Many of us come to 12 Step programs talking, a lot. We have opinions and judgements about nearly everyone and everything. Others of us may not have a single original idea to talk about, but we can tell you what other people think because we’re too preoccupied with everyone else to have any idea what we think about anything – it ‘s safer that way. But the point of this is that we talk and talk, and listen very little.
Attending 12 Step meetings teaches us how to start listening. Once we stop thinking about what we’re going to say while others are sharing, and get into the present moment, we start actually noticing what they are saying. We slowly move out of ourselves enough to start gleaning the wisdom that sometimes, unknowlingly, comes from the mouths of our fellows. It seems to me that our Higher Power speaks through the voices of those who attend meetings, whether they realize it or not. When we all stay in the moment of the meeting, listening to others, we hear wisdom and learn life skills that will serve us well. It is a process, not an event, so we need to keep coming back.
As a rookey sales rep I talked too much, until I learned to listen to my potential clients. When I stopped talking, they told me what they needed, and then I actually had the opportunity to know how to help them. If I could give them what they needed, then they would buy. I learned how to ask good questions, close my mouth, open my ears and my mind – and patiently, respectfully, listen. It’s works the same way in the rest of my life. These are good skills to have if we want to live life on life’s terms. When we carefully listen to others, and seek to understand, we are all served. We gain in understanding, and others feel respected and attended to as fellow human beings. It is a helpful skill to practice in meetings, in our personal relationships and with people we meet each day. It works.
Affirmation for the Day – ” I am listening well when others speak. ”
Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.
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