Monday, January 31, 2011


From Courage to Change, page 31:
"I want to be ready for shortcomings to be removed, and I will do what I can to prepare. I can develop a non-judgemental awareness of myself, accept what I discover, and be fully willing to change. But I lack the power to heal myself. Only my Higher Power can do that."
A friend jokes that when she was new to Al-Anon, and hoping for a spiritual awakening, she expected the burning bush, and was disappointed when it didn't happen that way for her. Doesn't matter how many times I hear her say it, I laugh - it so describes me.  I came into Al-Anon a determined and rigid sceptic.

My first spiritual awakening was a powerful experience.  I've had others since then, large and small. They all carry one similarity - my thinking is permanently changed afterwards.

Last week, I was granted another profound world-view-tilter of a spiritual awakening. I had been thinking, meditating, praying, and working towards acceptance in one area of my life. I had been "...doing what I can to prepare."

Acceptance is a powerful tool in Al-Anon. When I accept fully the person that I am, without judgement, and fearlessly, I am making myself ready for change.

I cannot change if I do not acknowledge the need for change. Honesty with myself, with my loved ones, with my Higher Power, removes the stubborn barricades of self-will, and says, "I see that I am this way. I see that this doesn't work well, for me or other people, and I'm ready and willing to let it go. Please take it." My Higher Power knows when I'm mouthing the words, but still feeling the resentment or irritation, and when I'm truly ready for change. I don't get to set the timeline, either, which I choose to see as more training in my powerlessness. My part is to do the work, and keep on doing the work, whether I see an immediate result, or whether I feel as though I'm marching in place.

How committed to my recovery am I? Enough to keep going when I don't get instant results? Enough to trust that there's a point to all this, and a reason? Enough to do what I need to do without complaint, and with an open heart? Enough to trust that I will be given the sponsor I need, who will gently point me in the right direction? My new sponsor here is a wonderful human being, but I've had times when I felt as though she were telling me what I didn't want to hear - I've learned to pay close attention when I get that feeling, and to plow right through it.

Al-Anon has taught me that there is no wasted time in this program - I move in fits and starts during some passages of my life - stumbling, barking my shins, stubbing my toes, falling. If I keep on getting up, brushing myself off, not merely letting go of my desire to lay blame for my pain, but accepting and even being grateful for that pain, as necessary for my growth, I will make progress.

When these awakenings are granted, they are life-changing. This last one has opened a door closed in my terrible early childhood, and revealed to me, that on the other side trying to get in, were not the monsters of my imagining, but love, abundance, and this pure joy running through me now.


  1. I like the message there is no wasted time in this program. Sitting with who I am in all it's parts is difficult some days. Learning to let go and trust there is a plan is life changing for me. I dont even have to figure it all out some questions may have no answers.

  2. I know that I learn something at every meeting. I know that people get better. It is truly remarkable to see the progress we make once we truly "get" it.