Posts tagged Addicitions

Honoring Sponsoring

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Sponsorship is a mutual and reciprocal activity.  In other words both the sponsor and the sponsee are responsible to and for the relationsip that develops.  They are responsible to create a relationship for respect and dignity to be active and present.  There is language that I hear in the recovery community that feels unhelpful in the creation and maintenance of respect and dignity.

What I’ve heard are sponsees referred to as pidgeons, sponsees mentioning hiring and firing sponsors, and a few other phrases that just don’t seem to honor the sponsor/sponsee relationship.  They do seem to feed ego needs however, which I’ve learned can be dangerous for all of us.  It’s a great honor to be asked to sponsor someone.  It is also a great honor to be sponsored by someone.  In both cases, we are graced by God through the sharing that occurs in the relationship.  We both learn, we both grow, we both have more experience, strength and hope to share with others because of our relationship.  The icing on the cake is the friendship that often develops.

So, I honor the gift of sponsorship and sponseeship with my language as well as my behavior.  I acknowledge my sponsor and my sponsee for the gifts I receive from our relationship in the form of helpful insights, and their trust in me to share such confidential things about themselves.  They are referred to as my sponsor and my sponsees.  That is what they are – and it seems disrespectful to call anyone a pidgeon.  Also, when it’s appropriate to move on from the sponsorship relationship we don’t fire anyone.  We aren’t their boss.  Instead, as a sponsor we let sponsees know that it has been an honor to walk through the process of the 12 Steps and share the recovery journey with them.  We let them know that is seems to make sense for them to find someone new whom they can hear. We let them know they can call us in the future and we will keep them in our prayers.  As a sponsee, when it’s time to find a new sponsor, we acknowledge and thank our sponsor for being there for us and sharing their experience, strength and hope with us.  We express our gratitude for their time and effort and generousity.  These are the ways we honor our sponsors and sponsees.  These are the ways that we demonstrate respect and dignity with people.

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 Affirmation for the Day – ” I am learning how to be.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

Course In Miracles Lesson – This day I choose to spend in perfect peace.

Practice – And so, our Father, would we cone to You in Your appointed way.  We have no goal except to hear Your Voice and find the way Your sacred Word has pointed out to us.

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Sponsorship Sense

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The other day, one of my newcomer sponsees told me again how I “should” be sponsoring her.  I’ve noticed she seems to like to run the show – control.  Although she came to me looking for my experience, strength and hope, she’s been unwilling to use the suggestions offered by me and the sharing of my experiences to make different choices.  There was a time this might have caused me angst, but I’ve learned to recognize this as resistance.  My recognition of resistance is improving.  In those few who keep going to bars when they’re working on sobriety, or those who’re hoping to have healthier relationships but keep repeating the same unhelpful, toxic and unsuccessful behaviors I see the red flags of resistance, unwillingness and self will run riot.

After talking to my own sponsor about it, I made the decision not to continue with this sponsee in a sponsorship capacity.  My sponsor shared with me that it sounds like this sponsee can’t hear me.  I like the way she put it.  No one is wrong here.  I don’t have to take it personally, nor does she.  She just can’t hear what I share with her, and it makes sense for her to find someone else whom she can hear.  It doesn’t make sense for me, or for her, to spend the time and energy required with someone who wants me to tell her what she wants to hear.  That would be dishonest, and this is a program of rigorous honesty.  While it can be uncomfortable to be honest, it’s the only way that I can sponsor.  I’m the second sponsor to make this decision with her in the past 4 months.  Perhaps she isn’t ready to do the 12 Step process.  Willingness is required.  She keeps doing what hasn’t worked for her all these years.  An example of insanity – continuing to do the same thing expecting different results.  My sense, from what she shared with me, is that she wants sponsorship to be like therapy.  It isn’t.  Therapists do therapy. 

