Some times I go to an Al-Anon meeting and I don't hear what I think I need to hear. That happened to me last week. I went to a meeting where one of the members was being critical and controlling. It bothered me. In fact, I held onto the resentment for the better part of four days. It was there over the weekend, turning over in my mind to diminish the otherwise happy holiday.
And then last night, I walked into a meeting in which I heard what I needed. I didn't want to go to the meeting last night. I was tired from the weekend. I lay down on the bed and thought about taking a nap, yet I had the nagging feeling that I needed to get to the meeting. So I threw on some pants and a shirt and went.
When I was walking to the door, a lady that I know came up to me and said that she needed to hug me. She started crying and said that her favorite brother had been taken off life support and was likely already dead. Her tears and words made me realize that nothing is coincidental. Sometimes I come to meetings with unrealistic expectations. But if I come with my various needs and problems, I can be assured that there will be someone there who will share words that will help me to get back on the right path, if I choose to listen.
My ego can block my ears and my heart. I will instead spend time on judging and being critical, rather than focusing on compassion and acceptance. Just because someone may not be doing things the way that I think they should be done, does not mean that I have to take their inventory and build a resentment. It is easy to be critical and harsh. That is what alcoholism has done to me. It makes me want to isolate, blame others, and feed me lies about how I know more than others.
I know enough to realize that when I get in a critical and judgmental mindset then I have no spirituality going on. I have nearly walked out of several meetings and actually did walk out of one. I was mad at Al-Anon and mad at the stupid people in the meeting. Thankfully, last night I was able to get back on track with a good meeting on Step Seven. I decided to close my eyes and "feel" the energy of the room. I can tell you, I was a very different person than the one who showed up at that meeting. I got what I needed and walked out with a lot of gratitude.
It is good for me to have a lesson in humility. I have to let go of what I think things should look like and how I think things should go. All I have to do is show up, have willingness, and an open mind. I realize that the right people have been put in my path to help me to accept the hugs and have the experience of loving kindness.