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Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Today let's review some of the sayings of an Al-Anon founder:
"Smugness is the very worst sin of all, I believe. It is difficult for a shaft of light to pierce the armor of self-righteousness." 
"Many of the things I thought I did unselfishly turned out to be pure rationalizations to get my own way about something. This disclosure doubled my urge to live by the Twelve Steps as thoroughly as I could."
"In the early days I was deeply hurt that someone else had brought my husband to sobriety, when I could not. Now I have learned that a wife can rarely, if ever, do this job. I found no peace of mind until I recognized this fact."
"The word "humbly" was one I never understood. It used to seem servile. Today it means seeing myself in true relation to my fellowman and to God."
Today's Reminder
"It is easy to fool oneself about motives, and admitting it is hard, but very beneficial." 
"Bargaining with God and asking Him to grant my wishes is not the highest form of prayer. It is very different from praying only for knowledge of God's will for me. . . ."

Praying for knowledge of God's will for me.  This sounds like a good goal!!


-  Big things happening.  I'm hopefully off of restriction today.  I meet with my new sponsor today.  I may move today or tomorrow.  Phew.  I think I need to automatically grant myself some grace because of the emotional toll that change takes.  

This morning after I dropped my kids off at school, I felt anxious.  I am finding myself feeling like I am trying to please their teacher.  I feel like she is not in awe of me or possibly does not even respect me that much or possibly even thinks poorly of me or talks about me like I'm a bad mom.  It is very likely in my own head, but it is a bad feeling, all the same.  It could also be true.    

I feel that I need to pray for her.  And pray for myself to treat this situation with perspective.  After praying for a couple weeks, I may confront her if nothing changes.  My hunch, though, is that things will change. 

Either way, I came home ready to journal, but was feeling stuck in my own head.  My old housemate came bouncing in the house.  She was just here to say hi.  This girl is a blessing.  I told her what was going on and felt immediate relief.  L has been sick and I missed CODA last night and I haven't been allowed to go to dinner the last two nights because of her fever.  I think the isolation is also playing a role in this.  Once I move, I won't have people bouncing into my house.  Or at least, I won't have the same people.  I am going to need to make a conscious effort to get this healthy contact.  I am very grateful to be back at work.  I'm also grateful that my baby is feeling better!

Friday, September 22, 2017
When I concentrate on little things that annoy me, and they sprout resentments that grow bigger and bigger, I seem to forget how I could be "stretching" my world and broadening my perspective. That's the way to shrink troubles down to their real size.
Worrying about trifles saps my spiritual energy which I could certainly put to better use. Am I willing to waste my life in this way?
When something or somebody is giving me trouble, let me see the incident in relation to the rest of my life, especially the part that is good, and for which I should be grateful. A wider view of my circumstances will make me better able to deal with all difficulties, big and little.
Today's Reminder
I refuse to let my serenity be drowned out by happenings that are in themselves unimportant. I will not be made uneasy by what others do, whether they intend to hurt me or not. I will not clutter up my thoughts with resentment; it would not profit me but, worse, it would hurt me.
"Why do we accept things that trouble us, when we could do something about them?"

This is so timely!!  Right now, I just got upset over a good intention, but poor delivery that O had.  It was a minor inconvenience, but I was upset and already making it into a bigger thing than it was.  I read this (by the grace of God!) and almost immediately was able to find the gratitude and correct my atittude towards him.  Super grateful right now!!

Thursday, September 21, 2017
Trying to follow a suggestion I heard in Al-Anon meetings, I dutifully wrote lists of things for which I was grateful. I listed such things as my health, my job, and food on my table. When I was finished, I didn't feel very grateful; my mind was still weighted down with the negative thinking that had resulted from living with alcoholism. But I had made gesture, and the seed of gratitude was planted.
I gradually learned to appreciate the small accomplishments of my dailylife. Perhaps I was able to avoid a pointless argument by reciting the Serenity Prayer, or my sharing helped a newcomer, or I finished something I had been neglecting. I was beginning to change. I made a point of recognizing small changes, and my self-esteem grew. The daily application of Al-Anon principles helped me to deepen my sense of gratitude and replace those nagging, negative thoughts. Eventually I was able to go back to my original list and be truly grateful for those things I had taken for granted.
Today's Reminder 
I need to nurture myself with gratitude. Today I can practice appreciating myself, my world, and my Higher Power. 
"I would lie in bed at night and say the alphabet, counting all the things I had to be grateful for, starting with the letter A . . . This made a great change in my life." As We Understood . . .

