Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How Important Is It?

This slogan has been a lifeline for me. I was a grievous control freak when I came into Al-Anon. I micro-managed all aspects of my life, and tried to do the same to the alcoholics, my friends, my coworkers, my neighbours... I had the most well-trained dog of anyone I knew. (At the time, I felt very proud of that fact. Now, I see it somewhat differently; now, I don't consider it vitally important that my dogs leap to obey my every command at once. These days, as long as they have some manners, and are reasonably well-behaved, I can allow them to be dogs, and do those mysterious canine things they do - such as: each spring, sample a slug, just to see if it really is as distasteful as it proved to be last year.)

This slogan has helped me put life into perspective. My first sponsor used to ask - would I even remember whatever it was I was so fussed over, a month from now? Six months? A year? The answer always seemed to, I wouldn't. So, How Important Is It?

In retrospect, I can see that I was unable to assign various levels of importance, everything mattered equally. This makes for high anxiety, if every choice, every decision, is seen as "life and death."

How Important Is It? Most of the time, not very. Apart from the few serious choices we must make in life, most choices are of lesser importance than we might believe at the time. Most of my choices have been, anyway.

I like to ask my sponsees, "Are you going to be lying on your deathbed wishing you'd chosen differently in this matter?" This question usually provokes a startled look, and then laughter, it's so silly when framed that way.


  1. You sound like you used to be like the woman I work with( who needs to plop her butt in an Alanon meeting and stay there. Just sayin')Anyway, I'm sure I drive her crazy becuase she thinks everything is monumentally important. I know it's not.
    The things that really matter are so simple. I'm grateful to have perspective these days. I'm also really glad I don't live in her head! Phew! jeNN

  2. You're so right. Most things aren't that important and certainly not worth worrying over. Great thoughts today.