Sponsors walk people who are willing through the 12 Steps.  They share their experience, strength and hope with sponsees and pass on the generous sharing of the people who came before them.  When I think of all the women and men in 12 Step programs who’ve shared their wisdom with me so that I can learn from their mistakes, and their successes, I’m overwhelmed.  They nurtured me as I started the journey of blossoming back into who God made me to be.  If it weren’t for them, my life would be very different.  So I am grateful for their sharing, and grateful to be able to pass it on to those who are ready and willing to listen, and use the information to have their own experience of the miracles and promises of these programs.

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Affirmation for the Day – ” I am willing to change.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

Course In Miracles Lesson –  Your peace is with me Father, I am safe.

Practice – Your Peace surrounds me, Father.  Where I go, Your peace goes there with me.  It sheds its light on everyone I meet.  I bring it to the desolate and lonely and afraid.  I give Your peace to those who suffer pain or grieve for loss or think they are bereft of hope and happiness.  Send them to me, my Father.  Let me bring Your peace with me.  For I would save Your Son as is Your Will that I may come to recognize my Self.

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Decisions, Decisions

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We can be debilitated in our emotional maturity when we arrive in any of the 12 Step programs.  When it comes to decisions, we may deliberate for days or weeks on items that would take the average person minutes to hours to decide.

Some of us are soooooo serious when we come to our first meetings.  We over analyze and over think things to smithereens, worrying about whether we will be making a big mistake that will be life altering.  In reality, these may actually be rather insignificant decisions that could easily be pre-empted later if necessary.  In other cases, we are great procrastinators.  We put off what would take minutes to do or decide, until the last possible moment, often injuring others and ourselves with the stress caused by the delays and the resulting difficulties caused by waiting too long and perhaps missing the boat all together.  Once, I actually heard someone quite proudly announce that they were the greatest procrastinator in the world.  Not a title I wish to hold – been there, done that.

When it comes to decisions, it’s been important for me to learn to ask for help when making them.  My sponsor, and others in the program always answered my requests for perspective when it came to making decisions early in the program.  They taught me the critical thinking skills that most adults have already developed – I had not.  It took some practice, and little by little I became more adept at examining the important aspects of situations and making appropriate and timely decisions.  They also taught me to breathe through it.  Honestly, my stress levels would get so high it impeded my breathing.  Fortunately, my sponsor noticed this and reminded me to breathe.  It’s imperative for decison making and the thinking process to have enough oxygen in the brain – they’ve learned on Mt. Everest it can mean life and death.  While not so life threatening for the rest of us, it does make a difference, so breathe.  As I’ve learned to lighten up and not take everything so seriously it’s easier to make decsions.  I can always change my mind if I’ve made a mistake.  Many mistakes can be corrected.  With new situations I can still get stuck, so I ask for help and get through it.  Regarding the procrastination, baby steps led me to stop waiting until the last minute on decisions and actions that were requiring timely attention.  As my self esteem has improved, I’ve felt more deserving of treating myself and others respectfully and attending to things in a timely fashion.  It’s kind of a game for me sometimes in that it’s fun to see how much in advance of a deadline I can complete an item.  No more setting myself up for failure, as in the past.  That was then, this is now.  I can take good care of myself and set myself up for success in all areas of my life with a little common sense and willingness to take action.  Completing projects ahead of schedule gives me a healthy self esteem, and makes my life easier.  It gives me things to celebrate, and it marks my continued progress on the path of sanity and serenity.  It feels good.  And, it allows my Higher Power to use me to be of greater service with others.

If you find this helpful, pass it on to others.  For daily updates, press the orange RSS feed to the right for directions.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am making good decisons easily.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

Course In Miracles Lesson –  Now will I see and find the peace of God.

Practice – Father, I seek the peace You gave as mine in my creation.  What was given then must be here now, for my creation was apart from time and still remains beyond all change.  The peace in which Your Children were born into Your Mind is shining there unchanged.  I am as You created me.  I need but call on You to find the peace You gave.  It is Your Will that gave it to Your Children.

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