January 14, 2013
I Don't Want to Argue about Powerlessness
Someone will (hopefully) want to express a contrasting viewpoint to my share, even though I am attempting in my way to be neutral and complete.
I try always to listen to (and learn from) everyone who shares, even if they are determined to escape our meetings or forums. I do so want an open Socratic dialogue!
Realistically, even aside from the fact that I am powerless over my emotional reactions (until I am aware of my thoughts), it is best I put the emphasis on listening. I have seen how argument and discouragement naturally arises when a vocal person stands hard to their belief that Step One is not true for them. So far my lesson has been that it is too easy to end up "countering" their belief, which becomes an argument. That is not helpful to the person, nor to the group. More minds and hearts can become closed, if argument ensues.
Yet I have to admit is hard for me to simply witness a person insisting that Step One is simply not true. It hurts for me to see that anything else this program might have to offer is largely closed to them.
That is when I am really grateful for the wise guidance Helpful concept #4 that says, "We do not judge; we do not criticize; we do not argue. We do not give advice regarding personal or family affairs."
I don't think this Concept is meant to quell creativity or discourse, but it is meant to give Groups unity. And also to be sure we are doing a good job of "killing the Buddha." That means, to be willing to let go at any time when I find myself attached to one right way.
What we are asking of ourselves as true warriors of faith (and as we heal within the framework of EA), is to look at our beliefs continually, to see where they hold us back spiritually. We look our shibboleths (where "the means becomes the end, and the letter of the law takes precedence over the spirit.") right in the face, and step beyond them; this is what takes heart and kindnesss and complete knowledge of our experience, ever refraining from judgment.
That is why I value Helpful Concept #4, where once I used to cringe whenever we read it at a meeting. Of course, if I had my druthers I would edit those words to make them a positive series of statements.
For a more accessible introduction to Emotions Anonymous's guidelines, there is always Form Two, Simply EA, the new meeting guidelines which have reworded all the Concepts (as well as the Steps, Traditions and Just for Todays).