It has been a relaxing day. We stayed around the house, got a few things done, made some pesto from the basil we grew and took a nap. It was actually too hot to go outside to do much. August truly is rough down here. The dog days of summer for sure.
Tonight I went to my home group meeting. This little meeting is held out in the country and by water would be close to home. But driving distance is about 25 miles. It is a lovely drive though through country roads with trees forming a canopy overhead.
We talked about how none of us are experts in Al-Anon. There are people in the program who might think that they are, but it is a level playing field where no one sets themselves up to have the answers or give advice to others.
I remember my first meeting where I was told to leave my wife and divorce her. That sort of advice giving isn't supposed to happen but occasionally there will be a person who seems to have all the answers for every one else. I am glad that I chose not to listen to the advice, went with my gut feeling to weather the storm, and listened to others who said that making radical changes when first getting into recovery was not a particularly good idea.
What is it about us that makes us want to tell others what to do and to set ourselves up as experts on everything? Ego certainly comes into play. And that fear driven need to get attention and to be the one that others go to because their own fear is telling them that they can't make any decisions on their own. Alcoholism strips away self confidence. It tells us that we are lost and need someone to tell us what to do. And there are those who are more than willing to control and take charge.
I am glad that I now realize that I don't need to listen to the advice of others. I can listen to their experience, strength and hope which is their honest sharing about what worked for them. I am not an expert on alcoholism, recovery, or relationships. I listen to what others have to say, read a lot of recovery literature, and get a deeper understanding of myself through writing and working with others. I learn from so many people. And that fills me with a great sense of comfort.