Faith and Trust

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Recently, I experienced having my anonymity broken. It was painful, but in working through it, I was guided by my sponsor to look inward and to HP, which led me to face some of my own choices. Do I gossip or tolerate hearing gossip? Do I walk away from situations where anonymity is being rejected or neglected? Do I nurture friendships and spaces where anonymity is being fortified?

Anonymity is so much bigger than I thought when I first came into the rooms. It’s not just about privacy and guarding confidences. It’s about letting people have their story and their boundaries. It’s about drawing my connections with others from direct experiences and not interfering with others’ experiences of each other. It doesn’t involve my judgment or discernment of what needs my confidence and what doesn’t, because when I’m healthy and doing what makes me feel best, other people’s names and lives aren’t part of my relationships and communications. Crimes, new babies, deaths of loved ones, new jobs, relationship changes, bad haircuts, good haircuts—at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. That’s someone else’s story to tell. That’s someone else’s news to break or boundary to keep.

I got to sit and have tea with a newer program friend yesterday, and I practiced letting God move me forward in these values. I fumbled a little (but less than I ever have before), and I experienced another fellow in a way I never had before. It felt like it was just the two of us and God. And it felt almost holy for me to do the work and make the effort to keep that energy pure and connected and present. I left feeling really good and really grounded.

Now, what about that part of the Tool where I’m supposed to expect others to safeguard my anonymity? “Within the Fellowship, anonymity means that whatever we share with another OA member will be held in respect and confidence” (The Tools of Recovery, p. 6). Maybe part of it is keeping in conscious contact with God while I decide in the moment whether disclosing or listening to someone feels right. And part of it is to have such strong faith that everything will be okay so, when I do share, I can release whatever I need to in the moment without fear. I maintain conscious contact, I connect when it feels safe, and I trust that if my confidence is abused or misplaced, my Higher Power’s healing love and energy will get me through the emotional and tangible hurt.

For me, the Tool of anonymity isn’t about details or mechanics. It’s about faith and God, staying present, listening to my inner voice, and trusting that I’m safe so I can connect with my fellows in the way that feels right, just for today.

— H., Scottsdale, Arizona USA


For Discussion … and Journaling:

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