28-01: Every person is a potential learning partner

Today’s thought from Hazelden is:

Every person is a potential learning partner

I recently met someone at a friend’s home whom I took an instant dislike to. Everything about the man got under my skin. He was loud; he didn’t listen to others when they spoke; he seemed particularly dismissive of women; he was very judgmental, from my perception; and it seemed we had nothing in common. Then I heard him mention he was in recovery. What a difference that piece of information made to me! I wondered why I was so quick to dismiss him and then just as quickly forgive him his apparent flaws when I found out we shared the most important of all my values.

This gave me a lot of food for thought over the next few days.  I had heard all the clichés “you spot it, you got it” and “everyone is a mirror of yourself.” I did recognize some of my own characteristics in this man, particularly those that I abhorred, but I still wondered what allowed me to instantly see him differently when I found out we were both in recovery. I haven’t completely sorted this out, but I do think having the willingness to set aside my judgments when I want to means I can set them aside even when I don’t want to. They have not become hardened in concrete, but are merely hovering over my shoulders until I throw them off. The decision to do so is always as close as my next thought.

What I most realized from this meeting is that this man served as a great learning partner for me – that every person who crosses our path is a potential learning partner. I was willing to cast him aside after judging him and concluding that he had nothing to offer me. In fact, his very presence reminded me once again that every person is “in my face” for a reason, and there’s a lesson to be learned, if not now, later.

You are reading from the book:

Cultivating Hope

Cultivating Hope by Karen Casey. Copyright 2009 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of Hazelden.

About SLAA Tilburg

Wat is seks- en liefdeverslaving? Wij in S.L.A.A. geloven dat seks- en liefdeverslaving een voortschrijdende ziekte is, die niet kan worden genezen maar die, zoals veel ziekten, wel tot staan kan worden gebracht. Zij kan verschillende vormen aannemen – inclusief (maar niet beperkt tot) een dwangmatige behoefte aan seks, extreme afhankelijkheid van één persoon (of meerdere personen), en/of een voortdurend in beslag genomen worden door romantiek, affaires of fantasieën. Er is sprake van een obsessief-dwangmatig patroon, seksueel of emotioneel (of beide), waarin relaties of seksuele activiteiten in toenemende mate destructief geworden zijn voor de loopbaan, het gezinsleven en het gevoel van zelfrespect. Als seks- en liefdeverslaving wordt veronachtzaamd, wordt zij altijd erger. Wanneer wij echter een eenvoudig programma volgen dat voor een reeks van mannen en vrouwen met dezelfde ziekte succesvol is gebleken, kunnen wij herstellen. In S.L.A.A. leren wij de realiteit te accepteren dat wij deze verslaving hebben
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