After careful reflection it's became clear that I struggle when new boundaries are put into place. Especially now that I have found that my daily walk used a path that now "cuts across" the boundary set in my online fellowship. For me, no more quotes from other wisdom traditions, no matter how much it supports program principles, is a bit like having People's Park turned into a parking lot.
It has been over a year since I began to weave other wisdom traditions into my program life. I have enjoyed the sense of "fitting myself to what is"... that I've gotten from using Alanon's daily reader and its daily quote in my blog practice. And I have attempted to share that comfort with folks in my usual fellowship haunts.
Sometimes what I learn in Alanon spontaneously inserts itself in face-fo-face time, hand in glove with meeting practices. It is in writing that this new form of devotion has become like breathing to me. It has helped me create my own safety in an online forum, stressing principles above my own individual experience. I have enjoyed and even gotten attached to the sense of sublimation.
Striking a balance between the personal and the universal words has also helped me to negotiate my last relapse with understanding and to show up for my family this spring as they faced the loss of my uncle. As I look ahead, I was looking forward to working others perspectives into my shares, preparing psychologically for an upcoming move... I wanted to share the credit for my work and not "pretend" the source of the inspiration and words was entirely my own.
In the context of program traditions and concepts, I am told that strictly speaking this is not permissible.
It is not always possible to be loving in setting boundaries. But to be honest, the one I am referring to has been done with love. Still, to accept the boundary, has not felt quite correct... inside me.
In meditation yesterday evening, I was restless for a long time. Disappointed with myself for a sense of .... failure? Like it or not, I sensed it was time to let myself to feel, not think, and go into my heart. Up came that old old pain of being told that I was inappropriate. Acting inappropriately. Speaking up too much. As a child that came with the necessity to do penance, feel shame. In public I have had that feeling too, of wagons circled round, with me on the outside. All these are "just" feelings attached to memories of course. Mediation helped me face them and now I am making them visible in order to do the share that will help me heal.
Feelings have something to tell me. I respect them, though I respect spiritual words more. I love that one of our members continues to share that their meditation is for their developing (self?) compassion. For me "self-compassion" is partly about being willing to look deeper inside .... and also willingness to sit with my emotions and not let myself judge them. Was it compassion that had me crying, quietly, through the first part of my meditation time today? As I am new to crying about the issue at hand, I hesitate to call it a pity party. I know I felt very confused. Snotty nosed, dripping, with no Kleenex handy. And then peaceful. And then confused again. Even pouting. And then, finally, peaceful.
In the peaceful places, I realize that I'm needing to honor a truth I don't yet understand. Sometimes there is anger in it. I've learned that all the emotions have their reason. Anger sometimes is the exact emotion that moves each of us towards necessary change. Or towards speaking up, knowing that one speaks for the Truffula trees or for a truth that needs speaking. Sometimes the biggest leaps of faith are over the things that others may find tiny, not worth ... a breath.
It may be that I face a paradox. It comes to me that I need Let go of BOTH my people-pleasing AND and my tendencies towards righteous anger.... in order to hear myself better. As well as to have impact on my electronic home group. Perhaps I need to let someone speak up, someday, out of a new place of understanding, so that the trustees (and they too may need to be different) can hear what I have been trying to say all along. Reminds me of a favorite quote from grad school days, "You can accomplish anything, if you don't care who takes the credit."
When I follow my anger without attachment, there comes all of this knowing. A knowing that it is necessary for me to take a stand, within myself. I am grateful for that realization.
Admitting I am powerless over my planning... letting go of anger that fuels my need to persist, letting someone take credit for creating change, not me... are possibilities in the field where my Higher Power awaits me.