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Thursday, February 16, 2017
Was in the "depths of despair."  On my way out.  Feeling gratitude.  The first sentence of this passage makes me think it's a good fit for today.  

HFT
"When you have to go into your head," says an Al-Anon friend, "don't go alone. It's a not a safe neighborhood." My experience certainly corroborates the truth of this statement. Now when I have to go inside my mind for some serious thinking and I can't travel with a program person, I take my Higher Power. When I have trouble contacting that Power, I follow a simple, three-point plan my sponsor taught me.
First, I remind myself that I've been in this neighborhood before.
Second, I make a gratitude list, usually beginning with food, clothing, and shelter.
Third, I meditate and pray that my Higher Power will give me a sign that I'm going in the right direction. Much as I might like to see a lightning bolt hurled from the sky, I make myself receptive to less dramatic moments of insight.
With the glint of light this process provides, the neighborhood may not look like an amusement park, yet it still feels passable. It is, after all, my neighborhood.
Thought for the Day
When I think myself into a troubled state, I will remember this: Don't look around, look up.
"It can help to replace obsessive thoughts with something positive, such as an Al-Anon slogan, the Serenity Prayer or another comforting topic that has nothing to do with my problem." Courage to Change, p. 306\

I like that phrase, "When I think myself into a troubled state."  A lot of responsibility there and awareness.


Passage 2
CTC
In a tornado, you not only have to look out for the tremendous winds, but also whatever the winds pick up and hurl in your direction. Like a tornado, alcoholism often brings along additional problems, including verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, illness, debt, prison, infidelity, and even death. Some of these problems can be so embarrassing that we don’t dare to talk about them. But in Al-Anon, we learn that we are only as sick as our secrets. Until we let them out into the light, they keep us trapped.
Most of us find it best to share our secrets with someone we can trust, someone who understands the disease of alcoholism. No matter how hopeless, different, or ashamed we may feel, there are Al-Anon members who have been through similar crises and are willing to listen and help.
Today’s Reminder
The times I most want to hide out with my secrets are probably the times I most need to reach out and share them with others. When facing a difficult situation, let me remember that my Higher Power speaks through other people. I don’t have to face it alone.
“We move from being at the mercy of any problem that comes along to an inner certainty that no matter what happens in our lives, we will be able to face it, deal with it, and learn from it with the help of our Higher Power.” … In All Our Affairs

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
I have had a lot of things on my mind lately.  So much, that I've been hesitant to write for fear of not having the time.

But, today, I simply want to do my daily meditations.  And I am grateful for this!

********One thing though.  Walking at the beach has been a bit life saving.  #newselfcare

Passage 1
ODAT
One of the most inspiring and encouraging things that happens at Al-Anon meetings is an expression of heartfelt gratitude from a member. For those who are hopeless and despairing, such a message as this gives a foretaste of lightened burdens:
“Life begins to make a great deal of sense to me since I came to Al-Anon. The world is beginning to reveal its beauty which for a long time was obscured by my worrying over my troubles. I am learning to deal with them now, and what makes it easier is that I deal only with the problems that are mine. I am learning I cannot carry another’s burdens, no matter how much I love him.”
TODAY’S REMINDER
One of Al-Anon’s important fringe benefits is that it increases my awareness of the world around me, so I can see and enjoy it. This alone helps to dim the difficulties I had been concentrating on, creating my own misery.
“After a time in Al-Anon, we discover we are acquiring a sense of reality which is absolutely essential to serenity.”

I've noticed that my most effective self care is getting out in nature.  Like this passage said," [it] helps to dim the difficulties I had been concentrating on, creating my own misery"  It also is a conduit to accessing higher power.  
And while I haven't been "carrying" another's problems.  I've been still using my mom (who is really doing great, by the way) to detract from  my own issues.  I would much rather use higher power to do that.

Moving on...........



Passage 2
CTC
We talk a great deal about working the steps the program. Actually what we do is to practice what we’re learning. It’s like studying a second language. A student reads books and attends classes, but this only gave him technical knowledge. To be able to use the language he must be around those who speak and understand it. He practices listening and speaking while continuing to read. If he stays with it, in time it will become a lifelong skill.
So it is with many of us. We begin with little knowledge and many misconceptions. We go to meetings, learn about alcoholism, and study al-Anon literature. But to actually be able to use this knowledge takes time, patience, and effort. We spend time around people who speak the Al-Anon language, especially those who are making a strong commitment to practicing Al-Anon’s principles in their own lives. We continue to listen, to read, to learn. In this way the Al-Anon way of life sinks in until it becomes second nature. Then, because we are constantly changing, we have opportunities to learn and practice some more.
Today’s Reminder
If I want to become skillful at applying the al-Anon program to my life, I need to do more than go to an occasional meeting. I must make a commitment and practice, practice, practice.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence , then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle

Great analogy!  Makes perfect sense to someone who has struggled to learn Spanish for a LONG time.  


Passage 3
HFT
Certainly I have periods of tremendous enthusiasm for the Al-Anon program. During those times I feel alive, eager, and receptive to growth. However, I also experience periods of complacency during which I am close-minded, self-satisfied, and lacking in progress. I tell myself that to some extent this is probably normal; life is composed of mountains, valleys, and plateaus. However, when my complacency gets out of hand, it interferes with the quality of my recovery.
I can't achieve the degree of health I want by using yesterday's program. I've found that if I'm not moving forward, I don't just stand still; I go backwards. I forget that the tools of the program have worked for me before and start to think I can manage my life on my own. That's when my will and my life become insane.
I once heard a speaker say if we don't grow, we get so uncomfortable that we stop going to meetings. The verbs "continued", "sought", "tried," and "practice" in Steps Ten through Twelve sound suspiciously like work to me. These words indicate that I need to persist in going to meetings, even when I don't feel like it. However, they also offer reward for the effort--a renewal of my enthusiasm for life and a regeneration of my spirit.
Thought for the Day
The best way for me to stay moving and growing is to keep attending Al-Anon meetings.
"Complacency . . . is rarely listed among the major human faults, yet it can hinder us in every form of personal growth." One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, p. 197

Love!  And obviously written for me.  :)