Saturday, December 16, 2006

How full is your basket?

I went to the women's meeting this morning and although there were only four of us there, I heard something that really struck home with me. One member talked about dealing with the pain in her early recovery of a mother who was never emotionally available to her. She received some wonderful advice from another recovering woman when she shared with her how her mother had never been there for her.

The woman she was talking to about her parent's lack of emotional availability said, "Dear, if someone is holding a basket of apples and you want a pear, they can't offer you a pear, they can only offer you an apple. God gives us what we need; it just may not come from people that we want or demand it should come from. If you keep your focus on having pears magically appear from your mom's basket of apples, you will miss the other women who come into your life bearing pears because your "vision" will focused on your mom. You won't be looking around for the multitude of places one can find pears."

A person cannot give you something they don't have. If we keep hanging around saying "I wish he would stop belittling me" or "I wish my brother would stop drinking and be a brother," then we haven't achieved acceptance and we will continue to stay frustrated. Acceptance is giving up the struggle.

Acceptance is often a long process. My experience has been that gaining acceptance in any difficult situation takes time and repeated acts of "turning it over." I didn't suddenly wake up one morning and say, "Gee, I've accepted that my mother wasn't as loving as I needed as a child," or "I've accepted that my career has changed dramatically" or any of the myriad core emotional events that have taken place in my life. Instead, I struggled with each situation, allowed myself to feel the feelings surrounding those events, the anger, the grief, the sorrow, until I gained acceptance. I felt the feelings until they changed; I didn't deny them or repress them. One of the best gifts of the rooms, in my opinion, is that people in the program surround us with quiet acceptance and tolerance as we struggle through these stages toward acceptance.

Because of my years in the Program, today I have been given a basket full of a variety of fruits: love, compassion, humor, tolerance, empathy and a sense of justice. Now, I have many of these fruits to offer others.

What fruits has this Program given you?


ScOuT said...

I thank G-d for the gift of you.

Meg Moran said...

I can just picture this peaceful woman giving that wonderful bit of wisdom .....omg I love the women of this program. So many of them have "filled in the blanks" for me and continue to do so.

I think the word verification below is rbfmjjyoulhtyi so I better get started...later gf

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

cool. i love the pear thing! thanks for sharing that!