Thursday, May 6, 2010

As We Understand Him.

The God of my understanding has a sharply ironic sense of humour, as evidenced by my last few days, and many other instances.

My spouse and I were talking last night, about my decision to stop blogging, and the two days that followed. They grinned at me, and said, "Sometimes our decisions are overruled."

I loved that, it was such a perfect description of exactly how I've felt. I decided that I didn't have the time, or anything more worthwhile to say, so I was going to stop blogging. My decision was overruled, and the message was made crystal clear. I have a program friend who calls those messages "memos from God."

They start out politely and courteously, but get firmer and more forceful the longer we try to ignore them. She tells a story in which she made a decision, and then stuck to it grimly, while everyone from her sister to her pastor tried to suggest that perhaps God had other ideas for her in this case? She says that she'd decided to ignore those God-memos, and they went from: "My child, that's not such a great idea, I think it might be better were you to ___." to:  "DON'T PUSH ME, SUSAN!"

I can relate to that furious determination to get her own way, for me, it was part and parcel of being "right." I wanted to be right in everything, and I couldn't change my mind or back down, or concede, because I felt as though doing any of those would be  proof of the validity of the deep dark feelings of wrongness that I carried inside myself.

I couldn't bear to be overruled. I took it personally, and fumed and stewed and seethed. My first sponsor suggested that I try thanking my Higher Power when things didn't go my way.
I mumbled something noncommittal, and drove home thinking that she had finally crossed the line, she'd gone completely barking mad.

I've changed so much in Al-Anon. Now I may make the decision, but I don't have to have dire consequences threatened, in order to be willing to reconsider. Nowadays my Higher Power can play silly games with me to get the point across. I'm teachable.
I'm able to be wrong, and cheerfully admit it. There's no shame attached anymore.

I've still got a co-dependent's ability to rationalise, but now I can hear myself starting to do this. I recognise the opening bars. I can choose to listen to a different piece of music.
I can be grateful for all of you reading this, who respond to my blitherings with such warmth and encouragement.
I can change my mind. I can take a hint from God.


  1. Wow! What a relief! I am so grateful that you have changed your mind, Cheryl. I am relatively new to your blog, but have already benefitted immensely! I have much of the Al-Anon literature, and enjoy it, but your blog is much more personal, and accessible somehow. You are also an excellent writer, and so reading your blog is fun, as well as thought provoking. I have visited several recovery blogs, and found that yours stands out in many ways...I guess there are as many levels of recovery as there are people, and finding someone with maturity in recovery, tremendous integrity in their efforts to honestly portray the Al-Anon experience, and fantastic writing ability is like hitting the recovery blog jackpot!!

    I am a faithful weekly reader, and I have also shared a few of your blog entries with my online Al-Anon group. You touch so many lives that you will probably never know about, and so what you do is so very important...never underestimate that!!!!! Take breaks when you need to and keep it exciting for yourself :) An idea: every once in awhile you might ask if your readers have a topic that they are grappling with, and you could blog about it! I know I have especially loved your posts on detachment...something I must work on daily!

    I am feeling such gratitude that you will continue to share your thoughts, as you live and work the Al-Anon program. Your sorting through through the topics and common character defects that we share not just as an Al-Anon group, but as part of the imperfect group of humankind, helps me to recognize and accept my flaws and strive to better myself. I celebrate your decision (!!!)


  2. Yes, I think that being flexible is one of my great assets. I have also learned to never say never. That is a God word.