Had a good meeting, though. There was only 5 of us, so we sat around and chatted about the 3rd Step. That was the study chapter for tonight.
After the meeting, someone I spoke with on the phone shared a really good passage with me that I would like to post from the NA book "One Day at a Time"...
Many of us attended our first meeting and, not being entirely sure that NA was for us, found much to criticize. Either we felt as though no one had suffered like we had or that we hadn't suffered enough. But as we listened we started to hear something new, a wordless language with its roots in recognition, belief, and faith: the language of empathy. Desiring to belong, we kept listening.
We find all the identification we need as we learn to understand and speak the language of empathy. To understand this special language, we listen with our hearts. The language of empathy uses few words; it feels more than it speaks. It doesn't preach or lecture - it listens. It can reach out and touch the spirit of another addict without a single spoken word.
Fluency in the language of empathy comes to us through practice. The more we use it with other addicts and our Higher Power, the more we understand this language. It keeps us coming back.
Just for today: I will listen with my heart. With each passing day, I will become more fluent in the language of empathy.
There was a time in my life where, if I was even listening at all, I was only listening with one ear. I was far too wrapped up in my own thoughts and obsessions to hear what someone was saying to me, much less empathize. It made me uncomfortable to hear about people's feelings. I'd get antsy when someone was talking for too long... unless it was about something I was interested in. Ya see? Selfishness destroys empathy. To build solid relationships, though, we must learn to listen with an empathetic ear. Not just to what is being said, but also what is not being said.
Things are starting to look pretty bleak for my relationship. I just want to grab her, and hold her, and listen to everything she has to say. It's beginning to look kinda obvious that she isn't willing to accept that I'm in recovery. Or is afraid of it for some reason. Or just has no faith in us anymore... I don't know. I do know she has every reason not to trust me. That's why I've been trying to show her through action. Anyway. That's why my heart is so heavy right now and I don't want to get into writing all about that... except maybe privately. And no comments about it for now, either, please. There is still some hope, and as long as I feel hope, I'll wait. Faithfully. I'm just gonna plow ahead and concentrate on my program for now. No force in the world will sway me from that.
And to anyone who has a loved one out there who is feeling alone... Take them, hold them, and truly feel what they have to say. It makes all the difference in the world.