Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.
I have an amazing Sponsor. When I converse with her, I never feel judged, I feel safe, and I feel heard. But, most importantly, I never feel that she gives me advice or tells me what to do. She does, however, share her experience, strength, and hope from her application of the program and the 12 Steps to her life. This is extremely important to me because it gives me the space to choose for myself whether or not to walk through the door that she has opened.
Having the space to walk through the door or to not walk through that door and not judged by my Sponsor has been one of the greatest gifts of the program because it helped me understand the word “choice.” I could choose to do something for myself regardless of what others had done, and still be respected and valued. Simple, though it is, this is not something I ever realized before. In the past, I would make my choices based on what I thought others wanted me to do or what would make others happy, and then feel like a victim. But realizing this choice was the first time I felt I could safely participate in my own life.
This awareness first occurred in my relationship with my Sponsor. Then this relationship with my Sponsor became the foundation upon which I started to (and continue to try to) base other relationships. I wanted this freedom, this choice. I wanted this, because it is through the choices that I make that I feel that I can exist and take part in my life. And I am so grateful to my Sponsor and the program for showing me this door.
A meditation for July 6, 2013.
Respect – Aretha Franklin