Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Program - Everyone Needs One

It's amazing now that I have an Al-Anon program, how often I find people "assuming" they can offer me advice, or crossing boundaries . . . I know they don't mean to . . . but it is truly amazing!

A good friend of mine was "helping me" yesterday. He was offering me advice, but when I told him the "help" I could use, if he could offer it, it became a little weird. It seemed he wanted to only help me the way he wanted to help me, and that what I needed in the way of help, well, was not what he wanted to give. So I can stop the mystery, my friend has a lobbyist/consultant that he uses, I wanted to talk to him over coffee, if and only if, he had time (I know people and he knows people and I want them to connect).

Anyway, may be I crossed a boundary looking for this introduction. Who knows.

I - by the way - offer my connections up to virtually anyone. I read this book awhile ago, called "Never Eat Alone," which was an "OK" book for me - but is/was a runaway best seller. What I liked about the book was the author was very honest about his career and how he was let go. He pulled himself up and created his own business. I have a lot of respect for people who pull themselves up - especially after being shot down. He offers a lot of insight into his "program" of connecting people.

But - as usual - I digress . . .

I met with my sherpa/councillor/shrink yesterday. She asked me to identify the qualities I would like in a woman. I listed several (about 10). But one of the qualities I listed was - someone who has a "program" - specifically, I guess - Al-Anon. I am a long ways off from dating - beyond a coffee - or a walk in the park - because my lines would consist of "duh" and "er." However, on the bright side, those two words are universally acceptable bumbling moves in any language.

Another quality was honesty. There were others as well.

But the program - the fact that someone knows that they contribute to the relationship when it succeeds and when it flounders ("they see their part in it") and they know boundaries, letting go, and being honest are very important to me.

My sherpa wasn't coaching me on dating by the way. She explained to me that the qualities I would look for in someone else are typically the qualities I have that I may not accept that I have (or realize I have). This was very interesting to me. The qualities then sort of surprised me. I was - in a sense - "pleased" with what I stated - they were all around sincerity and integrity, health and work-ethic.

Anyway - this post may be more about rambling than anything else, as I sit in a Starbucks somewhere in the universe at 2:18PM Wednesday.

As I sign off - a woman is screaming about her "latte" being a something or other that I never heard of that only Starbucks can charge around $5 for. By the way - it's about 90 degrees here. I would be screaming about how hot it is and I need ice for my latte, not that it is Chi or whatever the heck she is insulted that it is. My person opinion - but if you could hear her - wow. This is what I mean as - This is a person who needs a program. See I tied this to the post. Hope you are laughing a bit.


Anonymous said...

I hear what you're saying about friends and our expectations that whatever we would do to help them, they would do for us in return. It doesn't always work out that way.

Over the past ten years I have come to realize how FEW friends I have and how MANY professional colleagues, neighbors, and acquaintences I have. I can count the (true) friends on one hand. True friends being people of such character who stick by me in good and in bad times, don't gossip, and treat me as they would want to be treated.

So in addition to letting go of my expectations of the alcoholic, I have begun to let go of my assumptions and expectations of others too. By letting go of my expectations I find it easier to forgive them when they disappoint me. They don't have such a high pedestel (?spelling?)to fall from in my eyes if I don't put them up there to begin with.

On another note, it makes no sense to me that the majority people go through life without any kind of a program, or if they have one they don't really incorporate it into their everyday behavior. But wait... there I go again with my expectations, expecting too much of the whole of humanity! This letting go stuff is more difficult than it looks. : )


PS I have been using the technique I read on this blog of being in the moment and just observing my surroundings, notice the color of the sky or something like that and focus on it intensely, when I need to detach. It has been helpful a couple of times lately. Thanks.

Syd said...

I have few friends that I can count on outside of Al-Anon. I know that within Al-Anon, there are several that would be there for me should I need help. I've come to not have expectations of friendship outside of the program.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to do something different, when observing people who don't have a program or aren't working one. I'm stepping back-detaching and looking at it as though they are teaching me a lesson. Some kind of a lesson such as patience, how unreasonable complaining sounds to me, my own judgements, compassion for someone who needs to find fault with things, and staying away from them if they disrupt my serenity, etc... (Everyone can learn some kind of lesson depending on the lens that they are looking at things).

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a great topic today, and comments as well.

Expectations have caused great grief in my life, I always thought it was the other, not me, that did not deliver what I expected of them.

Then I realized, that they might not even know what those expectations may be, so how could they even come close to meeting them?

mmmm. Guess this must be MY issue. I am learning to lose this thought process, and along with it, the resentments and assumptions.

Acquaintences - Dime a Dozen.

True Friends - Priceless.

Peace this Thursday.


Catherine said...

Hilarious stuff about the latte!

I agree, KevinB: excellent post and comments from the chorus.

To Joe and all of you regulars as well as to the anonymouses of all stripes, I want you to know that I really appreciate reading your comments and get a lot of strength from your thoughts. I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend.