Sunday, September 13, 2009

Principles Above Personalities.

I am always humbled and awed by the way that "moment's silence to remember why we are here" at the beginning of our meetings, can take a wildly diverse group of people and turn them into a loving community. After that silence, we are focused on recovery; all else is set aside.

I've learned that I don't know who's going to be my Higher Power's message-carrier; I've often heard just what I needed, from someone with whom I might not choose to socialise outside the meeting. Before Al-Anon, if someone irritated me, I didn't listen to them - I used that small annoyance to completely discount them.

I've learned that those who grate upon me most, are those with whom I have much in common. That humility has allowed me to see what I wouldn't have otherwise, were I still caught up in measuring the differences between myself and another: we are all God's children, and we all have value. (I didn't learn that lesson as a child - on the contrary, I learned to dismiss and ignore those who didn't fit into a very slim category.)

When I was new to Al-Anon, I had a rather muddled idea that I practised "principles above personalities" for the sake of other people. Now I understand I do this for myself, as well - so I'm not closing myself off to wisdom because it arrives in a rather tattered container, instead of a nice shiny package.


  1. Oh, I totally got that at a meeting last night!! The topic was on boundaries. A member I don't know well and wouldn't normally encounter commented on how not to trample on chldrens' boundaries just because she's their mother. I'd never considered how often I do that in the name of "loving" parenting. It was a direct shot between the eyes and a gentle finger-wag from God.

  2. I believe what you wrote here that I am most at odds with those who have traits similar to mine. As my sponsor has said, if I point my finger then there are 3 pointed back at me.