I attended my first addiction recovery group meeting this week. The meeting was for loved ones of addicts, and we met in the room next to the group meeting for the addicts. It was a life-changing experience for me, and I don't use that term lightly. I feel like I've learned a lot about judgement and criticism through this whole process, but this meeting took me to a new level.
In this room, with these women there was no pride, and therefore no shame. There was no comparing, no criticism, no judging. No one bothered to pretend they were happy if they weren't, or save face or hide their hurt. It was real women, totally genuine and exposed. Instead of insecurity, this room was full of compassion, unity, humility, kindness, acceptance, understanding, empathy and most importantly charity; true Christ-like love.
Every once in awhile during a relief society lesson or a testimony meeting I have tasted of this love. But during this meeting my eyes were opened to the way God wants us to view each other and my whole heart was truly full of His love. The wonderful part is that while the feeling was strongest with the women in the room, I have been able to carry a part of it with me and draw upon it when I feel compelled to form opinions about the choices of other people around me.
There were many other great things about the meeting and the program. There is much for me to learn and the program offers many tools and lessons to help in recovery. If you haven't attended a meeting like this, and one is available to you, I highly recommend it. I was honestly so nervous I was shaking, but that fear departed so quickly and I am anxious to go back.
Have you been? How did you feel?