Day 57 ~ Keep Coming Back. It Works!

Yes, it’s St. Patrick’s Day and I am 100% Irish.
While millions of Irish folks and millions of other Irish-for-today folks are celebrating one of my favorite holidays by tippin a pint for the auld sod, I’m sitting at my computer.
Why am I missing my own pint of Guinness tonight??
Because this year I’m on a journey. And I have a commitment to be a Romeo for my writing,  daily, knowing that there’s something I will write today that only I can.
It reminds me of what I learned as a Drug & Alcohol Counselor in the 80s when we used to go to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings as part of the work we did. The point of going to these meetings on a regular basis was that you had to know the whole journey if you were going to be successful in the field.
One of my favorite parts of that experience was hearing people’s stories.
Sometimes it would be one person, looking like they really had their act together, telling a story that would absolutely curl your hair about their journey from addiction to recovery. They’d talk about how they got started, all the places they’d fallen along the way, and then the story of the choice they’d made to take a different path.
Other times, it would be a number of people, just standing up and sharing their story of where they were in that moment. It might be what happened that day, or why this meeting was so important to them or how they narrowly avoided some mishap by working the Twelve Steps.
The most powerful part of the story was not in the details – it was the fact that there would always be someone in the audience whose own current story was exactly like the one this speaker had shared. The speaker’s story had had the same effect on this person that the three Ghosts in “A Christmas Carol” had had on Ebenezer Scrooge.
The speaker’s story had touched him or her in a way that nothing else had. The term for this phenomenon was “they were telling my story.”
I got a comment on this blog today that brought me right back to that time. I was simply doing the equivalent of standing up and telling my story last night, trusting that if I just wrote what was true that it would be the perfect thing to do.
How many times to we hold our story back, thinking that we are the only one feeling this way or experiencing this situation? We forget, or don’t realize, that our words can make the world of difference for someone else, whether we ever find out about it or not.
I learned today that the closing words of every Twelve Step meeting are still true for me here: “Keep coming back. It works!”
It’s like the hand of a friend, reaching out through time and space, to touch my shoulder and urge me on as I write.
Now THAT is a very Irish experience!

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