One Day at a Time in Al-Anon
This is the day on which another year closes. It is a good time for a quiet, honest look at my personal progress. Has it been a good year, better than those which went before? Has the day-by-day guidance of the Al-Anon program brought me to a greater realization and acceptance of myself, though unique individual I am?
If I have regrets for errors or omissions, I will dismiss them. The new year which lies before me has no time for futile regrets. I will live just one day at a time, making each one better than the last, as I grow in confidence and faith.
Again I resolve to live the coming year one day at a time, easing myself of the burdens of the past and the uncertainties of the future. Whatever may come, I will meet it with a serene mind.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God."
Courage To Change
Now that the year is at an end, I'll take a few minutes to contemplate the progress I've made and to thank my Higher Power for my growth. What did I do to contribute to my success this year? Perhaps it was as simple and as profound as daring to come to my first meeting, or to keep coming even when it was difficult.
How have I reached out to others in the fellowship this year? Did I set out literature, chair a meeting, clean-up? Perhaps I welcomed a newcomer or gave them my phone number. Maybe I asked someone to be my Sponsor, are opened up more deeply to the Sponsor I already had. Have I thanked that person for all they've given me? Have I recognized my growing ability to love and trust others?
Perhaps I finally understood the First Step, or really committed myself to working some of the others. Maybe I had the faith and courage to make some hard decisions.
I am discovering that I do play an important part in my own well-being. I will celebrate my achievements and be grateful for all I have been given. I am not perfect, but I am excellent!
I'm grateful for the Al-Anon program and all that my Higher Power as given me. I look forward to an even brighter new year.
"I'm learning to treat myself as if I am valuable. I find that when I practice long enough, I begin to believe it."
. . . In All Our Affairs
Hope For Today
At my first Al-Anon meeting, I felt like a parched person drinking cold, refreshing water. With gratitude I took in the words of the Suggested Welcome and Closing. Every time I went to a meeting I close my eyes and let those precious words refresh me.
Years later I realized I was listening to Al-Anon's words of hope--hope I could claim as my own, if I was willing to work the Steps. When I felt boxed in by despair, you assured me that no situation is really hopeless and I could find contentment, and even happiness, despite my mother's drinking. When I felt worn out from replaying awful scenarios in my mind, you told me I could put my problems in their true perspective they would lose their power to dominate. When I felt alone, you reminded me I wasn't. You pointed out my choices when all I knew her rules and appearances. I didn't have to agree to go along, I could take what I liked and leave the rest.
You even claimed that you already loved me in a special way, even though I hated myself, and that I would learn to love you, too. You offered me sponsorship, hugs, and phone numbers even when I hadn't "earned" them. I didn't know what a loving interchange was, and you took the time to show me.
Thanks, Al-Anon, for the persistent repetition of these hope-filled words and actions. Gradually they came true for me. Now when I share them with others, I have the joy of seeing them come alive again.
Thought for the Day
When I count my blessings, I've remember to count Al-Anon's gift of hope.
"If you try to keep an open mind, you will find help. You will come to realize that there is no situation too difficult to be bettered and no unhappiness to great to be a lessened."
Suggested Al-Anon/Alateen Closing
We are only finite human beings. We can only see the present in the past. The future is a little frightening to us. So we need to hold onto God's hand and trust Him to calm our fears. And at those times when were stubborn and resisting and He shakes us by the shoulders to get our attention, we are reminded that we don't call the shots. God has a plan for us, mysterious though it may seem, and we want to be in the center of it.
All the risks notwithstanding, the center of God's will is still the safest place on earth to be.
My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen of the morning.
Linda Gorham Yankton South Dakota
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