Finally, we begin to see that all people, including ourselves, are to some extent emotionally ill as well as frequently wrong, and then we approach true tolerance and see what real love for our fellows actually means. It will become more and more evident as we go forward that it is pointless to become angry, or to get hurt by people who, like us, are suffering from the pains of growing up. p.92, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
Yesterday evening’s meeting is still resonating for me. M chaired and I was instantly annoyed that she didn’t have a topic prepared from our literature. What she did suggest for a topic turned out to be spot on for me and made for an excellent meeting. “I judge people,” she said. She shared about a man she works with. This man is in a happy mood every day and makes no secret of the fact, going so far as to do what he calls a “happy dance” every morning. M told the group that this annoys her to no end, and that she is easily bothered in many situations, not the least of which being our fellowship. She talked about judging others and how she can’t seem to stop this behavior. I have known M since she was 9 or 10 years old and have always admired her honesty and non-conformist pluck. I have also judged her. Last night the last shred of prejudice I felt for her fell away from my eyes. My love for her as a member of our fellowship replaced any vestigial memories I held of the old M I had known. The knowledge that only her Higher Power can be the judge of her conduct was brought to the forefront of my consciousness. I had not forgotten this fact, but it had become shrouded in judgment.
When I was called upon to share I read the passage from above, from Step 10 of our 12 and 12. I talked about fear, for me, being the basis of judgment. I fear that you won’t like me, so I judge you. I fear that you are better than me, so I judge you. Judgment is one of my defenses of character. It is a survival instinct. I am now learning to replace fear with faith. I must have faith that God loves me as if there were only me, that there is no one of us better than the other, that the only defenses I need are love and tolerance. What a tall order. Thanks to M, I now have a little more faith that I can go through with it.