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Wednesday, September 7, 2016
We do not come to Al-Anon -- or should not -- to look for pity. We should not expect the other members to assure us that our resentments are justified, or that we ought to take aggressive action. Indeed, we learn to resist aggression from others by maintaining our dignity and poise. In short, what the Al-Anon program does for us, through its members, is to help us change the way we look at our family problems.

If I complain about something "he" did, somebody may point out that I seem too determined. (I will not take it amiss if the word is "stubborn"!) When I reveal that I am checking up on his activities, I may be told that my interference won't help matters, but will keep me from growing.

Today's Reminder
Al-Anon meetings and friendships can be inspiring, interesting, enlightening, and even fun. But they are also dedicated to the serious business of making me into a confident, spiritually-oriented adult human being. If that is what I want, I will listen with an open mind, accept suggestions and put to good use what I learn.
"I pray to let nothing stand in the way of my being receptive to what Al-Anon has to offer."

*Such a fantastic message!  This helps me as a friend and fellow al anon member, as well.  Isn't it true that we, as friends, want to sympathize and say the appropriate "nice" response when someone complains.  "Oh, I'm so sorry" or "Oh, that sounds horrible."  I think validation is SO SO important, especially when we are being gaslighted or hard on ourselves, but.....imagine..... if the other person, knowing we were in an al anon program, instead of commiserating with us, asked if we wanted feedback. And if we did, they lovingly and gently gave me an observation about how I was responding and tools that could help.  I think this gets into dangerous territory of "taking someone else's inventory."  But, if the person truly wants to knowI have heard it this way before, instead of saying "you're stubborn" (haha), "I find that when I focus too much on what my qualifier does, it keeps me from growing.  I find that doing _____, _____ and _____ really helps."  I think that's a much better way of responding.  But, I still love this message.  It's very helpful to me in reframing how I connect with people.  Although, I think it's important that the feedback be requested or there be a understanding that we are dedicated to THIS kind of growth. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure the comment would come across poorly and possibly reveal an arrogant/controlling side of us (taking someone else's inventory)

Furthermore, this helps me parent in a healthy way.  I'm starting to hear complaints like, "L pulled my hair."  Instead of correcting L immediately, wouldn't I be much better served than helping J respond appropriately?  This just happened, while I was typing.  Both kids were on my lap, L pulled J's hair and she told me.  I responded, "I'm so sorry that happened to you." and then turned to L and said, "we need to be gentle with those we love."  What a ridiculous response, that was!  First of all, L is 14 months, she's not going to be able to understand a correction like that, I was doing that more as a model for J.  But, what was I modeling?  Trying to tell a baby what to do and reinforcing J acting like a victim and tattling/complaining about it?  Hmmm.. Food for thought.  I'm going to try to think of a better plan RIGHT NOW.  Ok.  Maybe just nonchalantly asking her, "Do you want to talk about it?"  And then when she's done, maybe responding, "Isn't it frustrating how toddlers don't always know how to be gentle?" ugh... I'm not yet equipped to deal with appropriate responses.  I'm still giving her lots of attention, but none of that is a "wrong" response, it's all good too from a recovery standpoint.  It's ok to be sad.  Anyways........... moving on.  I'll try again at this later.

Passage 2
I never thought much about Tradition Seven, which says that every group ought to be fully self-supporting. I thought it referred only to paying the rent. But recently I was involved with a group that maintained itself financially and still was not fully self-supporting because no one would commit to service. I already held several positions, and when my various terms expired, no one was willing to take my place. I made what felt like the responsible choice for myself and stepped down anyway. The meeting closed. In my opinion, a group that cannot fill its service positions is not fully self-supporting.
Today, in other, more flourishing groups, I have a greater appreciation of my responsibility to this Tradition. I believe that as we nurture our groups, we nurture and empower ourselves. We can make a contribution; we can make choices that help us to allow healing in ourselves and others.
Today's Reminder
There's more to maintaining a fully self-supporting Al-Anon group than just paying the rent. Continuity of service is important to our common welfare. Today I will think about the contribution I am making to my home group.
I can support my group in a number of ways. When the basket is passed, I can give what I can. Just as important, I can give my time and moral support to help make ours the kind of group I want to belong to." Alateen -- a day at a time

**1) I was super impressed that this woman or man let the meeting closed when it was unhealthy, instead of continuing to do ALL the service.  Those are great boundaries!  2) Our home group doesn't have much rotation in service and I thought about fulfilling a position, but don't feel it's the right time.  It didn't occur to me that I can contribute by making program calls.  It not only will help me, but the others in the group.  I love thinking of it as service, instead of just a tool for me.

Passage 3
When I first came to Al-Anon, I was willing to do anything to make those around me happy. I believed I was a born follower. If told to jump, I asked, "How high?" I certainly didn't recognize any personal leadership skills. Mine were more like "fellowship" skills. I carried this attitude with me to my meetings.
It wasn't long before I found myself involved in one Al-Anon service project after another. I didn't think I was capable of performing these projects, but that didn't stop anyone from asking me. When I admitted I was afraid to make mistakes, fellow members told me that we all make them and that I would learn from them. It helped immensely that other Al-Anon members with more experience were at my side, guiding me with love and acceptance. It was all right to learn and grow at my own pace.
Eventually I felt more comfortable with my abilities and discovered talents I didn't know I had. I even began to feel capable of doing what was asked of me. Before I realized it, I was the one giving loving guidance. It took some time to see, but I had become a leader.
Concept Nine states in part, "Good personal leadership at all service levels is a necessity." My leadership style is different from the strict authoritarian style in the alcoholic home of my childhood. I simply present my experience, strength, and hope to others and provide support and encouragement for them to do their best. I strive to let it begin with me, which is true Al-Anon leadership in action.
Thought for the Day
Al-Anon encourages me to develop as a leader in my Higher Power's time, in my Higher Power's way.
"In Al-Anon we learn we can take charge of our lives. We are the leaders of ourselves." The Concepts -- Al-Anon's Best Kept Secret?, p. 20

** I found this one super informative as well.

Feeling extremely grateful!!  Just so extremely grateful!
1) for my sweet girls
2) for good friends
3) for a kind husband
4) for ambition and the level of serenity/stability we now have
5) for that check that came in last month and saved the day (aka for a loving higher power).


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  2. Let me know what you come up with for the kiddos! With C, I focus on him being in control of himself and removing himself if G is being mean. With G, I'm lost.