"In ACA, each person may share his or her feelings and perceptions without judgment from others…. As part of creating that safety, we ask that group members avoid cross talking." BRB p. 342
When we start attending meetings, we may be confused about the reasons for the "No Cross Talk" rule. This can feel like a difficult rule to follow, especially when someone is crying. Don't they need to be helped and comforted? But we're told that this is "fixing," which is a skill so many of us mastered as children.
In ACA, we learn that the no cross talk rule is a sacred element of what makes the program work so well. By honoring one another with our full attention when we share, we are all getting something we didn't have access to growing up in dysfunctional families: attention. This is a great gift, being allowed to express ourselves without reserve. When no one interrupts or tries to comfort us, we can feel respected - no one is judging us. And when others are speaking, we listen and learn from their lessons. If we're uncomfortable and want to "fix" them, we stop and think about why we're feeling that way.
By showing up in meetings, sharing our honest experiences, and listening silently to others, we participate in the heart of what makes the program successful. This practice makes us stronger together.
On this day I will listen quietly in a meeting when someone else shares their experience, strength, and hope. I feel good knowing I will get the same respect from others.
Copyright © 2013 by
Adult Children of Alcoholics®
& Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
Page Number 77
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