October 1, 2013

Can We Refrain Bearing False Witness?

The Today reading in Emotions Anonymous for October 1st had a mixed message. 

But one selection resonated with a friend and I:    "Help me to accept my feelings without judging them or myself."  My friend's shared "I have asked God to help me not to have judgement of others. Yet, I judge myself." Yes, I do that too. If I understand her correctly, she calls judgments "bearing false witness."

I am grateful for her sharing a deep lesson with me, after hearing my struggle with my recovery group online. She told me I might want to use this test as an opportunity to remember not to "bear false witness against myself."

I have such a strange temptation, to go belly up when someone else has beaten me in "bearing false witness" and is telling mistruths about me and my intentions.  Lately I have gotten a sort of sunburn  through my need to prove I am a good person. I am wondering if that soreness is another way of experiencing  "bearing false witness?" 

Last week, I found the only way forward was to realize that what was going on with the person bearing false witness against me, was to stop cooperating. 

I realized today, that by getting so upset by what someone said about me on my once-favorite list serve... and obsessing over their lack of truth, and wanting to "correct" others perceptions, I was choosing to  "bear false witness against myself."  I had to HALT, and stop messing with the tar this person had left behind.  The tar is not who I am! God knows my soul is pure and I did my best.

I can begin the walk back to sanity when I  turn my thoughts to gratitude:  for the friends that asked me for my truth, checked their assumptions, heard my tears. 

I wish the issues this person, K, brought up before she gave up on this list serv and left,  could have been addressed openly and fairly, even behind the scenes.  

I am sad to say that after all these years, all this place  has taught me is that we have only a few public choices, because this list serve does not facilitate a group conscience, even as it fosters private relationships and open sharing.  Because the moderators are trusted servants who do govern.... and don't trust the group to reason things out, when someone is judged or hurt there are few public examples of how to make amends.  Or how to accept them.   

In a program of emotional recovery, to take whatever is dished out with a stiff upper lip seems ill-advised.  So does sweeping an unresolved issue under the carpet. Both extremes do injustice to truth, in my humble opinion.  

I am not alone in seeing this list serve as an environment that enables "false witness" to fester.  I am sore and need to lance these boils, and let God heal what words cannot. 

Oddly enough, the person that bore false witness against me, would likely agree 100 percent with what I have just said.    And I still have faith that when she one day finds herself in my shoes, as I have hers, that she will see my respect for her has always been there.  A  shadow just got in the way. 

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