Copyright © Living with Confidence
Design by Dzignine
Monday, October 3, 2016
I did some fantastic Step 4 work last night, after stepping away from it for months.  I've always enjoyed doing it.  Yet, I have put it off.  I am ready again, however.  And am enjoying it thoroughly.  What I am noticing is a desire to answer the questions in two ways.  1) How I used to act and 2) how I act now.  I am learning truth, but also seeing so much growth.  That feels good!

Yesterday, we attended Spanish Church again.  I think we may switch to attending every other week, because I really can't understand much of the sermon.  I sat there and after trying to understand for awhile, asked for a pen and started working on my own stuff.  The Spanish chapel is at a local megachurch, there are many in LA.  It is held in the old chapel... where the megachurch initially started.  The space is lovely.  Beautiful architecture, stained glass at the top...... of a Bible rather than a St..  We begin with music, then drop the kids off at Sunday School.  When I returned from Sunday school, the congregation prayed in small groups of 3-4, holding hands.  I sat down, soaking in the Holy Spirit.  A woman came up and asked what she could pray about for me.  I sat there bathed in the warmth of the Holy Spirit, but couldn't think of the Spanish words for hope or clarity.  And so, just said happily, "nada, gracias."  She squeezed my shoulder.  I like the church.  I like the pastor.  I'm going to start with a Spanish tutor next week, and my thought was, "Keep coming back and maybe I will understand the sermon next year."  It was a powerful thought.  I want to learn to speak Spanish for my kids, yes....  But, more so, I would like to speak Spanish for me.  This is something I would like to accomplish and I would be extremely proud of achieving.  It is also possible, one step at a time.

I also realized that nothing is wrong with me, in terms of learning Spanish.  It was an epiphany.  It is a bit more common that people can understand more Spanish, than they can speak.  I can speak much more than I can understand.  I always thought I had a deficit in this area and, "Just wasn't good at languages."  An affirmation I have my students say is, "I learn in my own way and that is COOL!"  How crazy, that I had such a fixed mindset in regards to languages.  Anyways, Awareness, Acceptance, Action.  Now, that I've accepted this mindset that is not working for me, I can toss it. I have also realized that while I learn in my own way, most beginning to intermediate speakers are not ready for conversational speed Spanish. 

While sitting in church, I wrote a gratitude list.  I'll put it here.
1) This church!
2) My therapist
3) Hubby going to SA meetings
4) My friend whose name starts with CH
5) L not crying when I dropped her off.

I am also grateful to see scripture through new eyes, when reading it in Spanish.  A verse I was decoding was, I Pedro 1:14  "Como hijos obedientes, no se conformen a los deseos que antes tenian en su ignorancia...."   I left out the accent marks, but easy enough to understand.  As obedient children, do not conform to the desires that you had before... in your ignorance." 

What unhealthy desires did I have before, in my ignorance, that it is time to drop? 

Passage 1

Cheery platitudes are not much help to newcomers in really desperate straits. Nor is the hearty attitude: “Come on, snap out of it – Al-Anon will work wonders for you!”
A wife and mother who has seen everything go down the drain, who has lived through losing her home, going on public relief, with the husband in an institution or a prison, may feel even farther removed from hope in a bright, optimistic circle of Al-Anon people who are on the way up.
Such newcomers should select sponsors who can understand their problems and help them, with patience and tact, to meet the challenge.

It is a spiritual experience to lead a desperate newcomer into a new point of view. We learn the subtle difference between pity and sympathetic understanding. We do not flaunt our own success in Al-Anon; we let it speak for itself.

A good sponsor keeps in touch, gently conveys the idea that it’s always darkest just before dawn, and gives a lift to the bruised ego.
“I pray for the opportunity to help the hopeless; it will show me the way to share myself with someone in great need.”

***Oh my!!  The hilighted passage.... that was me last year.  I didn't feel further removed, though.  It was before I could go to in person groups.  Just a reminder that, we are not alone.

And, huh!  The very next line on sponsor selection.  We often hear about just getting a sponsor. I appreciate the nod towards getting the right sponsor for you. 

Passage 2
Clearly, I didn’t know what compassion was, but I knew what it was not. Compassion was not seeking revenge, holding a grudge, calling names, or screaming and throwing things in anger. Yet that was how I frequently behaved toward this person I claimed to love. For me, the beginning of learning compassion was to eliminate such behavior.

While I still have a hard time defining compassion, I think it starts with the recognition that I am dealing with a sick person who sometimes exhibits symptoms of a disease. I don’t have to take it personally when these symptoms, such as verbal abuse, appear, nor do I have the right to punish anyone for being sick.

I am a worthwhile human being. I don’t have to sit and take abuse. But I have no right to dish it out, either.

Today’s Reminder
I will spend more time with myself in this lifetime than with anybody else. Let me learn to be the kind of person I would like to have as a friend.
He who would have beautiful roses in his garden must have beautiful roses in his heart.” S. R. Hol

**"While I still have a hard time defining compassion, I think it starts with the recognition that I am dealing with a sick person who sometimes exhibits symptoms of a disease."  I first read this as referring to myself!

Passage 3
Have you ever had the opportunity to watch preschoolers put together a puzzle? If a piece doesn't fit immediately, they often push and shove to make it fit, making lots of sound effects along the way.

This is how I lived most of my life. I never felt like I "fit" in my family or anywhere else. I felt like the puzzle piece in a preschooler's hand. Instead of forcing myself to fit, I forced those around me. I tried to manipulate and control everybody in my life to change the shape of their personalities to suit mine. I even attended workshops so I could make changes happen. My personal slogan became "I have to make things happen." My life was unmanageable.

Fortunately I made it to Al-Anon before I wrecked the entire beautiful puzzle of my life. The program taught me first that there's nothing wrong with the way I'm shaped mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually. There's nothing wrong with other people's shapes either. Then I learned that the only piece I can change is my own. I have choices now. Instead of spending time with people and situations where I don't fit, I can look for the ones where I do. Regarding the puzzle of my family, I can't change, I can't change the fact that I'm a member who doesn't always fit. However, Al-Anon gives me tools, such as detachment and the Serenity Prayer, to use when I'm around family members. I can change what I can and remember that this family gathering, too, shall pass. Soon I can move on to gatherings where I feel more comfortable.
Thought for the Day!
My goal is not to change others to fit me. I aim to change myself to fit my Higher Power's will.
"Our thinking becomes distorted by trying to force solutions and we become irritable and unreasonable without knowing it."


  1. Wow, so much good stuff today! That is awesome that you can speak Spanish conversationally! As you can imagine, that's a sore spot for me (not really for my sister) in our family. I'm the odd one out. I understand it much better than I speak it because of my perfectionist character. Someday I hope to be able to speak it conversationally. You are inspiring for going out of your comfort zone to teach yourself and your children another language!

    This really stuck out to me: "I will spend more time with myself in this lifetime than with anybody else. Let me learn to be the kind of person I would like to have as a friend."

    The last passage fit perfectly. I've even described myself that way before, a puzzle piece without a puzzle. I've never fit in really well anywhere. I'm a bit eclectic. Anyway, I like the advice to remember detachment and "this too shall pass."

    Grateful for you too!