Tonight, my sponsor B. received his 16 year chip. Instead of focusing on the biographical aspects of his story, he chose to talk about what sponsoring has meant, both in terms of having a sponsor and sponsoring others.
He pointed out that confusion, fear and willfulness are generally running the individual who first comes into Al-Anon. And that even though the man who B. asked to be his sponsor could not identify with his story, he still consented and worked with B., imparting knowledge from years in the program.
I know that there are many different kinds of sponsors. Some are controlling, some are more laid back and some are almost detached. What I've been happiest with is B.'s willingness to be my guide in this program. He has not directed me but has shared his own experience, strength and hope to show me the way to achieve my own serenity.
I may not always agree with what I hear. I am responsible for listening to the information that comes to me and from there, I sift and sort through to make a decision that appears to be the best for me. And as I've heard so many times, I take what I like and leave the rest.
I know that my path has given B. some consternation quite a few times. But his gift is that he is able to give to me and trust that I have a source of guidance and wisdom. And that I have the ability to discern what is best for me and the right to steer a course by making mistakes and learning. He has never said to me "I know what you need." . . . "I know what you should do." . . . "Now listen, this is what I think you should be working on right now." These statements that would be made in an effort to control would do much more harm with me than good.
Being my sponsor is a great gift that he has given to me. And he has shown me the steps that enable me to trust myself to be able to discover who I am through an often imperfect process of mistakes and corrections. It isn't an easy path and I've had to struggle to reach that quiet, still place within myself. This is the great gift that I have given myself.