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Friday, November 18, 2016
Passage 1 - Honest Open Willing
When I was eleven years old, my father was hospitalized. In an effort to protect me, I was told the other person in my father's room was very sick, not my father. Eventually I discovered what really happened. My father had suffered a heart attack. I felt devastated that I had not been told the truth. That event taught me that when disaster struck, I was supposed to deny the truth, stuff my feelings, and act as if nothing unusual had happened.

Al-Anon is an honest, sharing program. Looking at the part honesty and sharing played in my life opened me to certain realizations. When I'm uncommunicative or dishonest in my interactions, I set myself apart and feel rejected. Conversely, open, truthful communication nurtures feelings of trust and encourages me to participate fully in life.

However, as I begin to change my old habits, fear of rejection sometimes tempts me to respond in old ways. When this happens, I step back to really hear what I say. Then I can find a more appropriate, honest response. By being more open and honest I can be a part of all that is around me. This allows me to discover the truth in Al-Anon's Fourth Concept of Service, "Participation is the key to harmony."

Sharing my feelings openly and honestly may involve facing painful truths. Nonetheless, it is much less harmful than being dishonest or withdrawn. When I respect others enough to allow them to deal with the facts of a situation according to their own needs, I am allowing them to participate in life's experiences, too.

Thought for the Day
Participating fully in life requires being as open and honest as I can with myself and others.
"If I persist in remaining apart . . . I upset my own harmony. I also deny the fellowship a gift that I can offer only by participating."
*The Forum*, April 1998, p. 30

Passage 2
 As a member of Al-Anon, I am part of a group which is part of a fellowship of thousands of such groups, encircling the world. One cannot even imagine the many kinds of people who join al-Anon for the same purpose as I did: to learn a better way of life despite the difficulties of living with an alcoholic. Their social units and customs are different from mine; the spirit that motivates us is all the same. This holds us together as one united fellowship wherever in the world we may be.

In one sense, I have an obligation to members of every group, not only my own. That duty is to observe and preserve Al-Anon’s principles and Traditions. The principles, for the individual, are stated in the Twelve Steps, important to all Al-Anon, and to me personally, to know both the Steps and the Traditions and protect them from distortion and dilution, I will read them and try to apply them in both personal and group matters.
“Tradition One: ‘Our common welfare should come first; personal progress for the greatest number depends upon unity.”

Passage 3 - Step 2, Self care
To me, when the Second Step talks about being restored to sanity, it covers more than the ability to function responsibly and realistically. A sane way of life also includes the willingness to play, to take a break, to cultivate a hobby. I suppose I think of humor as an especially appealing hobby. It takes no special equipment, doesn’t require travel, and never falls out of fashion. When I have a good laugh, I know that my Higher Power is restoring some of my sanity.

 If I can see nothing but my troubles, I am seeing with limited vision. Dwelling on these troubles allows them to control me. Of course, I need to do whatever footwork is required, but I also need to learn when to let go. When I take time to play, to laugh, and to enjoy, I am taking care of myself and giving my Higher Power some room to take care of the rest.

Today’s Reminder
A good chuckle or an engrossing activity can lift my spirits and cleanse my mind. I will refresh myself by adding some lightness to this day.
“Now I look for humor in every situation, and my Higher Power is a laughing God who reminds me not to take myself too seriously.“ As We Understood


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