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Sunday, August 21, 2016
"Get messy!  Make mistakes!  Get out there and explore!" - Ms. Frizzle, the Magic School Bus

**The girls are watching a Magic School Bus episode in the other room and I heard the quote above I was getting ready to write.  There is absolutely no reason to take life so seriously.  "Get messy! Make mistakes!  Get out there and explore!"  I agree with Ms. Frizzle 100%.  That is also growth mindset right there!

Quote/Passage 1
I am not at the mercy of a cruel or capricious fate, for I have the power to determine what my life will be. I am not alone. I have the confidence and faith of all Al-Anon to support my efforts, as it is expressed by the loving concern, and help of the friends in my group. I am not alone, because God is with me whenever I make myself aware of Him. 
"To be without hope is to deny the wonderful possibilities of the future."

I was excited to see this passage pop up in my meditations, as it aligns with this morning's thoughts.  The past couple days, I have been very aware that I am hard on Hubby for not making that much money.  As a young adult and teenager, I wanted to avoid choosing a husband based on how much money he made.  That was not a quality I was going to value.  It wasn't until I was in my older 20s that thoughts about marrying someone who was more successful or financially able started popping into my head.  Part of this is likely due to my own limitations - wanting to work and be with the kids, but also my tendency to want to blame everything on Hubby.  This was modeled for me again and again in my family of origin and is my codependency.  A few men have been showing me interest lately.  And I've run into a few men that I've seen on and off throughout the years that I have some sexual energy with.  My first thought is, "I wonder how much money they make."  Wow!  That was difficult to even write out.  But, it's true!  And then, I wonder if their wives are happy with how much money they make.

It's a resentment I've been holding against hubby.  On one side, I know that he is doing fantastic!!  I am so excited for him.  He gained a lot of weight during his addiction and then on the medication.  He is running again and losing weight.  He is focusing on health and trying not to miss work appointments and sharing the child rearing duties with me.  He is funny and makes me laugh.  I have so much to be grateful for.  And yet..... I've been holding the thought that if I had met someone when I was older, it would be more likely to be someone at my level career wise (this is a complete speculation, but it's possible!).  Also, when Hubby asked me to date him, I said "no" 3x.  In fact, I never said, "yes."  He thought I meant yes when I said no, the last time.  And he took my hand and looked at me with so much excitement.  I was attracted to him and liked him and didn't want to hurt his feelings.  I thought, "Here we go!" and didn't correct him.  I considered it a cute story until I realized how it is evidence of my dysfunction.

All of that to say that, I am aware that if it didn't happen with Hubby, it probably would have happened with someone else.  And I am sure I would have put the blame on them for something else (because that's my disease and dysfunction) and would have missed other red flags (because that's what I know from my family of origin.)  Anyways, I am getting off track.  The point of this is to say that I've realized I need to be responsible for my own financial situation.  I need to release my resentment, know this is my power and responsibility and take action.  I also need to remember that my Higher Power is with me.   I am not at the mercy of a cruel or capricious fate, for I have the power to determine what my life will be.

Passage 2
In my family, my parents were always telling me what to do. My response was usually angry compliance or rebellious refusal. Either way, I was reacting, not acting, and feeling controlled.
I had the opportunity to change when I came too Al-Anon. As a new group representative headed for my first area assembly, I wanted to vote the way my group told me. We discussed the issues on the ballot. Members spoke in favor and against the issues. Before it was time to choose, the outgoing group representative made a motion to let me use my best judgment. He said I would receive more information at the assembly, and I wouldn't have the opportunity to check with my group on every matter. Several members reminded us of Concept Three, "The Right of Decision makes effective leadership possible." I couldn't believe my group trusted me to speak for them. Nevertheless, I "Let Go and Let God" and trusted myself to make good decisions, at the assembly.
When I returned, I shared how I had voted. Not everyone agreed with my decisions, but no one wanted to vote me out of office. They thanked me for my service and paid me for my expenses. After my term, I offered the same support to the group representatives who succeeded me. 
The support I receive form Al-Anon goes far beyond what my parents were capable of giving me. Today I know there is something more important than always doing, or refusing to do, what I am told. Instead, I can learn to trust my own judgment and let others trust me, too.
Thought for the Day 
Al-Anon service gives me the opportunity to make decisions, which helps build my character. 
"Being allowed to make appropriate decisions, to act freely without being hassled or second guessed gives dignity to the person who is doing the job. The Concepts -- Al-Anon's Best Kept Secret?, p. 8

Passage 3
Some Al-Anon suggestions, such as getting a Sponsor, were easy for me because I'm good at following specific instructions. But I didn't know what to do with the slogan, "Live and Let Live." Al-Anon helped me to let live by teaching me about detachment and helping me to see that many of my problems stemmed from minding everyone's business but my own. But how do you turn your eyes on yourself and "live" for the first time in your life?
When I put this question to my Sponsor, she asked me one in turn -- what had I done earlier that day? Although I'd had a very busy day, I could barely remember what I had been doing. My Sponsor suggested that I begin learning how to live by becoming more aware of my life as I was already living it. Then I would be better able to make choices about how I would like to live.
Searching for the real me, living according to my needs, and loving myself as a new-found friend have been the most rewarding benefits of the Al-Anon program. Strangely, they're the last ones I would have imagined receiving when I began.
Today's Reminder 
Today I can choose to take responsibility for my own life. If I stay out of others' affairs and become more aware of my own, I have a good chance of finding some serenity. 
"Each man's life represents a road toward himself." Hermann Hesse
I'm reading through a book on gratitude today and plan to be posting a lot on that.  I'm not sure if I'll publish it today.  I guess, I'll tart it off with some gratitude.

Gratitude List
1) So grateful for food, shelter, the necessities of life 
2) Grateful for access to nature
3) Grateful for the internet and social media and the resources and connections it provides
4) Grateful for time and for the day
5) Grateful for Al Anon