I want to say thank you to all the Greysheeters that came to the Bournemouth Roundup and made it what it was: a nourishing, teaching, bonding, abstinence-building experience par excellence. Out of about a dozen attendees, there were two newcomers who had never been to a meeting before. One of them got a sponsor, and had her first abstinent meal (lunch) right there and then. Wish her all the best.
The speakers shared their experience of using the tools, such as the telephone, prayer and meditation, meetings, and service. Each one of them radiated an authenticity as they spoke about what their own experience was, and I felt very connected. The last share, Anya’s first step, was so intensely personal it felt as though she’d shown us a glimpse into her most intimate vulnerabilities and I felt so honoured and privileged to be allowed to hear this – and it made me see that I had not been using the tool of rigorous honesty, which is really the bedrock foundation of the programme, to its full extent. I was moved and touched to tears with her share, and at the same time, challenged to look back into my own “stuff”, the skeletons that are still buried back there. To face just how powerless I was, how very unmanageable my life had become. To really work the steps. I can’t wait to participate in the upcoming phone AWOL and become rigorously honest.
What this Roundup, especially that last share, taught me is that in this fellowship, my stuff is not going to exclude me. I have done things, and my personality is such, that I deserve exclusion and being pointed at and being spit at. It’s true, I’m no good person. But I am so encouraged by seeing others share that they also have done wrong, and then seeing the fellowship’s reaction: welcoming them as one of their own. That was the most powerful message I’ve taken away from this day… that I can be who I am, ugly as that may be, in this fellowship. I just have to learn now how to identify the things I’ve buried, because I’m often not even aware of them myself. But the fellowship has the tools.