One Day at a Time in Al-Anon
Thoughts to take to an Al-Anon meeting:
I will make sure that what I say will be helpful to someone, and not merely use a meeting as an audience for my troubles.
I will listen to everything that is said so I will have some constructive ideas to take home with me and use.
I will not yield to my compulsion to go on talking after I have made my point--and what I say will have direct relevance to the subject of the meeting.
If someone asks for advice, I will give it only in terms of Al-Anon principles, and not suggests action to be taken.
The Al-Anon meeting is essentially group therapy from which each person should derive maximum benefit. If I have a personal problem to discuss, I will talk about it to my sponsor before or after the meeting, or by telephone between meetings.
"I will not waste a single minute of that one hour of the week when we can be together to share experience, strength and hope."
Courage To Change
In places where people depend upon camels for transportation, they have a saying, "Trust in God and tie your camel to a tree." I think of this saying has a colorful way of describing what we an Al-Anon call "doing the footwork."
First we trust in our Higher Power. Trusting is a way of affirming that we are willing to be receptive to whatever the Higher Power chooses for us. We do not resign ourselves to our fate; we meet the day with confident expectation. We expect a miracle, as they say.
But we cannot expect our Higher Power to do for us what we can clearly do for ourselves. We must do our part. The Twelve Steps help us to distinguish between our responsibilities and those we can turn over to God.
Today I give thanks for the guidance of my Higher Power and for the measure of common sense needed to apply this guidance to the details of my daily life.
"No one else can define our role in the unique partnership we develop with our Higher Power."
. . . In All Our Affairs
Hope For Today
One benefit of Al-Anon I rarely hear mention is a wide variety of people we meet. We are blessed to hear so many speak from their hearts, which reminds us that we are not so different after all. Not only do we learn tolerance for dissimilar folks, we learn to seek their wisdom because they offer us valuable perspectives we might not consider our own.
I never realized the true value of this benefit until I went on a vacation alone in a different country. The resort where I stayed attracted people from all over the world. Dinner was served European-style, which meant solo travelers like me are with whoever was sitting there at the time. At tables reminiscent of my Al-Anon meetings back home, I encountered strangers who eventually became friends.
At times I felt nervous about starting conversations, but I reminded myself of the practice I had already gained at Al-Anon meetings. I "Let It Begin with Me" many times, asking people about their homelands and occupations. Often this was enough to spark great conversations. I learned much from a great many people and brought comfort to one particular person. I even met a gentleman who, although he did not declare membership, knew about Al-Anon and its purpose.
If I hadn't had so many conversations with so many "strangers" around the Al-Anon circles, I might not have felt so comfortable were made so many new friends in this faraway land.
Thought for the Day
Al-Anon meetings help me become open to people who are different from me.
"What I love about Al-Anon meetings is that I am getting close to people who normally I would not be able to know so well . . . Walls are disappearing, and love and community are growing and expanding."
Al-Anon is for Gays and Lesbians, p. 4
There's nothing like crisis to expose the otherwise hidden truth of the soul. Any soul.
Remember Alexander Solzhenitzyn's admission? "It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good . . . . and it's fairly certain most in their ranks of humanity commence prayer.
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.
Psalm 119:67 NIV
Linda Gorham Yankton South Dakota
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