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“Offer spiritual availability. It is all you can respectfully do.”  

 ~  Veronica/April Crawford

For those familiar with any 12-step group, mentorship (sponsors) and overall philosophy, the underlying tenant is to have a spiritual awakening.  This is not about religion or other “faith based” doctrines; rather, the deepening connection to a Belief, of one’s own personal upliftment and understanding. 

The words that spoke quite clearly to me in the above quote were ‘spiritual availability.’  To be available. Not muscle my way in, shoulding and shaming along the way,pointing out character “defects” … (I’ve always disliked that phrase. What am I? A wrecked Chevy Vega whose recall is w-a-y past due????!!!!!) ….. and, announcing from my perch on a most recent, convenient, mountain top (often the size of a molehill):  I-have-seen-the-light and if you want emotional, behavioral and/or physical recovery you must follow Exactly. What. I. Say. The End.  Amen.

(Hahahahahahahaha. To quote Phil ~ “How’s that workin’ for ya?“)

Spiritual availability, not preachership.  

Another word from above:  ‘Respectfully.’ 

When I remember to remember, before I begin sharing my concept or construct of spirituality, it is paramount I Respectfully Listen ~ ask ~ attempt an understanding of the framework of the Other person. (Another colorful saying in meetings:  take the cotton out of my ears and put it in my mouth.  Sooooo appropriate!). I have learned so much from so many others about philosophies, teachings, cultures and belief structures!

Gently ~ and if you’re feeling it ~ excitedly ~ making comments to gain more data. “Tell me more…” Don’t assume.  Listen.

Don’t interrupt ~ unless there is a need for clarity/understanding. Even then, wait for a pause. Then  “Please explain what ____ means”  works well.  Keep the jaw-droppin’/eyes-a-poppin’ “No shit!” and “Who the hell told you That!!” or “Are you smokin’ crack???”  comments locked away in your thoughts……. never to tumble off the tongue! Respectful questions. Respectfully.

I cannot count the times (and they are legion) I have not followed my own ‘advice.’ When in the middle of a verbal scatter-thought I stop mid-stream as my healthy Committee Members are telling me to shut the heck up. My Muses saying “Helloooooo? Are you hearing yourself?!”

(Sigh.  Practice not perfection.)

It’s tough sometimes to have such exuberance and passion about something that really matters.  My spiritual connection and belief structure are such matters.  I want to share joy, the enthusiasm, majesty. The mystery, vastness, the Unknownness. Yet …. I can’t “make you” get it. Just like no one could “make me.”  It was my discovery ~ private, personal and preciously my own. Way-showers and encouragers along the way? You betcha. 

They were available. Respectfully.

I thank them, one and all.