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Monday, November 21, 2016
A cloudy day with beams of light shining through. 

Weather may seem like a standard conversation starter, but I often find so much peace from looking outside of myself at something I so obviously can't control.  It often gets my head on straight.

Another thing the speaker at church yesterday said was that she often finds peace when hearing or seeing song birds.

What is the price of five sparrows? A couple of pennies? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows. (Luke 12:6)

I really liked the idea of being brought back to peace with the sight or song of a bird.

Continuing on....

Someone persuaded Mr. J. to attend an Al-Anon meeting. His wife had finally joined AA and was devoting herself to sobriety – and to developing herself as a person through the spiritual elements in the AA program.

Mr. J. frankly didn’t like it. He and his wife had entertained a great deal, at cocktail parties and such, and her sobriety interfered with these activities. To him, it was perfectly ridiculous that anyone of their social standing should admit to being enslaved by alcohol. Even after four or five Al-Anon meetings, he still couldn’t understand why his wife found it necessary to continue with AA now that she was sober, or that Al-Anon had anything for him.

When I consider how people limit themselves by keeping closed minds, I learn that pride often makes recovery difficult both from alcoholism and from the emotional sickness of living with an alcoholic. I see how necessary it is to accept changes in my patterns of living – if I really hope for a serene and orderly existence.
“Some people don’t know how badly they need a new way of life until disaster overtakes them.”

**Pride is a big one for me!

Sometimes I think that, because I’ve been in Al-Anon for a long time, I shouldn’t have any more problems. When difficulties do arise, I feel something is wrong with me or with the program.  Actually, in some ways I have more problems than ever. When I came to Al-Anon, I had only one problem: I didn’t know how to fix the alcoholic. (My life was in complete shambles, but I swore that I was fine.) Today I know that I can’t fix anyone but myself, and I challenge myself daily to seek a richer, more meaningful life. I’m taking risks, facing fears, making changes, speaking up, making myself available to life.

I’m bound to run into snags here and there. Sometimes life doesn’t follow my blueprint. I get overwhelmed and want to crawl under the covers and hide. At such a time it helps to remember that Al-Anon doesn’t take away problems, but it does give me the courage and insight to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

Today’s Reminder
In handling my difficulties, what’s important isn’t how much time I have in Al-Anon but how willing I am to implement the tools of recovery. While Al-Anon doesn’t grant immunity from problems, it does offer a healthy way to deal with them.
Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.“ H.W. Beecher

Step Five, "Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs," suggest a specific order for actions. It also gives me a guideline for prioritizing the relationships in my life.

First, I need to develop a relationship with the God of my understanding. This will be the source of my happiness and future recovery in Al-Anon. Without such a relationship, I will not have the strength, guidance, or wisdom I need to live and learn the Steps, Traditions, Concepts of Service, and slogans. My Higher Power will give me courage to develop the attitudes and behaviors that bring about solid recovery. Steps One through Three help build this important relationship.

 Next, I learn to become at peace with myself. I wake up with myself every morning and go to sleep with myself every night. I spend 24 hours a day with that one person, so it is important that I'm at least tolerable if not downright enjoyable company. I can't be that person when I'm overly controlled by guilt, fear, and resentment and negligibly aware of my gifts and talents. Steps Four through Seven help me get to know and accept myself.

Lastly, I start acting responsibly towards others. The best way to heal that guilt and resentment I've been lugging around is to take a good, hard look at the people I've harmed and do my best to make amends. I can even go one step further by carrying a message of hope instead of hurt as I may have done in the past. Steps Eight through Twelve help me clean up my past and plant seeds of benevolence in the future.

Thought for the Day!
In what order of importance are my relationships today?
"The Steps are a guide to total good living."


  1. I agree that songbirds bring peace. They're my favorite part of spring. I can totally relate to passage 2. Passage 3 is pure inspiration! I never viewed the steps in that light. Thank you for sharing all his wisdom.