August 31, 2011

Is There Power in Rejecting Powerlessness?

I am a member of a face-to-face group in Emotions Anonymous.  When it comes to Step One... admitted we were powerless over our emotions...many people have problems swallowing the whole banana. 

I suspect the most growth occurs for newbies if they find their own way to use the steps. That's why I embrace the person who challenges our material and is honest about where they disagree with it. As long as their questions come out of a genuine desire to use the program to help them.

I've often told newcomers that Step one can be done easily, the first time one comes to a meeting. To come in that door the first time is "admission" enough.

But what of the person who finds the idea of powerlessness to be a hairball and can't swallow it? Is it possible for them to "decline" powerlessness and go on to Step Two?  

I ask, because our newest member continues to object to the powerlessness statement.   It is fine, when a person shares once or twice that one cannot use the term powerlessness.  We get it. Each of us in our meeting has worked with this concept until it made sense for each of us. It can take time and humility. 

This person is more stubborn than most, and has compelling "arguments" to support their point of view.   We've all shared our considered and various ways of understanding Step One.  They "keep coming back" to voice their objections and make them the topic of the meeting. 

While none of us is there to argue our point of view in a meeting, I found myself in rebuttal mode for most of the last meeting, and that has me concerned. Continuing on this vein in our group meeting could easily co-opt our focus. And have us "in our heads" and not in the heart part of our recovery. 

I care and want this person to find their way to engage with the Power that our program DOES have. That power exists, not only in the steps, but in the use of our many tools (esp, if the steps don't work so well for them).  

When it comes to Step One... admitted we were powerless over our emotions... it's fine with me if a person NEVER says, "I am powerless over my emotions." They have many other choices in what to  say in introducing themselves before each share.  Like,  "I have a choice."  Or, "I chose to believe this program will help me to use my power wisely.."  "Or, while I have not made peace with Step One, I am working on developing  a relationship with a HP ..."

I am exploring how to set a boundary with this person in meeting, without being rigid or impatient. I am searching for the words to say that will allow balanced self-expression, but not have any one person's need (including my own)  to object to WORDING dominate our group sharing.. 

As ever, I am open to your input. 

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I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~