Sometimes you the reader may tire of this process, or even think that what I am saying reveals something "negative" about my program. Feel free to tell me.
But first, I want to challenge you to pause and look at yourself in the mirror when you feel like pointing out my "program" flaws. I also want you to remember we are all works in progress.
Kindness and compassion are helpful.
I left off in my last post, looking gently at what happens inside of me when I discover myself holding too tightly to my belief in Step One.
Remember, the operative Step One that I am apply in my program work, is the statement, "I am powerless over my emotions (emotional responses to people, places or things)." The other part of this sentence as those of you in Sister program know, is that as a result of my lack of awareness, "my life became unmanageable." The harder I tried to fix my emotions, the more tangled up my life became.
Once I have admitted Step One, can I remain comfortable sharing my understanding, when someone chooses to challenge my admission on a loud note of disagreement? How do I respond? Do I have anger? What is the anger really? Defensiveness. Fear of losing my religion. Sadness at not being able to share the journey with someone I could learn from. Fear that they may not find what they need. The little girl inside me sometimes feels motivated to "just try harder" to explain using the "I" voice.
Because we are learning together, there is nothing to judge. Our beliefs need not clash, even if you are questioning the most powerful understanding in our program. The concept of being powerless.
I like to study from time to time, how those of great learning in each tradition in the world religions try to challenge this human tendency to "attach" to the right-ness of their respective faiths. Buddhism has a saying for how to do it: "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill the Buddha." Surprisingly this is not as violent as it sounds.
To kill the Buddha is to make friends with whatever is considered especially correct or particularly wrong or different. Buddhist experience is that when something truly seems bad, it will let go of itself if you get to know it completely. This is different from condoning or tolerating. This is being curious, but with good, open-hearted boundaries.