Dear Little Michael and ACA Michael,
Once again, last night, feelings of distrust and fear arose during your time with your girlfriend. What was a beautiful fun night overall ended on a dissonant note. I could feel your heart close. Not in a figurative sense - there was pain in your chest in what is fair to call a subtle manifestation of panic.
I also saw you honor the feelings without trying to immediately fix or deny or intellectualize them. I saw you remain gentle with your girlfriend. I saw you turn to your Higher Powers, your recovery program tools and ideas. I saw you wake up and meditate despite the strong feelings. I saw you find a way to get an important night of rest despite the strong feelings. I saw you make progress with it all and I was impressed and inspired to see your work bear these fruits.
In the meeting this morning, hearing the reading , I saw the way Tony A's version of the Twelve Steps affected you—specifically the Fourth Step that guides us to a blameless inventory of our parents because, in essence, we carry so much of them inside us. I saw tears well up thinking of your mother's struggle to find loving and healthy life partners. I saw you identify with her basic distrust of most people. I saw you care for the little girl inside her who suffered at the hands of a cruel and insensitive father, a mentally ill and incestuous older brother, and within the context of a religion that told her that her primary grace was passivity.
I see how much you cherish her as one of the few people you have deeply trusted in your life. I see how you have taken up her distrust of others and feeling that, as it references in The ACA Solution, moving out of isolation is a risk not worth taking. This may have made perfect sense for her since so few people in her intimate world of family and life partners seemed willing or able to hold her in a sober, gentle, respectful way. Even if this perception was more a reflection of her wounding than of the outer reality, it was a perception that she clung to wisely and carefully, and one that reflected her effort, skillful or not, to protect the open tender sensitive heart of the little girl that always lived inside her.
I see all of this and I love you for the courage and hope that leads you here today—into the company of your fellows, the grace of the program that we honor as the work of higher, deeper, wiser, and more compassionate Powers, and into the time-transcending heart that connects you and your mother and her inner child. Thank you for showing up to create a new pattern for your relating and the relating of all your fellows in the world.