Mini Message Monday
Every day that we are living and every moment that we are in, we are unwittingly writing our own story. We may not always be in control of what happens in our own story, but we are always in control of how we choose to write our story. Think about this… If everyone read the same book, our views would all be different in some way, big or small. No one’s interpretation of an event or moment is identical. Why is that? Because we all “wrote” how we viewed that moment or event in our own image. We very literally are the authors behind creating how we view our experiences.
The other day I went to an Al-Anon meeting, as I do often now. I am going to share a little story from that meeting, while providing as much anonymity as I can here.
So this night, I was the second to the last person to share, so it was already nearing the end of the meeting. Just a note, the lady right before me had passed on her turn to share. The topic that night was step eleven. For those of you who don’t understand what that means, just note that I chose to speak on God, Spirituality, and Meditation. I first spoke about how I was a little nervous to say that I may feel slightly differently than others about God. This is the exact view I shared before I went in to talk about my connection with other things: “I am a very spiritual person, in a large variety of ways. I have grown to connect in a deep way with many things other than the bible that you may associate spirituality with. I have had experiences that will NEVER allow me to question that a higher power undoubtedly exists. I do also so happen to choose to call this higher power “God” because that is the name I learned to associate this higher power to, and I will leave my view on this matter there”. Then I went on to talk about my gratefulness, my experience with meditation, and my passion for communication and empathy. Then I passed to the final person.
The lady who was originally before me, the one I told you chose to pass her turn, happened to be leading the meeting on this night. So after the final person speaks, it goes back to her to finish the meeting. When it got back to her she said she actually wanted to say some things now. She then looked directly at me and held eye contact as she said, “You can’t tell me God doesn’t exist…”. She did go on to say much more, without breaking that eye contact, but I will keep the rest of that private out of respect. I don’t know if any of you have been to Al-Anon, but this is not a practice that is supposed to take place. But hey, I am not really supposed to be sharing things from the meetings yet here I am, so who am I to judge. Anyways, I sat there, and I listened to her. I honestly judged her competence the entire time she spoke. I was so annoyed that she didn’t hear a thing I had said, otherwise she would not be attacking me like this.
The meeting very soon after ended. I talked with everyone a bit at the end as we do, we said our goodbyes to each other, and my spouse and I left.
“That was a stupid meeting. I am so annoyed by that lady and I don’t want to go to that specific meeting anymore.”, these are some of the thoughts that were running through my mind upon leaving.
Then I stopped and realized… I had done this. I had this expectation in place that I would never be made uncomfortable at these meetings, that I would never be challenged in what I choose to say there. I had this expectation because I “wrote” that narrative in my mind. Just as I was writing this thought that the whole meeting was now somehow a bad experience because of that one small moment. It clicked, the meeting I had was great and I was just being an ass. I had genuinely enjoyed everyone’s views, outside of that one moment. Just because I had experienced that, it simply did not mean I had to write this off as a bad meeting.
Our view, how we respond, how we choose to pass out our emotions based on our interpretations, these are some of the things that we are in control of. Even with the worst things that happen to us, we don’t have to write them to be as bad as we may have felt them in the moment. I hope this message resonates with some of you.