I came to Al-Anon a broken, scared, and hurting person. I was afraid to say what was on my mind or in my heart for fear of being ridiculed, shunned, or criticized. When I realized that I had the freedom and the choice to say how I truly thought and felt, I began to feel my Higher Power's strength surge through me.
Now I have a reputation for being direct, honest, and open -- all qualities I could never have found without the "permission" and experience I received from the Al-Anon program. Sharing in the rooms was the first time I really felt I was heard or had something valuable to offer. Today when I share my experience, strength, and hope with other Al-Anon members, they look at me in disbelief as I describe my former inability to express myself verbally.
Today I can let others know how I think and feel, and I can do it in a way that's courteous, polite, and dignified. I say whatever I like as long as I say it in a respectful and caring manner.
However, even with these skills there are times when I feel afraid to speak. As these times come, I remind myself that when uncomfortable topics are broached in my Al-Anon, social, or family life, I have a right to share what is in my mind and heart. Then I pray to the God of my understanding for help: "Should I speak? What should I say? Please direct me." I'm never left for long without an answer.
Thought for the Day
When it comes to speaking up, I need to begin wiht me. Al-Anon meetings provide a healthy environment in which to take that risk.
"Sometimes I have to fight the old urge to keep quiet at all costs, but I have found that sharing is the key to healing."
Courage to Change, p. 111
Linda Gorham Yankton South Dakota