One Day at a Time in Al-Anon
It is often suggested in Al-Anon that we examine our motives. It is an easy to ask "Why did I do that?" And conscientiously track the fault to its source. Did I really mean to let those resentful words escape for me--did I intend to hurt? Or was I giving vent to the pressure of a deeper discomfort: deal, inadequacy or fear? When I look closely at my reasons, did I believe that what I said or did was justified?
We may justify our actions, but often we only rationalize, or sidestep the truth. As we dig down deep to uncover our motives, we discover how painful it is to admit, even to ourselves, that we are wrong. Al-Anon places a high value on self-honesty; facing up to our faults is the first step toward overcoming them.
Lie am on the way to achieving maturity when I can cheerfully accept the fact that I am not always right. Then new truths can penetrate an open my mind to the helpful influences all around me.
"Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but God pondereth the heart."
Courage To Change
In Al-Anon we learn to "Think" before we react to angry outbursts and drunken acquisitions. We learn to hold our tongues when tempted to interfere in something that is clearly none of our business we learn the value of silence.
But silence can be more cutting than cruel words when it's used to punish. Deliberately ignoring someone's attempts to communicate is no better than engaging in a battle of words. Rage that is expressed non-verbally through cold looks and slammed doors is still rage. When I seek to hurt someone else with silence or any other weapon at my disposal, I always hurt myself.
If I have something I need to say and am as yet unable to say it in a constructive manner, perhaps I can go to an Al-Anon meeting or call my Sponsor and release some of the explosive feelings. I will remember that my aim is to heal myself and my relationships. I will try to make choices that support this goal.
What message does my silence communicate? Today I will try to align the stillness of my tongue with a stillness of spirit.
". . . If the silence has in it even a trace of anger or hostility, it loses all its power . . . True quiet has the quality of serenity, acceptance, peace."
One Day at a Time in Al-Anon
Hope For Today
Serenity is . . .
. . . a way of life absorbed slowly and practiced one day at a time . . . perspective . . . becoming aware of and accepting my many characteristics that are not judging what's "bad" or "good" but what's useful to keep and what to release . . . a spiritual journey without a destination . . . the space between the impulse and the action . . . accepting what is . . . honoring my feelings without aiming them at someone else or letting them run my life . . . a gift I choose to give myself . . . knowing that what works for me may change from moment to moment . . . understanding I may be powerless, but I'm not helpless . . .
. . . realizing my Higher Power does for me what I cannot do for myself . . . minding my own business. . . the comfort of knowing I can hold my own hand . . . balance and relief from black-and-white thinking . . . understanding that reacting to life and responding to life are not the same thing . . . deliberate realignment with my Higher Power. . . feeling at peace with my past. . . a matter of internal stability. . . becoming a complete being with my body and mind in one place at the same time . . . becoming one with my Higher Power.
Thought for the Day
Serenity opens my mind to new ideas.
"God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference."
As the year draws to a close, Christmas offers its wonderful message: Emmanuel. God with us. He who resided in Heaven, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit, willingly descended into our world. He breathed our air, felt our pain, knew our sorrows, and died for our sins. He didn't come to frighten us, but to show us the way to warmth and safety.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us in accomplished redemption for His people.
Linda Gorham Yankton South Dakota
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