ACCEPTANCE MONTH: DAY 19: “Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen
We are offered hospitality by those in our first meeting. I remember how welcoming and loving the energy felt. No one I know in the meetings or anywhere I have gone in service and this recovery life has ever seen me drink of use. Interesting, that they don’t know for sure that I am an alcoholic and addict. It has always surprised me that they let me decide this for myself.
And THEN, they allow me to do what I deem appropriate in recovery. Now, I will always recognize that I am the most driven person I have ever met to dive into healing, dive down deeply. That is why I am always at work in this thing. In the years I have been here, I have never NOT been working on a step or a workbook or some form of recovery work. Always. I know there is no such place as sitting still. I got that in year 8 or 9, when I read that book and it said something about a “Progressive Illness” and it shocked me to my core.
Why? Because I understood that it is like aging, going on every moment of every day. Therefore, yesterdays’ work will not be enough for today, I got sicker while I was sleeping. I have since seen this, because no matter how spiritually fit I feel when I go to bed at night, it seems that those Screaming Purple Monkeys have been waiting at the foot of my bed to attack me as soon as my eyes are open! Geez! Give a girl a break!
So, I maintain what I have obtained, and to be sure it is going to continue working, I step into another level of healing every day. I read, I write, I do this spiritual study and opening, I meditate, and I work with others; every day, even holidays. I don’t EVER want to get into any kind of space where I lose not just my abstinence, but my healing and recovery; or be that crazy person my head tells me to be.
So, I love this quote about hospitality. I want AA to always be hospitable for others, like it was for me. I can sit with anyone and their addiction and allow them the freedom to be who they are and determine their course on their own.
I have no axe to grind, no agenda to sell here. I just share and share and share about what an amazing life I have received as the result of being a total mess and handing it all to the Power of the Universe and how it has gone since then. I hope we are all learning how to be more hospitable. I hate it when I watch others who flock to a newcomer and take them hostage in a meeting or after. Let them decide, and let them find the person with whom they are supposed to work on their own. We are here just to make a welcome home happen, without dividing lines…I love that part!