Linda G December 21, 2015 One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, Courage To Change, Hope For Today, Beside Blessings
One Day at a Time in Al-Anon
Heard at a meeting: "I've brought my problems to Al-Anon only to learn that I was expected to solve them myself. Al-Anon would provide the light to make it possible.
"This was sharply brought home to me at my second meeting. I told my horror story and ended my recital with a despairing: 'What shall I do?'"
"One member spoke up: 'Do the dishes! Take a walk ! Read a book! Start somewhere to unhooked your mind from confusions, but don't do anything about your problems until you can see them more clearly. You'll change your way of thinking about them and the solutions will come.'"
"This, to me, is the Al-Anon program in a nutshell! It kept me so busy that I had no time to wallow in misery any longer."
I will not try to make important decisions until I have freed my mind from resentment, self-pity and hopelessness. Then I will be ready.
"With the serenity I find an Al-Anon many of my difficulty solve themselves without my help."
Courage To Change
In a meeting I heard someone say of Steps Eight and Nine, "I made the list of people I have harmed--and I put myself at the top of the list." This had not occurred to me. Somewhere in my past I got the message that to think of myself first was wrong, that it was my duty to care for everyone else. As a consequence, I was never ready to take care of myself and so became a burden to those around me.
Have I harmed myself? Of course I have. That is ultimately what I'm trying to recover from. In fact, improving myself is the only real action available to me. Now I know that to take responsibility for myself is the first thing I must do to make the world a better place.
Being true to myself is one of the greatest gifts I can give to those around me. Perhaps I will inspire them to do the same; perhaps not. Why should others bother to follow my example if I can't take care of my own affairs? To give advice to others is to intrude; to give advice to myself is to grow.
"Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hope For Today
Tradition Eight suggests that Al-Anon Twelfth Step work remain forever nonprofessional this implies that there is no professional class of Al-Anons. We are equals--experts only in sharing our personal experience, strength, and hope. Remaining anonymous about my economic class, social status, or current employment helps me maintain that sense of the equality. I shudder to think how much wisdom I denied myself in the past because I judged others as having nothing to share before I even listened to what they said.
Tradition Twelve speaks of the equality from a different angle. Suggesting anonymity is a principal foundation of Al-Anon's principles, Tradition Twelve affirms that individual differences are unimportant within the program. We set aside any desire for personal distinction and meld willingly into the group. Freed of worldly constraints, our principals, as practiced in the meetings, provide a secure environment where we can heal and grow spiritually has equals. Just as Tradition Eight says there are no "greater thans," Tradition Twelve proclaims there are no "lesser thans," either. We listen to what is being said rather than to who is saying it.
If I'm not looking eye-level at my fellow members, it's time for me to take a look at myself. Whether I find myself disregarding, minimizing, judging, or on the other hand fawning and worshiping, I'm not an equal anymore. No matter who we are and no matter how much or how little time we have in the program, each of us is important to our fellowship and to each other. Traditions Eight and Twelve help remind me not to put barriers between myself and other members. Anonymity breaks down barriers.
Thought for the Day
Each Al-Anon member is my teacher.
"Anonymity unifies our fellowship by removing individual status so we can listen to the message rather than the messenger."
Paths to Recovery, p. 237
If you know someone is a real pro at chess, take my advice: Don't waste your time playing against him. You can't win! Nobody knows this better than the devil. He's playing against a pro, and he knows it. He keeps making his moves, but he's already been defeated. So if you want to defeat the devil, you will not do it in the strength of the flesh; you'll do it in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. His blood will overcome and render powerless the power of the devil.
He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.
Colossians 1: 13
Linda Gorham Yankton South Dakota