“How should one live? Welcoming to all.”
~ Mechtilde of Magdeburg
“Welcoming means to accept others as they are, without
passing judgment on their worth….As we practice this
attitude toward others, regardless of their station in
life, regardless of their [skillful and unskillful]
actions, we are changed inside.
“Welcoming is a spiritual practice.”
~ “Touchstones — A Book Of Daily Meditations For Men” (Hazelden) 7/18*
How does this apply to my program?
*The change is brackets is mine. The original reads “good or bad”. Since that seems, in itself, binary and judgmental, I believe the change is appropriate to the thought.
As active addicts many of us had friends who were that in name only. Our mutual interests in acting out, trying to prolong our adolescence, and using each other for one end or another were often the sole basis of those “friendships.” How many of our using buddies tried to encourage us to continue our addictive behavior? “Hey, everyone does it!” “Oh, you’re not that bad.” “You just need to ____. You don’t have to ____!” Any of those sound familiar?
And just as tellingly, how many of our willing partners in excess stuck with us when we showed that we were serious about changing? Not too many, I’m guessing. Continue reading →
It seems that addicts, especially in early recovery, are exceptionally inclined to find fault with other entities, whether people or organizations. This is especially true early on when we’re in denial about most everything and our fellowships are beginning to strip some of it away as we kick and scream. But it’s also true about the world at large, and not only those of us who admit to addictions are guilty. Psychologists believe this is partially because it enables people to feel better about themselves, but also due to the human tendency toward binary thinking: wrong v. right, good v. bad, black v. white, our tribe v. them, our warriors (teams) v. theirs, and so forth.
Binary/black and white kinds of thinking may come from upbringing by caregivers who thought that way, religious influences, our desire–perhaps need–to believe we are superior to others and counteract our own doubts, or other reasons. Actually, regardless of the reasons, we’re stifling our ability to understand others and broaden our own horizons. Continue reading →
Pay no attention to the faults of others, things said or left unsaid by others, things done or left undone by others. Consider only what by oneself is said or left unsaid, done or left undone. ~ The real* Buddha
*At least three-quarters of the sayings you see posted on the Web and attributed to "Buddha" are treacly New Age verses with his title attached by someone who wanted to make it look more important. When you see an attribution here, it's taken from a direct translation of the Buddhist Canons or another reputable source. Same goes for The Dalai Lama.