A couple of years ago
A couple of years ago I was approached about joining a Steel on Steel group, and exchanging Evening Reviews with two women in my recovery group. I knew these women casually, and liked them, but we weren’t super close. I was a tad hesitant; however, something in me felt drawn to them and intuitively I trusted them immediately so I agreed. My oh my, would that decision have impact on my life!
And, so we began. We would meet every other Sunday night at a local church and go through the process of self-examination through others-examination. We took turns answering a series of questions about our lives and recoveries, and then the other members challenged our perceptions with the soul stirring propositions of … is it possible? And … would you consider?
Meeting after meeting, and night after night, we began to grow closer. We gave one another spiritual consent and became rigorously honest. Tears were shed, laughter rang out, feelings were felt and hugs were exchanged. I can honestly say I have never known women and relationships quite like these. Even though we didn’t talk day in and day out, and rarely saw each other socially , when the pen and paper came out to review our day, we bared our souls. And when the door closed and Steel on Steel began, we cut right to the heart of the matter. Our recoveries began to grow, and I can honestly say that mine was transformed. In short, it was magic.
And then one day something subtly began to shift. One of the members began to pull away ever so slightly. The nightly texts were sporadic, and the Steel on Steels were rescheduled. Something was changing but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Perhaps I didn’t want to know. And then came the news- she was moving away. She was moving because of her husband’s job.
I felt sad. I felt afraid. I felt somehow oddly betrayed. The self-centeredness rose up within me and I was angry! Somehow it seemed like all this was happening “at me”… such is the nature of us spiritual beings struggling with our human experience. Ugh!
Finally, we decided to meet and discuss our options. Do we disband or do we modify our format and continue? Do we walk through the fear and change or do we – as one of the ladies put it- make a conscience decision not to trust each other? Wow. That’s a zinger.
Alcoholism – cunning, baffling and powerful. Alcoholism wants me isolated and offended. It wants me full of distrust and disdain. It wants me disconnected from God and my fellows. It turns a blessing into a burden.
The aching simplicity of this situation became clear- we are in relationship with one another. We love and trust one another. Relationships evolve and change. Spiritual principles do not. So we did what we were taught as children- we told the truth, we brushed off our proverbial skinned knees, we said our apologies and we ran back onto the (spiritual) playground, hand in hand, to face another adventure.
I love these women. And I love the fact that when my mind begins to wander and conjur up conspiracies, I have a spiritual program of action to bring me back to center. These days it includes (and will continue to include for hopefully a long, long time) these two beautiful, inspiring spiritual warriors who I am blessed to call friends.
Life really is kindergarten every day.