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Sunday, December 4, 2016
PASSAGE 1 - Let go and let God, program tools, step 1
I found it relatively easy to make a decision to turn over my will and my life to God. However, I didn't have any idea how to actually do it. I tried to turn myself over more times that I cook turns flapjacks at a pancake breakfast, but I just couldn't seem to let go completely. Finally I found two techniques that work for me--a God box and a basketball net.

A wise Al-Anon member suggested the idea of a God box. I tested it when I felt perplexed about some calculations on my income tax form. On a small piece of paper, I wrote, "The income tax forms are in Your hands until tomorrow." I folded up the paper, put it in a box, and let go of it. It was that simple, and it actually worked! I was able to forget what I was obsessing about and get on with my day.

 I also use another letting-go method I called the "basketball technique." This technique helps me let go of work when I come home with my head full of unfinished business. There's a basketball hoop in our driveway. Before going into the house, I play one-on-one with my Higher Power. With each shot at the basket, I imagine the ball is one of my work projects. The hoop symbolizes my Higher Power. If the shot is good, then I turned that issue over. If I miss, I keep shooting. Finally, the last thing I let go of is the ball. After I take this time for myself, I can go comfortably into the house and enjoy being a husband and a father.

Thought for the Day
If I supply the willingness, my Higher Power will supply the way.
"There are as many ways to approach turning our will and our lives over as there are definitions of God." Paths to Recovery, p. 29

**Love the basketball idea!  I used a God box when I first started recovery and, at that point, I felt it actually had me hold on to the idea longer because I was soooo good at getting rid of my obsessions.  Another time.  I remember that first God box.  It was so cute.  J and I decorated it with butterflies when I had left Hubby and was at my mom's house.  No need to pay bills, no need to deal with messy relationship stuff, just me and my baby girl L and my sweet little 2 year old.  I had all day long to just do things I enjoyed and recovery stuff.  I always do better in life when I have balance.  God help me figure out the way to balance work and family in a way where I feel restored. 

PASSAGE 2 - higher power
What is meditation? Al-Anon leave that question open for each of us the answer in our own way. Drawing upon the experiences of other Al-Anon members can help us to find our own path. Here are only a few of the ways members of the fellowship have shared:

To me, meditation is a higher spiritual awareness. I practice remembering that every action can service spiritual purpose.

I go to a quiet place, close my eyes, and repeat the words of the Serenity Prayer to myself in a gentle voice.

I need to get beyond my thoughts, so I concentrated on my breathing, counting from one to ten over and over as I breathe in and out.

I simply step back and watch my thoughts as if I were watching a play. I try to keep my attention on the present day only, leaving the past and the future alone.

I focus on a flower. When my thoughts stray, I accept that my mind is just doing its job--thinking--and then gently return to my subject.

In my mind, I picture my Higher Power's hands. One by one, I place my problems and worries, my joy and my gratitude, into those hands, and finally, I climb in too.

There are questions--and many of us ask them--to lead us straight down the dead-and street of frustration: "Why can't he . . .?"--"What is he up to?"--"Why can't I make him see . . .?"
They're simple, but they say a lot. It's they reveal our conviction that we're in control--that we know what ought to be done--that our wisdom is greater than someone else's. They lead to frustration because we're not in control--of anyone or anything but ourselves.

In his book, The Sign of Jonas, the noted writer Thomas Merton says:
"Stop asking yourself questions that have no meaning. Or if they have, you'll find out when you need to--find out both the questions and the answers."

Today's Reminder
I will rather ask myself "What prompts me to do or say things that cause trouble?"--"Why do I concentrate on someone else's shortcomings instead of my own?" To such questions I can find the answers--if I dig deeply and honestly enough.
"Speculating on other people's attitudes and motives is a waste of time and effort To search out the reasons for my own is a voyage of discovery!"


  1. I love the idea in passage 1 but don't think either of those activities would work for me. I understand having to find balance. I've had to cut down a lot on work to have more time with myself and my kids, but God has blessed me for it. Sometimes I think of quitting altogether and having no more deadlines, but I don't want to lose this job.

    To me, meditation means being still, present, and compassionate.