Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Not all roads lead to Rome
One of my sponsees made a decision last night to not continue with the steps. He has a spiritual program, practices spiritual meditation, and has a spiritual leader. He just got back from a retreat and has come away with a great sense of renewal. Now he will devote more time to his spiritual practice.
I was taken aback by his deciding to not continue. I didn't have a clue. We were working on Step Four. In Al-Anon, we work this step using the work book Blueprint for Progress. There are many chapters in this workbook, each with over 30 questions. It took me at least four months to get through it.
After he told me that he had begun to feel reluctant about continuing with working Step Four and had decided not to continue, I felt my ego take charge and immediately place blame on the process. The damn workbook is too long. There are too many questions. Maybe he's right and doing spiritual meditation is all anyone needs. These thoughts flashed through my head while a large hole began to open up in my gut.
My old friend rejection had come back and was slicing and dicing my insides. I had the presence of mouth, not mind, to tell the sponsee that it was okay for him to do what he felt he needed to continue in recovery. I didn't try to convince him to keep going with Al-Anon because I knew that there was nothing that I could say to convince him. He had made up his mind.
He gave me a CD to listen to entitled There is Nothing Wrong with You. I listened to it on the way back from the meeting. It has a lot of good stuff there. And is so far very complementary to what I've heard in Al-Anon. Listening to this CD made me realize that there are many ways to reach serenity.
I know what worked for me, and I know the steps that I took. I did what I was told by my sponsor. I was willing to go to any length. I know that there is no easier, softer way. I also recognize that the determination and yes, even the intellect of some is greater than others. I've seen people in the rooms who are brilliant, and I've seen others who aren't. Maybe a fourth step from the Big Book would not be as daunting to some as the Blueprint for Progress. Maybe one wrench doesn't fit all nuts.