I am appreciating the online class I am taking and am using what I learn to nurture a fledgling face-to-face group in my hometown.
My online class is about using the steps to tune into and to heal my emotions, not to get rid of any negative characteristics, but to embrace and transform them.
In this online class, one thing we did differently was to make Step Five accessible in our group sharing. We learned to share our positive characteristics first, thereby using them to help heal the dysfunctional parts. My teacher shared that when it comes to doing step five it is actually more helpful to share what is working in our lives first, thereby uplifting the group. (of course we did step four already and honestly identified the places where we need improvement).
I loved that my teacher used different language -- instead of admitting the exact nature of our wrongs, admitting the exact nature of our WOUNDS. I find that is truer for me, too~
I also sighed a sigh of relief when she, as a person long in recovery, said, that the defects of character is old language. How odd, she volunteered that she (like me) calls them character defenses. The whole point of the program is to update the defenses so that we allow ourselves to grow and change and be creative.
She also helped me see my basic problem in trying to find a sponsor, from my place of being a long-timer in program. She explained her observations from having been in and having led 12 step groups, that as we grow in program, we need more partners. The sponsor relationship, which can often have heavy handed coaching in it, no longer works.
I am really appreciating that I chose to take this course with Suzanne Noel, in time to be of help to me as a co-founder of our local f-t-f group.