My sponsor taught me about the importance of service work in S-Anon. She suggested that I be open when asked to do service. If I was asked to speak, it was an opportunity to share my experience, strength, and hope. When members asked me to sponsor them, it was a chance to return the gifts that I had been freely given. Each new service experience taught me something about myself. Through interacting with others, I better learned how to put the spiritual principles of this program into action. My sponsor’s encouragement helped me become the person I am today.
The service of sponsorship has taught me many things. Most of us come to this program broken in some way, and participating in service work is not something everyone feels comfortable doing right away. While most of my sponsees follow up on my encouragement to accept the gifts of service, one of my sponsees refused to do any service work. This became an opportunity for us to do some Step work together. She shared her fear with me, which was based on childhood experiences of having never been recognized for doing anything right, and the consequences she faced as a result of those experiences. I saw that my sponsee was taking the time she needed for healing.
In time, she took baby steps toward service – setting up chairs and helping to clean up after the meeting. I had the privilege of being a witness to this shy, fearful woman’s growth as she finally allowed herself to take the risk of offering help in many ways since then. I love the way this program works.
Reprinted from S-Anon’s Reflections of Hope, page 333.