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Friday, November 4, 2016
Passage 1
Sometimes I am called upon to accept unpleasant realities. I may wish to avoid disappointments, but I find that the only way to have serenity is to become willing to accept the things I cannot change. Acceptance gives me choices.
For instance, one day I called my sponsor because my qualifier and I had concert tickets for the evening, and I was afraid he would get drunk and pass out before it was time to leave the house. It had happened many times before: our tickets would go to waste, and I’d spend the evening in despair.

My sponsor suggested having back-up plans whenever my plans involved someone I couldn’t depend on. Plan A was the original night out. Plan B might be to call an Al-Anon friend in advance and explain the situation, and see if he or she would be interested in a last-minute invitation if Plan A fell through. Plan C might be to go by myself and have a good time. This new approach worked like a charm. It was great way to put acceptance to work in my life.

Today’s Reminder
I no longer have to depend on any one person or situation in order to get on with my day. Today I have choices.
“Consider the little mouse, how sagacious an animal it is which never entrusts his life to one hole only.“ Plautus

** This was a big revelation for me, back in the day.  And I need to re realize this today.  He is someone who you can't consistently depend on.  That makes you need a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C.  This takes away a lot of fear and anxiety.

Passage 2
An Al-Anon member once remarked that the main source of our unhappiness is that we ourselves don’t know what we want. We think we’re dissatisfied with what we have, with the way we live, and the way other people act toward us. He suggested that each person dig down deep to see what we really feel would bring us contentment.

If this self-searching reveals only that we are disgruntled because we feel we deserve a better car, a bigger house or more money, we must dig still deeper for the real cause. Is it envy of others? Is it our inability to enjoy fully what we do have? Do we, in defense of our own shortcomings, look for excuses to blame others?

I can find serenity only by rooting out my discontent. I must acknowledge to myself the real reasons why I react as I do. Am I doing my share? If not, my dissatisfaction may be due to unrecognized guilt. Is it difficult for me to feel and express appreciation I will try to develop a sense of gratitude. Do I expect others to behave according to my expectations? I will live and let live.

“It really adds up to this: that we’re not satisfied with ourselves, and we can certainly do something about that.”


Passage 3
I've been struggling very hard to heal from the frightening effects of growing up in an alcoholic home. I often felt scared during my early years. Things got broken, adults fell down from drinking too much, and the dog sat in a corner and shook. To cope, I didn't move and kept quiet. I shut down. I didn't get involved. I didn't really live.

Now that I'm an adult, I want to get better and live a full, happy life. After all, I deserve it. Al-Anon provides me with a multitude of ways to become the person I want to be. For me right now, the most encompassing tools include the slogan "Live and Let Live," especially the first part; Concept Four, which teaches me that "participation is the key to harmony"; and performing acts of Al-Anon service, no matter how small.

I'm coming to realize that my longed-for healing takes place in the living. I don't get well first and then start to mend. To become a whole person, I need to live now, take part, and become involved with others. Sometimes I can do this just a little at a time. Until I can do more, I'm nurturing a willingness in me to become more open-minded to my life and the people in it.

Healing is a process that will continue the rest of my life. I know how unhealthy I've been, yet I also know that my recovery has begun. My participation in everyday, ordinary life is a small but firm step away from the pain of isolation and toward a life of loving involvement.

Thought for the Day
Life is for living. Today I will involve myself in the joy of living.
"Participation also responds to our spiritual needs. All of us deeply desire to belong." Al-Anon Al-ateen Service Manual, p. 159

In my life group last night, we were encouraged to think about a need we have.  I have a need to feel competent.  In some ways, this was an epiphany to me, in some ways it was not.

I remember a Maslow's hierarchy assessment to decide where my childrens needs lie (before they were even born, haha).  I was so together back then.  I want to re-do this for them and me.  Both are on the verge of falling apart right now, so I'll return for that later....


  1. I liked that passage 1 gave an example of how acceptance brings choices. Real-life examples make it easier for me to apply the principle.

    Passage 2 really hit home.