I am working with a woman right now, who is about 20 years older than I am. I am writing about this with her permission. The first time I met this woman was at a meeting. She came in with the perfect colors on for her skin and hair and was so well put together and lovely. She has a big warm smile and oozes warmth, and care and confidence. I just loved her from that first moment. She is one of those people that you are immediately comfortable with.
About a year after attending our weekly meeting together, she asked me if I would be her sponsor. I was honored. We set off on our journey of working through the 12 steps together. She has shared her heart with me, so bravely, so boldly....each week she has journaled and worked through questions that we have discussed, she has faced some difficult painful memories and deep hurts that have affected her for many years...with such courage and willingness to examine them from every angle. She forges on ahead to her place of freedom.
As we walk together on this journey of the spirit, as we drink coffee and talk, and often cry....because this stuff just makes us do that, I can see the changes taking place. I watch the healing flow through her, over her, to all of those dark and hurting places....and I listen as she tells me she feels different. She is doing life differently, she feels better, lighter, free, she has options today that she didn't know were available to her before working her program. I am watching the miracle unfold.
I have been allowed to watch these beautiful transformations take place for many women through my years in Alanon. What an incredible blessing to me. To be able to walk with another, to get to witness a woman finding her freedom after many years of external and internal oppression that she felt there were no answers for. It always starts the same... Broken, in pain, hurting, feeling lost with no options, hopeless. As we begin to meet week after week and talk about what we can control, what we can't, and what to do with the issues and people that we carry in our heart that we have no power to change or heal...I watch them begin to smile more, we laugh more, there is hope in her voice. They aren't alone with their pain and fear anymore.
I recently met with a second sponsee who is also quite a bit older than myself and she is so surprised at "the miracle" that is unfolding in her life. She is doing some very hard work, looking inside at what has tripped her up for a very long time, and making different choices today. I love hearing her talk about it and watching her face as she talks about how unexpected it all is to really feel better and hopeful.
What these women give to me is invaluable. They show me that it is never too late to find a new way to do life. A new way to be whole and healthy and happy and at peace with one's self. I receive so much joy in watching their lives unfold. I get to live out the miracle of sponsorship and the 12 steps. What an honor to be allowed to accompany a sister on her journey to serenity and peace.
I too experienced my own miracle and someone, bless her heart, walked me through those early years. I can assure you that sponsoring me was not for the faint of heart either! I was given solutions to problems that I thought would plague me forever. I spent so many years being angry and hurt and afraid...but desperately doing everything I could to camouflage my character defects, to not let anyone see. I have been given the courage to live an authentic life, free from any cover-ups, from shame, from hiding....I get to stand free in all of my imperfect glory, knowing that I am a work in progress and that its ok. The icing on the cake is getting to share that with other women. Being able to say "me too" when they share their hearts with me.
It's all this beautiful circle of service...someone gently took me under their wing and shared life with me, now I do it for other women and continue to find my own healing in the process. Eventuall they too will one day offer their presence for other women and they will find even more miracles through that process. Don't ever underestimate the power of an extended hand to a hurting soul. For both parties.
Bless us all....we keep walking forward, even when it's scary and painful and uncomfortable. Eventually we discover that we have been walking out our very own personal miraculous healing. Just for today.
Much much love....
PS: "The wedding" is 12 days away. Did I mention I bought a bigger dress? LOL Little one tried cinching me up in some form of elastic that was supposed to be flattering and said, "Oh Mom, just buy the next size up! You want to be comfortable for this day!" So I did.