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Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Passage 1
A writer for a local newspaper recently maintained that most people spend more time planning vacations than they do thinking about what is really important in their lives. Of course a vacation has a certain importance, but as our slogan asks, "How Important Is It?"
In my case, the main focus of my mental activity usually is whatever problem, grievance, or irritation I am entertaining at the moment. "Now," I tell myself, "I'm concentrating on what's really important!" But, how important is it? When I look back on this two years from now, or next month, will it matter?
 Al-Anon helps me to address the larger concerns in my life. For example, how can I make better contact with my Higher Power? Am I taking time to enjoy the present moment? Am I becoming the person I want to be? What can I give thanks for today?

Today's Reminder
Are my priorities in order? Am I so busy with smaller, less meaningful concerns that I run out of time for the really important considerations? Today I will make room to think about what really matters.
"Today I'll use the slogan, 'How Important Is It?' It will help me think things through before I act and it will give me a better picture of just what is important in my life." Alateen -- a day at a time

 *I have been using this slogan all the time!  Yesterday, Julianne broke my computer - "How important is it?"  Not that important.  And I broke the screen on my phone (not a good day for electronics in our home).  "How important is it?"  Not that important.  I waited around for hours in my car between clients and then my client was a no show.  Really... not that important AND she's still going to pay me AND I had some nice alone time in my car AND I got home an hour early.

I actually am seeing the positives to not having a laptop already.  Although that may not stop me from getting another one.  I'm excited to launch my new platform and giving myself props for trying something new.  Yesterday really wasn't a bad day, at all!  And Hubby even bought beer and lied and hid it from me (although, I found it on accident).  How important was it to that particular day?  Not important enough to effect my darn serenity.  He didn't even drink.  I kind of rocked it yesterday, in huge thanks to this slogan (and program, of course!)

Passage 2
Nearly two years ago I tried my first Al-Anon meeting. I realized that I truly belonged there and decided to attend a minimum of three meetings each week. However, life had other plans for me. Within days, my life changed dramatically. Attending meetings under my new circumstances would be nearly impossible.
Fortunately I had accumulated an assortment of Al-Anon Conference Approved Literature, some of which I read daily. It was in CAL that I learned of the Lone Member Service. Through this service, people who can't attend meetings for geographical or physical reasons, etc., are put in touch with Al-Anon members for correspondence. Soon I was exchanging letters with members all over the United States.
About one year after I first reached out to Al-Anon, I realized that the written word in the form of CAL and writing to lone members was not just my primary tool for learning and living my program. It had become a kind of Power greater than myself -- a guide and good, reliable friend. It helps me even when I don't fully comprehend the weight or wisdom of what I read or write. When I keep coming back to CAL it helps me ensure the serenity I've worked so hard for in Al-Anon.
I still hope someday that I'll be able to attend meetings and give back in service the magnificent gifts I have received from reading CAL. Until then I'll rely on CAL and the Lone Member Service to carry me through.

Thought for the Day
If I can't get to a meeting and a crisis strikes, sanity and serenity may be only a page away.
"Between meetings and when other people are not available, Al-Anon literature can offer us the comfort of knowing that our problems are not unique and we are not alone." How Al-Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics, p. 40

*As someone who does not go to a lot of meetings and am working my steps at a slow pace that is perfect for me, I have found great growth through these daily passages that I read. 

Passage 3

Have I been trying to live the Al-Anon program? Then I must surely be learning to overcome any tendency to control others -- the directing, scheming and manipulating that can only result in my own defeat.
I will not interfere with the activities of the alcoholic, or watch over him, counsel him, or assume his responsibilities. He must have the same freedom to make his own decisions as I have, since he must suffer for them if they are wrong.
Perhaps I have felt I had a right and an obligation to set the standards for the family and compel those around me to live up to them. In Al-Anon we learn a better way.
Here is a vivid picture, from the great novelist Tolstoy, which makes the situation clear:

Today's Reminder
"I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means -- except by getting off his back."

"Teach me to leave to others their inborn right to dignity and independence, as I wish to have them leave mine to me."

* I love this last quote "Teach me to leave to others their inborn right to dignity and independence, as I wish to have them leave mine to me."  Should be another favorite/quote to memorize.  Maybe I'll make a page of these.  I really didn't even have an idea of what healthy boundaries looked like when I first got married.  A few years in, I learned a little more and then when I started recovery, I learned a LOT more.  My job is to live my life in a way I can be proud of and let those around me do the same


  1. Excellent passages! I'm glad your daily devotionals help you.