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Thursday, November 10, 2016
“God, please set aside everything I think I know about myself, the twelve steps, this book, the meetings, my disease, and you, God, so I may have an open mind and a new experience with all these things, please let me see the truth.”

PASSAGE 1 - program tools
Here is another Al-Anon prescription for that frantic state of tension we call being "tied in knots." Just for the moment, empty your mind of all thought. Then admit to it one single idea, and concentrate on it for a whole minute. Let it be a simple thing you can make a picture of in your mind-a rose of a specific color, an empty bowl you imagine yourself filling with bright fruit, a tiny sliver of a new moon. Think of nothing else but that one thing and don't let anything else intrude. The minute will seem like an hour, but at the end of this concentrated thought, the tension and confusion will have drained away, and you'll be better able to cope with the present problem.

Today's Reminder
Troubles grow bigger as we spend more and more time thinking about them. I will interrupt such thoughts with a meditation whenever their weight is too much for me. It will calm my thinking and put my difficulty into proper focus.
"Meditation is the spiritual way to turn my thoughts away from whatever is troubling me. It is a lift, a refreshment."

** This is a very simple meditation that I have used in the past... I actually think I started using it after reading this passage LAST year.  And then I stopped.  And I forgot about it.  And I am so glad for the reminder.  My mind wants to run away from me during meditation that isn't guided.  But, this is doable!

PASSAGE 2 - one day at a time
Al-Anon reminds me that I can only deal with one day at a time. This allows me to be more realistic about what I can do to improve my situation. It gets rid of the constant urgency.
Today I can see that no problem lasts forever. I used to feel that if I didn't solve a problem immediately, it would remain for all time. Now I know that everything passes eventually, the happy as well as the sad.

Today I can ask myself, "What can I do about this right here, right now?" This question helps me to identify my responsibility more realistically and shows me what part of the situation is beyond my power to control. Reasoning things out with an Al-Anon friend or attending a meeting often helps me to separate today's problems from those belonging to the past or future. Then I do what I can and turn over the rest.

Today's Reminder
I can cope more effectively with difficult situations when I am realistic about my responsibilities. I have the tools I need to face today's challenges. I will trust my Higher Power with tomorrow.
"Today is only a small manageable segment of time in which our difficulties need not overwhelm us. This lifts from our hearts and minds the heavy weight of both past and future. One Day at a Time in Al-Anon

When I began my recovery, writing seemed like the most natural way to explore myself. It was a way of staying aware or my feelings by telling God and myself the truth about me. Now each morning before my son wakes up, I spend my Step Eleven time writing a "Dear God" letter. As it turns out, I'm actually writing my life story. Through this writing I've come to terms with the reality that my father molested me when I was a youth. To cope with the trauma of that injury, as well as the emotional neglect and physical abuse I endured while growing up, I buried most of my childhood memories. This included the joyful as well as the painful ones. Writing allows me to recover the whole spectrum of my remembrances in a gentle manner, when I'm ready to receive them.

As I continue to explore myself through writing, especially in the Fourth, Eighth, and Tenth Steps, I give myself the gift of knowing myself better. I also give myself the opportunity to share my writings with a trusted Al-Anon sponsor or friend. My life matters. It's important to honor and remember my experiences.
Then I release them to God, who will use them to help others as I share my experience, strength, and hope.

Thought for the Day
There's a reason why several of the Steps ask me to put my thoughts, feelings, and memories down on paper. Today I'll consider how I could use writing, or some other concrete form of expression, to discover myself.
"...I set aside some time to get to know about myself, including a lot of the good things that I know about the kind of person I am." Courage to Be Me, p.

**I know that I have blocked out a lot of the mean things my mom said growing up.  I don't think I blocked out the good with the bad, gratefully.  But, I do think writing is extremely powerful.


  1. I will have to try that meditation technique. Passage 2 is something I can use too. Being overwhelmed or feeling a sense of urgency trip me up a lot. I used to be an avid journal writer until a year after I got married. I only started back up again last year.