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Monday, August 15, 2016
Quote/Passage 1
Each of us has, as a person, an enormous potential. Many of our frustrations come from not making the most of ourselves and getting out of life what it has to give, ready and waiting for us to accept.
Although we come into Al-Anon to deal with a specific problem, we do not always realize that developing ourselves could be the answer, not only to the problem of living with alcoholism, but to others as well.
The solutions rest with me. With the help of my Higher Power, I can adorn my life with comfort, serenity and enjoyment. It does not depend on any other person, and the sooner I accept this fact, the sooner I will be able to face myself realistically.
Today's Reminder
People can affect me only as I allow them to. I need not be influenced by others, for I am free to consult my own wishes and standards, and decide what is best for me. I find I can realize my own strength and confidence by working faithfully with the Al-Anon program, and using it in my daily life.
". . . the only real answer to frustration is to concern myself with the drawing forth of what is uniquely me. This gives me the impulse and the courage to act constructively on the outside world." (Robert K. Greenleaf)

Before I found 12 step recovery, I tried a lot of different self help books and programs.  None of them gave me the information that I needed.  While Hubby's drinking spiral was devastating to watch and experience, it directed me toward the group and resources that fit me like a glove.  I had been in deep denial about my codependency and boundary issues.  I would have unknowingly passed it on to my kids, despite my wishes.  At this point in my life, I can be grateful for some of the sad things that happened to us.  
As Romans 8:23 states, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."  Isn't it amazing how our God/Higher Power can use a horrendous experience and bring from it good. 

After living in the chaos of an alcoholic relationship, it can be hard to know the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major crisis. Al-Anon's slogan, "How Important Is It?" helps many of us to regain some sense of proportion.
When plans fall through, when unexpected bills arrive, when I am disappointed in someone's response, I can ask myself, "How Important Is It?" Most of the time I find that what I might have viewed as a disaster is really insignificant. If I try to keep my attention on this day instead of worrying about possible future consequences, I can take my disappointment or irritation at face value and refuse to dramatize it.
Because of this simple slogan, many days that I would once have seen as tragic are now filled with serenity and confidence.
Today's Reminder
Today, if I encounter an upsetting situation, I will ask myself, "How important is it?" before I react. I may find that it is not important enough to sacrifice my serenity. 
"It is almost as important to know what is not serious as to know what is." John Kenneth Galbraith 

A couple weeks ago, I saw a meme that said, "Serenity is my super power."  I agree!  And I want that to be ME!  I've been using this strategy a lot lately, despite having forgotten the verbage to the slogan.  Who knew I would be one of those people who use a slogan for everything.  I proudly do!  My sister was running late for the play we went to last Friday.  I was sitting in a beautiful setting, listening to an acapella group and enjoying some people watching....... and I started to get worried that we would miss the show.  We only had a few minutes before it started and she was lost. Then I reminded myself, "How important is it?"  I thought it through and realized that it wouldn't be a big deal at all if we missed the beginning of the play.  Hubby was acting "off" the other night and playing music that he used to play when in the height of his addiction.  It was as if I was walking into my home 15 months ago and I was triggered.  As I sat outside looking at the beautiful mountains, I thought, "How important is it?"  Right now, he may be off or drinking or in an episode or WHO knows what, but that doesn't mean he always will be.  I've learned enough to know that tomorrow is a new day and often a fresh and good one.  We avoided drama completely that night and Hubby hadn't fallen off the wagon.  I don't know why he wanted to play that music, but I don't have to.  I'm not him.  Anyways.......  next passage.

Quote/Passage #3
Fear is the energy that activates my character defects. Sometimes my shortcomings lie dormant like a bumper-car ride with the electricity turned off, and I don't even notice them. When I'm afraid, however, my fear acts like a charge that causes the cars (my defects) to start moving. I spend my mental and physical energy running in circles, trying not to get bumped or run over.
What triggers my fear in the first place? Trying to control things over which I have no power is always one reliable switch. How do I disengage it? Using the Serenity Prayer helps me calm down. I make a list, with one column titled "can change" and another titled "can't change." Then I break the problem down into elements and put each into the appropriate column. When I’m done, I ask my Higher Power to redirect my energy toward those elements I can change.
Leaving the present and worrying about the future is another trigger. When I feel like my mind is ahead of my body, it helps to refocus on my body, and mind often follows. I remind myself to let go and let God handle the things in my "can't change" column. I focus on what I'm doing at the present moment: I am washing my hair; I am cooking dinner; I am driving my car. It might feel silly, but I'm willing to do what I can to bring myself back to the present moment. Such action sets the tone for a more serene and grounded day.
Thought for the Day
My fear is a natural human emotion for which there are many triggers. Al-Anon tools help me sort out and turn off the source for each one of them. 
"My fears about alcoholism can keep me thinking in circles. The program helps me break their hold on my mind. Alateen - a day at a time, p. 144  

FEAR - False Evidence Appearing Real.... Another slogan that I use quite frequently.  This passage spoke a lot of reason to me.  The triggers, the strategies recommended.  I am so grateful for these daily meditations.

I have a lot of hope for this day and feel an immense amount of gratitude.  Let's jump into my gratitude list.

Gratitude List
1) Grateful for the parents of my new students.  They are involved and precious.  They do things as a team, which is rare and refreshing.
2) Grateful for making amends and cutting the shame in half.
3) Grateful that my kids have a loving Grandma
4) Grateful that I'm being able to let go of trying to control my mom
5) Grateful for a local Aldis

Slogans for today: THINK, How Important is It?, FEAR, One Day at a Time