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Thursday, November 17, 2016
PASSAGE 1 - principles above personality
If I have made myself a part of an AI-Anon group to get help, wouldn't I be defeating myself if I allowed what we call personality clashes to interfere with my getting the full benefit of the program?

Individuals tend to be more or less dominant; sometimes the most competent and helpful assert themselves over-strongly and so engender hostility in others. Sometimes there just isn't a personal rapport between two people.

I want to keep in mind always that my help depends on the unity of the group. I will not allow myself to resent what anyone does; I will accept the fact that they mean to be helpful, no matter what they may say or do.

Today's Reminder
I will make a conscious effort to look for the good in every person in my group. I will not criticize anyone on a personal basis. If there are disagreements on principles, they can always be resolved by consulting the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
"We penalize ourselves when we allow disapproval of another person to endanger the unity of the group. Anything that damages the group interferes with its ability to function for the good of each person in it."

**I love and appreciate this piece.  We say the traditions at the beginning of every meeting and everyone says this part together "principles above personality."  I think that helps with setting up a smooth start with my sponsor too.

"Keep coming back" is a phrase we often hear in Al-Anon. Why is it so important? Because many of us have grown so hardened in our fights with alcoholics or flights from alcoholics that we literally found it difficult to sit still for the process of recovery. We had to have answers right away or take action right away. Yet we felt just enough relief at our first meeting to come back once more. And then again, and again. Slowly we learned to sit still, to listen, and to heal.

No matter how many years we've been practicing the Al-Anon program, we can use the reminder to keep coming back. Difficult times come and go, even after long-term Al-Anon recovery. With each new challenge, many of us still need reminding that "there is no situation too difficult to be bettered and no unhappiness too great to be lessened."

Today's Reminder
If I feel discouraged today, I will turn to the basics of the Al-Anon program. I'll get to a meeting, call my sponsor, go back to the First Step. One day at a time, if I keep coming back, I know my situation will improve.

"If I really want to learn how to fit easily and happily into my environment and my relations with other people, AI-Anon has something for me." One Day at a Time in Al-Anon

 **Another thing we say at the end of al anon meetings, "Keep coming back, it works!"  And in some groups, after the closing prayer "It works, if you work it and you're worth it!"

When I feel called to service, I pray for knowledge of God's will for me to make sure it's not just me wanting to manipulate, control, or avoid something going on in my life. I have a finely honed sense of responsibility. It's a constant challenge for me to view my choices through the lenses of health and balance.

 I'd wanted to be involved in Alateen for some time, but I didn't know how to go about it. I also wanted to heal the wounds I'd accumulated from growing up around alcoholism. Could these two things be related? Would getting involved with the teens be a wise choice for me?
As the God of my understanding would have it, a local Alateen institutions group needed a co-sponsor. I agreed to take on the role. Never could I have foretold then that I would receive far more from a group of hurting teens than they would ever get from me. As I listened to them tell their stories, buried feelings from my childhood surfaced-guilt, rage, shame, and abandonment-and slowly I started to heal.

At first the teens were skeptical of me. The more I shared my experience, strength, and hope in relating to them, the more they learned to trust me. Then our relationship began to work. As I availed myself of the AI-Anon tools and my Higher Power's help to heal my painful feelings from the past, it became easier to offer an honest and hopeful environment where these young people could blossom. I learned that I always get more than I give.

Thought for the Day
Recovery often means letting others touch my mind and heart as much, or even more, than I touch theirs.
"When I begin feeling down, as I still sometimes do even though my life is stable now, I am lifted up by these Alateens:' A Guide to Alateen Sponsorship, p. 7

**I have been thinking of getting certified for alateen.  They've been announcing that they need sponsors (especially at the age 5 and 6 level) and this is just up my alley.  I really think I'd love it and learn so much, especially in raising my own little ones.  But, I'm not through my steps.  I actually just asked my sponsor about the yesterday.  And haven't been praying on it, but will add it to my list.  


  1. I wondered wht alateen meant. Now it seems so obvious lol. I think my church congregation could benefit from passage 1. I'm still learning to sit still. It's been too long since I've done meditation.