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Saturday, November 5, 2016
Once, there was a Very Nice Girl whose neighbor told her about Al-Anon. The girl was very proud and only reluctantly admitted that her brother was wrecking the family by his excessive drinking. She went to a few meetings, but always hesitated when her neighbor invited her. It seemed this Very Nice Girl felt a little above the kind of people who came to talk about their drunken relatives. But the neighbor, a dedicated Al-Anon, realized that she had not yet learned the importance of Humility in coping with life’s problems.

She would criticize the way people talked at meetings; commented that some of them were uneducated and used faulty grammar, and so on. Finally, after working with her patiently, the neighbor managed to convince her that the most important thing about Al-Anon was the way we help each other through love and mutual concern for each other’s problems. And that the most important way to get that help was to listen to what is said, and now how it is said.

One day the neighbor, who read the bible each morning and evening, came across a paragraph that she thought would be helpful, and it was! This is what it said:
“There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without significance.” This verse, from the 14th Chapter of 1st Corinthians, verse 10, made it clear to the girl that she would find answers from uncritical listening. And she did!

**Principles above personality.  I appreciate that part of the traditions.  We can learn from this in so many things. 

Sometimes what I do is less important than why I do it. For instance, if I choose to speak up when something bothers me, my motives for speaking will influence what I say and how I say it. If I speak because I feel it is the right action for me to take and because I have a need to express myself, then the focus is on me. The listener’s reactions become far less important.

But if I speak out in order to manipulate or change another person, then their reaction becomes the focus of my attention and the measure by which I evaluate results.  I may use exactly the same words in both situations, but I am likely to feel much better about the experience if my focus is on myself. Ironically, the results usually seem more favorable that way as well.

Today’s Reminder
Today, instead of aiming only for results, I will consider taking actions because they seem to be the right actions for me.

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.“ Martin Luther

Our Suggested Al-Anon/Alateen Closing states, " Though you may not like all of us, you'll love us in a very special way the same way we already love you." When I first came to Al-Anon, I found this statement too incredible to believe. If they really knew me, I thought, they wouldn't say that. How could anyone possibly like or love me? I certainly didn't.

Nevertheless, they kept on saying it at every meeting. As I began to really respect these people, I wondered if they could be so far off in their opinion of me. Maybe there was something lovable about me after all, although I didn't know. That's when members of my group encouraged me to know myself better through AI-Anon's Fourth Step.

At first all I saw were my defects. My fellow members encouraged me to seek out my assets as well. They even went so far as to suggest that I embrace my defects and my assets and celebrate them all as part of who I am. They assured me that with the help of the Steps that follow, I could let my Higher Power decide which ones I needed to keep.

 I heard many members say their group loved them until they loved themselves. This was my experience as well. The more my group showed love and respect for me, the more I was able to love myself. Then I could begin to help love others into self-love. What a wonderful way of passing it on.

Thought for the Day
It's heartwarming to know I can lean on other members' self-love until I develop a measure of my own.

"For the first time in my life, I'm starting to really care about other people, mainly because I feel like a worthwhile person. I believe the saying that you can't love someone until you first care about yourself." Alateen-Hope for Children of Alcoholics, p. 81

Not a lot of comments from me today.  I'm in a an odd mood.  I will revisit these, however.  The last one especially, I very much appreciate.  


  1. Passage 1: I totally agree with the part you highlighted!

    Passage 2: This is exactly what my therapist says.

    Passage 3: I love the last paragraph, before Thought for the Day. This truth reminds me of the movie "The Buttercream Gang."