Al-Anon Lifer

Anonymous sharings from a long-time member of Al-Anon, which is a safe place to recover from the effects of alcoholism in a friend or relative...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Keep An Open Mind

Hello everyone. I've been blogging elsewhere but realized again last night how important it is to continue to share my Al-Anon story with anyone, anywhere, reaching out for help. We never know how our experience, strength, and hope (ESH) will touch others' lives. For example, I spoke at a speakers meeting last night. Honestly, I don't recall much of what I shared or the order of events in my story. I do know that my sponsor told me it was a good interweaving of my story and service work. And enough people told me it was a good talk, thanking me, that I must have spoken the words my Greater Power wanted me to speak.

I do remember talking about what I've learned recently about letting go and letting God, again, about letting go of trying to control my children was the first lesson I learned in Al-Anon. You see, we Al-Anons don't just try to control the alcoholics in our lives - we often try to control all the people, places, and things. That's what I was doing this fall. And I had gotten depressed over the whole situation, even angry at God that things weren't going my way. But God had a different plan than me, and it didn't unfold until I let go of the problem (or at least until my letting go let me see that God was working all along - my perception).

Then this week I was reading in some Al-Anon literature and read something "new" - that one of our slogans is "Keep An Open Mind" - it's even in our opening or closing. Even though I've been coming to meetings for a long, long time, and reading the literature, I had never really heard that slogan. How funny. We're just not ready until we are ready. So now my job is to figure out what "Keep An Open Mind" means for me. I do know that I come from a family that is extremely close-minded, and as such, so am I most of the time. It takes a long time for me to change my mind or learn a different side to the story.

The first opportunity I had for this was in my thirties when I started questioning my religion and certain beliefs that didn't make sense. I was in a class and the leader said that God loves us better than non-believers. My question was about God changing his love for us according to our actions if God stays the same. I was practically scolded and thus began my journey to find the God of my own understanding. That God, by the way, doesn't change. What does change is my concept of that God as I get to know Her better and better, as I let Her into my life and rely more and more on Her in my daily doings.

So "Keep An Open Mind" means, at this point in my recovery, to not put people, places, things , and God in box. Listen to others at a meeting, especially those you think are only rattling on and saying the same things week after week. You might just learn something. Something you don't know. No matter how long you've been going to meetings. Like I am learning this week, in this moment of time. It's one of those days that I have no plans after a very busy week. One of those uncomfortable places of asking my God to tell me what to do for Her today. So here I am, blogging again...

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At Saturday, November 17, 2007 12:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah! You're back! I enjoy your writing and would like to read your other posts, since you mentioned that you've been blogging elsewhere. Would it be possible for you to let me know where else you blog? Judy

At Saturday, November 17, 2007 1:08:00 PM, Blogger Al-Anon Lifer said...

I've been asked to identify my other blogs, but that would go against the tradition of keeping our identity anonymous in the press. Al-Anon Lifer

At Sunday, November 18, 2007 7:20:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rats! And I mean that in a nice way, albeit a disappointed one. . . but I admire your integrity. Please write on Al-Anon Lifer more often. I don't blog but I certainly love to read blogs on recovery and I check your blog on a regular basis to see if you've posted anything new lately. Take care, Judy

At Tuesday, January 22, 2008 6:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just discovered you are back also. I am glad that you are aware of how important it is for you to write this Al-Anon blog, so that others can share your exzperience strength and hope.

Keep coming back and keep writing!!

another anonymous al-anon.


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