Before coming into Al-Anon, I spent most of my life having expectations of, and making unrealistic demands on, everyone around me. Anyone who didn't follow through on those demands invited my wrath. However, of all those I placed under my jurisdiction, the person I was hardest on was myself.
It felt strange, therefore, to come through the doors of Al-Anon to a place not governed by cruel dictators who gave harsh commands. Instead, I heard things like "Keep It Simple" and "Easy Does It." It was like entering a new and different world where I was taught to love myself and to treat myself with dignity and respect. Luckily, I didn't have to learn these difficult lessons alone. Rather, I learned by watching other Al-Anon members treat themselves - and me - with love, dignity, and respect.
As other members modeled these approaches in relating to me, I was eager to use each one, right away! Quite often I stumbled while trying to implement too many changes at once by using my same old forceful self-will. Then I learned I could apply the slogans not just to the happenings in my life but also to the manner in which I worked my program. Members encouraged me to eliminate "have-tos" and "shoulds" and to slow down so that I could consciously choose which changes felt right to me. I've discovered that the only thing barely approaching a "have-to" in Al-Anon is willingness, and even that is optional. I can work my program at the speed and to the degree that suits my needs at any given time.
Hope for Today
Today I am grateful for serenity.
I am grateful for my willingness to work on the three things I choose to tackle right now.
I am grateful for prayer. I pray blessings for my enemies and nobody can stop me.
I am grateful for my family and friends who call me and check on me several times a day when things are tough.
I am grateful that God is faithful to His promises and that includes me!