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Thursday, September 15, 2016
Passage 1

Once upon a time there was a married couple who lived in a beautiful house, and had lots of the material things that many of us think are important to contentment. They were not contented, however. What with one little misunderstanding and another, the situation grew worse. Nobody would give way an inch in their bitter arguments, until at last their love turned to hate. Finally the wife insisted that the inside of the house be divided by a brick wall, behind which each could live in his and her own quarters. Each went his own way, and they never spoke to each other again as long as they lived. They had many wretched years in their isolation
Am I unknowingly building a wall between myself and the person I married? Is it being made of stubbornness, self-will, self-righteousness and a desire to punish? Such a wall can be as hard and unyielding as though it were made of real bricks. It would leave me no space in which to grow. As one member put it:

"God grant me the wisdom to recognize the faults I am building into a wall, such a wall as cannot be penetrated even by love.”o

**This passage surprised me in where it went.  Am I building a wall of stubbornness, self will, self righteousness and a desire to punish?

Why does a dog bark? I feel terror when I'm on the receiving end of ferocious barking.r. I suspect that a dog barks because of his own fear. If the dog really wanted to attack, he'd dispense with the barking and lunge for me.
My alcoholic father often flew into rages that he seemed to direct at me. I lived in constant fear of him, and I defended myself by attacking him first. Our behavior then escalated into an ugly fight. I carried this behavior into other relationships. When I didn't bark, I defended myself by feigning indifference, leading others to believe that I was a snob. Sure, I protected myself, but I deprived myself of any real friendships in the process.
When I finally made it to Al-Anon, opening my mind and heart was a challenge. As I sat in the Al-Anon rooms week after week, I gradually came to trust that I could speak my heart and not be scorned. I heard meeting topics about fear and anger, and I connected with the reason behind my need to attack others first. I was afraid. It didn't take me long to see that perhaps my father had barked at me because he had been afraid, too.
This realization didn't mean I could ignore my feelings about past verbal abuse. By the time I worked through my fear and anger at thmy dad, I realized he was just a person with the same emotions as I. Instead of snarling dogs, we were just two people with shortcomings. It's a great deal easier to make friends when I'm not barking at em!
Thought for the Day
Never underestimate the power of self-awareness to put past experience into a new perspective.
"Until we take the time to look at ourselves honestly, we may never be free of the bondage
in which alcoholism holds us captive." How Al-Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics, p. 26



  1. Good choices in the highlighted quotes! I've always had a wall up, even before Justin, thanks to my upbringing and addiction.