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Thursday, December 8, 2016
It's a sad day for an Al-Anon group when its members settle down into old-timer status and the meetings are merely get-togethers for a bit of chatting and gossip.

Gone is the vitality and hope that inspired the group in the early days--gone the eager exchange of experience, strength and hope, the challenge to apply the program to every department of life. And gone is a hand of friendship that reached out to troubled people and drew them into the fold to learn about the Steps to serenity, confidence, renewed faith--all accomplished through our helping and caring.

Today's Reminder
I will not forget that the possibilities of this vast spiritual program are still limitless for me. I still have much to learn in it. Let me remember, too, that an Al-Anon group is a vital feature of any community; there are so many to whom it could bring hope! I will try to find them, through churches, doctors, courts and counselors--and share Al-Anon with them.
"Each day is a new adventure in Al-Anon, pointing the way to an ever better way to live."

The image of an avalanche helps me to give the drinking alcoholic in my life the dignity to make her own decisions. It is as though her actions are forming a mountain of alcohol-related troubles. A mound of snow cannot indefinitely grow taller without tumbling down; neither can the alcoholic's mountain of problems.

Al-Anon is help me to refrain from throwing myself in front of the alcoholic to protect her, or from working feverishly to add to the mountain in order to speed its downward slide. I am powerless over her drinking and her pain. The most helpful course of action is for me to stay out of the way!
If the avalanche hits alcoholic, it must be the result of her own actions. I'll do my best to allow God to care for her, even when painful consequences of her choices hit full force. That way I won't get in the way of her chance you want a better life.

Today's Reminder
I will take care to avoid building an avalanche of my own. Am I heaping up resentments, excuses, and regrets that have the potential to destroy me? I don't have to be buried under them before I address my own problems. I can't begin today.
"The suffering you are trying to ease . . . may be the very thing needed to bring the alcoholic to a realization of the seriousness of the situations." So You Love an Alcoholic

 ** I think I have a lot of tangible problems, building up an avalanche.  Really do feel at a cross roads.

Tradition Five states Al-Anon's purpose, to help families of alcoholics, and describes how we can best carry that out. On a personal level, this Tradition helps me transform the character defect of resentment into the principle of compassion. Specifically, I become compassionate to reward myself by working the Steps and healing from the devastating effects of alcoholism. In being compassionate to myself, I release the resentments that eat at my heart and soul, and keep me from my spiritual awakening.

As I release my resentments, I can extend compassion to the alcoholics in my life. I can love myself enough to love them, too, even though I hate the disease that hurts us both.
I become so full of love and compassion that I can keep it bottled up inside. I need to share it with others. My compassion becomes a healing light of my Higher Power shining through me to welcome and comfort other friends and family members of alcoholics.

What are some ways in which I can extend compassion to myself, my alcoholic loved ones, or my group? If I am being hard on myself, I can practice "Progress, not Perfection." Reading about the disease aspect of alcoholism can help me to better understand the alcoholics in my life. I welcome newcomers to Al-Anon, offering my phone number, a hug, or the willingness to listen and love unconditionally. By giving them my support and understanding, I complete the circle of compassion that was so freely given to me.

Thought for the Day
How can I show compassion for myself and those around me?
"Today I will practice compassion. First I will be kind and loving to myself, but I will not stop there. I will extend this compassion to others." Courage to Change, p. 355


  1. "I don't have to be buried under them before I address my own problems." Yes! Wise advice to follow.

    "I become so full of love and compassion that I can't keep it bottled up inside." That's the mark of true compassion.