Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"How would I know"

     When I hear someone say; "..I don't think they are ready for this yet?".  They being a "sponsee" and "this" being a particular part of step work, I often wonder how would they know what is going on in another Mind???

     I have found that just for me; "... I needed to quit playing God..." oh that line has already been immortalized in the Big Book page 62.  As a sponsor or any type of mentor in life, I need to very aware that all persons do not show their life on "their sleeve".  The old adage; "Don't judge a book by its cover" seems to apply here.  Do I think I can divine or glean some sort of inner knowledge that "he or she" is or is not "ready"?  I usually can't keep track of what I am thinking much less what another is thinking.

     It seems that by listening intently more than talking with new people sponsee or not, allows me to share with them on an emotional level.  If I need to do all the talking, if I need to be the one in charge, if I have to be in control, well I am in trouble and they need to find another mentor.

     Dr. Martin Luther King used the words; " at last, free at last, thank God I am free at last.".  If we try to have power or control over others, when will they ever get to utter those words?  And, more importantly when will I get to voice those words just for me?  There have been times in the past recovery years that I in fact would try to, "in the name of recovery and love",  make sure all others around me did things "my way".

     It seems that wherever I am actually trying to be in control of others I never seem to know or admit it. This illness which is characterized as; "...cunning, baffling, and powerful..." is truly at work when this happens to me.  Usually when I start to talk to or report to MY mentor (sponsor), yes at nearly 40 years in this fellowship I still have and still use an active sponsor, does it become noted that I am once again suffering with my illness.....not drinking, but my illness, that underlying insanity of life which is unchecked by the practice of the spiritual principles of the 12 Steps.

     So it now comes down to, am I responsible or even supposed to be concerned with others that indicate "they do not think so-n-so is ready?".  I know now that I am responsible for me and how I treat others.  Of course I am also responsible to sharing with others if and only if they reach out.  That reaching can take many forms.  If I am diligent and successful in my prayer life through Step 11 I will know when and if to share my experience, strength and hope with others  Otherwise, just be me and be mindful of what I am doing in life and "...let Him demonstrate through me that which He is capable of..." (BB. page 68).

Love and Light


  1. Great, thought-provoking post. Where then, in your opinion Richard, does an intervention come in? How does that play into this concept of "sharing with others if and only if they reach out?"

    1. Michelle,

      What a great question. At times I think we of 12 Step programs get a little tunnel vision and forget there are other situations in life to deal other than ourselves.

      My article was directed towards those voluntary relationships where there is a "mentor" and "mentee?" by agreement. Sponsor or Sponsee is a good title or Upper Classmen and Lower Classmen. The relationship exists to nurture in some way one of the two persons. Again, this is usually by agreement and some form of rules are engaged in the relationship.

      Now. Your question and I say it is a great one for I have been involved in a few "interventions" such as with one of my children that is afflicted with the addiction of substance abuse.

      It appears to me that what I may be trying to share is that in the case of a person who is on the way to hurting themselves in some form or another, certainly someone if not the courts can do and should maybe do an intervention. At that point someone such as I could be part of the intervention as an advisor or sharing faculty. Someone to help guide the intervention maybe, but not cause it for there was no recognized relationship established.

      In my 12 Step program we deal mostly with recognized relationships, at times the courts may order some form of "working together" but that is rare and almost ways involved continued monitoring by the court. Not a relationship of agreement at all. Even as a sponsor in this program, an intervention by me is rare. That usually happens by a family, friend or court and I am but a minor part of that. More again as an advisor.

      I hope that helps. I really appreciate your thoughts. The closed loop thinking of mine can sometimes can be a pain in the neck.

      Ciao for now.

      Love and Light
      richard aka ezduzit777 on twitter