Monday, February 27, 2012
Secrets, trust and pain
I haven't heard from a few people who I sponsor for weeks. I have to say that I am not really disappointed, although I wonder at times what more I could do to keep the ones that either don't really get started in the program (stop at Step One) or those that stop at Step Four. I give a few calls to check up on them, and then I have to let it go.
At first when I sponsored a fellow, I was much more of a brow beater. I wanted them to work the program on some kind of schedule that suited me. That was the control stuff coming up--do it in my time and on time. Assignments given so that things could move along at a regular pace. Now it is so much easier to let people go their own path until they are ready to come back. That suits me much better than trying to force people to conform to what I think they "should" do.
I am much gentler with myself and others these days. People will do what they will. With those of us in Al-Anon, trust is a major issue. And so often it is not easy to trust our secrets with others. We've hidden them for so long. It was a major step for me to connect with a sponsor, be rigorously honest, and share all my secrets. What a load was lifted off my mind. Sharing the pain, reduces it.
People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that’s bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain. ~Jim Morrison