Michael R., Alumni
As is true with most of the quotes which open virtually all of my musings, there is an outer limit to their wisdom no matter how pithy or memorable they may sound at first. After all, if no one ever said anything during our Meetings they would come perilously close to becoming pointless gatherings that offered little or no hope or direction.
Still, there can always be some strength and meaning derived from the act of just being together even if it’s in relative silence.
I’ve found during my two periods of sobriety, collectively totaling twelve years, that there is great power to be found in both learning to speak my truth as well as in listening deeply to others as they learn to voice their own.
This summer I was at the beach with some friends in a totally different part of North Carolina where I wasn’t as familiar with the Recovery community as I am here in the mountains. One of them noticed that I wasn’t as vocal in Meetings there as I normally am at home and she asked me why that was. I answered, “we all know Michael knows how to talk; I’m currently trying to consciously concentrate on being a better and more intentional listener.” Multi-year Recovery usually seems to end up providing me with the opportunity to become a more active and grateful hearer which always feels like a more wonderful (if some what less natural!) ability than the natural instinct to merely run my mouth!
I’m grateful today that sobriety has given me the chance to practice listening as well speaking in ways that are energizing, creative and sustainable.