have a meeting of the minds, and find comfort and sustenance in each other's writing.
With my middle sister, I don't have this way to connect, so I find it much more difficult to relate to her. Her alcoholism takes the form of a powerfully negative view of life and people, and I can find it almost impossible to respond to what brings up in me a feeling of frustration.
I'm frustrated because I'm not accepting of her, I realised tonight, again. This is not news to me, but it was underscored tonight by a couple of the people who spoke about their fears, lack of hope before 12-Step, and just general intense trouble in finding a way to live in the world.
I need to pray for tolerance and acceptance of my sister. I want us to be able to connect, and since I'm having trouble with it, I need to turn it over to my Higher Power and step back and let it happen within me, let go of wanting her to be something she is not, and work on my own lack of acceptance.
One topic at the meeting tonight was "relationships" - never an easy topic. But for me, tonight, as so often at a meeting, I heard just what I needed to hear.