Opportunity To Do Some Service Work
My name is Ricka Messerve, I am the Women’s Segue Supervisor. I have been sober for over six years and a loyal employee for BRC for nearly five years.
I was recently given an opportunity to do some service work within my own family. At the request of my elderly Mother she asked if I could come to her house and assist her after she had knee replacement surgery. Naturally I accepted the challenge. This also has an added blessing… You see, when I was active in my addiction I gave birth to a son that my Mother adopted eight years ago. Did I mention that he is a special needs child? Okay, now the picture is coming clear. This all this sounds like a wonderful experience, which it was, it all comes with many challenges which leads me further into my experience.
I began texting my sponsor well into my trip going on and on about “stuff”. Things like melt downs of an eight year old autistic child which an entire blog could be written, difficulties of caring for an elderly Mother who was limited in her abilities to do the most natural things and the character defects of others that were bringing mine out front and center. Agenda driven as I can be sometimes and with my show not coming off well, I was open and ready for the truth to be revealed to me by my sponsor.
She sends me the simplest of texts that reads “spiritual sandpaper”, and I felt once again like I’d been slapped with the truth. I couldn’t get the words out of my mind. Although I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that her message was resonating with me, I couldn’t put the pieces together…
So I began to research this concept and found that “spiritual sandpaper” is a term used by many old-timers in the twelve step fellowship that refers to people in life that rub us the wrong way or grate on our nerves. So the question is posed-Why does wood need sanding? It is the process which removes bumpy, discolored, rough and splintery areas by slowly and repeatedly wearing them down so in turn the wood can be fresh in color, smooth and free of splinters.
Now I get it!! So how can I learn to practice the spiritual principles of patience, love and tolerance if I am not confronted with people that try my patience (family or not)? How can I learn how to love others if I am blocking myself from loving unconditionally? How can I learn to tolerate other people if I am not faced with intolerable persons or situations? How can I continue to grow spiritually if I do not acknowledge my own faults so they can be sanded? How else will I continue to experience spiritual growth? After all isn’t that what most all of us are trying to do.
Now that I am feeling well sanded with the bumps and tarnishes of my character feeling shiny and new, I will wait patiently for the next opportunity for Spiritual Sanding to arise. I do not doubt for a second that it won’t be long. Until then…