Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Power of Language.

From Hope for Today, page 126:

"When I first heard the slogans at Al-Anon meetings, I considered them to be trite little cliches that couldn't possibly help anybody. they were far too simple to work, and I was far too sceptical to even attempt them. Then it dawned on me that had been using my own slogans all my life. Unfortunately, they were slogans of non-recovery. I'd said many of them daily, and I had grown up hearing most of them from alcoholic relatives. They included "you should know how I feel", "after all I've done for you", "if you really loved me", "damned if you do, damned if you don't", and "I hope you're happy now."

I had my own slogans when I came into Al-Anon, one of which was the utterly depressing "Life's a bitch, and then you die." I got that from my first alcoholic, my ex. A slightly more cheerful one that I still use, came from my adopted maternal grandfather: "It's a great life if you don't weaken."

Just like the person in the above reading, at first glance, I found the slogans impossibly simple, they didn't satisfy my rather confused belief that in order to be at all meaningful, philosophy must be convoluted. I was not only sceptical, I was scornful. Luckily for me, I was also desperate, and in my desperation, clutched at the bits of program which sprang easily to mind during stressful times.

I recall many an evening spent walking my dog, and repeating the first line of the Serenity Prayer almost as a mantra: "God grant me serenity." As I attended more meetings, I began to recall the odd Slogan, and use that as one of my oft-repeated reminders to myself that I could choose another path, and change my life.

Another line I really like from today's reading in HFT:

"Today I won't discount simplicity until I give it a decent try."


  1. My favorite is "Let go and let God." jeNN

  2. I like Keep It Simple, Easy Does It, Live and Let Live, and How Important Is It--they have helped me a lot.