I still do the ABCs of gratitude.  I appreciate the honesty that gratitude lists or any tool in our recovery tool box does not always work immediately.  It does, however, plant seeds!
1) Breath in my lungs - Good health
2) To be alive
3) To have a safe, positive place to live
4) My housemates
5) The cooler weather

Hmmm.  I woke up a little tired this morning.  I had a dream that I got evicted from the shelter.  Despite the feedback that I'm doing fantastically here by almost everyone, I guess the worry is still in my mind.  They couldn't tell me why either, in my dream.

It wasn't a nightmare, but it wasn't a good dream.

I have been the at the shelter the longest out of everyone, thus far.  It has to do with me moving directly to permanent housing, rather than going to transitional first.  The paperwork is just taking time.   I like the shelter, but I can't stop the anticipation almost every day that TODAY may be the day that I move.  This morning, I am wondering if it is today.  We will probably find out who is moving to transitional this morning at morning meeting.  We typically do on Thursdays.  So, that will be really exciting, regardless.  Things move quickly here.  The people who moved into the shelter at the same time as me, moved out 2 weeks ago...... 3 weeks ago?  It is a really exciting experience when people move back and they are excited and we all cheer.

Anyways.................  I think today will be a lovely day.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Growing up in an alcoholic family, I did not escape without experiencing various forms of mistreatment, including sexual abuse. By the time I came into Al-Anon, I felt like a victim and I had become an extremely angry, resentful person.
Whenever the subject of forgiveness came up at our meetings or in our literature, I shut it out. I thought resentment would prevent me from ever being hurt again. It took some time in the program, and a lot of work learning to love myself, before I began to understand that living my life under the heavy burdens of rage and resentment was hurting me. It affected every relationship I had, including work contacts, friends, family, and social acquaintances. I knew it was likely to color future connections as well, yet many of the people I resented weren't even alive. I surely wasn't hurting them! However, in my vehement determination to no longer be a victim, I held the hostility that perpetuated my pain.
Once I realized this, I experienced a spiritual awakening in the form of a deep desire to let go of those feelings that were poisoning my life. I accomplished this by going to extra Al-Anon meetings, praying, sharing with my sponsor, and working Steps Four through Nine. Thanks to Al-Anon, I gave up my bitterness and regained my life.
Thought for the Day
Today I see forgiveness as an action I take to love myself more fully.
"No one ever found serenity through hatred." How Al-Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics, p. 86

I have resentment towards 2-3 people.  I created a page in my prayer journal, but haven't actually started praying for them consistently.  I often find comments I make about my mom to be in resentment.  I think it's healthy to be aware that the resentment is a form of protecting oneself, but it turns into hurting oneself.  Especially because it just feels bad when these comments come out of me.  Or the tone of voice I use, when I say them.

At a meeting, someone shared this strategy to end resentments and it's been on my mind every since.  I want to do this for myself and as a model for my kids.    

"'If you have resentment you want to be free of, if you will pray for the person or thing that you resent, you will be free. If you will ask in prayer for everything you want for yourself to be given to them, you will be free. Ask for their health, their prosperity, their happiness, and you will be free. Even when you don't really want it for them and your prayers are only words and you don't mean it, go ahead and do it anyway. Do it everyday for two weeks, and you will find you have come to mean it and to want it for them, and you will realize that where you used to feel bitterness and resentment and hatred, you now feel compassionate, understanding and love.'

In making a list of all the people we have harmed (Step Eight), some names come to mind at once, while others require more thought. Our Fourth Step inventory can help to refresh our memories. We can ask ourselves about situations in which each character defect might have led us to act in a harmful manner and add the names of those concerned to our Eighth Step list.
We can also look at names already on the list and ask ourselves if we have behaved in similar fashion toward others. Many of us discover previously hidden patterns of destructive behavior as a result of putting this list in writing. Even when our defects were not involved, we may have harmed others despite the most honorable intentions. Their names also belong on the list.
Once we are clear about the harm we have done, it becomes possible to make changes and amends so that we can feel better about our behavior and about the way we relate to others.
Today's Reminder
An Eighth Step list helps me to let go of guilt and regret I may be carrying from the past. I will approach this Step with love and gentleness because I take it for my own freedom.
". . . Our actions have consequences, and sometimes other people get hurt. By taking Step Eight, we acknowledge this fact and become willing to make amends." . . . In All Our Affairs