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Monday, December 5, 2016
Life with the Al-Anon program, to which we turn when we are deep in trouble may ultimately confront us with a special challenge.

At first we may come as doubters: "How can my terrible problem be solved by joining a group?" Then come the revelations. We learn how to live and find serenity in the midst of alcoholic turmoil. We see ourselves growing, understanding, helping.

But once the major problem is eliminated by the alcoholic's joining AA, we may feel we're old-timers at this Al-Anon business; we think we "have it made." We skip meetings; have no time to comfort troubled newcomers, forget about reading Al-Anon books.

 Then comes the challenge of continued problems, and we realize how much we still need Al-Anon to keep ourselves able to meet them.

Today's Reminder
I don't resort to Al-Anon only to learn to live with the active drinking problem. It is my way of life, and increasingly rich and rewarding life, as I learned to use a program in depth.
"AA brings the drinker do sobriety in order to fit him to absorb the deeper meanings of the program. Al-Anon changes our thinking for the same purpose."

I was sure there had to be somebody in this world who would understand my every mood, always have time for me, and bring a smile to my fac
e. When that individual appeared, I'd finally have the love I deserved. Until then, I had no choice but to wait. Poor me. What a sad and lonely life I had.

Then someone at an Al-Anon meeting use the word "gratitude" and suddenly this whole scenario began to crumble. When I thought about how much I had to be grateful for, my fantasy showed itself to be no more than a shadow. Reality presented a different picture entirely. There were my friends, the child who comes to me with so much trust, the co-worker who reaches out in friendship, the beloved alcoholic in my life, the Al-Anon members to hug me, talk with me, and encourage me. What was I doing with their love? It seemed to me I was brushing it aside for that one imaginary person or, worse, not noticing it at all.

Today's Reminder
If I can't recognize the love that already exists in my life, would I really appreciate receiving more? Let me acknowledge what has already been given to me.

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ' thank you,' that would suffice." Meister Eckhart

When my children were little, they didn't like cooked carrots. However, they loved to eat carrots raw, so I always kept some around for snacks. I don't care for the big, thick, pale carrots that seem to taste like wood. I prefer the slender, sweet, bright ones. So when I shopped for carrots or the kids, I carefully chose the skinniest, brightest ones I could find.

I didn't realize it at the time, but as I searched through the piles of carrots, my young son had been sitting in the kiddy seat of the shopping cart, coming to his own conclusions. Recently as a teenager, he expressed resentment that I always bought him scrawny carrots. Scrawny carrots? I had so lovingly selected them for him! I had been doing what I thought was best, and he was resenting it because he wanted, or thought he wanted, something different.

Once at an Al-Anon meeting, I heard sharings on the topic of spiritual gifts that come disguised as something one doesn't particularly like. This idea was in the back of my mind as I listened to my son. Suddenly I found new insight and understanding. Was I resenting God "scrawny carrots?" Were the challenges and losses in my life, actually gifts God had chosen carefully for me so that I might grow spiritually? I knew it to be so, and I felt simultaneously humbled and overwhelmed with gratitude for the nature of my Higher Power's love for me.

Thought for the Day
Mine is a disease of distorted perception. Higher Power, please tell me appreciate the "scrawny carrots" of my life as a gift they really are.
". . . I am constantly making choices about how I perceive my world. With the help of Al-Anon and my friends in the fellowship, I can make those choices more consciously and more actively than ever before." Courage to Change, p. 243

*******  LOOOVE THIS!  Could be a favorite!  Really appreciate the idea of being grateful for the challenges God has carefully put in my life.  Also love the short hand, "scrawny carrots."

1) hot water with lemon
2) J is doing this with me today and said she is grateful for a "banana apple seed"
3) J's Christmas Present
4) J's grateful for - instruments (which is oddly what she is getting for Christmas - woo hoo!)
5) Christmas tree, electricity, this computer, love and health and much much more!!!

(J was with me today, so I read almost all of this out loud to her, hence less typing.)

***I read something that was detachment.  And it said that when the other person is so busy arguing with  you or discussing things with you, it takes the focus off of themselves.  Ah - ha!!!  I remember this being an ah ha moment when I first learned it more than a year ago and a game changer!!  Why did I forget this???  J is gone now, so I'm typing away.  I am going to make it my goal not to do this AT ALL!


  1. Passage 1- "way of life." That's how you can tell the difference between people who are in true recovery and people who just go through recovery programs.

    Passage 2- so relevant to my issues!

    Passage 3- "mine is a disease of distorted perception." AMEN!

    Banana apple seed--too cute!