I think I’ve gotten over being so critical of AA meetings that are being run wrong or AA’s that are stupid… well maybe i’m not completely over that last part. It’s either I’ve given up on a clear message being delivered in meetings or I’m just tired or maybe errors happen and I just don’t notice anymore because it happens so frequently.
Tonight for example I was sitting next to a guy at a meeting who was taking a photo of someone at the podium… and I didn’t even notice. There was a time I would have berated the fool loudly during the speakers share… but I didn’t notice, I wasn’t looking around the room for what was wrong (I do that see this post ). I was rather shocked at myself and then spend most of the rest of the meeting wondering what had happened to me (ok, maybe just a few minutes but it seemed a lifetime).
When I was new I’d leave meetings that would read non-conference approved material. Or spout traditions as to why this and therefore. I was a strict task master when it came to everything being by the book in AA. I was intolerant of anyone who did it anyway but mine – and I was right, of course.
I don’t think I care less, I still have a deep love and respect for AA as I understand it, but I realize (maybe) that other people might have their own path that is going to lead them in the same direction – that’s hard for me. I so want to be right… most of all… but also want to think of the world in black and whites most of the time – middle grounds don’t work well for me.
I’ll use this over used example on my blog – I want to shake your hand if you come to a meeting. Some people will hug me and not shake my hand and I won’t hug back… I’ve told them if they read all the literature AA has to offer they’ll see the handshake is mandatory and the hug is excessive (this is how I encourage newcomers to read the stuff… ), to be fair I only said this in jest to a few folks that hug first and then walk away leaving my hand empty, and hurt just hanging there. Sigh.
Tonight someone at the meeting summed up the Beatles Let It Be as “fuck it” or that’s what I heard and I rather liked that, and I love and respect the Beatles.
What matters to me today is if I do what I’ve always done, one day at a time. If I continue to show up early, shake hands, help set up, read the Big Book and the traditions over and over again and make sure AA is there for the next guy… I guess I can do that without being all rigid, but I don’t have to like it. 🙂