Some CoDA Thoughts
At times, I feel intense frustration with what appears to be limited progress being made in the organization's forward motion.
But then it becomes uncomfortable in my gut. I then must surrender my dismay to a Power greater than myself. I am reminded that my own unsteady will power can only improve as I put my hand in yours & all other WILLING codependents with that of my Higher Power & ask for guidance.
The next big step in the equation is to be willing to listen & then follow.
I am blessed in my service profile at the national level to be the CoDA answering service referral for the questions that they cannot answer. I am "the voice" at the other end of the phone line.
I don't really receive that many calls, but the ones I do receive "prime my service pump" and give me hope that keeps me going just one more day with one more effort.
I received TWO calls yesterday on referral. And they were both asking "where" can I go for a meeting. Because the first one came from a long suffering codependent who had lived in various active CoDA communities, she felt compelled to ask for materials for starting a new meeting in her area.
And the second one came from a battered woman's shelter who wanted to make CoDA available for the women in the shelter. The meetings around her were not very close, however, I gave her what we have. I suggested that the one meeting that had been updated more recently MIGHT be interested in helping them start a meeting at the shelter if she asked. I also said I would pass her name on to our Outreach Committee & ask them to be in touch.
As long as there is a need, we have work to do........together.
None of us are perfect...yet. Our unsteady will power doesn't make us infallible everyday. I still stumble as much as I make right choices. But at least I can measure SOME GROWTH instead of the despair I suffered when I got here in early '93 when NOTHING I did was right.
Someday, I am hopeful we all bury the hatchet, for good. We realize that we are all at various stages of recovery personally. That we all have good days & bad days. We also have lives to reconstruct & to learn to live "in balance". Some days, I can afford more time than others & then there are those days that I am buried under tons of BS & couldn't get it together if I tired hard.
Those are the days I REALLY grow, the ones where I must AGAIN surrender my own unsteady will power that LOVES to consume me, surrendering that will power to my Higher Power. There is always comfort, peace & guidance THERE, in that place.
That is what I really needed this program for: to connect with that huge hole I had created at my center that only God as I understand God could fill.
So after reading your words & digesting your frustration, I sense that you want us to stop going down that street with the crater in the middle. It sounds as if you are tired of us falling into that crater every time we go down that same street.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we decided not to go down that street again?
CoDA has numerous parts that it needs to exist, to grow, & then to prosper. It isn't about building an empire.
In my assessment, the organization is existing. As to growth, because of my involvement with Fellowship Services, I see a glimmer of hope that growth is within our grasp.
I see an increase in 7th Tradition donations for the first time from what has been a down hill spiral for too many years. I see meetings starting to take responsibility for updating themselves. I hear meetings really interested in "being there" and growing their attendance. I see new literature development. I see volunteers at national participating on national service committees that are creating work plans & budgets for vital tools that are badly needed by this organization at all levels. I see a new level of accountability at several levels. I see us going outside more for services that we once tried to do ourselves with a half a dozen of war-weary, burned-out, codependents. I see us developing maps (operational guidelines) so that we don't have to
include that street with that enlarging crater in it.
We really have choices. We really DONT have to go down that street again. But we have to decide that we don't WANT to travel that path anymore.
I believe we need to look at the basics.....the foundation of our organization. The foundation that was put in place when this organization was begun was developed for an empire. CoDA is not empire material. We are a SELF-SUPPORTING SELF-SUPPORT group of people trying to find
TOGETHER a new, better way to live life with less grief & more love with people we want to be with.
Why we continue to use each other for target practice astounds me.
I am as guilty as anyone.
I want it perfect.
I want it now.
I wnat it all.
Well folks, that sounds like what my 3 1/2 year old grand daughter says too.
If I want a better life, I put one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. I develop long term goals with realistic short term objectives to get me there. I take frequent inventory of my progress & make minor adjustments as I go.
If we REALLY want an organization that functions better, I would suggest that we express our feelings (frustrations & grips & upsets & everything else) put our hands & heads together & work WITH each other.
Let's continue to develop operational guidelines to eliminate those streets with the craters.
Lets understand that we are really only novices in living life in a new way. Let's take each other's hand & do it together.
What I feel we don't understand as trusted servants is that we each have special talents, skills, interests & motivations as well as "what I call "my other life" outside the service profile I share with the organization.
Let's encourage the contribution of the ASSETS of each other instead of magnifying each other's defects.
And give each other credit for practicing our newly-found/developed tools in a more balanced daily life.
I am willing.
Much love to you ALL..........
To me it is about servicing the membership.
Carrying a message of hope to those who seek hope.
I cannot do it alone.
In fact, I cannot do it without the assistance & contribution of everyone
who is compelled to serve.