So, I had a dream last night.
In my dream, Steve and I lived in another country without any family or friends around, and I felt like the company that he worked for exploited the natives by using them as cheap labor. I was so frustrated!
I dreamed that I saw my French teacher from high school, and he and his wife lived in the same area that I did. They were happy! I told them my plight and just how miserable I was and asked them about their lives. They said that they loved living there, so I asked them what they loved about it. They liked to go boating and did so as often as they could.
That is about all I remember about the dream. When I woke up, I was frustrated with myself: why would I talk about my private "stuff" with people I barely know? What is wrong with me?!
As I talked to Josh about it, I realized that what I'd done was a great thing, not terrible at all! I talked to people who were happy with their life in that country and asked what made life bearable, and even enjoyable, for them.
As I've mentioned before, I go to Al Anon. I tell perfect strangers (and those who have become friends through the program) about my life. Then I listen to what makes life bearable for them. Sometimes I am the one who tells what makes life bearable for me. We learn from each other. Sometimes it is give, other times it is take.
The people in Al Anon that I listen to most are the ones who have found serenity in their situation. The beauty of a 12 step group is that we are all alike in one way or another, and some people have already survived the stuff that newcomers are going through.
(As an aside, one great message that touched my heart from last night's meeting was, "You don't need to apologize for who you love." It was told by a person who had lost their spouse - who was also their qualifier - recently.)
Every single message that I hear in Al Anon applies to another portion of my life. Like Step 12 says, I take and "practice these principles in all [my] affairs."
Anyway, to circle back, I am thankful that I am learning to be authentic and that I have relationships in which I can talk about my demons, my skeletons, and the just plain crap I go through, and that there are those around me who can tell me what makes life bearable, and even enjoyable, for them.
I can take their experience, strength and hope, and I can find the thing in my life that is the equivalent of what boating does for them.