Saturday, 23 July 2011

Love and truth

I saw a discussion recently on whether a comment by a sponsor to a sponsee to the effect of "shut your mouth; you're spreading disease." was kind, loving, necessary, etc.

A couple of things: meetings are for carrying THE message of Alcoholics Anonymous, not exhibitionist venting or soap-boxing. There are plenty of ways of venting before and after.

However, love always trumps truth. As we grow in understanding and effectiveness, we find ways to tell the truth with love.

Love without truth is frothy emotional appeal. Truth without love is clever cruelty.

Sometimes, a sharp poke with the stick of truth without much soft-pedalling will actually do rather a lot of good. Someone said to a friend of mine, "you need to help newcomers. Get your head out of your arse. That is not where they are hiding." But only a lot of experience will show you when and where a quick slap is the most effective way to proceed.

Sometimes, the "I care more about whether you live or die than your feelings" can get turned into a rule not a principle and can be applied arbitrarily. This statement also happens to be true. We need also to consider, however, whether, if we hurt someone's "feelings" too badly, we might not close their ears to the truth anyway.

On the other hand, it is very easy to be killed with kindness, and for the hypersensitive to rule the roost, because of the squawking that ensues when anyone approaches their crap with even a gentle suggestion.

I am someone who cannot afford to  be sensitive about my own crap, because my own crap will kill me, and we have to let go absolutely ... the 1% I am holding on to which I warn you not to even approach with a forked stick is what will be my undoing.

A friend of mine says, "you might as well tell them the truth; they're going to die anyway."

This doesn't mean you have to be cruel to do it.

Listen to Don P. (Aurora, Colorado) on this subject. He is great. He talks about the hypodermic syringe of truth so fine they do not even feel it going in. And holding them still with love.

THAT requires real skill and experience and a hell of a lot of guidance from God.

1 comment:

patritruman said...

"When we talk about compassion we talk in terms of being kind. But compassion is not so much being kind; it is being creative to wake a person up."

Chögyam Trungpa