Monday, March 15, 2010

what a concept

Every where I go, I bring all of me along. Every part I like, every part that I'm struggling to love. The good bits, the "what I deem" bad bits. And every where that I go, I meet people, people with their own good bits and "what I deem" bad bits. And if I'm starting to feel uncomfortable with the drama of the moment, I start reeling all my bits in, pulling them in tight to me, pulling them into my cave, to a place of "leave me alone" and closing the door behind me. I don't want to be judged, thank you, but I'm sure busy judging another, all the while telling my self that I'm not. After all, safety is important.

So then, whilst attending an inventory, someone brought up Concept 5 (as if I ever knew what a concept was?) It reads:

Concept 5: Throughout our structure, a traditional “Right of Appeal” ought to prevail, so that minority opinion will be heard and personal grievances receive careful consideration.

So if I understand this correctly, after a motion has been voted on, sometimes those who end up on the losing side of the vote are given an opportunity to speak again on the motion, and there have been times when people have changed their vote and in the ensuing re-vote, the motion goes the other way.

Then, at the district inventory, it was shown from the literature (Illustrated 12 Concepts) that:

This "Right to Appeal" recognizes that minorities frequently can be right; that even when they are in error they still perform a most valuable service when they compel a thorough-going debate on important issues. The well-heard minority, therefor, is our chief protection against an uninformed, misinformed, hasty or angry majority.

As the discussion continued, a little light came on in my head. When I shut down, retreat to my cave, I am doing a disservice. My fearfulness prevents my voice from being heard. My opinions, right or wrong, should be expressed, regardless of what others might think. My words, are just that, my words, words that reflect my opinion. My opinion is no less important than any other. My opinion has value. If things are not going my way, I have a choice, to withdraw or to face the music and share what's kicking around my head. In some ways, I don't have a right to speak, I have an obligation to speak. What a concept.

Today's a special day, since it was four years today that I entered a treatment centre. The day that I call my sobriety birthday. I am grateful for the gift of sobriety, for the gift of spiritual and mental growth that the 12 steps provide a path for. I am grateful for the wisdom of the rooms, for the wisdom I come across when I read your blogs. Shared experience and hope keeps me coming back. I am grateful for the changes in my family, for the melding, the compassion and the care that our family has for each other. I am grateful that I am not broken but on a journey called life. I am grateful that the darkness of depression that accompanied the past two years of my sobriety is starting to life.

I am grateful to be present.

Photo Credit: Will Humes


Anonymous said...

I am grateful to have crossed paths with you. Congratulations on four years. God's grace is awesome!

Syd said...

Awesome post. I have not studied the concepts but this has opened my eyes about the role that they play, like the traditions, in relating to others. In Al-Anon, we state that each person has a right to an opinion and to be heard. I may not agree with the opinion but defend the right to have one.

Annette said...

LOVE your gratitude list. Lots of good stuff there. Glad to see you back.

Susan Deborah said...

Lovely post.

The six words "I am grateful to be present" sums it all up.

Thanks dear distinct.

Joy and peace,

Lou said...

Love that next to last paragraph. It says a lot about what is possible if we live consciously.

Eli said...

Wow do I know what you're talking about here. I've become very familiar with the idea that I actually have an obligation to share my ideas at my job. I have come to see very clearly that my tendency towards peace-at-all-costs is bad all around. My opinion doesn't end up being represented, which is bad for the health of the church as a whole, and I end up being resentful, which is bad for my serenity.

Congrats on your four years. I also struggle with depression, even in sobriety, and I'm continuing to work on that front.

Anonymous said...

Stopping by to say hello and hope all is well. Miss your posts, friend!

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

hello there :) hope alls well as havent heard from you for a while..

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

Nice to hear from you :) I emailed you an answer to your comment as my reply was too long to put in the comments :)

Sending you good wishes in the meantime :) and hope to hear you posting again soon :)