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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Many of us come to Al-Anon confused. We are so focused on our alcoholic loved ones that we may not be able to see where they leave off and we begin. We've lost our sense of what is appropriate. How can we distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behavior when we don't even know what we want or need?

My Fourth Step inventory help me discover who I am, what my values are, the behavior I'd like to keep, and the things I'd like to change. With this in mind, I am working to establish new behavior that reflects my integrity and expresses my true values. Where in the past I have allowed unacceptable behavior, I now can choose a different response. I must consistently do what I say I'm going to do. Today I have the courage and faith to be true to myself, whether or not others like or agree with me. I must remember that announcing my new ways to others is not nearly as important as knowing what my own limits are and acting accordingly.

Today's Reminder
I will remember that knowing my boundaries does not mean forcing others to change; it means that I know my own limits and take care of myself by respecting them. The focus, today, is on me.
"He that respects himself is safe from others; he wears a coat of mail that none can pierce."

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 **This is so good!  I love that knowing my boundaries does not mean trying to force others to change.  I think we often get that confused.

My life is a series of unfoldings--incidents and occasions, agreeable or distressing. Each day is full of them, hour by hour, and this makes it difficult for me to take a detached view of all that is happening. I'm too close.
If these occurrences were like so many pieces of merchandise--groceries or dry goods--I would see them clearly, good and bad. Looking at the incidences of my life in this way, I might be astonished to discover that the good far outweigh the bad. And yet I concentrate so heavily on my trials and burdens that I hardly give a thought to relishing the pleasant and satisfying things that happen each day.
This noticing is an acute awareness of our surroundings and what takes place in them. It can be cultivated, like watching a play or film.

 Today's Reminder
If I learn to see everything with a fresh eye, I will find I have many reasons for contentment and gratitude. When I find myself being bogged down with negative thoughts, I will deliberately turned away from them.
"Let me observe, with new interest, even the commonplace things that happen in each new day."

"Thanks for mentioning the ' F- word'" someone said to me after a meeting. "You know, F-U-N. I don't hear about that as often as I'd like."

I had been mentioning fun at great length, because I was the speaker that night. I shared about my recent attendance at a family wedding, which I enjoyed very much. The fun was in the details, of course. The fact that I could recognize and delight in those details came from practicing my program. I made many choices before the wedding. Most concerned the development of alternate plans and options should family tensions erupt. For example, my wife and I chose to drive separately so either one of us could leave the reception temporarily should the need arise. I also considered how I might respond if someone tried to draw me into a conflict. In addition, I put a few copies of The Forum in my car and slipped the "Just for Today" wallet card inside the pocket of my suit just in case I needed a quick sanity break.

As my Higher Power would have it, I didn't have to employ any of those tools. However, because I had anticipated my needs and prepared for them, I was able to travel lightly and with a sense of playfulness. I clearly set my sights on celebrating a joyous occasion. As a result of thinking ahead and making plans to take care of myself, I truly enjoyed a day I wanted to enjoy.

Thought for the Day
One of the many miracles of recovery is that I can take my fun with me wherever I go! All I need to do is make a plan without anticipating the outcome.
"Today I know that part of my recovery is respecting my need and my right to let go and relax." . . . In All Our Affairs, p. 149

GRATEFUL GRATEFUL GRATEFUL for too many thing to count.  Health, food, babysitters, holiday parties, my sweet kids, ability to access so much information online, etc. etc. 


  1. Passage 1: I'm still trying to figure out who I am and what my strengths are. I would like to have a coat of mail!

    Passage 2: My God's hand journal helps me with this. Sometimes on my worst days I'll have the longest list of tender mercies from God.

    Passage 3: I should do this whenever visiting family on either side.