Last night I went to an Alanon speaker meeting and immediately following was an AA speaker meeting. I had the privilege of hearing several individual's stories of recovery. As I sat and looked around the room, I saw several elderly gentleman who have many many years of sobriety....but they still were there. Interesting old guys with Marine corp hats on and one wore big wide bright red suspenders....I am in the country, remember. lol A young kid walked in and sat down....I thought about him. He could be out doing anything, but here he was on a Saturday night, sitting in an AA meeting, working it out for one more day.
As I listened to the stories, I heard things that were so beautiful. Stories of redemption and hope. One person shared about telling her "secret." She knew she had to do it to release the power of the shame that it held over her. She chose someone and the person asked, "Would you do it that way again? Would you do that today?" Then proceeded to share her own big hairy secret that blew the other woman's right out of the water. The speaker said, "I showed myself to her, and then she gave it back to me. She showed herself to me. She didn't just leave me hanging out there by myself with my guts showing." She said, "You don't get that out there." Meaning in the world at large.
As I sat listening and seeing who was in that room, I just thought it was all so beautiful. That room was filled with 40+ faces of the grace of God. People choosing for one more day to do whatever it takes to stay sober and healthy. People who I have no doubt have been to hell and back and are humbly there. I think that is the part that touches me the most....the humility in those stories. People who have messed up, who have hurt others, who didn't do it all right and eventually found themselves broken. They have been given life back and their gratitude is deep and they are aware of their limitations and they are HONEST. There are no illusions of having it all together. I just love it. There is something there that touches me so deep inside. I don't even know what to call it....but its something valuable.