The Program May Not Solve All Your Problems But It Is Willing To Share Them

Many newcomers feel very uncomfortable about sharing at meetings. They sit there very stoically with a grim look on their face. Their minds are racing with all of their regrets, fears, resentments, anger and shame. Yes, it’s true they are no long using, but they feel pretty miserable about their life.
Then one day, perhaps thru another member’s encouragement they finally share. When they are finished, they realize that they feel a little bit better; and sometimes a whole lot better. It seems almost counter-intuitive. Although everyone was listening, no one gave them advice or tried to solve their problems for them. Yet, thru the process of personal reflection thru sharing, something changed within them. Over time we have come to realize that having the opportunity to share with others is extremely therapeutic.
The flip side of the coin is also true. By listening to others share and identifying, we see that our feelings of isolation and negative uniqueness are lies we tell ourselves. The shares of others verify that our feelings are just part of being human.
After the meeting we can seize the opportunity to speak to others and get advice if that is what we want. There is great collective wisdom within the walls of the fellowship.

Personal Reflection: Am I sharing enough at meetings?

Some Meetings I Go To Speak; Some Meetings I Go To Listen

Going to meetings is one of the cornerstones of the program. Sometime we walk into the room bursting with the desire to share. Perhaps something occurred at work which we found to be upsetting. By sharing, some of the sting of the incident is lessened. Speaking at a meeting also gives us an opportunity to celebrate our sober victories. Maybe we were at a party and refrained from getting into an argument with someone. There is also power in our having the courage to raise our hands and speak our truth. For all too long we lived lives of lies and deception.
There will also be times when we go to a meeting and decide to just listen. This can be a good practice as well. While active we often dominated conversations because we thought we had all of the answers. By keeping silent and listening we strengthen our humility. Chances are, we will also hear something which can help strengthen our sobriety.
Finally, sometimes we’ve raised our hands to share and didn’t get an opportunity to do so. Rather than having a resentment we accept that our Higher Power wanted this to be a listening meeting for us. And, there is always the meeting after the meeting where we can share.

Personal Reflection: Am I both a talker and a listener