I have been really busy. But even the busyness hasn't kept me from missing C. I talk to her a couple of times a day, and she is enjoying her trip. But she is wishing that I were there, and I am simply missing her. This morning it felt almost palpable. I did go to a noon meeting which has helped me to get the focus on myself once again.
I do love my meetings, but the meeting on Tuesday night was not one that was as comforting as usual. I co-chair the study group that occurs before the regular meeting. We meet in the regular meeting room, and we stop ten minutes before the regular meeting. At this week's study meeting we were studying Step Twelve. We discussed service and how we practice the principles of the program in all our affairs, not just at meetings.
After a half an hour into our step discussion, several people came into the room to wait for the regular meeting. I told them that we had another 20 minutes to go before we were finished. I also said that the people who just showed up were welcome to join us at the study group meeting which starts an hour before the regular meeting. A fellow who told the others to just come on up and sit while we finished up then became irate. I have known him for some time and never had anything but cordiality with him. He said that he started the regular meeting and was not going to allow us to cause "problems". He said that anyone could walk in and participate at any time during the study meeting. Then he said that he would make "damn sure" that we didn't keep people out.
I was stunned by this. I immediately felt that I had done something wrong. I felt ashamed of myself for giving any impression that I was excluding anyone from a meeting. And then I realized that I was doing what I have often done--I take the immediate blame for someone else's behavior. And I realize that I don't have to do that. Instead, I can be authentic and acknowledge that many situations have nothing to do with me.
Even though I didn't expect to have a conflict happen in an Al-Anon meeting, such conflicts happen in regular life all the time. Life happens and isn't always smooth sailing. Regardless of what occurs, I do have the choice to practice the principles in every aspect of my life. And for actions of others that I have no control over, I can let it go without harboring resentment and rancor. This happens much quicker than before. I may feel badly for a short time but ultimately I don't need to be miserable for days. Misery truly is optional.